17 Easy Ways for Teens To Make Money Online Fast
Long gone are the days when fast food fryers and movie theater ticket taker positions ala “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” ruled the teen job market. Today’s high schoolers have more options than minimum wage mall-bound gigs.
If your kiddo is on the hunt for a work-from-home afterschool job that helps them to learn about personal finance, bank accounts, and more, check out what you need to know to help them make money online!
Related: Top 10 Credit Card Tips for Teens
How a Teen Can Make Money Online
The workscape of America changed in 2020. Even though work-from-home jobs were very much a thing prior to the pandemic, the number of people who left their offices and other employment spaces for online careers jumped significantly during the past three years.
According to the Pew Research Center, 71 percent of American adults worked from home all or most of the time in October 2020. While this number fell to 59 percent by January of 2022 with some companies making employees return to the office, these stats show that more than half of all U.S. workers still have an online/remote employment arrangement.
Teens and young adults can also take advantage of this new remote work model by finding a work-from-home online job. Many of the online jobs adults hold are viable options for teenagers.
Sites such as Amazon, Etsy, and Fiverr make it possible for teens to earn extra cash through cyber gigs. Along with these options, your teen might also want to explore the possibility of becoming a full-time blogger or a part-time YouTube channel creator.
While more traditional side hustle gigs such as data entry and customer service jobs are options for teens, high school students can also start their own online businesses in anything from graphic design to tutoring.
From the most popular online jobs to quick gigs that can help your teen earn extra cash ASAP, here are ways that the under-college set can make money online!
Online Jobs for Teens
These jobs can help your teen to earn extra money without the need for a car. Instead of driving your kiddo to and from the local mall or lending your car to them for the day, these afterschool employment opportunities let your teen work a part-time job (and fill their bank account!) from the comfort of home.
Older teens (18 and over) can take advantage of the educational and experiential opportunities Amazon offers. While every job isn’t online, the mega e-tailer does offer plenty of virtual options. This may include entry-level customer service or similar types of positions.
If this isn’t your child’s style, they could help you to open an Amazon online store. Teens who love writing could also put their English classes to use and try to self-publish a book through Amazon!
2. Online Language Tutor
Does your teen speak a foreign language fluently? If they have an entrepreneurial spirit, the desire to educate others, and the time to set up their own online business, virtual language courses can help them to earn extra money at home on their own schedule. Before they jump into this online option, encourage your high school or young college student to visit sites such as Samespeak to learn more about the realities of this industry.
3. Starting a Podcast
At this point, it may seem like the podcast world is pretty much saturated. But that doesn’t mean your teen can’t try their hand, or voice, at this type of remote job. According to Edison Research, 73 percent of Americans 12 and over report listening to a podcast in the past month.
The popularity of this medium shows that podcasting is a viable way to make extra money. And bonus, it’s the perfect way for your outspoken teen to voice their opinions, help their community, or encourage other high school students to think critically and make positive changes in their lives.
4. Online SAT Tutor
Is your teen an Honors or AP student in chem, bio, physics, English, or another academic area? Online tutoring is an easy way for your child to fill their bank account or save for college. Not only can they make money with this part-time online gig, they can also add to their resume and help other high school students to succeed!
5. Create a YouTube Channel
Whether your teen has that star quality-ish stand-out personality that shines on social media sites, they have a skill or knowledge to teach, or they just enjoy video production, monetizing a YouTube channel is a side hustle that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit and leads to a passive income stream.
Even though the YouTube channel success stories your kiddo reads about online may make this job look easy, creating content that makes money is a serious challenge.
Simply talking at a camera and posting clips isn’t enough to score your teen a major payday. They’ll need to master the art of marketing, gather followers, and convince other companies to invest in them.
Quick Ways Teens Can Make Extra Money Online
While it could take months or years to gain enough followers to make podcasts or a YouTube channel successful, some cyber side hustles won’t take as much work. Make sure to verify any online quick payout option to avoid scams.
If your teen is looking for a part-time online job that pays out quickly or has mobile app options, they may want to check out some of these ideas.
6. Craigslist Sales
Does your teen have old toys, clothing, collectibles, or other items someone might want to buy? List these picks on Craigslist for some quick cash. One caveat — only allow your teen to try this option if you are willing to guide them through the process and supervise them during each step and you must follow the site’s age requirements.
