Teenage years shape us and you will remember them forever. By taking on some jobs during school terms and holidays, you could challenge yourself and improve both personally and professionally. Aside from earning money while pursuing your studies, those jobs will help you build your confidence and résumé and get the job you want in the future. However, before accepting any job offer, read up on the child labor laws and/or consult your parents or legal guardian, teachers, or career counselors. Thanks to their experience, they will be able to give valuable advice and highlight what you should watch out for when looking for places that hire at 14 and 15, online jobs for 14- and 15-year-olds, and many more. Read about the best jobs for young people not yet reached the legal age to do whatever that interests them.
How to make money as a 14- & 15-year-olds?
Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash
Jobs for 14- & 15-year-olds
Delivering newspapers is a traditional job for young people where the federal child labor laws don’t apply. While print newspapers are dying, some are still fighting for survival, which means work to be done. It’s a job you can easily carry out using your BMX, roller skates, skateboard, or scooter. If you don’t own any of the vehicles listed, get on a bus and explore the city by public transport.
Clothing companies, big fashion labels included, publish a few lookbooks, catalogs, leaflets and other types of publications annually and launch several campaigns every year. They need models to present their creations. Maybe a gig with Burberry or Dior won’t happen any time soon, but it’s worth signing up with model agencies. Contact a professional photographer and have some photos taken for your modeling portfolio. Discuss this opportunity with your parents, though.
You must have seen babies and toddlers in movies or TV shows, not just teenagers. If you love performing and your parents are okay with your plans, ask them to take you to auditions. The Goonies, the cult adventure film of the 80s telling the story of teenagers, turned 35 years in 2020 and some of the actors are still working in the entertainment industry. You can surely list movies, television, theatrical or TV productions in which children play some of the main characters. Acting jobs tend to pay a lot, not to mention the fame that may come with it if that attracts you.
You don’t have to participate in talent shows to achieve success as a singer or find a job as a singer. A lot of people like musicals. Thanks to Hamilton and other hits, the perception of them has also changed. If you wish to pursue a solo career or start a band (perhaps with your family), do that and try to confirm gigs at local events. The online freelancing platform Fiverr also welcomes teenagers over 13 to earn money with their voice. The site connects talents with clients from all over the world.
People must start young if they want to become professional musicians, especially if they imagine a career as members of a philharmonic orchestra. If you’re lucky enough to attend a school with a special focus on music education, take advantage of that. While some musical instruments cost a ton of money, a guitar, an electric keyboard or a simple drum set are affordable for most people. To get started as a DJ costs even less. To make some pocket money, you have the option to busk on the streets, audition for roles where playing an instrument is key, start releasing your music on SoundCloud and similar sites, or sell your songs on Fiverr, for example.
Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels
Another creative path to walk on is getting into photography and selling your work online. We’re sure you’ve seen hundreds of stock photos on the Internet while reading your favorite magazines. What do we call stock photos? For example, companies illustrate their written content with them. Luckily for you, cameras don’t cost a fortune anymore. Many smartphones take amazing photos (and videos) as well. Contact your local newspapers, magazines and even content agencies that might be interested in buying your pieces. If you turn 18, consider signing up for online platforms such as Byrd and Fotolia.
If you have something to say and are comfortable with speaking into a camera, vlogging is for you. You don’t have to buy a super-expensive video camera or editing program as a beginner. Your smartphone has all the functions you need to record and edit videos. As of June 2020, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook are still among the most popular platforms for vloggers. Teenagers under the age of 13 can only join the sites with parental permission. You need to amass a solid follower base to attract advertisers and sponsors.
YouTube still keeps its top place among online video-sharing platforms. Some famous vloggers have signed exclusive live-streaming contracts with YouTube, for example. If you think it’s still trendy to call yourself a YouTuber, give it a try: share your fitness videos, reviews, recipes, makeup tutorials, content on scientific subjects, etc. Anything you want!
It takes time to build a reputation on the site and to become eligible to join its Partner Program. You have to follow all the YouTube monetization policies, live in a country or region where the program is available, have more than 4,000 valid watch hours in the last 12 months and more than 1,000 subscribers, and a linked AdSense account.
