In the United States, minors can work as young as 14. In a tough economy, though, finding work can be more difficult than being legally able to work. A teenager will need to be innovative in his approach and willing to take less desirable jobs. Good ways for minors to make money include babysitting, mowing lawns and designing websites.
Watching other people's kids is time-honored way to make easy money. Most parents prefer to have someone they know babysit their children, even if they are a minor themselves. Spread the word in your neighborhoodthat you are looking for babysitting gigs, and enlist the help of your parents and friends in marketing your services.
Movie Theater Ticket Seller
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Get a job as a ticket seller or an attendant who takes the tickets at your local movie theater. This easy job also comes with the benefit of free movies on your nights off.
Grocery stores are usually open to hiring teenagers as baggers. You only have to learn how to pack bags and help customers in need to their cars. An advantage is that you can often learn the elements of other jobs as well, and get the inside track to getting a summer job.
Lawn Mower and Snow Shoveler
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If you enjoy working outdoors and have access to a decent lawnmower, hire yourself out to mow people's lawns. While not necessarily the "easiest" of jobs, if you have two or three lawns to mow every weekend in the warm weather, you may be able to earn yourself decent spending money. If it snows in your area in the wintertime, you may want to consider earning money by shoveling walkways and driveways, especially if you have access to a snowblower. Again, it's not a physically "easy" job, but it can be an easy source of money when it snows.
Work for Family
If your parents or extended family have their own business, ask if they will hire you to do tasks like post office trips or coffee runs. You possibly can get a job working for a relative that would otherwise take many years of experience to acquire. Working for family comes with its perks. You can be yourself and getting fired is usually less of a worry.
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Working with computer programs is easy and natural for many kids. If you can design a good website, not too many people are going to care about your age. You also can work cheaper than most designers who need to pay the rent or mortgage. Learn a standard design program such as Dreamweaver or CoffeeCup HTML editor. Create a flyer and pass it out to houses in your neighborhood. Post a description of your services on online job boards.
If math and science come easily to you, work as a tutor. Undercut professional tutoring companies that charge $30 or $40 or more per hour. See if you can be put on a tutor referral list at your high school. Make flyers and post them at schools and coffee shops.