For most teens, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in their part-time employment plans. Fortunately, just because you’re still in school doesn’t mean you can’t work remotely, and online jobs for teens are now more common than ever. There are many different online jobs that would work for teenagers, but we looked specifically for ones that would be most flexible for a student’s schedule, and have the lowest barrier to entry.
The Best Online Jobs for Teens:
- Tutor Online
- Transcribe Audio
- Take Surveys Online
- Sign Up for Money Making Apps
- Sell Stuff
- Become an Influencer
- Earn Scholarships
With many parents homeschooling their kids for the first time, there is a huge demand for tutors. Pick whatever subject or subjects you’re best at, and offer to tutor over Facetime or Zoom. You can post fliers in your neighborhood, have your parents put the word out to other parents, or post your services on Facebook.
If you don’t want to tutor in a specific school subject, you can also work as an English language tutor. Apps like NiceTalk (16+) pay you to video chat with people trying to learn English through conversation. You can log on whenever you want (as long as you can video chat) and take requests from students.
You may be assigned a random student or students could choose you from a list of available tutors. Your sole responsibility is to have conversations with students.
You get paid for each full minute you spend talking to your students. NiceTalk pays $10 per hour. The company only pays via PayPal. While the pay isn’t great, if you have a few extra hours to help a student learn English, it could be a fun way to earn some pizza cash.
If you’re a quick typer, you can easily earn some money transcribing audio files to text.
For those of you who speak a foreign language, there are higher-paying transcription jobs for translators as well.
Rev is one legitimate website for freelance transcription jobs. There is no age limit, and they pay a flat rate of one dollar per minute of audio transcribed.
Let’s do some math. The average talking speed is 100-130 words per minute, and the average typing speed is 40 words per minute. So if it takes you about 3 minutes to type one minute of audio, you’ll be making about $20 an hour. Not bad for a teen’s first job!
And the best part? The more you type, the faster you get. Not only will you start earning more money, but a fast typing speed is a great skill to list on your resume.
Taking Surveys Online
When I was in college, I taught venture capitalists how to use Youtube and Myspace. Companies need to be able to keep up with current trends, so they’ll pay you to tell them what’s in! Most surveys don’t take that long to complete, and you can take them from anywhere with your phone.
iPoll is one app that will pay you to hear your opinion. You have to be 17 or older to sign up.
Similar to Google Option Rewards, all you have to do is answer brief questions about products and services that you’re already using.
You can earn gift cards for PayPal, the Apple App Store, and Amazon for your participation.
If you’re under 17 (but over 14) you can sign up for LifePoints instead. Formerly known as MySurvey, LifePoints is a survey site that lets you earn points by taking surveys, tracking your experiences with a particular product in a “diary entry,” or testing products at home and then giving feedback.
Several online reviews note that it can be difficult to get a handle on how much a “point” is worth, as different surveys assign different values to points. For example, one survey may offer an exchange rate of 2,400 LifePoints for a $24 PayPal payment, while another might give you $5 in PayPal after you earn 5,500 LifePoints.
Sign up for Money Making Apps
You’d be surprised how many apps there are that will pay you just to know what you shop for and what videos you like.
Swagbucks offers rewards points for shopping online, browsing the web, answering surveys, and watching entertaining videos. All of this can be facilitated through the mobile app, and anyone over 13 can sign up.
You can redeem Swagbucks points for gift cards or get cash back to your PayPal account.
Swagbucks gives away more than 7,000 gift cards every day. They’ve paid out more than $410 million in rewards since the company was first founded back in 2008.
You can earn 1,000 SB points ($10 in value) if you sign up and make a qualifying purchase at a store featured in the Swagbucks shop.
You can also get paid for walking with the Sweatcoin app.
All you need to do is keep Sweatcoin running on the background of your phone at all times. The app will automatically track your steps. Every 1,000 steps rewards you with 0.95 Sweatcoins.
Sweatcoins can’t be withdrawn as cash. However, you can redeem them for goods and services. Some featured examples include athletic wear, audio books, headphones, and meditation.
More than 300 brands have partnered with Sweatcoin. Most of these goods and services are related to promoting a healthy lifestyle. You have to be 13 or older to sign up.
The third best money making app for teens is Slidejoy. This app adds advertisements to your phone’s lock screen.
Each time you check your phone, you’ll see a new ad or promotion.
Slide left to learn more information about the ad. Swipe up to view another one. Or slide right to access your home screen.
Slidejoy is only available for Android users, and you have to be at least 13 to participate.
You can cash out rewards via PayPal, or donate your earnings to one of Slidejoy’s charity programs.
Selling Your Stuff
You probably have stuff laying around that you could sell to earn some extra cash.
