The benefits are that it’s a creative way to express yourself and it can easily fit around your school schedule.
But while it can be quite profitable for some creators, the earning potential is largely dependent on factors such as audience size and engagement. For this reason, content creation is a long-term side hustle that requires a lot of practice and dedication before any significant profits can be made.
The ability to create engaging and original content that resonates with your audience.
Familiarity with video editing and/or blogging tools.
To start your journey, we recommend creating a channel or blog focusing on a particular niche that you’re passionate about. It’s important to choose a topic that appeals to a wide audience and that you’ll enjoy discussing for years to come (especially if you see this as a long-term project).
Babysitting offers a perfect blend of flexibility and earning potential for responsible teens who enjoy being around kids. Average rates start at $15 per hour, with the potential for more during premium times.
Strong communication skills and a trustworthy nature.
Basic childcare and first aid knowledge is beneficial.
To get started, ask for referrals from your parents or trusted neighbors, look for local Facebook Groups, and register on teen-friendly platforms like Bambino (ages 13 and up).
Mowing lawns and other basic landscaping tasks are common ways for teens to make money without having a traditional job.
You can earn $20 to $40 for an average-sized lawn that takes an hour to mow. Expenses like gas and equipment can eat away at your profit, so make sure you take that into account.
Ideally, you can start with your family’s equipment to avoid the need for initial investment.
Knowledge of how to properly mow a lawn. Watch a few YouTube videos (like this one), get advice from your parents, and then practice on your lawn.
Equipment, which includes lawnmowers, trimers, blowers, gas cans and trimmer lines.
If you don’t have the necessary equipment, you can easily find it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Lawn equipment is a popular resale item, often listed by those moving or upgrading.
Once you’ve signed up for these sites, log in daily to check for new surveys.
#5. Petsit or Walk Dogs
Pet sitting and dog walking are ideal for animal-loving teens seeking a fun way to earn money. You can offer pet owners services like walking, feeding and playtime, and there are zero upfront costs to get started.
Expect to earn around $15 per hour for dog walking and around $30 daily for pet sitting.
Before getting that first client, make sure to evaluate your schedule.
Most pet owners are looking for someone to walk their dogs during the day when you might be at school. If you get out of school on the earlier side, or if it’s summer break, it can certainly work — but it’s important to go in with realistic expectations about the hours you can work.
A genuine love for animals and basic pet care knowledge.
Ability to commit time daily, depending on client needs.
To get started, post flyers in your neighborhood (ideally next to a trash can where everyone deposits their dog waste), or hand them out to households you know that have pets. Canva has free pet care service templates you can use to get started.
If you’re looking to offer pet care services through gig economy websites like Rover, it’s important to note that the minimum age requirement is 18. However, if your parents are supportive of the idea, they could sign up for Rover and you could assist them with the daily tasks. I once met a family who used a similar approach, and they used the money earned through Rover to fund their annual vacations (and the kids got a dog)!
#6. House Sitting
House sitting involves keeping a home secure and maintained while the owners are out of town. Tasks include collecting packages, taking out the garbage, watering plants, and checking on low-maintenance pets such as fish.
You typically don’t have to stay at the home all the time — you just need to visit it once a day to ensure everything is OK.
You can earn anywhere from $10 to $20 per day for this simple job, which can be as easy as popping by the neighbor’s house after school.
Reliability and good communication skills.
Ability to travel to the homeowner’s location.
Referrals are key to getting started. You’ll need the utmost trust of those you house sit for, so consider first asking neighbors or family that lives close by if they need any help while they’re out of town.
#7. Sell Your Unwanted or Outgrown Stuff
Selling items online is one of the best ways for teenagers to make money.
Whether it’s Pokemon cards or old homecoming dresses, it allows you to clear out some storage and learn about the world of e-commerce, which is a valuable and in-demand skill.
This can even become a scalable side hustle, where you can sell items for others, like your parents and family members, and agree to split the profits 50/50. For a comprehensive list of items to sell, you can refer to our article about the best things to sell online.
Ability to identify items with resale value, such as trendy clothing or popular collectibles.
Basic skills in photography and online marketing.
Most websites and apps that allow you to sell your stuff online — such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Etsy and Poshmark — have age restrictions. So how can you get started with your online selling journey?
The first thing you need to do is talk to your parents or guardians about partnering up. They can help you set up an account on a website or app that suits your needs. They can also oversee your transactions, such as shipping your items and receiving your payments.
While it might sound more exciting to go at it on your own, at the end of the day, there are a lot of scams in the world of online selling, so having someone older help you out can save you a lot of frustration.
