Two teenage girls sitting and researching jobs for teens using Greenlight teen money app on mobile

Jul 29, 2022

How to make money as a teen — 20 ideas to get started

Highlights:

-From part-time jobs to internships — there are plenty of ways you can start making money as a teenager.

-Before you apply for jobs, make sure you have a resume, a cover letter and are prepared for interviews.

-After you secure a side hustle, consider making a plan for your financial future such as saving money or investing it.

Are you a teen looking to make money but don’t know where to start? At Greenlight, we’re here to help you earn money and manage it, too. Grow your wealth and enjoy every step in the process. 

Greenlight teen across green background and thought bubbles "What job is right for me?" and "Research will help!"

Now, let’s get to it — and learn all about how teens can make money!

Types of jobs for teens

The good news? There are plenty of jobs you can apply for. Depending on your availability, experience and interests, we can help match you to the right kind.

  • Holiday or summer jobs for teens

Holiday or summer jobs are perfect for the teen that wants to gain meaningful experience in a short amount of time. If you don’t have enough time to work during the school year, a seasonal or summer job may be right for you. Some examples include becoming a lifeguard during summer vacation — or a tutor during your winter break!

Pro tip: Summer jobs are a great way to keep you busy when school’s out. Plus, they’ll give you insight into the different types of industries that many adults work in.

  • Part-time jobs for teens

Part-time jobs can be a great way to make some extra money, even while you’re in school. If you have the time to work a couple of hours each day after your classes or on the weekends, you’ll be surprised by how much money can add up over time. One example of a part-time job is working as a cashier at a smoothie shop after school or on the weekends.

  • Internships for teens

Internships are meant to be educational experiences for students. While some are unpaid, many internships today provide stipends or even an hourly minimum wage. 

An internship helps you gain valuable experience. And it can help introduce you to a potential employer or career for your future. Think social media intern for a tech company — like the ones that work at Greenlight!

How to apply to jobs as a teen

Now that you know what type of job you’re looking for — here’s what you’ll need in order to apply for jobs and internships.

  • Resume and cover letter

A resume is typically a one-page document that includes a brief overview, usually a bulleted list, of all of your skills, accomplishments, related coursework and work experience. Employers typically require candidates to submit their resumes (sometimes with a cover letter) to apply for a job. Resumes are brief, straightforward and follow a specific format.

A cover letter is a one-page document that explains your qualifications and experiences in more detail — almost like a mini-essay. Cover letters are written in paragraph form to convey a story about why you feel you’re right for this particular job. A cover letter and resume go hand-in-hand when it comes to job applications.

Pro tip: There are tons of free resume and cover letter templates online. No need to build it from scratch.

  • Interview prep

Most jobs will require you to have one or more interviews before you are offered a position. This means you’ll have to prepare for questions relating to your skills, such as your strengths and capabilities. For example, if you’re interviewing for a cashier position, they might ask you if you’re good at basic math since you’ll be handling money.

  • A bank account or money app to help manage your money 

Once you secure a job, you’ll need a place to store your money. You’ll need a money account where you can set up direct deposit. 

Greenlight makes it easy for teens to set up Direct Deposit, Savings Goals and more. 

Pro tip: With Greenlight you’ll get a debit card and in-app experience made just for you. Learn to invest, save and earn even more money — all from your app.

Ways to make money as a teen

1. Work at a grocery store or supermarket. 

Grocery stores typically hire cashiers and sales associates year-round. Through a job like this one, you can gain valuable customer service experience.

2. Work at a coffee, smoothie or juice shop. 

Coffee, smoothie or juice shops regularly hire baristas to help make and serve drinks. Tips are often an added bonus!

Teen girl working at smoothie shop holding two drinks, gets direct deposit via Greenlight money account

3. Work at a clothing store. 

If you like shopping for clothes, consider being a sales associate at a clothing store. Employees typically get special discounts as a perk. Think about all the money you can save — your wardrobe and virtual piggy bank will be happy!

4. Sell clothes or resell items with free apps. 

Selling old electronics or unwanted items can help you rack in a few extra bucks. There are many free apps where you can list your items for free. With shipping options available, you don’t even have to leave your home. Just make sure to check in with a parent before you start.

Clean room, happy wallet. Cha-ching!

