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How to Make Money as a Teen

by Davis Porter

Now, don’t get us wrong. We have nothing against fast food joints like McDonald’s, Subway, and KFC. 

Nevertheless, we think it’s time teenagers moved on from the counters. Yes, that’s right – you don’t have to flip burgers or wait on tables anymore. The 21st century offers the current generation of youngsters numerous alternative ways to make money as a teen. 

Teen Entrepreneurship Is Growing

The internet has proven to be an increasingly promising platform for young entrepreneurs who want to earn money. Consequently, teen employment has been dropping steadily in the recent past, as teenagers progressively shift from their traditional menial jobs to the digital economy. 

In fact, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate dropped sharply from 45% between 1950 and 2000 to a measly 26% by 2011. A separate survey further revealed that while 60% of the teens’ parents admit to holding traditional jobs during their time, only a disproportionate 12% of their kids are following in their footsteps. 

As such, this post provides insights into what the other fraction is currently up to, and we strongly advise you to tag along if you’d like to discover how best to make money as a teen. 

How To Earn Money Online As A Teen

Sell Your Skills

teen making money online

The digital economy, for starters, accommodates workers just like the traditional labor market. It’s worth noting, though, that the web is exceedingly much more flexible, with a broader range of job opportunities and employment structures. 

Speaking of which, one particularly convenient arrangement for teenagers seeking to sell their skills is freelance contracts. Unlike permanent employment, this setup gives teens the privilege of taking up paid short-term projects back-to-back with different clients. 

And, as it turns out, there are numerous freelance platforms on the web that save you the trouble of searching for prospective clients. Some of the most popular ones that are consistently frequented by employers include: 

  • Upwork: Connects freelancers with various clients across a wide range of projects. You can work as a content writer, a graphic designer, a web developer, a photographer, a video editor, etc. Pretty much everything goes. 
  • Freelancer: Operates a lot like Upwork, helping freelancers find work opportunities that match their skills. 
  • The Forum Wheel: Teens with great writing skills get paid to engage audiences in blogs and forums. 

Sell Your Stuff

image of a financial exchange

If you’re the type that often lands in trouble for selling stuff in school, or you happen to be exceptionally competent in attracting and convincing buyers during yard sales, your talents can be put to better use online. 

And no, you don’t have to set up a fully-fledged online store. Rather, you can simply take advantage of established online marketplaces to sell your stuff. 

They run pretty much like standard malls, with multiple sellers and a continuous stream of shoppers. All you need to do is register an account, add your products, and voila! The platforms will showcase your stuff in their marketplaces, where you can sell and process and process orders. 

Some of the most renowned marketplaces that offer teens earning opportunities include:

  • Etsy: Particularly ideal for creatives. The platform allows even under 18-year-olds to sell paintings, drawings, jewelry, print-on-demand merchandise, etc. 
  • eBay: Quite similar to Amazon. You can sell anything from digital items to physical products. And although you need to be at least 18 years old to sign up, the platform allows minors to sell their stuff through adult accounts. 
  • Depop: Offers opportunities for selling clothes plus other fashion items. And just like Etsy and eBay, the platform processes the payments on your behalf, deducts its commission, and then directs the rest of the money to your online merchant account. 

Take Part in Surveys

man taking a survey

If you enjoy playing crossword puzzles, or perhaps find questionnaires intuitive, you might be interested in making money participating in surveys. 

Many online survey sites are now paying teens to sample their opinions and preferences across various subjects. Consequently, in addition to making money as a teen, you get to shape current and future trends in pertinent matters. 

That said, a few of the notable survey sites you might want to try out are: 

  • The Harris Poll: Pays you to offer personal insights into matters that are relevant to government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations. 
  • Survey Junkie: Awards you points after taking part in its consumer research surveys. The points can then be converted into PayPal cash or gift cards. 
  • TeenEyes: Deals specifically with brands that target the teen market. You can earn through surveys, product testing, and focus groups. 

Offer Customer Service

teen customer service

If you’re a sociable person with great interpersonal skills, you could consider taking all that to the next level by acting as an intermediary between businesses and their customers. 

Customer service happens to be one of the core functions that many established companies are willing to outsource to specialized professionals. The job itself entails taking customers’ calls, answering their queries, making reservations, resolving their issues, and recommending purchases. 

For the most part, you’ll only need good headsets, a stable internet connection, and about 25-32 hours of free time per week. Your clients will then proceed to pay you on an hourly basis, with possible complimentary benefits such as 401k, plus medical and dental insurance. 

Teens can find such opportunities on:

  • Uhaul: While there are numerous customer service job sites on the web, Uhaul is among the few that are open to workers below the age of 18. Once you’re accepted, you’ll be taken through a training program, after which you get to work as a remote customer service representative. 

And That’s Not All

Although we’ve highlighted the primary income streams for teenagers on the web, the fact is, we’ve barely scratched the surface. The internet offers many more ways to make money as a teen. 

For instance, you could choose to build a blog that generates revenue through ads. Or make money on YouTube via the YouTube Partner Program (check out our post on How To Make Money on YouTube for more insights). And if you happen to have a large social media following, you could make extra cash through influencer marketing. 

In short, the options here are endless. So, you might want to keep expanding your revenue portfolio as you learn more about how to make money as a teen.

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