#8. Sell Your Art or Crafts Online
If you’re a teenager with a knack for creativity, selling your handmade crafts or artwork online can be a fulfilling way to earn some money. Platforms such as Etsy, TikTok and Instagram offer ideal stages to showcase your unique talents and reach a wide audience.
As mentioned above, to use the most popular apps and sites that allow you to sell online, you need to have an account. However, to create an account, you must be at least 18 years old. If you’re younger than 18, don’t worry — you just need to work with a parent or guardian who is 18 or older to set up the account.
Don’t expect to earn a consistent income, especially at first, as you figure out the process of selling online. Nonetheless, this can be a great way to make money from your hobby, as well as to start learning the basics of marketing.
Basic digital marketing knowledge and photography skills.
If you want to sell artwork on Etsy, it’s important to tell a story around the art to make it more appealing to buyers. You can learn more about this by watching videos and reading summaries of the classic business book Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. Here’s a video that you might find helpful.
#9. Academic Tutoring
Academic tutoring offers a rewarding opportunity for high school students, especially if you excel in subjects like math, science or languages.
Whether you’re in AP classes or are bilingual, you can tutor your peers, younger students, or even those learning a new language of any age.
You can expect to earn between $15 to $20 per hour. Rates can be higher for specialized tutoring.
If you’ve performed well on college entrance exams, you might want to consider specializing in test preparation for the same exams, as it’s one of the highest-paying tutoring jobs available.
Expertise in your chosen subject area.
A conducive workspace for in-person or online sessions. Google Meet is free and reliable video conference software for running tutoring sessions online.
To begin your tutoring journey, start by brainstorming potential referral sources. Teachers, counselors, and neighbors with young kids are all excellent resources to spread the word that you’re considering tutoring.
You should inform them that you’re seeking students to teach, and provide them with information about your availability.
Also consider Fiverr, which has a minimum age of 13. You can post your tutoring service on Fiverr (e.g., math prep for the SAT) as tutoring is a popular service on the platform.
Turning your or your family’s seldom-used items into cash with a one-time yard sale is practical and potentially lucrative side hustle.
The appeal for you as a teen is the opportunity to make money quickly while learning the basics of sales and marketing. A yard sale doesn’t require any special skills, just the willingness to let go of items and the ability to organize and price them effectively.
In terms of earning potential, while it varies, you can expect to pocket from a few dollars to several hundred, depending on the quality and quantity of items sold. Typically, a yard sale can run for a weekend, meaning your time commitment might span from preparation to execution over a few days.
Organizational skills for sorting and displaying items.
The ability to research item values and set competitive prices.
Adequate change for transactions (obtainable from a bank).
To get started:
Create an inventory of items to sell.
Set prices that are reasonable yet profitable (research online on sites like eBay if you don’t know how to price something).
Advertise your yard sale using word of mouth and social media platforms. Often, neighbors will have a neighborhood-wide yard sale, which is ideal as these can attract a lot of potential customers.
#11. Event Photography
Event photography is an ideal option for teens with a camera. While it requires some skills and knowledge, numerous YouTube channels cover the topic of photography very well. And many high schools offer photography classes.
When it comes to event photography, you usually charge per event, which covers the time you spend shooting at the event and the time you spend editing the photos. If you have little experience, you can expect to earn around $100 per event. However, as you gain more experience, you will have more opportunities to increase your earnings
For basic photography, a current-model smartphone with a high-quality camera can work. However, for more specialized events, a professional-grade camera and lenses are necessary.
Understanding the basics of photography, including composition, lighting and editing, is important. This can be self-taught or learned through online courses.
The key to launching a successful side hustle in event photography as a teen lies in developing a strong portfolio.
This can be achieved by initially covering a few events for free, such as family occasions (like casual weddings, quinceañeras, bar mitzvahs or anniversaries).
These opportunities not only provide invaluable experience but also generate material that can be showcased on a portfolio website or a dedicated social media account.
For entrepreneurial teens, starting a car detailing business is a lucrative way to earn. Providing services like car washes and full detailing can be profitable and operated from your home, or by visiting neighbors’ homes.
Beginners in car detailing can expect to earn between $50 to $100 a car, depending on the number and quality of services offered.
During my teenage years, I and a few of my friends decided to start a car washing business. We partnered with a local golf course where I would wash cars in their back parking lot while the owners were out golfing. I only worked on Saturdays and Sundays during the mornings and ended up making a good amount of money.
A driver’s license (if you’re going to be moving the cars).
