My eldest wants to work (he might not realise this yet), so we’ve been looking at jobs for teens. What’s available and what’s suitable.
One thing we learned was that the minimum age for working wasn’t 14 and three quarters, like we thought. There’s actually no minimum age in most states in Australia, so start looking into jobs for teens whenever you feel your kid is ready.
More on this: Minimum working age in Australia by state
What will they do with their pay packet?
One thing to sort out before your teen starts working is how they’ll manage the wage they earn. Taking home $50/$100/$200 or more a week is a lot more money than most kids have had their hands on to date. Some things to consider:
• Will they be fully in charge or what they do with their money, or should they expect some parental input?
• What about having a savings plan up front, and what will that look like?
• Will they donate a portion of their salary to charity, which charity and how much?
It also makes a lot of sense to introduce your teen to the concept of investing from their very first pay packet. Investing has the potential to earn them a higher return over time – and time is something our teens definitely have on their side.
Find out the benefits here: 10 benefits of work for teens
What are the best jobs for teens?
Of course, before they can invest the money, they have to make the money. There are plenty of suitable jobs out there – existing or some requiring some entrepreneurial spirit. Here are 50 part-time or casual jobs for teens that are suitable, fun and will teach them skills that will benefit them for life.
50+ jobs for teens
An oldie and a goodie, babysitting is an excellent way for a teen to earn some cash after school, weekends and evenings. Parents are crying out for reliable sitters. First-aid training is a must, and it helps if you can drive your own car, or have a parent willing to collect you after your shift. Offer your services in local Facebook groups or with a flyer at the shopping centre.
Coffee is big business across Australia and barista skills are in high demand. Most people learn the skills needed on the job and many cafes will be happy to train up a willing worker.
Start a blog about something you care about and you can earn a small income while you’re at it. There are lots of ways to make money from a blog, check out Problogger to find 60+ ways to monetise.
If you can play an instrument, sing, dance, juggle, stand still like a statue or otherwise amuse people, busking is a fun way to earn some cash. Make sure you set yourself up as a business and declare your income.
5. Car washing
You can work for a car wash company, or you can start your own business. A mobile ‘I’ll come to you’ service is appreciated by many. Keep the area contained if you can only get there by foot, or a willing parent might help you out with the business.
6. Call centre operator
Field calls for companies after hours. There is plenty of customer service phone work available that isn’t selling. Sometimes it is work ‘making appointments’ for sales people, in which case, see ‘telemarketing’ below.
7. Catering assistant
Catering companies hire part time and casual staff to help them set up and pack down catering jobs. You will definitely need reliable transport for this one.
8. Charity fundraiser
Do you remember the Greenpeace koalas from the nineties? They are regular people wearing green t-shirts these days, but the jobs are still there. Many charities employ face-to-face frontline fundraisers. It can be confronting work, but excellent for building confidence and people-skills and very rewarding if you believe in the work of the charity.
9. Cinema crew
Sell the tickets, popcorn and ice creams; take the tickets; find lost property; clean the aisles – all the things, plus you get to go to the movies all. the. time.
The irony of their teen working as a cleaner won’t be lost on most parents. However, cleaning for other people for money is somehow more doable than keeping your room clean at home. You can earn good money if you are willing to clean up after others. This is a good job to do straight after school finishes each day, as most clients will want you to do the job while they are out of the house at work.
11. Dance teacher
You need to be over 18 to complete a Certificate III to become an assistant dance teacher of 5-10 year olds. However, many dance schools employ teen dancers to assist experienced dance teachers with young classes, so ask at your dance school.
12. Data entry
This is the equivalent of the old ‘filing’ job that saw many teens through the summer holidays. You can do many data entry jobs from home. Start by seeing if there is any data entry needed where your parents work.
13. Dog walker
This is a great way to start your own business, walking neighbourhood dogs for a fee. Letterbox drop your community and see what bites (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).
14. Dinner cook
If you can cook, then making dinner for local families or elderly people is a good earner. My friend’s daughter cooks dinner four nights a week for three different elderly clients and enjoys every minute. You might also be able to batch cook and deliver to three or four clients each evening.
15. Fast food crew
Maccas, KFC, Hungry Jacks, Oporto – all the fast food chains need help getting the food cooked and wearing the naff “crew” uniform.
16. Farm hand
If you live in the country, a farmer can no doubt use your help before or after school and on weekends. When I was at school, kids used to help out with the milking in the mornings and afternoons. Cows fit in with school hours really well. So do vegetables.
17. Food delivery driver
One for older teens, but Uber Eats has exploded the food delivery business. Either driving a car or riding a scooter, check demand and requirements in your area. (You could always set up your own delivery service if you find a gap…)
18. Fruit picking
The work is seasonal and it can be tricky to only work weekends, but not impossible. It’s hard, but honest, work, and the teams are often from all over the world and a lot of fun.
20. Gymnastics coach
A beginner assistant coach needs beginner coach accreditation, but it’s a straightforward process if you have a good knowledge of gymnastics. Ask at your local YMCA.
21. Hotel worker
There are loads of jobs in hotels for teens, including in housekeeping, room service, reception and restaurants. Phone direct to see what’s available.
22. Information assistant
Large department stores employ people to show customers around and handle incoming calls and enquiries. It could be you! Or you could spray the perfume!
23. Kitchen hand
Restaurants all over the country are crying out for kitchen hands. You will do the dishes and keep the place spotless. It’s a hard job, but the hours fit well around school for most kids.
