If you want to make money as a teen, the solution is to get a job and work...right? Well, it might not be that simple. It’s perfectly normal to have a thousand questions running through your mind about stacking cash. Which places will hire me? What if I can’t work after school because of sports practice? Can I make money as a teen without a job? Could I make money online? Am I even old enough to get a job?!

As a general rule, you need to be 14 years old in most states to be employed (double check your specific state's rules) and your working hours will be limited if you’re under the age of 16. And yes, you can make money as a teen with or without a job, online or in person, and through a company or on your own. Whether you’re looking to get a weekend gig at your local ice cream shop or go full-on entrepreneur, to quote Mean Girls, “the limit does not exist.”

Fair warning: this isn’t a list of get-rich-quick schemes. You’ll want to keep an eye out for a few common Internet traps that take advantage of people who need funds, as it can be easy to get swept up in the hustle for quick money. Watch out for pyramid schemes that require you to recruit people or invest lots of money upfront, as well as fake job postings (stick to reputable sites like LinkedIn or Indeed), fake lottery winnings, or scams that send you fake checks in exchange for buying them gift cards or items to sell.

Scams aside, rest assured that there are plenty of legitimate, accessible side hustles and part-time jobs that are perfect for making money as a teen. Keep reading to find out the best ways to earn some dough, from lifeguarding to golf caddying or graphic design.

1) Work at a restaurant, cafe, bakery, or ice cream shop

These part-time jobs are typically easy to come by no matter where you live. Just ask your favorite spots if they happen to be hiring. Service jobs teach you valuable skills for future employment — you'll learn customer service skills as well as get a behind-the-scenes look at how food service businesses run. You'll most likely have coworkers your age, and you'll probably get free food. Win!

2) Run a bake sale

Double-check your school's official policies on selling things, but candy, snacks, or homemade baked goods are sure to be a hit among your classmates. After all, who doesn't want fresh chocolate chip cookies in between classes? "You have hundreds and hundreds of customers at your school," explains Tatiana Roberts, Community Manager at Chase. "As a teenager, you have access to that audience, and you might be able to leverage that to sell your product. I even ran a bake sale myself during lunch when I was in high school to make money for a choir trip to New York City."

3) Try out content creation

If you're looking for the ultimate way to make money on your phone, this is it. Whether you're an artist, a poet, a photographer, or someone who loves coming up with ideas for beauty, food, or product photoshoots, there's a social media niche out there for you. Brands are always looking to pay for UGC (user-generated content, a.k.a. the fabulous photos you take or videos that you create), so while this side hustle requires a little up-front work, it can eventually turn into a flexible, lucrative job.

Your feed is your portfolio, so start by posting high-quality content and building up an audience on Instagram, TikTok, or even Pinterest. After you gain some traction, you can start emailing brands to see if they are looking to hire creators to make content for their social media accounts. Roberts notes that you can also make money helping small businesses in need of social media managers. "You can utilize your creativity and photography skills to make money on the side and create a job you're passionate about," she advises.

4) Mow grass or shovel snow

Although these are seasonal gigs (because you won't find many people looking for lawn-mowing services in the dead of winter), you'll be able to utilize your neighborhood connections to make some cash offering lawn services.

You can charge by the hour, making sure not to dip below your state's minimum wage, or you can charge per client. Depending on the surface area you'll need to cover, you might be able to ask for anywhere from $25 to $50 per lawn or driveway.

5) Flip furniture

Do you love anything vintage? Do you have an eye for things that could be transformed into a one-of-a-kind piece with a little TLC? That nightstand you spotted out on the curb could become something worth selling for cold, hard cash with the right artistic touch. "Whether you're repairing, painting, or decorating old items before putting them up for sale, flipping is a great way to make money," says Roberts. "A lot of people are looking for unique furniture and are willing to pay more for it than they would pay a regular store."

You can pay a visit to your local thrift store to find pieces to flip for cheap — or if you'd prefer to avoid having to pay for your items, browse online marketplaces for free items to pick up in your area. Once you restore and transform your finds, post your upcycled creations to sites like Facebook Marketplace and sell them to people in your area.

6) Take up photography

Grab your mom's old DSLR camera and learn the basics of shooting and editing photos through an online course on Masterclass (ICYMI, you can literally learn from Annie Leibovitz herself), Skillshare, or even YouTube. Once you're comfortable shooting with your camera, you can list your photos as stock images for sale on Shutterstock or Getty Images. You could even turn them into art prints that can be purchased on sites like RedBubble or Society6.

