Beyond babysitting and lawn mowing

Teen Jobs

by Jill Fitzpatrick

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Part-time teen jobs are often hard to come by. Below are some moneymaking ideas that your teenager will be able to capitalize on to increase earnings and hopefully learn something about starting a business. These part time teen jobs can often be squeezed into busy schedules and started and stopped as time allows.

  1. Play an instrument at local farmers' markets and coffee shops. We are fortunate to live three blocks away from a year round farmers' market. When my kids are feeling broke, which is often (they play the sax, trumpet and flute), they round up their instruments and head to the market. My son and his friend (who also plays trumpet) often make up to $20 each per hour. Not only are they earning money, but also they are practicing their instrument, gaining experience in public performance, and learning marketing skills. A teenager could branch out beyond their neighborhood to discover other venues where this might be successful.
  2. Start a Kid-Fit club. This is a great part-time job for teenagers who have a knack at sports and work well with little kids. The teen can hone his or her networking skills by arranging an after-school group of about five kids to meet and workout. My son is beginning Lacrosse this year, so I've asked our babysitter who plays Varsity Lacrosse at our local high school to help get the kids in shape and learn some beginning skills. If our babysitter charges $5 per child per hour, he can make a nice little chunk of change.
  3. Be a tutor. Contact parents of elementary school age children to let them know you are interested in helping with homework, reading with kids, teaching multiplication tables, etc. Teenagers could also try contacting former teachers who might be able to put them in touch with parents who have kids that need extra help in school. This is a great part-time, after-school job that could be worked between other activities. It will show that it pays to be a good student and a good networker.
  4. Sign up for market research. There are a couple of nearby market research groups near us. One of them specializes in kids. My kids have regularly worn sneakers and participated in toy studies. They get paid anywhere from $15 to $50 for their opinion and product testing. Find one that specializes or works heavily with teenagers and young adults.
  5. Sell your old toys/games/bikes and sporting goods on Craigslist. This will require some parent supervision, but it will teach your teenagers to keep their things in good condition. My kids have sold everything from video games, doll houses, bikes, American Girl doll items, and sporting equipment. They are in charge of cleaning up their item, staging it for a picture, and writing a description. This works best for bigger items or groupings of smaller items.
  6. Start your own disc cleaning business. This is a great part-time job for teenagers who need to work on their own schedule. It will require organization and self-promotion, but could someday also be transported to college. Research and make a small investment in a disc cleaner and then offer for a fee to clean peoples DVDs, video game discs, or compact discs.
  7. Transfer VHS tapes to DVDs or digital format. This is another part-time job for teenagers who are busy. It can fit anywhere in their schedule. This will also require organization and promotion. Research the best way to convert VHS to DVD, through a converter or computer software, make a small investment, and then get started. There are plenty of people out there like me who have VHS tapes taking up room and are unwatched because of the inconvenience of setting up the VCR.

Jill Fitzpatrick is a married mother of three who lives in Portland, Oregon and works part time at a University. Her interests are personal finance, home improvement, bargain shopping, family life, modern furniture and home design.

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