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23 ways for teens to make money – and may be adults too!

I can remember my teenage days well. I didn’t want to work, but I needed to make money to support my social life. So I umpired, cut grass, and bagged groceries. I didn’t particularly love any of the jobs, but in order to offset my spending, I needed to work.

The good news for teens today is there are a wide range of ways to make money – that weren’t around when I was a teenager. Most of them require a good work ethic, but there are a lot of new opportunities available.

Luckily for many teens, they may already be very skilled in certain areas that could easily translate into a nice side income for them. For example, I remember hearing about a teenage girl who designed Myspace backgrounds and was making more money than her parents. So potentially, a teenager who is willing to work hard could make considerably more than working traditional “jobs” like at McDonalds, cutting grass, bussing tables, etc. For even more, check out these 5 legit work-from-home job opportunities.

What type of teen are we talking about?

The seven year period defined as the “teenage years” sees a wide range of maturity levels. I remember moments where I showed high levels of maturity and moments that are better left unspoken. Interestingly, the frequency my immaturity didn’t necessarily decrease as I grew closer to 20 years old. My point in saying all this is that some of these jobs are going to require a teenager who is “on the ball”in terms of maturity. But if you have (or are) one, these could be much better alternatives to “would you like to supersize that?”

Jobs requiring moderate maturity level

1. Social Marketing Consultant

Many companies are looking for qualified candidates who know the ins and outs of Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter to help them with their social marketing efforts. Head over to a job site and search for “social media marketing”.

2. Sell stuff on eBay for Mom and Dad

I am sure mom and dad wouldn’t mind sharing some of the profits, if you sell some of their clutter for them.

3. Freelance Write

As they say on the web “content is king” and everyone wants it. Places like Elance or Odesk have thousands of different job openings available for freelance writers. If you are not in a rush for receiving compensation and know how to do keyword research, there is money to be made writing at Hubpages and Squidoo. For more on this method, check out How to make money with Hubpages.

4. Have a Garage Sale

If it is something too large or that won’t sell on eBay for some reason, you can always have an old-fashioned garage sale!

5. Write product reviews

There are places like Ciao, Epinions.com, ReviewStream.com that pay for product reviews – if you have an opinion and can type quickly this might be a good option.

6. Find odd-jobs on Craigslist

Some of these might be landscaping work, or similar odd-jobs, but it might be great summer time work for teens!

7. Bank Account Opening Bonuses

Not sustainable, but it’s a quick way to make money. ING Direct offers $25 for opening a new account and Virtual Bank offers $20. If you do some digging you will probably find many other companies offering cash bonuses for opening accounts.

8. Take online surveys

I am not particularly fond of the whole online survey thing since I had a bad experience using CashCrate. But there are lots of online survey sites and people who do it successfully. Here are a few if you want to investigate it further (ECN Research, Survey Adventure, Survey For Profit). I recommend proceeding with caution and definitely not paying anything to join.

9. Sell Digital Photos

Making money as a photographer has become easier over the last decade. There are now lots of sites looking to buy digital photos: Shutterstock.com, 123RF.com, Dreamstime.com, CreStock.com, Fotolia.com. As with most things, the better you are the more money you will make, but it can be nice passive income if you work at it.

10. Sell Plasma

Not sure how old you have to be, nor how painful it is, but if you are into that sort of thing, it can be a way to make some quick money.

11. Take part in medical studies

I have a couple friends who have almost done this exclusively as a job. They were basically human guinea pigs, but they made some decent cash at it. Sometimes they would have be at the medical facility for up to 48 hours, so your schedule may need to be flexible. Just google “medical studies” + your city to find some options.

12. Tutor or give lessons

Are you great at math, science, or kicking a field goal? Why not advertise your skills to those a few years younger than you? Many parents are willing to pay a teenager to tutor their child in an area that needs development.

13. Create Myspace backgrounds

or Twitter backgrounds for that matter. Just set up a simple site to sell your work, get a paypal “buy it now link” and you are off and running.

Jobs requiring a uniquely mature teenager

14. Create Websites

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me to build them a website since I started this one a couple years ago. I am not seeking the work and people are requesting it, so if you do a little legwork and pursue small business owners, there is a lot of work available. Teens might be great for this, because they would be able to work for less than some higher end website developers, which would put them in the price range that it seems many small businesses are looking to spend.

15. Blogging

Two years ago I wasn’t sure if there was money to be made blogging, but I have since found it to work out nicely. It isn’t something that will provide much income quickly, but if you stick at it, it can. I wrote extensively about how to make money from a blog a few months ago.

16. Design Web Logos

If you have a flair for design, it may be worth trying to make some money designing logos for small business or blogs.

17. Freebie Trading

I first heard about freebie trading from Leslie who made $28K last year doing it part time. It seems like it requires a certain kind of person, but clearly there is potential as a decent money maker.

18. Become a Census Taker

The 2010 census is underway and there may still be census taker positions available in your area. You may need to be 18 to apply.

19. Sell articles

Following in that same vein, you can sell articles you write at places like Constant-Content.com, ArticleSale.com, Helium.com.

20. Start an eBay business

Last year I experimented with starting an eBay business to see if there was money to be made. While profit margins can be thin selling on eBay, there are over a million eBay businesses, so it is a viable option.

21. Sell widgets on Etsy.com

If you create any kind of arts or crafts or widgets of any sort, you should check out Etsy.com.

22. Join a Focus Group

There are likely to be focus groups in your area that may be willing to hire teens. Google “focus group” and your city to get started.

23. Be a Mystery Shopper

This is the dream job isn’t it? You get to shop and get paid! The added bonus is that you secretly have recourse when you are treated poorly in the store.


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