If you are a 13 year old, you probably think that you can’t get a job yet. Think again! Here is a list that will help you think creatively about how you can make money at 13 years old. Below are suggestions that are seasonal and all year around job opportunities. After reading through the list, make sure you get your parent’s permission before you try any of these ideas!
According to the US Department of Labor, 14 is the minimum age that you are able to work in “non-agricultural” jobs. While states can have their own child labor laws, when they differ from the federal law then the higher standard must be used. This means that jobs for 13 year olds are limited to “non-formal” work. By this it means that you can’t go down to your local grocery store and get hired as a standard employee. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t earn money in an “off the books” manner from a legitimate business. Don’t think about being 13 as merely a roadblock to employment. You can still make money at any age, but you just have to think about it a little differently. Here are 13 ideas for you to consider.
1. Lawn Care
Being a home owner means that there is lots of upkeep around the outside of the house all year long.
This is a great opportunity for you to make some extra cash because most of the below tasks are time consuming, so home owners might find it hard to fit these tasks into their busy day.
When you get your first customer, make sure you do outstanding work the first time.
This will help you continue to get jobs from them and could also give you the opportunity to get continuous work from one customer all year long.This is one job that it is especially important that you have experience doing.
Ideally you should start by mowing the lawn for your parent’s house. Not only is this great practice, but it also shows what kind of work you can do if you approach your neighbor about mowing their lawn.
If your own yard is poorly done, they probably won’t be too eager to pay you to start mowing their lawn. So whether your parents pay you or not, you should definitely start at home.
This is an additional service that you could offer with mowing the lawn or you could just focus on weeding.
Weeding flower beds and around shrubbery is something that takes constant upkeep over the summer months and maybe even all year around depending on where you live.
When you get your first weeding job, make sure the home owner goes over all the plants and weeds with you so that you have a clear understanding of which ones need to stay and which ones need to be pulled. The last thing you want to do is accidently pull up plants that they have purchased for their flower beds!
If you live in an area that experiences fall, then this is a great job opportunity!
Raking leaves is hard work and very time consuming, but that also means that this is a job that a neighbor is likely willing to pay for someone else to do. Since the leaves normally fall off the trees over a couple months, it is best to start talking to your neighbors as soon as you see the first few leaves on the ground.
That will give them a chance to think about it and then gives you the potential of raking leaves for them several times throughout the next few weeks.
2. Child Care
If you love babysitting or have always wanted to have this responsibility, then this is another great category of jobs for 13 year olds. You should be realistic that some parents won’t trust someone your age to care for their kids alone.
Showing that you are mature and responsible with how you act will go a long way with getting a babysitting job. Also, your local Red Cross usually offers babysitting classes that will train you on what to do if there is an emergency.
Having this training will definitely give you more credibility when you talk with parents about why they should hire you to watch their kids.
Another option would be babysitting at your home when your parents are also home.
A neighbor might feel more comfortable knowing that your parents are home in the case that there would be an emergency. Giving them the option to watch their kids at their home or at your home will give them options to choose from so that they can pick the option that makes them feel most comfortable and will give you a better chance of getting the job.
3. Artistic Jobs
If you have a creative bent, then Fiverr may be just the place for you to find a gig. There is a huge range of opportunities from graphic design to writing blog posts to video creation. This list is huge on this site and could be a great place to showcase your talents. All this can be done from your computer! All you need to do is set up an account, decide what category to start in and then create your offer. You will want to make sure that whatever you decide to offer, you can deliver on. People can review you on this site and some bad reviews could keep potential clients away. Definitely make sure that your first jobs are fantastic work and then ask your happy customers to leave a review, so that potential clients know they can trust your work.
4. Garage Sales
If you live in a neighborhood, then garage sales are a great way to make some extra cash during the summer! There are two ways you can go about running a garage sale:
- Your Garage Sale: There is a good chance that your parents have lots of things they would like to clean out of the garage or attic, but just don’t have the time to put together a garage sale. It takes time to get everything out and set up for the potential customers that will be stopping by. Ask your parents what they would like to sell and plan a weekend to do it. You can check online to see what other garage sales are going on each weekend. It’s better to plan your sale when there are a number of other sales going on at the same time because potential customers like making one stop to hit several sales at the same time.
