10 ways for teens to make money this summer

4 teens plant a tree in a grassy field on a bright summer day
April 28, 2017 | Paul Brucker and Allison Videtti

Summer’s here, and the time might be right for your teen to get a summer job. There are a number of ways for teens to make money, and a lot of reasons for teens to get summer jobs: A summer gig will help them develop decision-making, organizational and social skills, plus work skills that will prepare them for college and a career.

Working and earning their own money helps teenagers gain greater confidence, all while learning some fundamentals about money management, such as how to develop a budget that covers savings and spending. (A teen checking account at Alliant is good way to help them learn how to take care of the money they earn.)

10 ways for teens to earn money

Lawn care: It’s hard work, but this can be a great way to spend some time outdoors while also making a few bucks.  

Food service: Teens can earn base pay + tips working in a restaurant– just check with your city. Some restaurants can’t hire teens based on local liquor laws.

Retail sales: Many retail jobs pay minimum wage but offer a good employee discount – a great perk for teen employees (as long as they don’t spend their whole paycheck at the store!).

Lifeguard: What high school kid wouldn’t love to get paid to hang out at the pool?

Golf caddy: Does your teen love golf? Caddying is a lucrative summer job if your local course allows teens in the role.

Nanny or babysitter: Teens can hire themselves out as babysitters within the neighborhood, church or other groups, or even neighborhood sites like NextDoor.com.

Housekeeper: Teens many not want to pick up laundry off their own bedroom floor, but being offered a few bucks by a neighbor or family friend could turn your teen into Mr. Clean.

Camp counselor: Many teens have fond memories of spending summers at camp – becoming a counselor is a great way to get paid to relive those moments.

Tutoring: Teaching other kids (or adults) that need extra help. Is your teen interested in pursuing a teaching career? In addition to earning extra money, tutoring looks great on a college application.

Paid internships: They’re not easy to find, but taking a paid summer internship is a great way for your teen to get exposed to a variety of different career paths before heading to college.

How teens can find a summer job

As the old saying goes, sometimes getting a job is all about the people you know – and finding a summer job as a teenager is no different.

  • Ask their family, neighbors and friends if they have any leads, or could help them in finding a job.
  • Post on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word that they are in the job market.

They can create and pass out flyers in the neighborhood or visit area stores and ask employers whether they need summer help. Another great resource is the Quintessential Careers website, which includes specific links to help teenagers find local summer jobs.

In addition to helping your teenager earn some extra cash, a summer job can be a smart investment in the future. The job could even help pave the way to college and a career.

“I loved jobs when I saw them on applications,” says Elizabeth Heaton, a college admissions consultant and former admissions officer at the University of Pennsylvania. The experience demonstrates that students can show up on time, be responsible, do a job they’re hired to do and deal with adults they aren’t related to, she adds.

You might like

Sign up for our newsletter

Get even more personal finance info, tips and tricks delivered right to your inbox each month.