5. Take surveys online with survey junkie.

Want a remote job that you can do from the comfort of your own home? Surveys are a great way to work from anywhere. Survey junkie is just one of many sites where you can get started. However, instead of receiving cash, it’s important to note that many survey sites will pay you with gift cards or let you earn points before turning them into a form of payment.

6. Work as a golf caddy.

If you’re an athlete, working as a golf caddy lets you stay on the green while making some green of your own. Best of both worlds.

7. Work as an assistant coach or referee.

Similarly, if you want to be more hands-on — coaching or becoming a referee could be a great alternative. If you want to teach younger kids how to hit the perfect serve or kick a soccer ball, being an assistant coach may be the right fit for you.

Young teen on wheelchair coaching and playing tennis while earning money for his Greenlight Savings Goals

8. Work as a summer camp counselor.

Many summer camps enlist the help of teens to fill their counselor positions — at day camps or sleepaway residential camps. If you enjoyed camp as a kid, you might enjoy being a camp counselor for others, too.

9. Become a tutor.

Help and teach other students by becoming a tutor. Figure out what subjects you feel comfortable teaching — like Math or English. Then, spread the word about your services with friends and family.

10. Start dog walking.

Most adults don’t have summers off, and many of them need help taking care of their pets during the day. If you’re a dog lover (like us), consider offering dog walking services to your neighbors.

11. Start a blog online.

Blogs are a great way to make passive income while building up your personal brand. Blog about baseball, dance, makeup or anything else you’re passionate about. If your blog gets enough visitors, you can monetize it with ads.

12. Start a YouTube channel.

It’s 2022, and the reality is that if you can build a large following, you can make money by posting YouTube videos or any type of content on their social media accounts. All you need is a good idea and a phone with a camera to get started. Just make sure to check in with your parent for approval before you start.

13. Make money online through referral programs like Greenlight’s.

Teens can now earn money when they refer friends to join Greenlight. That’s right. You can earn up to $600 per calendar year just by sharing Greenlight with your group chats. Check out all the details here.

Two teens girls hanging out in the bedroom talking about Greenlight's cash rewards for referring friends

14. Work as an intern at an established company.

We mentioned internships earlier, and how you can get paid to gain work experience to help launch your career. Some examples include Social Media intern, Software Engineering intern, People Operations intern, etc.

15. Work as an intern for a small business.

If you live closer to smaller businesses, consider asking the owner if they can hire you as an intern. Typically, smaller businesses can help you gain hands-on experience, like assisting customers online or helping create a marketing strategy.

16. Work as a babysitter.

Babysitting is a great way to help families near you — like your neighbors and family friends. Some families may be extra generous and also provide meals and transportation for you. A win-win solution!

17. Become a lifeguard.

What better way to spend your summer than on the beach? If you’re at least 16 years old, a sunset lover, and can swim well, consider applying for a lifeguard position at your nearest beach. You’ll typically need training, CPR certification and a passing score on any swimming tests. No beach, no problem — community pools are always hiring too.

18. Chore more.

Greenlight lets parents pay teens for completing chores like washing dishes or doing laundry. Learn more about chores here.

19. Start your own business.

Every business starts as an idea. If you have one, consider creating a business plan. Then, use the resources around you to get started. You never know what it could lead to!

Teen girl showing mom how she's investing for college with money earned from her job with Greenlight app

20. Invest to earn passive income.

Passive income is any money you earn with minimal effort. One way to earn passive income is to learn to invest with Greenlight. Research stocks and ETFs — and start with as little as $1. 

With a little bit of patience and a lot of time, you may be able to earn passive income in the long term. To learn more about investing, check out this blog post.

How to manage your money as a teen with Greenlight

Now that you know how to make money as a teen, it’s time to talk about what to do with any earned money. Although it feels great to spend money, it’s also important to save some, too. 

Teen girl and proud dad with used car she bought with her job and with Greenlight's Savings Goal feature

By saving for your long-term goals like your first car or a new laptop, you’ll build better money habits and prepare for your financial future. And when you finally get the keys to your first car or open your brand new laptop, you’ll feel so independent — and ready to take on the world. In fact, Greenlight can help you meet your money goals with Saving Goals. Visit us here to learn more about saving, investing, earning and so much more!

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