Do you love video games? Do you spend hours playing with your friends and other players online? Maybe it’s time to build a team and attend tournaments. The best gamers earn around $20,000 a year or more in prize money. Until you reach the elite level, expect to make about $1,000-$5,000 a month. It depends on how talented you are, how often you sign up for tournaments, how many sponsors you’ve got, etc. In 2019, the British gamer Jaden Ashman won $1 million at the Fortnite World Cup. What’s your favorite game? Email the video game developers and ask them if they hire video game testers.
The beginning of blogging dates back to 1994, but it really took off in the early 2000s. While the golden age is long gone, hundreds of profit-oriented and non-profit organizations publish blogs for a variety of reasons. Starting your own blog should not cost anything: thousands of people read Medium, for example, where you either share your articles for free or join the Partner Program. Medium and Fiverr allow people as young as 13 to sign up. Check out which categories your content would fit in! Once you get a bit older (namely you turn 16), you’ll have more options. Freelancer’s age limit is 16.
No affinity for words but excelling at drawing? In addition to photographs, publishers buy illustrations to accompany their written content. Portfolio sites such as Behance.net let you showcase your work if you’re over 13. Not only companies but also journalists look for talents there. If you can’t wait for others to discover your visual skills, contact local companies and/or international websites to introduce yourself. Comic books and the blockbuster movies based on them attract millions of viewers, so VFX (visual effects) artists and illustrators will find plenty of job opportunities even from years from now. 14- and 15-year-olds are welcome to join the community of Fiverr to sell their art.
Read also: Top 10 Online Jobs To Work From Home
12. Etsy Shop Owner
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
If you are a creative type and love to make handmade creations, like jewelry, clothes, accessories or pottery, why not create your online Etsy shop and start selling your items worldwide? The platform allows minors between 13 to 18 years old to sign up: you need your parents’ permission and your account has to be supervised by them or your legal guardian. You determine the prices of your items depending on what you make, the materials used and the time spent to finish them.
13. Virtual Assistant
Are you good at clearly communicating your messages and arranging things? Fancy Hands welcomes 15-year-olds to work as virtual assistants. You must register and create a profile to be able to start browsing gigs right away. If you spend hours surfing on the Internet, use that time to make some pocket money instead. Your tasks will include booking flights, entering data, scheduling appointments, ordering office supplies, etc.
Read also: Top 10 Online Jobs To Work From Home
14. Data Entry Clerk
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people on the phone, you’re better suited to work as a data entry clerk. Many companies have to keep records of all kinds of things resulting in a number of databases created. They follow a rigorous method to store the data safely. To excel at this type of job, you must handle monotonous tasks well. You will sit in front of a computer, typing or copying numbers, texts, graphs, etc. You’ll find jobs on Fancy Hands as a 15-year-old.
15. Survey Taker
Teenagers usually have to be at least 16 years old to make money completing surveys online, but Hiving accepts applications from 15-year-olds. Provided that you have enough data and a strong Internet connection, you could share your opinion on different products and services while sitting on a bus, during a school break, or while waiting for a friend in your favorite bar. Once you’ve celebrated your 16th birthday, read up on Survey Junkie, MOBROG, LifePoints, Opinion Outpost, iSurveyWorld and other sites.
- 4 Legitimate Companies That Will Pay You to Take Surveys
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Did you know that one of the youngest children to earn a university degree is a 9-year-old? However, you don’t have to have a college or a university degree to become a tutor. If you get good grades on your tests and don’t mind studying with others, find a tutoring job. Visit your school career center and ask about opportunities.
Teaching and tutoring share a lot in common but most teachers need a certificate or a degree to get a job. If you are passionate about a subject and consider yourself an expert, try to sell your courses on Udemy. They don’t ask for proof of your pedagogy degree. There you have to create quality content, including videos and written texts. Minors between 13 and 18 can register on the site with parental permission.
18. Kitchen Assistant
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Fast-food restaurants such as Burger King, KFC, Dairy Queen, Culver’s and Chick-fil-A in select states and locations hire teenagers as young as 14 to support their team. Do some research to find out the places that hire at 14 in your hometown! As part of your job as a kitchen assistant, you ensure that the working area is clean, sort, store and distribute ingredients, prepare some food, and clean the dishes.
Handling money causes stress for some people, which is normal. If you think, you can handle it and enjoy interacting with customers, talk to the manager at your local McDonald’s and Publix. These places hire cashiers and crew members from the age of 14. Aside from main chains, local bookstores and department stores are worth a try. Check their shop windows for recruitment information or look for the managers!