Being a labourer for a tradie is a great summer holidays or weekend job. It will certainly get you into shape. Phone a few local tradies to see if they need someone. (For phone numbers, check your mailbox for magnets – tradies are weirdly big on those.)
25. Lawn mowing
A set fee for a regular mow is a time-honoured way for a teen to make some cash. You can add extra gardening jobs to your visit to increase your cash flow: weeding, edging, pruning, etc.
26. Library assistant
This would have been my dream job as a teen (it’s probably still my dream job now). Reshelf and stack books, work the catalogues and help do all the little things that keep a library going.
27. Market stall owner
If you have a hobby that produces something you can sell (art, craft, food, fashion), consider opening a market stall. Upselling recycled clothing, books and homewares is another opportunity. Here are some tips for success.
28. Music tutor
Great proficiency in a musical instrument means you might be able to tutor young kids. Anyone can technically hang up a shingle as a music tutor. Good relationships with your clients, along with testimonials and results, will keep you in business.
29. Newspaper delivery
Well someone has to dump all those free newspapers all over the suburbs, don’t they? Definitely a job to do now as it won’t be around later.
30. Packing assistant
Thanks to online shopping, the packing industry is going gangbusters. Become a ‘pick and pack’ worker and send out those grocery and other parcels to customers.
31. Pamphlet delivery
The pay rate is small, but kids of any age can take on a letterbox drop route (presumably with a little help from their parents!). The kids can get some exercise while they earn money, and enterprising teens might combine a dog walking business with their pamphlet job.
32. Party person
Parties need princesses, Spidermen, ninjas, and fairies. If you love little kids, dress ups and patience, this gig could be for you. Google the party performers in your area and contact them to see if they need some help.
33. Personal assistant
Older people sometimes need help with little everyday chores and a teen is perfect for the job. You might clean the windows, walk the dog, weed the garden, take back the library books – work out what you can offer to do and let people know you are available.
34. Pet sitting
Look after other people’s pets in your home. You’ll obviously need the whole family on board for this one, but it could well be worth their while. The money is good and the pets are adorable.
35. Photo wrangling
People have thousands of photos stashed away on phones and computers that they never get around to archiving or using. You could create photo books from photos people select for you, or systemise their photos into an online resource they can use. Scanning pre-digital photos for families is another way to earn money.
37. Pool cleaner
Being a pool cleaner is great work over the summer holidays. Offer your services to local families or try for a job with the local pool shop.
Doing the phones and front of house for weekend retailers is great experience. Places like beauty salons, hotels, department stores, large retailers and even medical practices need good weekend receptionists.
39. Retail assistant
Working in DJs was a coveted job when I was at school – not sure if it still is! But Christmas and ongoing casual work is a great way for teens to learn the retail ropes. Most large retailers employ Thursday night and weekend casuals. The larger the store, the more flexibility you will have with hours.
40. Ride operator
If you’re a high-energy people person with a sense of fun, joining the team at an amusement park could be a great option. Most parks are open late seven days a week – a great opportunity for after-school and weekend work.
41. Second-hand merchant
Open an eBay or Gumtree store selling second-hand goods. Source goods like clothes, books, homewares and toys through friends, council clean up days, buying and fixing up from other merchants or a good clear out of the garage.
42. Technical guru
Set up televisions, computers and other digital equipment for time-strapped or techno-clueless people.
A bit soul-destroying, if I’m honest, but it’s good money and reliable work. Perhaps not the first choice for a teen, but good to know it’s out there if you really need the money/ experience. And it’s great experience in customer service, diplomacy, handing rejection and office procedures too.
44. Tour guide
Show tourists around the top spots in your town. Ask at the tourist information centre if there is any work in your city or town. Private companies also hire tour guides, whether on segways, bikes or walking. Particularly relevant if you speak a second language.
If you get great grades in a subject at school, you may have the potential to be a tutor for younger school years, including primary school kids. You can work for an existing tutoring company, or put an ad up in the local area and start your own small business.
If you are good at a particular sport, you may be eligible to umpire/referee games. You’ll need to do a course to become accredited, but this is usually done online.
47. User testing
User testers check out what the website user experience is like and earn money per site reported on.
48. Veterinary assistant
If you’re an animal lover, you might find some great casual jobs for teens at your local vets, animal hospital or animal shelter. Cat and dog carers often need weekend assistance, plus try the pet shop for a retail job too.
I had my first waiting job at 12 and continued doing the job off and on until I finished Uni. It was great for learning time management, honing my people skills and learning the value of a hard day’s work. Plus I learned to never taken service people for granted, not ever. Highly recommended.
50. Web design
If you’ve got solid coding and design skills, you can make money by designing websites. A good way to get a feel for the biz is to contact web designers whose work you like and ask if you can work for them. You could offer to do your first couple of designs for free to show them what you’re capable of, but if you’re good the money you’ll earn after that is good too.
English stars should be able to find regular work as a writer for blogs and teen publications. To write as a teen, contact mags like Wonder and Teen Breathe to find out what’s available. To write about a topic you are an ‘expert’ in (sports-mad boys, take note), contact the organisations. Don’t stick to just Australian websites – US and UK sites need writers too. Check out places like Crowdsource, Listverse and Cracked.
If it’s good enough for PewDiePie, DanTDM and Zoella, it’s good enough for you, right? This has got to be one of the best jobs for teens going… if you can make it! Start a You Tube channel, grow your audience and prosper. At least, that’s the idea. Might take a while; PewDiePie may act 15, but he’s 28 years old.
Do you have other ideas for jobs for teens?