I’ve had a job of some kind or other since I was a kid. When I was 15, I got a job at a bakery a short bus ride from my high school. Even before that young age, I hustled with jobs like babysitting and a paper route.
A lot has changed since I was a kid, including the job opportunities available to teens. While traditional jobs like fast food service and neighborhood paper routes might be increasingly hard to find, Generation Z is filled with movers and shakers thinking outside the box with awe-inspiring ease!
Here’s what young entrepreneurs are doing today to earn a little bank:
On Fiverr, users advertise their services and set their rates. (And, despite the name, you can charge more than five dollars.) Clever teens are earning money doing everything from voice overs to blog writing to illustration. Fiverr requires users to be at least 13 to create a profile and list their services.
There was a time when Etsy was a small site for handcrafted goods that no one but the hippest of the hip had heard about. Now, everyone knows Etsy, including teens, who sell anything from handmade scarves to vintage clothing. With parental permission, teens who are at least 13 can set up their own shop on the easy to navigate website.
Teens with an eye for hot toys, electronics and other trending items that can be resold, can be found on eBay. The online marketplace is open to nearly anything and everything (within their guidelines) and teens turn a nice profit selling things they’ve made or acquired.
Sellers must be at least 18, but a younger seller can use an adult’s account with parental permission.
There are many talented young people who can sing, create comics, or write books. Some of them do these things so well that people are willing to pay a monthly fee to be a patron of their art. Enter Patreon. The website operates on a tier-service, with users establishing the rewards received for each tier. Pay a dollar a month and you may get access to the writer’s newest short story. Paying for a higher tier and you may get that short story and access to their ongoing serial novel. Or poetry. Or their latest song. You get the picture.
Members must be at least 18 to join Patreon, though younger users can join with parental permission.
5) Survey Apps
While not technically a job, survey apps offer payouts in gift cards and cash. Receipt Hog (17 and up) and Surveys on the Go (12 and up) are just two of the teen-friendly survey apps. They vary in their requirements and payout structure, but both are easy to use and offer busy teens the opportunity to make a little money. Both apps also require that users have a PayPal account to receive payment.
6) Craft Fairs
Not every teen entrepreneur is using an app to make money. Last year, I met a young woman selling amazing pouches at an artisan craft fair. I ended up buying three of her creations. She was well-spoken, passionate, and very talented. She made an impression, and she’s not the only young person selling their wares and crafts the old-fashioned way.
7) Flea Markets and Swapfests
Teens who know what’s hot can be found at gatherings reselling electronics, baseball cards, pop culture items, comics, and more. They also sell things they have made from upcycled, recycled, and repurposed items. While they may be accompanied by a parent, they’re often the boss. To make money, sellers need a keen eye for what will draw in people, a handle on how to price new or used items, and the ability to haggle. As a frequent visitor to these events, I’ve had teens out-haggle me!