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
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
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.
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!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Zareana Pargo on August 03, 2020:
Hi my name is Zareana Pargo I’m 13 years old and I want a summer job I love little kids I clean cook and I want to help my mom with some extra money
mariann on July 06, 2020:
hey i just want a job it could be anything i just wanna help out my mom and i am hard working so i could do anything
Yolanda on July 01, 2020:
Hi im yolanda and i love kids i wanna help my mom with bils and help get her a new house and im asking for this job so i can help and i also clean and can cook a lil bit and i also know how to take little kids showers change diapers and I can walk dogs 2 and I also can help your kids with homework please get back to me thank you
Makayla on June 18, 2020:
I’m looking for a job where I can be able to take care of your house plants or animals while you’re gone. I can also dog walk too.
devin on May 29, 2019:
i do dog washing dog walking babysitting and cooking i am 14 years old and love to make some money for my mom
kamilla on April 24, 2019:
i need like a lot of money
Eugenia Donkor on April 12, 2019:
Hi mu name is Eugenia please i am looking for a summer job i am thirteen years old and i will be glad to wash windows i will be able to work on the weekdays only. Thank You
Zyria on January 08, 2019:
Hi, I'm Zyria and i am looking for a summer job i am thirteen years old and i would love to babysit or help little kids with there homework in elementary school i will be able to work on the weekends and sometimes on weekdays.
Kate on August 07, 2018:
Hi i'm kate, i'm thirteen and im look for a job during the summer. I am also free most weekends to babysit during the school term. I would love babysitting any age under 6 or 7.
Chris on July 26, 2018:
Hi I am good I am Landscaping
ella on July 13, 2018:
Hi i am 13 and i love litte kids i am looking for a job and i will love to babysit 1 year olds to 5 year old
Aimee Riggs on July 07, 2018:
I would love this job
Kadijah1 on July 02, 2018:
Hi I am about to be thirteen. I love acting and taking care of kids. I like playing board games. I am looking for a job. I can babysit kids 10 and younger.
Maryam Ali on July 01, 2018:
Hi I am thirteen I am good at teaching people like a tutor
Kevin on June 22, 2018:
Okay I need a job for me I am 13 years old because I want to buy my supplies for my school
Cynthia burnham on June 19, 2018:
Hi my name is Cynthia.Im really good at volleyball, archery, basketball.Also I am thirteen and with dogs and children too.
Riley on June 17, 2018:
Hi I am thirteen and looking for a summer job. I would love to teach younger kids how to play instruments like guitar piano or drums. Having a job will help me pay for my first car, give me job experience and help my parents pay bills.
Ayantu on June 16, 2018:
Hello am Ayantu I need I summer job am trying to save up to get my braces because my family can’t pay for it so please help me to found a summer job(: this is my second one am sending so PLEASE
John Angelo Serrano on June 13, 2018:
I’m great with technology and DMA. Wish I can put it to some use this summer and I am getting bored at hoooome...
Yes I am 13.
Christie Gonzalez on June 12, 2018:
Hi!! My name Is Christie Gonzalez I'm 13 years old I am a trustworthy kid I love taking care of children's and pets im searching for a summer job to save up to help my mother with the bills and rent
Juliet Stout on May 29, 2018:
I am bored at home and I really think I could use a summer job. I also have ADHD. So I might have trouble remembering things.
Amber hill on May 26, 2018:
I'm great with pets and kids
Madeline Brown on May 25, 2018:
Hello! I am Madeline and I am searching for a summer job. I am very reliable and trustworthy! I am saving up for collage ( I know it's early but still ) and going for crime investigator. Willing to do anything! Thanks!
Cory Dugan on May 20, 2018:
I need a good paying job as soon as you can
Misa on April 29, 2018:
I really need a high paying job, but all of these are low paying like $10 jobs and they don’t work well for me. What am I supposed to do now? (I can’t talk to people face to face because it freaks me out, and sometimes have mental breakdowns)
EleciaMoses on April 23, 2018:
wear could I get a job ?
Saniyah on April 06, 2018:
I really need a job I need money I hate asking my mom for money
William Johnson on March 25, 2018:
Looking for a job I still do school and I got football I was going to see it over the summer could I do get a job
Fred Bohman from Orange County, CA on April 25, 2013:
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 from Fort Wayne, IN on April 19, 2013:
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.
Erin Lee from Somewhere over the rainbow ;-) on March 25, 2013:
Loved this. I'm in this boat right now and have been worrying about it. This has been helpful. Thanks!
Clayton Hartford from Alger WA on March 11, 2013:
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.
Kelly from New England on February 25, 2013:
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 on January 31, 2013:
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!
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 16, 2012:
Great idea for an article! I love the range of options here.
Sasha Kim on September 16, 2012:
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 from Pennsylvania on September 16, 2012:
Great ideas and working before you actually enter the "workforce" is a good idea!
Madeleine Salin from Finland on September 15, 2012:
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!
Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on September 15, 2012:
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!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 15, 2012:
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 from New York, New York on September 15, 2012:
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!!