Jobs for teens

By glblguy

My 13 year old son spent a day with my Dad last week. My Dad loves cars and my son has become more and more interested in them as he’s gotten closer to driving age. The type of car he wants t has changed overtime, but his latest “obsession” is with Jeeps. He wants one of the new Wrangler Unlimited models (the 4-door Jeep). Since going to he Jeep dealership with my Dad, all I’ve heard is “I so want a Jeep”.

While driving to the mountains this past weekend, we talked some about how he was going to get one of these $21,000+ Jeeps. He of course thinks I should just buy it for him…wrong! We then started a discussion about how he could begin earning some money. Here are some of the jobs for teens that I came up with (remember, he’s not old enough to get a job yet):

Wash Cars

I suggested he should get a wagon or wheel barrow, fill it with car washing supplies and go door to door charging $10.00 to wash our neighbors cars. With a neighborhood our size, he could make a killing. I wrote an article sometime back on the proper way to wash a car.

Pet Sitting

Many people are still heading out on vacation and need someone to take care of their pets. Pet sitting would be a great job for a responsible young teen. They could walk the dogs and feed and water everyone’s critters. My son even has some experience with aquariums and could tend to them as well. I have no idea how much to charge, but $5.00 – $10.00 a day sounds fairly reasonable depending on what needs to be done.

Newspaper Route

Teens less than 14 can deliver papers and honestly make a fairly good income. The only problem is the hours, as most papers need to be delivered before 5:00am. I’m don’t think I would be comfortable with my son delivering papers before 5:00am on his bike. To be honest, I doubt seriously he would ever even consider getting up that early anyway. But if you have an early rising teen, this might be a great option.

Yard Work

This market is pretty saturated in our neighborhood, but home owners are always on the look-out for responsible teens that can do a good job mowing and tending to their yards. This can include trimming, seeding, aerating, leaf racking, weeding, etc. There are lots of opportunities here. Most likely, parents will have the tools to do all of this and will be willing to let their teen use them. While it is a great deal of hard work, if your teen does a great job there is lots of opportunity.

Start an online business

Starting an online store is pretty easy these days and most likely your teen may have some great ideas for popular products to sell. They also have a great marketing channel as well, school. If they pick the right product, and work with a good affiliate they can literally get rich. The great thing about this job is that it’s a skill they carry forward and maybe even pursue as a full-time job once they graduate.

Get Creative

None of these seem to interest your teen? Sit down with them and begin making a list of potential opportunities. Try to focus on things you do around the house or that you see your neighbors doing and ask the question “Would they pay someone to do that?”  Most likely the answer is yes, if the the price was right and the work quality was good. Write down anything you can come up with. Once you have the initial list, begin trimming it down based on your teens interest and the potential market for the work. You want to pick something that has a good market, otherwise you profits will be low.

Once you’ve come up with an idea you’ll need to consider the following:

Marketing – How will you make people aware of your services? A good book on the subject is Guerrilla Marketing.

Pricing - How much will you charge? I would recommend having individual prices for each of the services and then packages of these at a reduced cost. For example: $10.00 to wash a car, $5.00 to vacuum, $10.00 to wax. Premium Car Wash includes all 3 for $20.00. When choosing price, it’s better to start low until you’ve established a customer base, then you can slowly raise the price.

Consider Costs – Car washing has some costs, equipment, soap, towels, etc. Make sure you factor these into the price you charge so you make a decent profit. If you decide on a car washing business, consider making your own car cleaning products to reduce your overall costs.

These of course are just a few of the many jobs for teens. What ideas do you have? Have a great story to tell about your teen or a teen you know? Please share. Add a comment!

Photo by: Micah Taylor


17 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Jobs for teens”

  1. Laura Says:

    I washed cars and pet sat for others as a teen. It really is better to learn to earn your own money. I had a great time and got to meet some nice people through my work.

    Great ideas!

  2. jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity Says:

    You could always hire him to write posts for you, that would have two pluses. Your son earns some money and you pay less in taxes (plus it’s entirely legitimate).

  3. Frugal Dad Says:

    I think the mobile car was idea is a great one! And if you go Jim’s route, be sure to start him a Roth IRA (even if you have to deposit the money up to his “earnings”). What a great way to build wealth starting so young!

