Finding a job and earning money are essential life skills for teens. Unfortunately, roadblocks such as age limits, transportation, and tedious interview processes previously kept many teens out of the market. Yet the rise of online jobs has now removed many of those barriers. Wondering how to earn extra cash as a teenager? Here are 18 ways to get started.
How Can a Teenager Earn Money Online
Many teens want to make money fast or simply find a summer job.
Either way, many online opportunities are perfect for teenagers because they are available immediately and require little to no prior experience. Of course, some jobs have minimum age requirements or require parental consent, so check each position. Still, many opportunities are available to teens as young as 13.
Best Online Jobs for Teens
1. Play Games
If ever there were a way to earn money that seemed to be perfect for teens, it's getting paid to play video games on their phone. Older teens can earn real money rewards for playing online games in their free time.
This is one of the best ways for teens to earn a little extra cash, as it doesn't require hard work or special skills. However, they likely won't earn as much money as they would at a real part-time job.
Most mobile apps that pay you to play games are Android-only apps. Simply download the mobile app, choose your favorite games to play, and get paid.
Here are a few options to try:
2. Completing Online Surveys
Taking online surveys will not get you a six-figure income, but it is some pretty easy money for work you can do in your spare time.
Sign up for some of these reputable online survey sites to get paid for sharing your opinions:
- Branded Surveys: (Age 13+) Upon signing up, you'll answer questions and be matched to appropriate surveys. For each completed survey, you will collect points that you can redeem for PayPal cash or gift cards.
- Survey Junkie: (Age 13+) With Survey Junkie, you take surveys, earn points, and redeem them for gift cards or cash.
- Lifepoints: (Age 14+) Once sign-up is complete, the user will get notified of eligible surveys. Like other survey sites, users get paid via gift cards, PayPal, or physical prizes.
- MyPoints: (Age 13+) After signing up for an account, you earn points by completing surveys, answering polls, and shopping online. Redeem points for PayPal cash or free gift cards.
- Swagbucks: (Age 13+) After signing up for an account, you earn points by answering survey questions, watching videos, playing games, etc. After accruing points, you can redeem them for cash or gift cards.
- Toluna Influencers: (Age 16+) Toluna solicits honest opinions from consumers about products that businesses have on the market. Users can choose compensation in the form of points that can earn gift cards or cash distributed through PayPal. In addition to product testing, users can also answer surveys to earn points or money.
Teens with a love of writing and solid grammar skills are a perfect fit for freelance writing, which is free to start and offers flexible hours. Plus, it has the potential to be turned into a full-time business once you graduate from school.
Sites like Upwork have many companies looking to hire writers. The work can range anywhere from writing blog posts to ghostwriting entire books.
Freelance Video Editor
Video editing is time-consuming and requires proper tools to process in a timely manner. Video editing could be an excellent option for teens already into video work. Once set up and ready to start, editing can be a lucrative online job for teens. Upwork's statistics show the average earnings for video editors is around $15-30 an hour.
Freelance Graphic Designer
There are tons of businesses looking for someone to help them with design work. These projects can range from super creative branding jobs to more of a production design role that would require implementing design changes across the employer's portfolio.
4. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant helps an individual or business by providing support from home.
The average salary for a virtual assistant nationwide is $24.77 an hour, with many roles requiring little to no experience and easily fitting around a school schedule. The first step to becoming a virtual assistant is to identify what skills you have that can apply to the business world.
The primary duties of a virtual assistant include simple tasks such as:
- Writing blog posts
- Answering emails
- Create graphics
- Posting on social media
- Making phone calls
Someone with strong communication skills, a decent internet connection, and attention to detail would be an ideal candidate. Landing some virtual assistant jobs is a great option to avoid working a traditional job where you're stuck in an office doing some type of work you don't enjoy.
5. Online Tutor
One particular advantage of an online tutoring job is that students can set their schedules. So despite a teen having after-school activities or programs, they can schedule tutoring around what works for them, making it a perfect choice for high schoolers.
Formal teaching experience to tutor other students, and there is no minimum age requirement – unless working for specific agencies. Some schools even offer peer tutoring within school hours because they find it beneficial for both students.
6. Sell on Etsy
Etsy is a global online marketplace. It's a great place for people to set up online shops to sell physical and digital products.
For creative young people with an eye for design, running an Etsy shop can provide a great source of income. Popular items include digital stickers, printables, wall art, planners, and more.
Additionally, it can be an excellent passive income option depending on the products sold.
The best part is that teens between 13-17 can sell on Etsy with “appropriate permission and direct supervision” of their legal guardians. In this instance, Etsy uses the legal guardian's information to create an account, and they must be listed as the shop owner.
7. Start a YouTube Channel
Some of YouTube's most popular creators make millions each year. While making a fortune overnight is highly unlikely, generating a decent income is entirely within reach.
The most popular way to monetize your YouTube channel is with ad revenue from Google AdSense. However, the hardest part is qualifying. To qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, you need at least 1,000 subscribers on your channel and 4,000 watch hours on your YouTube videos within 12 months. Once you qualify, however, it can quickly turn into a serious side hustle.
