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6 Ways Your Teen Can Earn Money Online

A young girl sitting at a kitchen table using a laptop.

If you have a tech-savvy teen who’s looking to make some money online, we can help! From filling out surveys to selling art, we’ve found six jobs that can all be done from home.

Online jobs have definitely become more popular during the pandemic. Your teen might no longer feel comfortable working at a grocery store or restaurant, or as a camp counselor. No worries! There are plenty of ways to earn some extra cash in the virtual world.

We suggest you start with a brainstorming session that involves the whole family! Write down ideas based on your teen’s interests and skills. Do your best to steer your kid clear of the countless scams out there, though.

Don’t forget to encourage your teen to set aside some of her hard-earned money in a savings account via an automated savings app.

Online Surveys

Although filling out surveys will never make anyone rich, they’re usually a quick, easy, and fun way to make a bit of cash. Just check the age requirements first to make sure your teen is eligible. Survey Junkie, for example, allows people ages 13+ to join.

Here are two popular programs to try:

  • Swagbucks: This program offers cash back and gift cards for surveys, as well as things teens do every day, like online shopping and watching videos. This is a great option if your teen wants a more diverse experience. Just keep in mind that being “rewarded” for shopping isn’t really a job. This is more like coupon-clipping, but that’s still useful if you can apply them to any of your family’s regular purchases. Watch the video above for more details.
  • Survey Junkie: Your teen fills out surveys on a range of products and services, and then gets paid via PayPal or gift cards. It can take a while to hit the higher-paying surveys that apply directly to your teen’s specific demographics. If he keeps at it, though, those earnings will add up.

Freelance Work

It’s never too early to get your teen started with her own business. Some freelance sites, like Freelancer and Fiverr, allow younger people to join.

Start with your teen’s natural talents, such as designing T-shirts, apps, or logos, managing social media accounts, basic writing or editing, and so on. There are tons of jobs out there in a variety of fields.

You can also help her start a professional blog or subscription-based newsletter.

The trick with freelancing is to start out small, and then build up a solid portfolio with positive reviews. This entrepreneurial experience on your teen’s resume will make her stand out at future job interviews. Just make sure you and your teen read this before she starts a freelance job.

Selling Stuff Online

A young girl holding a shirt in front of a camera on a tripod to sell it online..

If your family has a bunch of old junk lying around, you can put your teen to work selling it online. Either set up a deal where he gets a specified cut per sale, or let him keep all the profits for his hard work.

First, you have to determine whether your stuff is valuable. Keep in mind, your trash might be someone else’s treasure!

Next, figure out the best outlet for selling particular items; here are some to consider:

  • PoshmarkFor selling high-quality, gently used clothing (also check out ThredUP). Have your teen purge everyone’s closets and create a pile of stuff he can sell online. Just make sure he gets the okay to sell it all, first!
  • EbayIf you have any rare, unusual, or very specific items, it’s best to list them here. Comic book collections, discontinued board games, out-of-print books, and old toys are just a few of the categories you’ll find. This is an ideal way to clear out your garage or attic!
  • DecluttrThis site is best for selling used CDs, DVDs, and more. They even send you a preprinted postage label—talk about easy!
  • Amazon: Anyone can sell on Amazon—your teen won’t have to set up an official store (unless he wants to sell his own products). He can gather up used books, DVDs, or even college textbooks to sell.
  • Craigslist: Best for items that are too large to ship, like couches, desks, or bookcases. You might also, consider listing these types of items on Facebook Marketplace.

Many of these sites do require people to be 18 or older to create an account. If that’s the case, sign up yourself so you can supervise your teen’s activity.

Creating Art

If your teen is creative or artsy, selling her creations online is a great way to earn some side cash. Don’t underestimate the value of art, especially when it’s made by a creative teen!

She can get started on one of these sites:

  • Etsy: Perfect for handmade items, like jewelry, paintings, t-shirt designs, and more. Your teen can even open her own shop.
  • CafePress: Your teen can create mugs, pillowcases, or even face masks from original designs, drawings, or photographs.

It might take a while for your teen to build a following, but with social media, anything is possible!

Tutoring and Teaching

A young girl wearing headphones and tutoring someone via her laptop.

If your teen is knowledgeable in any subject, see if he’s up to virtually tutoring younger students. This is especially helpful right now, as many schools are switching to online formats.

Reach out to your child’s school district, as well as parenting groups on Facebook. Your teen can also advertise his tutoring skills on Care.com.

Another option is having your teen teach an online class. A lot of parents are looking for extracurricular activities for their kids since many classes have been canceled. Your teen could teach a class on crafting, dancing, yoga, art, music—you name it!

Also, consider having your teen host and guide a paid study hour, where a group of kids can meet online to share and solve homework problems.

Kids might respond better to a teen encouraging them to finish their homework, rather than their stressed-out parents. It’ll also give parents a much-needed break to focus on other tasks.

Customer Service Rep

Most customer service jobs require employees to be 18 or older, but U-Haul actually has online roles starting at age 16—go for it!

You can also check with local companies to see if they have any online job opportunities, like boosting their social media presence. Unlike other jobs that require more advanced coding skills, managing social media or an email list for a small business is something a motivated teenager could easily handle.

This is only the beginning of what your teen can do online. So, keep searching to find the perfect job that suits his specific skills and talents.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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