As a teenager, your life is probably already pretty busy. Between school, family obligations, sports and extracurriculars, hanging out with friends, and getting at least a few hours of sleep, it can seem like there’s no time in the day for anything else.
Teenagers these days are busier than ever before, but most (probably all) would still like to be earning some extra cash on the side. Whether you’re saving up for something as big as a car or as small as a new pair of shoes, a side hustle can get you closer to your goal.
Summer jobs are a teen classic, but most only last for a few short weeks or months each year.
This leaves many teens wondering what they can do during the school year that doesn’t take up too much of their time.
The good news is, if you’re a teen, there’s never been a better time to get started making some extra cash. The gig economy is booming, and young people are getting in on the action.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people aged 16-24 who were working or actively looking for work increased by 19.8% in 2020.
But there’s no need to worry if a part-time or summer job doesn’t work with your schedule: thanks to social media and a growing number of gig-based platforms, it’s never been easier to earn money flexibly, on your own schedule.
To help you get inspired, I’ve compiled a list of the six best side hustles for teenagers in 2022.
Best Side Hustles for Teens in 2022
The internet and social media have created hundreds of new ways to make extra cash on the side, and there’s never been a better time to start a side hustle as a teen.
The best side hustles for teens between 13 and 19 years of age, in 2022 are:
- Selling your artwork or crafts on Etsy or Redbubble
- Pet-sitting and babysitting
- Advertising your services through social media sites like Nextdoor and Facebook
- Participating in online surveys
- Selling your old (aka vintage) stuff on eBay or Poshmark
- Tutoring younger students
Sell Crafts On Etsy or Redbubble
Founded in 2005, Etsy has become the go-to site for anyone looking for unique gifts and works of art they can’t find anywhere else. More than 4.4 million artists and crafts makers are currently selling their work on Etsy, and if you’re artistically talented, why not join them?
Etsy sells an almost unlimited range of products, from wall hangings and downloadable digital art to jewelry, kitchen products, ceramics, furniture, clothing, themed gifts, and more.
You can even find people selling food products on Etsy, from customized birthday cookies to baking kits with instructions for making treats at home.
For the creative at heart, Etsy offers a platform to make money doing what you love. The best news is you only have to be age 13 or older to sell your creations on Etsy.
Another popular site for selling artwork and crafts is Redbubble, which has an age limit of 16 for sellers. However, Redbubble’s own website offers a way around their age restriction: simply have a parent or older sibling manage your account for you.
Babysit or Pet-Sit
Be honest with yourself: are you responsible, timely, and self-motivated? Do you enjoy spending time with children and/or animals? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then babysitting or pet-sitting could be a fun and rewarding way for you to earn some extra cash.
Although pet-sitting doesn’t generally come with additional requirements, many parents will want to hire a babysitter with CPR and/or basic first aid training.
This is an excellent investment, and many cities offer easy CPR training for free that you can complete in one or two weekends through local institutions like the fire department. Just Google search “CPR training in [insert town or city name],” and you’ll likely be surprised by how many options you find.
Once you feel qualified, it’s time to find your clients. Word of mouth and community connections can get you a long way, but if you’re looking to cast a wider net, you’ll need to advertise your services more broadly: I’ll discuss just how to do that in the next section.
Offer Your Services Through Nextdoor or Facebook
Babysitting and pet-sitting are two classic teen jobs, but if neither of them sounds like your cup of tea, there are a lot of other services that teens can turn into decent side hustles.
Services commonly offered by teens include:
- Lawn-mowing and general yard work
- Moving services
- Grocery shopping/errand running for elderly or disabled neighbors.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, you’ll need to advertise your services.
Nextdoor and Facebook are both great social media platforms to promote your side hustle and get started earning cash and building your reputation in your community.
Nextdoor has become notorious for being a site of squabbles and unnecessary arguments, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a force for good. You can use social media sites like Nextdoor or Facebook to advertise your services to your neighbors.
Nextdoor has the obvious natural advantage of connecting you specifically to your neighborhood or community. It’s completely free to sign up: simply enter an email address plus your full street address (so Nextdoor can connect you to the right neighborhood), and that’s it:
You’ll be able to see posts regarding community events, crime and safety, and other people in your area offering their services.