Car shampoo, wax, microfiber cloths, bucket, sponge and a cordless vacuum.
A willingness to learn and apply car detailing techniques, which can be learned on YouTube.
To start, create a flyer and distribute it to your neighbors’ doorsteps. Offer a free service on your parents’ car to showcase your work in the flyer.
#13. Teach an Extracurricular Activity
For teens skilled in extracurricular activities like art, music or sports, teaching these skills can be a rewarding and profitable side hustle. For instance, if you excel in basketball, consider offering coaching sessions to younger kids at a local park.
You can expect to earn between $15 to $20 per hour, depending on your expertise and the complexity of the skill taught.
A strong understanding of the skill you plan to teach.
Basic equipment for the activity (like basketballs, art supplies, musical instruments).
Begin by networking within your immediate circle. Inform family and friends about your new venture and reach out to local community groups, including coaches of youth sports leagues in your area, art clubs or music groups; their endorsement can be invaluable in establishing credibility.
#14. Freelance Writing and Editing
If your strengths lie in impeccable grammar or crafting compelling stories, freelancing in writing and editing might be an ideal side hustle for you. This path not only allows you to express creativity but also offers tremendous flexibility, making it perfect for managing alongside schoolwork and other commitments.
As a freelance content writer, payment can vary but is typically based on word count or the project itself. Without a lot of experience, expect to get paid around 5 to 10 cents per word.
In other words, you can make between $50 and $100 for writing a 1,000-word article.
Strong writing and editing skills.
Good communication and the ability to meet deadlines.
To get started, it’s a good idea to create an online portfolio that showcases your best written work. If necessary, you can create some writing samples on a particular subject, such as social media, that you believe your potential clients would be interested in. The samples you use don’t have to be from paid work.
For teens with an interest in golf and a desire for a flexible job, working as a golf caddy can be a rewarding opportunity.
This role involves assisting golfers by carrying bags, advising on shots and helping maintain the course, offering a unique blend of physical activity, sportsmanship and networking.
As a golf caddy, you can earn between $30 and $60 per bag for an 18-hole round. The earnings can vary, but the combination of a base fee and tips often results in a lucrative payout.
Basic knowledge of golf.
Physical stamina for walking the course and carrying equipment.
A polite, professional demeanor.
To begin, visit local golf course websites to learn about their caddy programs. Typically, free training is offered to caddies at the start of the year.
#16. Video Editing
Many teenagers have significant experience in video editing, having dedicated hundreds of hours to it at an early age. This is in contrast to previous generations, where video editing was exclusively a specialized task that required expensive equipment.
Video editing is a creative pursuit that offers a flexible schedule and the potential for high earnings, depending on your skill level and client base. Your earnings can vary widely, but starting with competitive rates and building a portfolio of experience and expertise can help you earn $15 to $30 per hour initially, with growth potential over time.
Proficiency in video editing software (like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro).
A capable computer that can handle large files and software demands.
A strong sense of timing, pace and visual composition.
To get started, you may want to go through one good free course, such as LinkedINn’s online video editing training, to make sure you have the basics. From there, you can start offering services on Fiverr, where the minimum required age is just 13 years.
#17. Graphic Design
Graphic design is a fantastic side hustle for teens with a flair for digital art. It involves creating visual content for clients, ranging from logos to social media graphics.
Freelance graphic designers can earn anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour, depending on their skill level and the complexity of the project.
Proficiency in graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop, Canva or Adobe Illustrator.
A good eye for design, color and typography.
A computer that’s capable of running design software.
To get started, build a portfolio showcasing your designs, even if they’re just class projects or personal work. From there, join freelance platforms like Fiverr to find initial clients.
However, there are also unique benefits to starting your own business or side hustle at a young age.
At The Ways To Wealth, we believe that making money is a skill that takes practice and dedication to master. The earlier you start, the more time you have to hone your skills and increase your ability to earn.
After all, many successful entrepreneurs can trace their passion back to their first venture. In my case, it was running a car wash, selling items online, or launching websites that sparked an entrepreneurial spirit that never went away.
Whether it’s one of these ideas or an idea of your own, know that what you build now can help you later in life – even if it’s not necessarily what you end up doing as a career.
R.J. Weiss, founder of The Ways To Wealth, has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2010. Holding a B.A. in finance and having completed the CFP® certification curriculum at The American College, R.J. combines formal education with a deep commitment to providing unbiased financial insights. Recognized as a trusted authority in the financial realm, his expertise is highlighted in major publications like Business Insider, New York Times, and Forbes.