Or if you prefer, take things in a different direction and offer your services as a photographer for birthday parties, family portraits, local performances, or weddings.

7) Learn graphic design

Graphic design services are highly in-demand for everything from app design and website templates to book covers, posters, and wallpapers. Some people find it easiest to design using a tablet and smart pencil while using ProCreate app or similar free-drawing services. Others like using Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more) on their computers — it's all a matter of preference.

Once you've figured out how to draw or design your product, list your services on Fiverr and wait for the requests to start rolling in. And the best part? You can work and make money while sitting on your couch at home.

8) Work at a boutique or clothing store

Ask around to see if any local stores are hiring seasonal, weekend, or part-time sales associates. If you end up working somewhere you frequently shop at, you'll be able to take advantage of the employee discount, too.

If you plan to eventually intern in the fashion industry, the best thing you can do to prepare is to gain fashion retail experience. Working at a clothing store will help you get your foot in the door for future internships and even post-college jobs while getting paid by the hour.

9) Offer babysitting services

Not sure where to start? Have your parents put out feelers to see which of your family friends might need some extra help watching their young kids. Plus, if you plan on majoring in education, babysitting can help you gain valuable experience for your future career.

Many parents will come to you with a rate that they typically pay babysitters or nannies, but don't be afraid to negotiate if necessary while being flexible about responsibilities, hours, driving, gas costs, or other house services.

10) Become a golf caddie

Whether you're a total golf whiz or you practically grow up on the green, utilize your knowledge of the sport by becoming a golf caddie at your local country club or golf resort. You'll most likely go through a course to learn the basics of caddying, and then get assigned your shifts after completing the required training. GolfSpan reports that amateur caddies can start at $20 per hour while potentially working up to $75 before tips, although earnings can vary based on the course and golfer.

11) Get certified as a lifeguard

Lifeguarding isn't quite getting paid to swim all summer long, but it's pretty darn close. If you'd consider yourself a strong swimmer, sign up for a local lifeguard training and certification program — upon completion, you'll be able to spend your summer vacay making money by the pool. Double-check the specific requirements of the place you're planning on working, whether it be a local YMCA or gym, as certification requirements may vary from place to place.

12) Start a YouTube channel

If you're passionate about fashion, beauty, music, or lifestyle, consider starting a YouTube channel. Fair warning: this side hustle doesn't pay immediately, and it requires you to invest some time setting up your channel as well as accumulating a portfolio of videos. But it's worth it if there is a topic you love to make videos about because YouTubers with over 1000 subscribers have access to GoogleAdSense which pays you for the ad clicks and views on your videos.

Most sources report that each view will earn a few cents (which adds up over time) although the exact amount depends on factors like the total number of views, clicks, and other engagement stats.

13) Teach music lessons

All of those hours you spent practicing the flute, learning music theory, and rehearsing for band concerts are about to pay off. Offer music lessons to younger kids in your community or at your school as a way to make money on the side — whether it's beginner vocal lessons, private piano lessons, or intermediate percussion, many parents are looking to hire experienced musicians to train their children. Depending on the age of the kids you're teaching, rates for private lessons usually start at $20/hour and increase based on experience level.

14) Sell your clothing through consignment or online

Instead of pawning off the clothes, you don't want to your little sisters or younger cousins, try taking your gently-used and on-trend items to your local consignment shop (think Crossroads Trading, Buffalo Exchange, or Plato's Closet) or an online consignment service (like ThredUP or TheRealReal) to make back some of the money that you spent.

And if you're willing to wait a little longer for your items to sell, you can take photos of your clothing and list them on sites like Poshmark, Depop, Mercari, or eBay. It takes more effort to write up the descriptions, pick your price, and ship out your order, but you might be able to make money on each piece of clothing.

15) Start an Etsy shop

If you've been selling your creative creations IRL and are looking to expand to a bigger customer base, set aside an hour to set up an Etsy shop and expand your reach. Each Etsy sale includes a 6.5% seller transaction fee, but the small fee could be worth it in exchange for access to a huge pool of potential customers.

Looking for ideas for more things to sell? Candles, crochet creations, custom artwork and portraits, vintage magazines, personalized cups, paintings, T-shirts, cheer bows, and jewelry are all popular Etsy offerings.

Headshot of Hannah Oh
Hannah Oh

Hannah is the Assistant Fashion & eCommerce Editor at Seventeen and covers all things style, shopping, and money. Seventeen taught her how to get dressed when she was younger, and she now spends her working hours passing down her expertise.