You can download Nextdoor as an app. This is recommended if you’re going to view Nextdoor on your phone because their website is annoyingly slow and clunky on mobile browsers without the app.
Once you have an account, you can choose how much information to provide about yourself, and you can create a post advertising whatever services you can provide.
Facebook may be less geographically focused, but you should check it out to see if your town or neighborhood has a group for advertising local services.
If you know exactly what you want to do – for example, babysitting – you can also look for Facebook groups specifically devoted to babysitting in your area.
For example, a search for “Bay Area babysitting” turned up more than 20 results for pages devoted to connecting babysitters with clients in the San Francisco Bay Area.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many Facebook groups popped up for young people to offer their services (paid or volunteer) to local seniors or immunocompromised people who didn’t want to risk a trip to the grocery store or need someone to drive them to the doctor.
Many of these groups are still active, and there are lots of people who post on Facebook when they’re looking to hire someone for odd jobs. In other words, checking to see if your community has a Facebook presence can be an excellent way to find a side hustle.
One of the great things about this particular kind of side hustle is that there are no age limits – as long as you’re responsible and capable, you can offer your services to your neighbors and make some extra cash without needing to be over 18 years old.
Online Survey Sites
Who doesn’t want to get paid for their opinions? These days, knowing the likes and dislikes of the youngest generation of consumers is priceless for the companies and corporations that market their products to them.
In 2019 alone, U.S companies spent over $73 billion on market research. So, why shouldn’t you get in on the action?
There are numerous companies that allow you to complete market research surveys online and get paid for it. One such company is L&E Research, which conducts both online and in-person market research studies in 11 major cities around the U.S.
Simply go to their website, create a profile, and they’ll match you with market research surveys that you’re eligible for. Note: once you’ve been matched with a survey, you still have to apply and get accepted through the screening process – it’s not an automatic acceptance.
The downside with using online surveys as your side hustle is that many online survey providers (including L&E Research) require you to be at least 18 years of age to participate in paid surveys.
However, there is a growing number of online market research studies and surveys that are open for teens aged 16+.
One such website is Toluna, which only requires you to be 16 to participate. Simply sign up for a free account, fill in your profile, and Toluna will send you weekly surveys that you’re qualified for.
Most users receive between 10 and 15 surveys a week. Although users outside the U.S can also sign up, U.S users are more likely to be matched with a higher number of surveys.
Toluna also offers other ways for teens to make extra cash, including content creation (they call their participants “Toluna Influencers”), contests, and daily games.
Toluna pays all of its participants through PayPal, so you’ll need to make an account attached to a working bank account before you sign up with Toluna.
Another online survey site that’s open for teens under 18 is American Consumer Opinion. Founded all the way back in 1986 as a mail survey panel, it’s now one of the largest online survey sites, with over eight million users (called “panel members”) as of 2021.
It’s a safe and well-reviewed option for earning extra cash in exchange for your opinions on a variety of different products and topics.
Despite its name, American Consumer Opinion is open to users from all over the world. Signing up is completely free, and their age limit of 14+ makes American Consumer Opinion a great option for teens.
Once you’ve signed up and built a profile, American Consumer Opinion will send you around one survey a month based on your eligibility. Filling out a survey takes, on average, between 10-15 minutes.
You earn points for each survey completed, which accumulate in your member account and can only be cashed in at particular times.
Sell Your Old Stuff
Do you have a closet full of cool, vintage clothing that you don’t wear? Or maybe some toys or collectibles that you’ve outgrown?
You can turn your unique taste and collections into cash by selling your gently-used items online.
eBay is the classic site for selling pretty much anything you can think of, from cars and kitchen appliances to Lego sets and vintage sunglasses.
You do have to be 18 or older to sell on eBay according to their seller terms of service contract, but you could always have a parent or older sibling manage your account for you.
You can create an account easily and start listing your items. eBay charges two fees: an insertion fee when you first create the listing for the item you want to sell and a final value fee when your item is sold. Both of these fees vary based on the value of the item being sold.