20. Grocery Stocker & Bagger
With a proper work permit, Safeway and Kroger (and their affiliates) hire baggers and grocery stockers over the age of 14. You need some organizational skills to make sure all the products are placed on the right shelves. If you bag items for customers, great communication skills are essential. Go to your local Giant Eagle to ask them whether they are currently looking for shopping cart attendants. You must be 14 to get a job there.
21. Concession Stand Worker
If you want to work at fun places, head to the nearest AMC Theaters and Palace Entertainment that often employ team members as young as 14. If you love movies, sell popcorn and cold beverages at one of the AMC Theaters. Do you love theme parks? Seek employment at Palace Entertainment!Restaurant Host/ess
In some restaurants (and not only the fanciest ones), guests have to wait for a host/ess to get seated. They take them to their table and assure them that someone is coming soon to take their orders. Besides welcoming the guests, this job requires you to check on the guests regularly. If you find it easy to smile and keep a pleasant tone for hours, this is a job for you. Read job ads online or visit every local restaurant in town.
22. Gardening Assistant
In case you would rather spend your working hours outdoors, gardening assistant jobs await you. Many families dream of a beautiful garden. Maybe your neighbors, too! If your parents work as gardeners, ask them if they need any help. However, you are not allowed to do any dangerous tasks under any circumstances.
23. Floral Clerk
Publix also employs teenage floral clerks. Have they opened a store in your city as well? Go there during opening hours and express your interest in the job. If they don’t have a vacancy, visit the other flower shops in your neighborhood. During summer months when their full-time employees on vacation, they sure need extra help.
24. Graphic Designer
Think about your favorite brand! What do you associate with it? Do you remember its logo, slogan, colors, letters, etc.? Companies hire graphic designers to create a unique identity and convey their messages visually. Graphic designers choose various paths and work on all kinds of projects, ranging from book design to corporate identity. Maybe you’ll become the next Saul Bass and design the most memorable motion-picture title sequences and film posters of the 21st century. Why not upload your passion projects on Behance.net to show it to the world? Search for jobs for 15-year-olds and places that hire at 14 on Fiverr!
25. Household Assistant
Have you helped your parents or grandparents around the house a lot? Those hours will pay off as a household assistant giving relatives or family friends a hand when doing chores in the house. Do you think your parents would pay you as well? Ask them!
26. Pet Sitter
You don’t have to own a pet to work as a pet sitter. While some relevant experience comes in handy to convince pet parents to hire you, your neighbor and family members won’t ask you to show your résumé. If you choose an online site, such as PetSitter.com where the age limit is 13, you have to introduce yourself and list your services and qualifications.
- How to Find Your First Pet-Sitting Client in 5 Steps
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If you love humans more, get a babysitter job. You must have seen several movies that introduce a teenage babysitter who arrives at the house to look after six- and seven-year-olds when the parents have to run errands or go on date night. If no one in your social circle is hiring, register on Sitter.com and connect with families there. Almost anyone over 13 can sign up and start babysitting through the platform.
28. Ice Cream Scooper
Baskin-Robbins and Six Flags hire 14-year-olds to scoop ice cream. The former chain has opened nearly 3,000 stores in 46 U.S. states. It’s a physically demanding job as you will stand and hold a scooper for hours, so always do some exercise before work and stretch right after your shift. If you live in California or Florida, you will certainly find more than just a summer ice cream scooper job.
Looking at the rapid changes in the field of technology, the emergence of AI (artificial intelligence), AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), most companies need (freelance) programmers. You don’t have to attend an expensive school to learn to code, plenty of useful tutorials have been shared online. Start by working on websites, plugins and codes to build your portfolio. If something goes viral, you will get a message from companies, for sure. Once you turn 18, explore Upwork, Freelancer, Codester and other online sites freelance programmers use to supplement their income with a side hustle.
30. Other Seasonal Jobs
Most agricultural activities are seasonal jobs. Legally speaking, those differ from nonagricultural jobs. For example, if you work for your parents, you don’t have to follow the regulations. Some places can hire as young as 12-year-old children to do agricultural work. (More on this below.) What agricultural jobs can you get as a 14-year-old or 15-year-old? Nothing hazardous. Depending on the area you live in, you can think of strawberry or orange picking, grape harvesting, and other types of easy farm jobs.