Here are some ideas:
- TV and Movie Memorabilia
- Sports Cards
- Video Games and Consoles
- Bicycles and Strollers
- Toys and Action Figures
- Old or Vintage Electronics
- Books or Box Sets
There are a couple different apps you can use, depending on what you’re selling.
The OfferUp app is perfect for selling your used stuff to people in your area. Think of this app as a hybrid between Craigslist and eBay.
You have to be at least 13 to sign up. Then, simply upload some pictures, a description, and set your price. Everything from appliances to clothing and cars is available on OfferUp.
If you want your listing to get more views, you can pay to promote it.
Historically, you had to meet up with buyers in-person to complete the transaction. But OfferUp recently added a shipping feature that facilitates sales nationwide.
You could also use OfferUp to buy items for cheap and then flip them to turn a profit.
Poshmark allows users (over the age of 13) to list their items on the website. Once you sign up for an account, snap a photo of the item you want to sell, include a description, and set a price. The app even lets you host a party so you and your friends can list like-items together. Poshmark supplies the box and postage for free! There’s no charge for listing your items, but once you sell them there is a $2.95 fee for items under $15 and a 20% fee on items over $15.
Become an Influencer
Before you scoff, do you know how much money influencers can make? It’s a legitimate career choice now. If you want to become an influencer, you have a couple of different options.
Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube is one of the heavy weights for making money. Simply start a channel, upload videos, and try to get as many video views as possible.
This strategy will take some time, and you’ll have to build up your personal brand so you can increase your subscriber base. There are 5 ways to make money from YouTube, and each has specific eligibility requirements:
- Channel memberships
- Super chat and super stickers
- YouTube Premium
If you think this would be a good option for you, check out this post on How to Make Money on Youtube.
Become an Instagram Influencer
If you decide to start a YouTube channel, you may want to use Instagram as part of your strategy. But you can also earn money on Instagram alone.
The key is followers: If you get enough followers, you can become a brand ambassador or affiliate partner with companies. Some programs pay a one-time fee per referral, or others are structured as ongoing revenue for the lifetime of your contract.
But the most common way they’ll pay you? Free stuff. It takes a lot of time and followers to actually start making money. When I first hit 100,000 followers on Instagram, the ‘offers’ I got were ridiculous.
So if you want to earn a legitimate income, you’ll have to get even bigger. Or you can forget about selling other people’s stuff, and focus on creating and marketing your own products through your channel. That’s the strategy I’ve gone with. (If you want to see what I mean, check out my instagram.)
Start a Twitch Account
Twitch pays you for playing video games. Yes parents, that’s a real job now. More specifically, you get paid if enough people want to watch you play games.
Twitch players stream video of themselves playing games, and those who watch them donate money directly, purchase subscriptions, or watch ads.
A player with one of the biggest followings, Richard “Tyler” Blevins, reportedly made $5.4 million in 2018.
If you want to make that kind of money, you have to build up a big audience, which isn’t easy. Learn more about how to get started from this post: How to Make Money on Twitch.
While this isn’t technically a ‘job’, if you need to earn money for college it’s a great way to spend your time. If you’re a high school student, you have a lot of scholarship resources available to you. They can be broken up into five areas:
- High school career centers
- Library and bookstore
- Scholarship search sites
- Ethnic organizations
- Friends and family
With these resources, you’ll be able to earn thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Here’s how:
Once you’ve looked at all the scholarships you can through the aforementioned resources, you can turn to different search engines and websites that can help you find scholarships.
Many of them even include features that allow you to search for specific criteria like:
- School-specific scholarships
- Amount of money earned
- GPA requirements
- Essay requirements
You can set up email alerts so that you are automatically notified when the sites find scholarships that fit your specific needs.
Here are a few suggestions for great sites to help you look for scholarships:
There are also many scholarships that are ethnicity-based, meaning that you’ll have to be a certain race or background in order to qualify for the scholarship.
A few suggestions:
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
- The United Negro College Fund
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Irish ancestry scholarships
- German ancestry scholarships
Of course, simply fitting the racial criteria for ethnicity-based scholarships isn’t enough. You’re going to have to knock the application out of the park (more on that later).
If you want to learn how to crush your scholarship applications, check out my post on How to Get Scholarships.
Start Earning Even More
We’ve gone over many options for jobs you can do online as a teenager. These are a great place to start, and you’ll be able to enjoy the freedom of having your own money.
But if you want to start earning at a higher level, it’s never too early to start a side hustle or small business. If you’re curious about earning more, take my earning potential quiz below. It’ll give you even more ideas on how you can take your skills and turn them into cash.