Never allow your teen to meet a stranger for an in-person sales exchange. While your teen can take photos, set prices, and create wording for the post, you should own the account, monitor transactions, choose public spaces for sales meet-ups, and go on the sales exchanges.
7. Facebook Marketplace
Think of this is a social media-connected version of Craigslist. Like other online sales sites, parents need to closely monitor their teen’s use and supervise any in-person exchanges. What might seem like an honest, and awesome, offer on an item could turn into a predatory situation.
Internet predators troll these types of sites looking for naive sellers to either financially or physically take advantage of. This makes strict adult supervision an absolute. If your kiddo can’t abide by this rule, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are no-gos.
How can your teen get paid to play video games online? Swagbucks! Users can play video games, shop online, and browse the web. This site then allows members to earn cash (via PayPal) and free gift cards for retailers such as Walmart and Amazon (like Toluna) by taking online surveys.
Online Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree
Some online jobs require at least a high school diploma — and others may require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Even though your child may not have either degree yet, they can still find part-time work online with these ideas. Some of these jobs, like other online options to make good money, have strict age requirements.
Anyone who can use a computer and create content can blog! But this doesn’t mean that every blogger makes a profit. Like YouTube channel creation, blogging is hard work that takes time, energy, and commitment to monetize. After monetizing a blog, your teen will have a passive income stream that works for them.
Is your teen a crafty kiddo? Your artistic high school or college-aged student can turn their passion for the arts into their own Etsy small business and earn good money. Only teens 18 and up can create their own Etsy accounts.
But the site’s terms of service do allow children ages 13 to 17years of age to use Etsy — provided they have permission from their legal guardian and direct supervision by a parent or legal guardian. Parents/guardians are listed as the names on all Etsy shops for minors 13 through 17 years-old.
12. Humanatic Transcribing
Instead of a computer transcribing record phone calls, Humanatic hires real humans to listen and provide info. Users can log in to their account and work whenever they want. Even though this gig doesn’t require a degree, it’s not for your younger teen. Humanatic requires a PayPal account for payment.
13. Slice the Pie
This site is simple. Slice the Pie asks users to write real-world reviews — and then pays them via PayPal!
Starting an online Business as a Teen
Along with YouTube channel stardom and becoming an influencer on their very own blog, your teen can show off their entrepreneurial side and create their own small business online. The “how to make money online” options go well beyond companies that already exist.
14. Pet Sitting
Obviously your teen can’t pet sit online. But they can use social media accounts and their own website to gather new customers, hire other sitters, and run this potentially profitable type of business that makes real money. Your industrious teen can add extra services to their sitting business, such as dog walking or (if they’re artsy) pet photography!
If pet sitting isn’t your teen’s thing, they could also create their own online babysitting site. Think care.com for your local area. Again, babysitting is obviously an in-person job. But your teen can start their business using social media accounts and other Internet-based tools.
Is your teen a grammar master? An online proofreading business allows your teen to work when they want and from wherever they want. This type of business is perfect for older teens and college-aged students who have impeccable English writing skills.
Instead of general proofreading, encourage your teen to offer a specialized section of services. These could include college proofreading college essays, resumes, or job applications.
16. Virtual Assistant
This type of online money maker is more than just a cyber secretary job. Your teen can start their own virtual assistant business that caters to professionals in a specific field or offers extended services, such as research, writing, or even shopping!
A virtual assistant can also work as an online babysitter. This type of babysitter uses Zoom or another video chat mobile app to entertain and educate younger kiddos while their parents work in the next room at home.
Sites such as Fiverr and Upwork are marketplaces for freelancers. Instead of starting from scratch and trying to build up their clientele, your 18-year-old teen can use the power of these existing options to find customers and show off their writing, editing, graphic design, or even coding abilities.
When it comes down to it, your teen’s online money-making potential is only limited by their own creativity.
Now that you know more about how to make money online, does your teen need help prepping for their first job interview? We’ve got some of the Best Job Interview Tips for Teens!
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Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Erica is a mom and former preschool teacher with degrees in Art History and Applied Developmental Psychology (child development).