22 Jobs Teens Can Do to Earn Money During the Holidays, Summer, and School Year

How can your teen make money in 2021? We asked thousands of parents how their middle school, high school and college students earn funds and below are some of the best job opportunities open to teens.

Note: some of these are pandemic friendly (walking neighborhood dogs) and others are not. We are sharing them all because we all dream of life after Covid and at some point all of these ideas will be great again. 

Child care is a popular way for teens to make money. (Twenty20 @kiwitanya)

Making Money: Teens Who Like To Work Outdoors

1. Mowing Lawns/Gardening

Teens can mow the lawns of a couple of neighbors on the weekend or they can really make a business out of it. A teen with a mower can do dozens of yards a week, have a steady customer list most of the year and earn some real money. Families looking to plant new gardens or vegetable patches or rake leaves in the fall may pay for an extra set of hands to help. 

2. Lifeguarding/Swim Instructor

This summer job will require passing water safety and life saving exams but provides a steady way to earn money at public pools, private clubs, swimming schools, birthday parties and backyard gatherings. 

3. Golf Caddy

Being out on a golf course all day, even if it means carrying bags and cleaning clubs, is a dream for many teens. This summer job has added perks with tips, fresh air, meeting new people every day and watching how the game is played. 

4. Snow Clearing

For those teens who mowed lawns in the summer, clearing snow in the winter can help with year round earnings. 

5. Ecological restoration

Parks and recreation departments have seasonal work and upkeep. This may be weeding, trimming over-run plants or helping create new gardens or plantings. For those interested in horticulture, it is a great first step.

6. Deliver Newspapers

With just a bicycle teens can earn money delivering local papers or the ad papers that get dropped on doorsteps. 

Making Money: Teens Who Like To Work With Children

7. Tutoring

Teaching peers and younger students has long been a money-making opportunity for teens. But this has been a tough academic year and plenty of younger children will need refreshers over the summer. Teens and college students are in a good position to help with math, science, foreign language and other academic subjects. 

8. Child Care

Looking after small children has always been a great way for teens to make money. With parents working from home and regular childcare routines disrupted, there will be many opportunities this summer. The American Red Cross has online babysitting classes – with curriculum designed for teens as young as 11 – that only take a few hours to complete. This would provide your teen with safety awareness and a useful credential to present to parents.

9. Sports Referee

Many children’s sports programs have been canceled, but when they restart teens can earn money refereeing soccer, hockey, basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball and other sports both in local league games and in tournaments. For teens who play and love a sport and know it well, this is an easy role to slip into and can start as early as middle school. 

10. Digital Learning Assistant

Parents are trying to work from home and make sure their kids stay focused on the digital classroom and get their school work completed. Teens can help by having regular check-ins with younger students to see that their assignments are completed accurately and on time.

They can play games with younger kids and keep them amused while parents focus on their jobs: old-fashioned babysitting with an academic twist. A resource for teens who are babysitting/tutoring during the long winter break are the hundreds of FREE virtual workshops that Microsoft is offering for all age children.

11. Day Camp Counselor

If conditions permit, younger children will be back at their summer camps this year. Camp directors will be looking for assistants, counselors, art and craft specialists, life guards, swimming instructors and more. 

12. Teaching Music or Performing

Teens who have taken years of guitar, piano or other instrument lessons can put their hard work to use teaching younger children in person or even online as safety guidelines permit. For those who like to perform in public, musicians are in demand at religious services and weddings. 

Making Money: Teens Who Like to Work From Home

13. Online Selling

Online selling through platforms like Poshmark, eBay and others has exploded as the vintage clothing trend has caught fire. Teens can sell art, tie dye, clothing or jewelry they make as well. For teens who become adept at selling their own stuff they can offer this service out to others, collecting a commission for each sale. This is WFH option and for teens who know their niche, a money making opportunity. 

14. Cooking/Baking

Teens who have talent in the kitchen can build up a weekly clients list for their deleicies. Cookies, muffins or even home cooked meals can all be turned into businesses. If they want to increase their skills or just look for inspiration, here are 16 virtual looking classes for kids of all ages.

Making Money: Miscellaneous Jobs for Teens

15. Watching homes

Older teens may be able to housesit, staying overnight at a neighbor’s or friend’s home who is away. There is also plenty that younger teens can do to earn money from neighbors who are gone. Teens can be paid for doing chores like picking up mail and newspapers, watering plants, taking garbage cans out and helping with other small tasks that an absent homeowner needs. 

16. Delivery Services

Postmates, Door Dash, Uber Eats and UPS are all looking for teens to deliver food and goods as people venture out less. Many services allow teens to use their own car and grateful customers may offer tips. While there is some Covid concern, each teen should examine their own risks.

17. Technology Assistant for Adults

No one knows technology better than our teens and they can earn money from grateful adults who need their help. Parents and grandparents will pay for digitizing and organizing photos, fixing minor computer problems, creating videos and photo books, and website design. For teens who are looking to up their games to help with more advanced projects, the Today at Apple at Home tab on the Apple website has demonstrations of projects that might be helpful to teach their adult students.

18. Helping with Large Household Tasks

Teens can offer to help with organizing a garage, clearing out an attic or basement, washing cars or windows, or any other home improvement that requires an extra set of hands. 

19. Pet Care

Teens can make regular money during the school year and on breaks by feeding, walking, cleaning up after or grooming pets. This is great work for middle school and high school students. 

20. Retail or Food Service

Once stores reopen to full capacity they will need salespeople, wait staff and others in the kitchen. The jobs are local and the hours predictable. 

21. Running Errands

This may be a post-pandemic option but many elderly people could use a teen to help with weekly errands around town. This is a job that makes money and helps others.

22. Unskilled Work on Construction

Acting as an assistant to builders, teens can haul and throw garbage, fetch and carry while learning about construction. This is great job experience for the summer.

Additional resources for short term or temporary work for teens:

Parker Dewey lists short term, paying, internships for young people.

Care.com share listings for child care, senior care, pet care and housekeeping

You Might Also Want to Read:

First Jobs for Teens

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

Read more posts by Grown and Flown

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates straight to your inbox.