- Your Neighbor’s Garage Sale: Once you have your own garage sale, you can ask neighbors if you could run a garage sale for them for a commission as your fee. If they picked out the items, you would set them up in their driveway and run the sale for the day. Or, if they aren’t interested in doing a garage sale at their home, you could ask them if they have anything they would like to get rid of and you could run your own garage sale again, but this time with items you have collected from neighbors.
5. All About Dogs
- Walking Dogs. Every dog owner realizes that they should walk their dog every day so they can get exercise to stay healthy, but not every owner has time to do that. It is recommended that dogs should be walked at least 15 – 30 minutes every day. Decide on a 15 minute pay rate and a 30 minute pay rate and start going door to door in your neighborhood to see who would be interested in your services. This job would be an easy one to do after school and on the weekends. Also, start collecting plastic grocery bags now so that you will have something to use to clean up after the dogs if they go to the bathroom on the walk. If you are walking more than one dog at a time, you will want to have at least 3 bags per dog.
- Dog Grooming. If you love dogs and have a lot of patience, then this could be the perfect job for you. Some services that you could provide are: brushing, washing, cleaning ears, teeth cleaning, and nail trimming. Most pet owners own a brush and nail clippers already, so you likely wouldn’t have to buy any supplies to get started.
- Poop Clean-Up. These same dog owners will also probably need their back yard cleaned up too. One of the least liked jobs of taking care of a pet is clean up poop in the backyard, so this could be an additional service you could offer. This job probably isn’t at the top of your list because it is not a fun one, but the earning potential for this job is pretty high since most pet owners do not enjoy this task.
6. Window Washing
Window washing takes a lot of time washing both the inside and outside of the windows and is one of those tasks that is easy to put off. Spring is a great time to get started since that is usually when home owners start thinking about spring cleaning for their home. All you will need to get started is glass cleaner and paper towels. For two story homes you will likely only be able to clean the inside of the window, which is perfectly fine since that is where most of the finger prints are anyway. Determine if you plan to charge per job or per window and then start marketing your services.
7. House Sitting
House sitting is a great opportunity to make extra money without having to invest a lot of time. When your neighbors go on vacation or work trips, offering your house sitting services will give them peace of mind that their house will be looked after while they are out of town. Services you can offer are: picking up the mail and newspapers, watering plants, checking each room to make sure nothing is leaking, and feeding pets. You can start talking to your neighbors anytime, but there is a good chance that Christmas time, spring break, and summer are times that people will usually be traveling. Definitely don’t miss those time frames because there is a good chance that you can pick up several jobs around this time.
8. House Cleaning
If you already do chores at home, then you will be well qualified to offer your house work services. Since houses need to be cleaned on a regular basis, this could potentially be a job that you could do weekly or once a month. Make a list of all of the tasks around the house that you can do well and also ask your parents for feedback to make sure you will be offering top notch work. House work requires paying close attention to detail and knowing what chemicals you can use on each type of surface. Going through each area of the house with your parents and reviewing what cleaner you can use in each room and on each surface will help you be prepared when presenting your services to your prospective customers. Determine a rate and then start contacting friends, family and neighbors to start marketing your services.
9. Shoveling Snow
For busy professionals, having to shovel the driveway and clean off the car before leaving for work in the morning is definitely a hassle. Download a weather app to your phone or your parent’s phone and pay attention to when they are predicting snow. The day before it snows, go door to door and let people know that you are willing to shovel driveways and clean off cars the following morning. Find out what time your neighbor needs to leave in the morning and make sure you schedule enough time so that they aren’t waiting on you.
10. Online Surveys
If you enjoy spending time on the computer, then there are a couple sites that you can sign up and earn points by taking surveys. The points then turn into gift cards after you have earned a certain number. You get to pick what gift cards you get, so you can pick the ones to your favorite stores.