When you first start a channel, you'll need to learn some basic video editing until you're earning enough money to pay for video editors. It's also a good idea to film your videos using your smartphone in the beginning until you can afford to upgrade your equipment. This is a great way to avoid sinking a ton of money into a new venture before you start making money.
YouTube is a great option for online work where you can make good money creating video content. Other options to make money on your channel are selling custom merchandise, promoting affiliate products, or working with brands to sponsor videos.
8. Social Media Marketing Assistant
Having extensive social media experience and knowing what types of content do well makes for an excellent social media manager.
Creating content and managing social media platforms can be very time-intensive and has the potential to earn full-time income.
Plus, it isn't a seasonal job, which means there is potential for a continuous workstream.
9. Data Entry Work
Data entry positions are great jobs for teens because they simply have to type in the data they provide. Data entry jobs can vary between typing to a bit of research and entering the results into the employer's software.
Working as a data entry specialist requires little to no training and is easy to start. If extra spending money is the goal, data entry is a great way to start.
10. Start a Podcast
Passionate about a specific topic? Starting a podcast is undoubtedly a simple way to share your enthusiasm for the topic. Start-up costs are minimal and include a mic, audio editing software, and internet access.
This job opportunity may require some time investment before you make any money since monetization opportunities largely depend on the number of listeners.
While podcasting tends more of a slow burn rather than a quick win, it can be quite lucrative.
11. Test Websites
Businesses want to ensure that their website is working correctly and running smoothly. As such, they pay to have people use the site to test it out and identify any issues.
Sites like UserTesting and UserLytics offer easy ways for teens to sign up and start.
12. Sell Clothing Online
Mercari and ThredUp are sites that act as online yard sales or consignment shops. Sellers can make money by selling their gently used items. While it's not a consistent revenue stream, this would be a good option for teens needing quick cash.
Many of these sites are simple, user-friendly platforms that offer an easy way to purge your closet and generate a small income.
A proofreader carefully studies text to find and correct spelling errors and mistakes in grammar and style. One way to find paying clients would be to tell other students about your proofreading services or advertise at nearby community colleges or universities.
Proofreading can be an excellent choice for those with patience and an eye for detail. There's quite a lot of demand for this work because many writers either despise proofreading and editing their own work. This hesitancy creates an opportunity for others to do the work for them and profit accordingly.
14. Teach Other Kids to Code
Coding is incredibly popular, with many children and adolescents wanting to learn. Teaching kids to code could be a profitable way to make extra money. Advertising at local schools or recreation centers is a good way to create more demand for your services.
15. Sell Class Notes
A good set of notes can differentiate between a student passing or failing a test. If taking good notes is a skill set you possess, there is a market for it, particularly during the school year.
Nexus Notes is a subscription-based platform. They sell notes, course guides, summaries, and other work.
16. Design T-shirts
Custom-designing t-shirts can be a fun way to earn some extra cash. Whether the designs are for a branded business or just for fun, sites like Redbubble, Spreadshirt, and Cafepress make it easy to get started.
These print-on-demand sites use the designs you've uploaded into your shop and then take care of the billing, printing, and shipping of products.
17. Find Jobs on Fiverr
Fiverr is an online platform that allows freelancers to find jobs through posted listings for digital services. Fiverr is considered a “micro-task” site, so most listings are for quick, one-time work.
The minimum age to sign up is 13, making this an excellent opportunity for most teens.
Fiverr is an excellent option for teens with the built-in flexibility of picking and choosing the work they enjoy and have time for when a full-time job isn't possible.
Fiverr is a must for any teens or college students looking to set their own hours and own rates.
18. Customer Service Jobs
As a work-from-home customer service representative, you'd be responsible for speaking with customers by phone or email, answering questions, and troubleshooting their issues.
Customer service jobs are hourly positions that, at a minimum, require a good internet connection and a headset, depending on the job.
19. Sell Your Photographs
Licensing is one of the most popular ways to sell your photographs online. You can license your photos to brands, publishers, or anyone looking for digital images.
Stock photography sites like Depositphotos and Shutterstock make it simple to upload your photos and sell the rights to use them.
Talent, determination, and thorough market research will ultimately decide your earning potential with this online business opportunity.
Age doesn't have to limit a teen's ability to make money. But not all jobs are created equal.
Some jobs have specific age or legal requirements. In addition, some require more time and financial commitment than others.
There have never been more legitimate online jobs available than there are today. Carefully examining your skills, time available, and income requirements will help you make the best choice in your job search.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Kristin Stones is the founder of Cents + Purpose, an online community dedicated to sharing practical personal finance content. Her mission is to equip women with the necessary tools and knowledge to take back control of their money and live a more purposeful life. She creates actionable content to help her audience achieve financial wellness using her simple approach to managing money - all learned through her personal experience of paying off almost $55,000 of debt in under two years.