How hard is it in your area for high school age teenagers to find a job? It’s pretty tough in my area – even the local pizza place only hires ages 18 and up. While there are a few places that hire teens younger than that, it’s hard for 16 year olds in my area to find work. With my oldest hitting that age, I’ve decided to take a look at teen online jobs and other ways for teenagers to earn money from home.
One challenge teens face with any kind of online work is their age. Sites may not allow anyone under a certain age to have an account. That’s not so difficult when the limit is 13, but it’s more of a problem if the company requires that they be 18.
This means that parents may need to help kids get accounts for some things. Paypal, for example, requires users to be at least 18 years old. A teen getting paid through Paypal will need to use an account created by a parent.
Once you’re 18 and have a high school diploma, you’ll have relatively few restrictions on where you can work if you meet the education and experience requirements. Most companies don’t care about your age once you’re legally an adult unless they have specific laws to deal with.
Make Sure You’re Paid Enough
One problem I have with a lot of suggested ways to earn money from home at any age is the very poor pay rate. Too many “opportunities” pay well under minimum wage. Many feel it’s okay to earn that little if you’re just doing them in your spare time, but I still find it problematic.
This is especially true when your teen is just starting out. Teach them to expect an appropriate pay rate, minimum wage at the least, and increasing as the difficulty of the work increases. Don’t fall for the notion that a gig doesn’t have to pay as well as a regular job.
This is why I rarely list surveys or Get Paid To (GPT) apps as work at home opportunities. Very few people make much at all with those, especially when you consider the time spent. It makes more sense to me to use that spare time to build something that makes more money, rather than chasing pennies or a dollar here and there on sites that don’t pay well at all.
Some things by their very nature won’t pay well at first, of course. If your teen wants to start a blog or YouTube channel, they won’t earn anything at first. But then it’s their choice. They’re starting a business, and that involves risk. What is acceptable when you work for yourself is different from when you work for someone else. If things go well with a business, the low income time will be well paid back when money comes in… or it’s time to try something else.
Which Companies Offer Teen Online Jobs?
While most remote companies only hire people over the age of 18, there are some that hire teens for online jobs. If your teen is looking for work, he or she may want to consider these options.
Enroll – Must be 13 to sign up and have parental permission if under 18.
Teens can sign up as a student on Enroll, and tutor other students in whatever subjects you’re strong in. Peer to peer tutors must be at least 15 years old and can only tutor other students who are under age 18.
Care.com – Teens ages 14-17 can register as providers so long as a parent has registered an account connected to yours, so that they will receive copies of all communications to and from the teen account.
Teens can offer tutoring services as well as childcare services on this site.
SameSpeak – Must be at least 16 and a native English speaker. Pay is $10 per 30 minute session. It may take some time to get verified.
Freelance work can be ideal for teens. Pick up jobs when you have time for them, and build great experience you can use later. While some sites may require that you be 18 or older, others will not have an age requirement. Here are some to consider.
Rev – Rev has no age requirements, and offers freelance positions as a transcriptionist, captioner, subtitler, or translator.
Freelancer.com – Requires freelancers to be at least 16 years old. Possible jobs include website design, coding, writing, data entry, social media marketing, and more.
Userlytics – Test websites and apps and speak out loud during the experience. You must have a webcam and microphone, Windows 7 or newer, and MacOS 10.9 or newer. Users must be at least 16 years old. Pay starts at $5, with some tests going as high as $90. Pay is through PayPal. Tests should take 20-40 minutes to complete.
Freelance writing in general can be a good opportunity for teens. While freelance sites may care about their age, teens can also pitch individual publications with their ideas. If you don’t emphasize your age, they may not care that a teen is doing the writing, so long as the quality is there.
Home Business Ideas For Teens
Starting a home business can be a great idea for a teen. They can work their business around their school schedule with relative ease. While your teen may need you to sign up for some programs with them, they can still handle many of the details.
If your teen loves to make crafts, draw, or otherwise be creative, sites such as Etsy can be a great choice. Etsy requires that a parent directly supervise the account of any user between the ages of 13-18. Minors under the age of 13 are not allowed at all.
Your teen does not have to make physical products to sell on Etsy. Some people do very well selling digital products, such as printable invitations, wall art, educational pages, coloring pages, logos and more.
Zazzle, Teepublic, etc.
Custom t-shirts, mugs, posters, and other products are very popular right now. There are a number of places where artists can upload their designs to be printed on t-shirts, posters and more. Check each site’s terms of service to see how old an artist has to be before signing up. Here are a few sites to check out. Some may require parental permission.
Fiverr is an online marketplace where you can sell a service for as little as $5. As you build a reputation, you can offer addons and more difficult services for more than $5, sometimes quite a bit more. Fiverr requires that users be at least 13 years old. If your teen has a bank account, they can have their money direct deposited, but payment through Paypal is also an option. Remember Paypal’s age limits.
The tasks people do on Fiverr range from fairly standard writing, marketing, programming and so forth, to more unusual tasks that can be great attention getters. If your teen wants to try to make money through Fiverr, have them look at what other people are doing in their category first, and brainstorm ideas to help them stand out.
Blogging may come natural to some teens. It’s a great, flexible home business that doesn’t take a lot of money to get started. You can even start for free, although that’s not the option I recommend. Paying for hosting has real advantages over free hosting in the long run.
The first challenge with starting a blog is getting an idea. Take the time to brainstorm and get some great ideas for your blog first. Money generally doesn’t come flowing in right away, but you can make it happen.
You’ll have to learn to monetize to make money from a blog. Once again, many opportunities will require an adult to sign up for the account, but some companies may be willing to work directly with the teen.
Lots of teens dream of making big bucks on YouTube. You’ve probably heard of some of the people who make a lot of money making what look like pretty simple videos in some cases.
While it is possible to make money as a YouTuber, it can be very hard work. It takes time to learn how to get your videos found in search and build a following. But if your teen is doing something they enjoy, showing it off on YouTube is a pretty nice business to try.
If you want to earn money as a YouTuber, watch some videos in the nice you like first. Get a feeling for what people are already doing, and figure out how to stand out. A YouTube account that does exactly what others are doing probably won’t stand out, but add in your own touch, and you may do well.
Start A Webcomic
This is what my oldest wants to do. It’s not easy to make money from webcomics, but a few do well. You have to consider several monetization options to have your best chance at making money.
Monetization can be from ads on your site, running a membership program through Patreon, creating products to sell on Zazzle and similar sites, and so forth. This is a great discussion on Tapas.io on the subject. Tapas.io lets artists earn money through ad revenue and tips from fans.
Remember The Local Teen Jobs
While your teen may want to work online, there are usually a number of local possibilities they should consider as well. It starts with the traditional jobs such as babysitting or the local fast food place, but there are so many more possibilities out there.
Our local public pool, for example, hires teens as lifeguards and swimming instructors. Most of these kids have been on the swim team, but it’s not a requirement. I don’t doubt that it’s helpful in our area, though – the swim team coach also runs the swimming lessons program.
Teens can start local businesses doing yard work for neighbors, pet sitting, tutoring, being a DJ for local events, and much more. These can be excellent opportunities if your teen really goes for it. Don’t dismiss them just because your teen has to go somewhere to work.
Have you learned about any teen online jobs I’ve missed that earns enough to be worthwhile?