Last week, I wrote a post offering summer job ideas for teenagers and college students. These jobs focused mainly on things that kids 16 and over could do (although pet care is something younger kids can do). I received this question from a concerned young person:
I need jobs for kids to make some money, and I have no idea what I can do to earn some money because i am under the age of 16. I have 4 years till I can get a real paying kids jobs . What kind of jobs can I do at this age to earn some money.
The good news is that there are other opportunities for those who are under 16. You can’t get hired in an “official” capacity, but you can still earn money. No, it won’t be minimum wage. And no, it probably won’t fulfill your dreams of wealth. However, for the most part you can pick up some decent coin if you are willing to work hard — and show some creativity. Here are 3 summer job ideas to consider:
- Babysitting. It may not pay you as much as a nanny gig, but many 12 year olds can babysit. Depending on where you live, and what time of day you are sitting, and what you are expected to do (and how many children are involved), you can earn $3 to $10 an hour. When I was between the ages of 11 and 16, I frequently babysat. And summer was a good time. It was fairly easy to take the kids to the park or to play in the backyard.
- Sell something. You don’t have to limit yourself to lemonade and cookies. Several kids get permits to sell soda and other refreshments at local parades, fairs and community events throughout the summer. All you need is a wagon, a cooler and some ice. Purchase the items to sell at a local club store. You can get cans of soda for around 60 cents apiece, and then sell them for between 75 cents and a dollar. The same is true of ice cream bars, candy bars and other items. I used to sell concessions at the county fair. My brothers and sisters all helped (age ranges 10 to 17), and we usually made pretty decent profits.
- Odd jobs. You can offer to odd jobs and chores for your parents and for others in the neighborhood. However, you have to make sure you do a good job. My brothers got money one year when they were 11 and 14 to help move rocks off of a neighbor’s property. They were paid in cash at the end of the day.
It isn’t hard to advertise your services. Just yesterday, a flier from a 13-year-old in my neighborhood was taped to the door, advertising his pet-sitting services. He will feed, water and play with/walk the neighborhood dogs while people are away. The flier was inexpensive: It was half a sheet of paper (so two fliers could fit on a single sheet) and in black and white.