Good Summer Jobs for 13-Year-Olds

Updated on January 30, 2018
Julie DeNeen profile image

Challenges inspire me. It's what I write about, what I thrive on. I'm a mom of three, musician, writer, and entrepreneur.

If you have a pre-teen or teenager at home during the summer, you know how taxing it can be to deal with an adolescent without any structure. A lot of teens have summer camps sprinkled throughout the months, but what about when they are home?

Without a plan, your son or daughter may resort to hours of video games, texting, television, or other activities that do nothing to promote responsibility. Even though the age for an "official" job is usually around 14 or 15, there are a lot of odd jobs that you and your teen can arrange.

What are the benefits of a summer job?

  • Your child learns the value of hard work
  • He or she can earn money
  • By earning money, your child can begin to understand the value of a dollar
  • Connecting with the community
  • Structuring the day so he or she doesn't get into trouble
  • Develop life skills that will help with future job opportunities

Jobs Right at Home

Sometimes, transportation is an issue and kids can't get to another location because a parent is working. If this is the case, there are plenty of around the house jobs a teenager can get paid to do.

  • Mow the lawn
  • Plant, weed, and maintain garden beds
  • Repaint a room in the house
  • Research, learn, and train the family dog (perhaps to enter an agility course in a couple of months)
  • Refinish some old furniture
  • Clean out an attic or basement and plan a garage sale

Jobs in the Neighborhood

If you live in a neighborhood with lots of houses nearby, your teen has a lot of opportunities to earn some money. Here are some ideas.

  • Start a dog walking business
  • Offer to watch pets (cats, birds, hamsters, etc. when the neighbors go away)
  • Planting or weeding garden beds
  • Mow lawns
  • Wash windows
  • Take a babysitting course so she or he can watch young children
  • Mother's helper
  • Housecleaning assistant
  • Cooking meals for elderly folks
  • Assisting with grocery shopping or other chores (again for someone who is older or frail)

Jobs in the Community

Even if the job doesn't pay a lot (in some cases, it might even just be volunteer work), working in the community is a great opportunity for your child to learn about how the world works. In school, kids are always with the same age range, but in a job, your teen will be forced to interact with young and old folks.

Businesses run by family and friends might be more apt to hire your teen for odds and ends jobs, rather than an established company.

  • Work at a landscaping or flower shop, helping with chores
  • Work at a local stable or farm, taking care of the animals
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter (walking dogs and/or cleaning cages)
  • Help at Church with Sunday school, the nursery, or cleaning the building
  • Working at a local day camp as an assistant counselor
  • Offering tutoring to younger students in math, reading, or writing

As a teenager, I taught private piano lessons to young children.
As a teenager, I taught private piano lessons to young children. | Source

Special Skills and Talents

If your teen knows how to play an instrument, sing, paint, or do other crafty things, he or she may be able to make a little money by offering services to local places like a nursing home or church. Help him or her develop a business plan, a price sheet, and a letter to send out to the community.

  • Performing at Church, nursing homes, or camps
  • Entering artwork or other crafts at expos or Church craft fairs
  • Selling jewelry or offering a workshop for younger kids at a community center
  • Teaching instrument lessons to younger children (at a reduced rate)
  • Helping a local dance studio or gymnastics center as an assistant coach
  • Start a local band and ask about performing at local coffee shops

Using Technology

With the age of the Internet, many young teens can get started using their skills to work on a blog, Kickstarter project, or eBay/etsy shop. Can your teenager write? Does he or she know a lot about smartphones? Encourage your child to think outside the box.

  • Teach a workshop about navigating the latest iPad or iPhone
  • Start a blog and help him or her monetize it with a site like Google Adsense
  • Set up an Etsy shop to sell cool t-shirts or jewelry
  • Start recording YouTube tutorials that have the potential to go viral
  • Use kickstarter to campaign a community project, new invention, or other idea

These opportunities are not as reliable as a source of income, but still offer great experience in developing a business plan, working with other people, and advertising.

How old were you when you got your first job?

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Other tips

No matter what your teen decides to pursue, it is important to help them learn the art of job seeking. Even if he or she is applying to work at a farm, have them dress appropriately and bring a resume. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but presenting a skill set in the form of writing is a great way to impress a potential employer.

Ask a friend or relative to write a letter of recommendation to have on hand. Compile a list of skills, talents, and interests, including any previous experience in the area they are interested in.

Remind yourself and your child: if all else fails, a lemonade stand can be quite lucrative!


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    • FBohman profile image

      Fred Bohman 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      13 is quite a young age to work but it is definitely good for building character. Also, with today's economy I am sure parents are a bit more stringent with their money. Great hub, thumbs up!

    • jsj67 profile image

      jsj67 4 years ago from Fort Wayne, IN

      I have twin 13 year old boys and they are always talking about summer jobs. This is very informative and gives me some great ideas to send their way. Thanks.

    • CRe8tiVeLiFe profile image

      Erin 4 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow ;-)

      Loved this. I'm in this boat right now and have been worrying about it. This has been helpful. Thanks!

    • bn9900 profile image

      Clayton Hartford 5 years ago from Alger WA

      Good ideas, might I add one idea, and that is if there is a regular customer that the child has for any of these jobs, maybe ask them for a character reference letter, for the next job, this may be particularly useful if the teen is thinking about getting a job at a store soon.

    • KellyG05030 profile image

      Kelly 5 years ago from New England

      Great ideas! Our local high school requires a set amount of community service durung the high school years, and I think it really shows kids the benefits of helping around town...and keeps them busy and out of trouble. Some if the volunteering has lead to small pary-time summer jobs the kids seem to love!

    • SimpleJoys profile image

      SimpleJoys 5 years ago

      My teens always did well watering during neighbors vacations. Pet sitting was always good too. Once people find you have responsible teens offers will come in from all over. Good luck!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great idea for an article! I love the range of options here.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Fantastic hub. I think you covered just about everything! ^_^ I started working very early and I will make sure my kids know the value of work early as well. Wonderful read, voted a bunch!

    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great ideas and working before you actually enter the "workforce" is a good idea!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      It's important that children learn the value of money. I didn't have a job until I was 16. I couldn't find any and I didn't get any help finding a job. Of course I did some chores at home when I was younger. Very useful hub!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      You've covered some excellent jobs that teenagers can do! I also believe that children - especially those of today - need to start learning the importance of respect, responsibility and money as early on as possible. Voted up - awesome - interesting - useful!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very useful tips Julie! I am a huge believer in kids getting a job in their early teen years; it was amazing to me how few of the kids I taught did not have to get a job. Hell, I couldn't wait to make my own money.

      Anyway, good job!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      This was an excellent an article and read too. I must say it was so thorough and detailed on the different types of jobs that a youngster could have this age. And I agree this is such an important life lesson too. Have of course voted, shared and tweeted too!!