Child Labor Laws in the USA
Photo by Julien Borean on Unsplash. It’s better to do thorough research on regulations before starting a job in your state.
The U.S. has quite a complicated system. Some issues are regulated on the state level, some on the federal level. We recommend you to be up-to-date about anything related to youth employment wherever you live in the USA. In case your family moves around a lot, from one state to another, always begin by taking a look at the legislation first.
Whether the federal or the state laws apply to you, there is usually a difference between people under the age of 16 and above. Regardless of your age, you can work freely without any age restrictions for companies owned by your parents, be employed as an actor or performer in motion pictures, theatrical, television or radio productions, and/or deliver newspapers to consumers. However, children under the age of 16 cannot be employed under hazardous circumstances, not even by their parents. You cannot do the following jobs: manufacturing, warehousing, loading or unloading trucks, janitorial or window washing, baking, public utilities, roofing, trucking, logging, and excavating.
In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 14 is the minimum age for work considering nonagricultural and agricultural jobs. Yet children under 14 may work on a farm outside school hours: 13-year-olds and 12-year-olds with written parental consent or where the minor’s parent is also employed, and children under 12 with parental consent on a farm where employees are exempt from the federal minimum wage provisions.
The FLSA states that children under 16 can be engaged in nonagricultural jobs:
- 8 hours daily, 40 hours weekly, and 6 days weekly during school holidays
- 3 hours daily (including Fridays) and 18 hours weekly during the terms
- from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (9 p.m. on June 1st, through Labor Day)
Maybe the money is better when covering night shifts, but you and your employer have to follow the rules and regulations if you are legally required to attend school. For you to start working and earning, you may need an Employment/Age Certificate issued. Employers offering jobs for 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds must be aware of that, too. However, it’s better to remind them.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but that’s not set in stone. The minimum wage is either lower or higher in some states. If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard about a movement pushing to increase the minimum wage to 15 dollars per hour in all states. Your goal is certainly to find a job that pays you relatively well. You don’t want to ask your parents to give you money but want to become more independent of them. According to the FLSA, all employees under 20 earn $4.25 per hour during their first 90 consecutive days of employment with an employer.
What companies hire 14-year-olds?
Some large chains employ teenagers as young as 14. If you’re into cinema, seek employment at AMC Theaters. If you don’t mind working in the hospitality and service industry, visit your local Baskin-Robbins, Bruster’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, or Taco Bell and look for the manager. Store and restaurant locations need to comply with different laws and regulations, which means you may not get hired in a Starbuck, for example, in your home state or city.
What is the minimum wage for a 14-year-old?
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. When it comes to state minimum wage rates, you can spot differences between states and cities. Under the FLSA, employees under the age of 20 must receive $4.25 per hour in their first 90 days of employment. Tipped employees receive less money per hour ($2.13 in cash), and that sum and their tips combined should reach the minimum wage. If the sum is smaller than that, the employer must make up the difference. Certain full-time students, student learners, apprentices and workers with disabilities may earn less than the minimum wage.
What companies hire 15-year-olds?
Aside from the companies mentioned above (Baskin-Robbins, Bruster’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, and Taco Bell), you have plenty of options to choose from: Culver’s, Boston Market, Palace Entertainment Dairy Queen, Giant Eagle, etc. With the exception of Boston Market, some of these places hire at 14 in some locations.
What is the minimum wage for a 15-year-old?
The same laws apply to 14- and 15-year-old students. Jobs for 15-year-olds must pay the required minimum wage. As of June 2020, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but the state minimum wages differ from state to state. (You may spot differences between cities.) As an employee under 20, you must earn $4.25 per hour in their first 90 days of your employment. If you’re a tipped employee, you must receive $2.13 in cash plus tips. If the cash wage of at least $2.13 and tips combined is less than the minimum wage, your employer must make up the difference.
As our long list of jobs for 15-year-olds and 14-year-olds proves, you have numerous opportunities to find an online or on-site job in fast-food restaurants, supermarkets, retail shops, amusement parks and similar environments for the summer or during the school term. But don’t dream of working in places like a factory or industrial sites. Also, always check what child labor laws you and your employers have to follow in your state. Being informed helps you negotiate with your employers and show them you know your rights and their obligations. Ask your parents and legal guardians for help if needed.