The good news is you have zero insertion fees on the first 250 items you sell every month. If you’re selling your old clothing or collectibles on eBay as a side hustle, it’s unlikely that you’ll surpass 250 items anyway.
This means that the only fee charged will be a small final value fee.
Although you can sell clothing through eBay, sites like Poshmark are a particularly great option for selling clothing because they have a built-in reputation and a large customer base.
All you have to do is download Poshmark’s free app for Android, iPad, or iPhone, take a few pictures of any items of clothing you’re planning to sell, and upload them to your profile (which Poshmark calls your “closet”).
Interested buyers can search by keyword, so make sure you tag your clothes with as many applicable hashtags as possible.
When you make a sale, Poshmark takes care of everything. You can print a prepaid shipping label to send your clothes to their new home (all shipping goes through USPS priority mail).
All payments are guaranteed to protect both the buyers and the sellers, and the payment to the seller is not released until the buyer has confirmed that they’ve received their item in the expected condition.
Selling your old clothes, toys, or collectibles isn’t necessarily a sustainable side hustle, since you’ll eventually run out of stuff to sell. However, it’s a great way to earn some cash to put towards a particular event or purchase that you’ve been saving for.
Tutor Younger Students
Are you passionate about English literature? Gifted at memorizing and analyzing historical events? Or maybe you’re a math whiz?
An academic strength can be turned into a life-long career after graduation, but you can use your skills to earn money even before then. Tutoring is a great way to earn money on a flexible schedule in a way that benefits both you and your clients.
Check with your school to see if they allow students to hang fliers or post on the school’s social media page to advertise their tutoring services. This is the most direct way to find students in your area who are looking for a little extra help in a particular subject.
If not, no worries: there are plenty of social media and recruiting sites where you can advertise yourself as a tutor and easily find students. You can post on Nextdoor or Facebook, but there are also a few other options that you can check out as well.
The popularity of online lessons has skyrocketed in the past few years, and it’s easy to see why: you can earn money using your knowledge without ever leaving the comfort of your home. While many tutoring sites require their tutors to be at least 18 years old, there are a few exceptions.
One of these is the freelancing platform Fiverr, which allows anyone aged 13 and up to advertise their services.
There are ads on Fiverr for tutors in subjects ranging from geography, chemistry, and English to Excel, Python, and even religion.
Simply sign up (it’s free), make a profile that emphasizes your skills and qualifications (you can include things like SAT and other exam scores or even awards or academic recognitions you’ve earned), and set your hourly rate.
If you think that all sounds too good to be true, you’re not wrong: there are a lot of downsides with Fiverr that potential freelancers should know before they sign up.
First of all, Fiverr takes a whopping 20% of your earnings. In other words, if you earn $10, you’ll only receive $8.
Second, Fiverr is notorious for privileging buyers over sellers. Buyers can cancel an order and get a refund even after the service has been provided, and there’s nothing that the freelancer can do about it.
Considering all of this, if you want to make tutoring your side hustle, it’s probably a better idea to go through your school or your local networks like Nextdoor and Facebook.
With these platforms, you’ll be able to keep 100% of what you earn and have more control over your business.
Summary – Best Side Hustles For Teenagers in 2022
If you’re a teen looking to earn some cash on the side, you have a lot of options. If you’re creatively or artistically talented, selling your creations on Etsy or Redbubble is a great and rewarding side hustle.
Social media sites like Nextdoor and Facebook are great places to offer your services. If academics are where you shine, you can advertise your tutoring services.
If you’re an athlete or just generally physically strong, you can help people move or do heavy outdoor work. If you love children or pets, then babysitting and/or pet-sitting could be the gig for you.
If none of this sounds appealing, there are still other options. Most teens have a closet full of old clothing and other items they no longer use. Selling your gently-used and vintage items on Poshmark, eBay, or other sites like Letgo or Facebook Marketplace is a great way to earn money with very little effort involved.
To summarize, if you’re a teen, the internet has fostered a boom in the gig economy that’s making it easier than ever for you to find a side hustle and start earning money to put towards whatever you want. Good luck out there!