- SwagBucks. On this site you earn “bucks” by watching videos, doing searches and answering surveys. This is perfect to do when you’re watching TV. Since you also earn bucks when you do online searches, then simply doing research for a school project will help you wrack up the points as well. You can sign up here to get started.
- VIP Voice. This site is similar to SwagBucks in that you earn points and get gift cards in return. VIP Voice has mainly surveys that review products and services. If you don’t know anything about the products, your parents might be able to help you with the survey. You can sign up here to get started.
11. Odd Jobs for a Family Business
You should also be open to finding odd jobs to make extra money. One of the keys to finding jobs for 13 year olds is flexibility. If you have a family member that owns a small business, call and ask if there is something you may be able to help with. Again, they wouldn’t bring you on as an employee, but may give you cash for helping them out.
An example might be if you have an uncle who works on heating and air conditioners, there may be times where he needs to remove an old unit and install a new one. He may need somebody to ride along and help him lift out the old and drop in the new. This may be the perfect way to pick up some extra cash on a Saturday morning or over the summer. There is certainly no harm in asking, and many times small business owners need some help with odd jobs and they would be happy to find a dependable teenager to do the work.
12. Lemonade Stand
Setting up a lemonade stand is easy to do and you don’t need a lot of supplies. You just need a card table, chair, cups and lemonade. This is one job that can also be fun to do with friends. Partnering with a friend can help when you need to go make more lemonade or need a break from sitting out in front of your house.
Another place you could sell is at local sporting events. If you decide to go this route, then you might want to also sell bottled water. Purchasing a case of 24 bottles will cost you around $4 and then you can turn around and easily sell them for $1 each.
13. Car Wash
It should be easy to spot who needs this service the most! You can get started by purchasing a car wash kit and then start looking for dirty cars. If you don’t want to go door to door and you have a driveway of your own that someone could pull into, put out a sign in front of your house that you are doing a $5 car wash! It should only take 10 – 15 minutes to give a good exterior wash, so you can really pick up some extra money if you live in a place that has a fair amount of cars driving by.
How to Advertise Your Services
After you pick the service you want to provide, the next step is to advertise! There are a couple of easy ways to do this:
- Go door to door. Walk up and down your street (with parental permission of course) and knock on doors. Introduce yourself, tell them you are looking to make some extra money and present the service you are offering. This is the simplest and cheapest way to get started. The real key is, once you land the job you need to make sure you do great work. Don’t make people re-think their decision. As far as pay, they may offer you a certain amount or they may ask what you’d charge. Have a pay rate in mind that you can suggest, but also be open to negotiating. Sometimes you have to start on the lower end until you get more experience and then you can charge more for your services.
- Make Signs. See if your parents will help you make some signs. Many times local restaurants and public places will have bulletin boards where you can hang a piece of paper advertising your service. Print something out that is eye catching and informative. Another idea for a sign is to get a plastic yard sign for your house, similar to what you might see for a local election. Rather than “Vote Yes on Issue 2” your sign could say “Affordable Lawn Care – Call _____”. You can do this for any service you are providing.
- Asking Friends and Family. You may have your best luck by talking to family and close family friends who know you are responsible enough to provide the service you are advertising. Your parents can help you brainstorm on who might be the best person to ask first. Also, asking your parents to make a Facebook post can also be another great way to get the word out.
All of these ideas are very simple and get you well on your way to landing that first job. The last thing you will want to do before heading out is to read through this article about job interviews. While you won’t be going on a formal interview, you will need to present yourself well in order for someone to hire you. Following the tips in this article will ensure that you are prepared for talking to potential customers.
Final Thought on Jobs for 13 Year Olds
Finding someone to pay you for your work can sometimes be hard, but don’t lose hope! Keep working hard advertising your services and getting the word out. You will find someone to hire you eventually! Next year, you will have a number of different opportunities open to you for formal employment, but you may find that the jobs on the list you just read actually pay more once you have lots of customers. If you’re curious what jobs you will be eligible for next year, Click here to learn more about jobs for 14 year olds.