Everybody’s teenage years traditionally include a key rite of passage: the first part-time job.
Many of us older folk have memories of such “glamorous” roles as picking up trash at music festivals, taking orders in fast food restaurants and folding clothing in department stores. However, the internet has created massive new opportunities. Online jobs for teens are a perfect option for youngsters who don’t want to ask if someone “wants fries with that.”
The landscape has certainly changed for teens who want to work a summer job. Back in the year 2000, about half of U.S. teens had a summer job. But thanks to changes following the Great Recession, only about one-third of teens had a summer job by 2017, according to the Pew Research Center. Other major factors for this employment dip include shorter summer breaks, schools that have community service as part of their graduation requirements, and fewer entry-level jobs for people like sales clerks.
So what’s a teen who wants some extra cash to do? That’s where online jobs for teens come in. Thanks to the internet, teenagers are no longer reliant on the manager at the local ice cream shop or department giving them a few working hours each week. Below are some great potential online jobs for teenagers that PAY. This article is all you need whether you’re a teen looking for work or a parent seeking ideas for your offspring.
Getting a Job Online Responsibly
Finding online jobs for teens is far different to finding a gig at the neighbourhood community centre. Rather than hitting the pavement, you’ll be looking for these jobs in their native environment: the internet. This means wading through all the scams that tend to pop up on digital job boards and other websites.
If you’re a teen yourself, make sure to tell your parents or guardians what you’re doing. They may be able to vet jobs for you to help confirm they are legitimate and safe opportunities.
Also, if you’re bringing money into the household, your parents or guardians may need to know this for tax purposes. Having a teen working a job may change how income for the household is claimed.
Whether you’re a teen looking for some paying work online or a parent, you’ll need to know plenty about how to avoid online scams. Generally, if it’s too good to be true, it’s a scam.
For instance, it’s safe to assume that jobs claiming you can earn thousands monthly by stuffing envelopes part-time are a scam. You should also never have to pay or transfer money to anyone for a “job.”
The Top 10 Online Jobs for Teens
Without further ado, here are ten ways that teens can work online for real, actual money. Many of these ideas involve doing fun tasks, and some can help build skills for a future career. It’s worth remembering that some lucky people do become millionaires in their teenage years – you could be next!
1. Slice the Pie
Yes, you can actually get paid to rate and review music. Slice the Pie lets you listen to a clip of a song and write a review. You can also rate fashion.
You won’t get rich doing this – you get pennies for each review. However, if you rack up enough ratings, it can make for some good side cash for what amounts to listening to music and writing about it. Teens 13 and older can sign up here. This may not be one of the most lucrative online jobs for teens but it’s certainly the one of the most fun.
2. Get Paid to Take Surveys
Sadly, you’ll see those exact words on many scam listings. But there are actually plenty of legitimate places that pay people to take surveys online, and many of them are open to teenagers.
Be sure to check each company’s terms and conditions, as age restrictions can vary considerably. You can find HomeWorkingClub’s main survey page here.
3. Look for Well-Known Companies that Hire Teens Online
Online customer service jobs have been a boon for companies; The company reduces its overheads by not having to house workers at physical locations.
There are actually some companies that will hire 16-year-olds for online customer service jobs. One well-known company that does this is U-Haul. You can see their job board here. Many of these roles require a high school diploma or GED, making them good jobs for college students to do online. You’ll find lots more on that in this dedicated article.
4. Set Up an Etsy Shop
If you’re an “arts and crafts” type, why not try to make some money by selling your creations online? Etsy allows teens to sell their items, though there are some age restrictions. Teens between 13 and 18 years of age cannot have their own account and must have supervision and permission from guardians to sell on Etsy.
But, by starting an Etsy shop and learning to sell online, you’re spending your spare time building some key entrepreneurial skills. You can read more about an Etsy jewellery-selling success story here.
I know, trying to make money on YouTube can feel like trying to win the lottery. You need a serious number of views and subscribers to make meaningful money, so this isn’t a job for teens that will lead to quick cash.
However, there are teens who make money from advertising revenue if they get enough views. Content around gaming and hobbies can bring in millions of views. If you feel that posting videos and connecting with a wide audience online is fun, this might be worth a shot.
A huge trend is people who gain tons of viewers by being entertaining while they play video games. Fun fact: Parker Coppins of “Parker Plays” on Disney XD originally came from YouTube. This isn’t to say you’ll be a Disney star tomorrow, but it goes to show how far some people manage to go with this.
This option combines many of the odd-job roles that are common online jobs for high school students. Qmee allows anyone 16 years of age and older to make money by searching, shopping and taking surveys.
It’s a browser extension that watches your searches, and if you buy something, you can make or save some money. It’s a little confusing without screenshots, so you can learn more about it in our full review.
This site falls under the category of reward sites. They allow you to interact with and purchase from brands for rewards. Swagbucks pays in points that you then redeem for PayPal cash or gift cards. It has many ways to earn, like online shopping, web searches, watching videos, playing games, taking surveys etc.
It can be a fun way to earn some side cash for things you’re probably doing online anyway. Anyone aged 13 and over can sign up, and there’s a full review of it here.
You may have heard of Fiverr, which is an online platform where you can offer to do small tasks for clients from $5 and upwards. The platform does allow anyone 13 years of age and older to participate. Whether you can do a bit of graphic design, voice recordings or various kinds of other things, this could be a solid option for earning some spare cash.
Proceed with caution on this platform, however. You will be dealing with real-life clients and not all of them are honest or easy to work with. Definitely make sure there’s some parental supervision in place for Fiverr. That said, but if you’re skilled with certain tasks, it could be a good option.
9. Selling on Amazon or eBay
You do have to be 18 years or older to sell officially sell online, plus Amazon requires you to have a credit card. However, this is definitely something you can do with help or support from your parents. It’s a great way to make extra money online. You can either sell junk you don’t use anymore or go looking for cheap treasures at garage sales to resell online.
eBay has an underage user policy that allows minors to use adult accounts with permission from that adult. You can read more here.
10. Facebook Yard Sale Groups
You can also find groups on Facebook devoted to selling old things. You search in Facebook groups for your area, and then use terms like “yard sale,” “sale group” or “buy sell trade.” Then you can list what you are looking to sell.
There’s no age restriction to do this, but make sure you have a parent’s or guardian’s support. Always meet people in public locations. Police office parking lots are popular places to meet for online sale exchanges. Minors should always take a parent or guardian along for safety. Similarly, nobody should invite people to collect items if they’re home alone.
Getting Paid as a Teen
A very popular way for people to get paid online is through PayPal. It’s easy, fast and secure. But you must be 18 years of age to have a PayPal account. The PayPal student account system is no longer in operation.
As a result, many teens who want to earn money online will need a guardian’s assistance in setting up a PayPal account and receiving money.
If you’re a teenager looking to make money online there are plenty of online jobs for teens out there. The chances are your parents will appreciate your efforts and help you where needed. Just make sure you keep them fully informed of what you’re doing, and don’t take any risks. Good luck!
Michelle Lovrine Honeyager is a freelance writer who has written features for a number of consumer and industry print magazines, as well as stories for niche websites, digital lifestyle magazines and general news sites.