  4. Frugal Dad Says:

    That’s mobile “car wash.” Feel free to edit and delete this comment. Sorry for the typo!

  5. Ron@TheWisdomJournal Says:

    How about tutoring? I’m encouraging my two teenage girls (14 and 13) to get involved with this since they are straight A students. Volleyball practice keeps getting in the way…

    When I was 13 I offered to babysit a 6 year old boy who’s mother was considering day care for the summer. I saved her some big bucks and made a lot for myself.

  6. Monroe on a budget Says:

    Newspaper morning delivery deadlines do vary – some of them are as late as 7 or 8 a.m. There also are still a few newspapers across the country (my employer is among them) which have afternoon editions Mon-Fri.

    I did deliver a 7-day morning newspaper route when I was in college and found that to be a very convenient work schedule. I could be done with my job before classes started, and the rest of the day was mine. Morning delivery tasks also went a lot faster without rush hour traffic like I had to deal with on my previous afternoon routes.

    If at all possible, from a carrier’s perspective, get a route where most, if not all, of the customers pay at the office.

    The biggest headache I ever had to deal with as a carrier was collecting money from people who were rarely home or thought it was appropriate to stiff the company for the bill (not realizing or blatantly ignoring the fact that I, as an independent contract carrier, had to make up for the difference).

  7. Uncommonadvice Says:

    Here are some more options:

    Waiter, Lifeguard, Cashiers,fastfood, grocery stores, babysitting

  8. Steward Says:

    The more I get into this internet thing the more I am convinced that finding a way to make money online is the way to go. They can find a hobby that they love and then just blog about it. They can leverage their social websites for links and begin to generate small amounts of income. Over time, if they do it well or get lucky they could be pulling in a sizable sum of money on a hobby. Then you could teach them about saving, investing, etc. It is a win-win-win.

  9. Curious Cat Investment Blog Says:

    If the yard work market is saturated how about the help an old person with the new technology market :-) Some people’s challenges (ability to use technology) can be someone else’s opportunity.

  10. glblguy Says:

    Great ideas everyone. Thanks for the ideas and feedback. I’m really leaning on trying to get him to consider a blog or affiliate store that focus on some things he’s interested in. We’ll see.

  11. lizard Says:

    A friend had asthma and couldn’t do yard work. So he hired out to vacuum for pregnant moms in the neighborhood.

    Yard sale assistant is another summer job: Show up before the sale to put price tags on items and arrange the displays. During the sale, help keep an eye on stuff, maybe even handle transactions and answer questions (may vary according to how much the seller knows/trusts the kid). Afterwards, help pack leftovers back up.

    Helping out at parties — corralling little kids at a birthday party, clean-up after any party

  12. No Debt Plan Says:

    I knew a guy back in high school that learned how to detail cars really, really well. As in $100 for two hours worth of work detailing and the car looks spotless. He paid for — IN CASH — a $22,000 Ford F-150 back in the day. He worked four summers to pay for it… totally ridiculous.

  13. Smiley Says:

    Yard work is a classic example of a great way to make money for teens. Back in my teenage days in Florida, myself and a friend of mine made close to $20,000 in a year cutting grass. It’s also important to note that where I lived, grass was cut year round, as it never really got cold.

  14. Lynn Says:

    In the winter you can also shovel driveways… just an idea.

    Thanks for all the ideas, glblguy! I’ve passed them along to ym daughter!

  15. JustAnotherGirl Says:

    I am 12 years old and I am quite good with computers – I would like to know how I could make money online as I don’t really understand the concept and how to get started. I don’t fully understand how you begin to make an income from it and need some help. I would really appreciate it if somebody could explain, thankyou!

  16. GameboyMama Says:

    14 yr old son with autism & broken leg seeks job to pay for Video Game hobby. We live rurally(farm country with miles between houses). I can’t afford to pay him or his siblings for doing chores. He has difficulty working with small children & animals. I’d let him blog but I’m worried about him slandering someone. He’s very opinionated. His skills amount to gaming, laundry, reading, typing, legos, creative writings and food critic. Ideas for employment for him would be much appreciated.

  17. Jonathan@Friends and Money Says:

    Car washing is always a winner, and let’s be honest there is no shortage of neighbours, friends or family who’d love to have their car cleaned! Pet sitting is one I haven’t considered before.. I’ll suggest it to the kids!

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