Getting an interesting and well-paid job at 13 may be more difficult than when you’re a bit older. And yet, even if it’s just a very simple job, it gives you a valuable life lesson and lets you learn more about money. That’s enough to move you way ahead of those who haven’t even tried it.
What kinds of jobs are allowed for 13-year-olds?
While you can’t get a full-time job at a restaurant or hotel (this is typically allowed since 16 years old), you still have several options to choose from. For instance, the law allows you to work in the sale and delivery of periodicals, babysitting, gardening or care of lawns, door-to-door selling and delivery, as well as at non-hazardous agricultural job.
And also, in case you dream about becoming an actor, you can be sure you don’t have any restrictions from the legal point of view: this career can be started just at any age.
What is more important is that the laws concerning child labor vary from state to state. Try googling the name of your state and “child labor laws.” If you feel you need extensive knowledge of the subject, you may check the most recent documents from the U.S. Labor Department.
Check your schedule
Before you even start considering any job, check your schedule. Is working realistic? If you’re up to your neck with schoolwork and, in addition to it, take part in extracurricular activities, this will be an obstacle for finding a job.
The good news is that summer jobs will be still available to you as at this time of year you’re not likely to be busy with schoolwork.
Attic or garage cleaning
Even if your schedule is too busy for a real job, you may earn some cash offering one-time help. Your neighbors, like most other people, probably have tons of junk in their attics or garages. You may provide help with cleaning these places for them. The task will be done in three steps:
- throw away everything the customer doesn’t need any more (if there are a lot of things that can be sold, you may offer running a garage sale for your neighbor later)
- pack nicely the things your customer still needs
- dust and clean the attic or garage.
Start by offering dog walking services to neighbors and friends. You may be surprised to learn that many people are looking for someone to provide their pets with the daily exercise that’s essential for their health. You’ll enjoy some fresh air, too!
Most families nowadays are too busy to care for their lawns. Can you notice lawns that need mowing in your neighborhood? Their owners are your potential customers. You may team up with friends to get more clients or get help when you have too many customers.
Selling things for Christmas cash
If you’re a naturally creative person at heart, you can always make some money. Depending on what type of talent you possess or want to improve, you may choose personalized ornaments or jewelry, Christmas wreaths, gift baskets, bath bombs, soap, holiday e-books, etc. Also, you may earn cash in the same way before other important holidays, like Thanksgiving or Easter.
There’s no need to jump right into babysitting strangers’ kids. From the point of view of practice and resume-building, watching your neighbors’ or family friends’ kids is just as good. If you don’t feel confident enough, you may start by sitting with some adult supervision at first, and over time you’ll get used to this type of activity and be ready to sitting for pay.
While most people would hire you without any training, there is a way to make your per hour rate higher. You can enroll on the Red Cross babysitting classes or child care courses for kids aged 11 to 15. Here, you will learn to do things that you may need later in life (like cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid) and that literally can save a life. You don’t have to bother about how far from you the location is – these classes are available not only in person but online, too.
Babysitting classes for your age are also available in several other organizations. Google “babysitting course” and the name of your state or location.
Small online tasks
Taking part in surveys, providing referrals, web searches, shopping for cash back, and even playing games or listening to music – all these can bring you some cash if you sign in with such platforms as Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, Swagbucks, VIP Voices, etc.
They are open for 13-year-old kids (some with parental consent), but probably won’t give you a substantial amount of money (usually, just gift cards). Moreover, most projects don’t give you a chance to get the money at once as they have a waiting period of some type. So, don’t consider them as sources of quick cash. Also, there’re scams you need to watch out for.
If you’re confident in your style, grammar, and vocabulary, freelance article writing can be a decent choice. Starting at 13 years old, you may sign in at Helium, a system providing content for a variety of media platforms, from newspapers to e-commerce websites.
Other online writing platforms, like Hubpages, accept teens under the age of 18 only if they are ready to provide parental approval of their account. The drawback is that you probably will have to spend months building up your reputation to start earning something like decent money. So, this type of work is perhaps the best fit if you’re interested not only in cash but also in improving your writing skills.
Each year, thousands of tons of waste are recycled, including paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, aluminum, and steel. Depending on the way recycling waste is organized in your community, you may be able to earn some money by asking your friends to save bottles or cans for you.
While newspaper delivery used to be a trendy way to earn money for preteens, the situation has changed. As many newspapers have gone online, they’ve stopped selling print versions or at least reduced the number of editions.
Also, more papers rely on adult carriers with cars. However, it’s one of the few government-approved jobs for your age. To estimate your chances, try offering your help in the Circulation Departments of your local newspapers (look for a number or email on the paper’s website, in the phone book or in an issue of the paper).
Selling handmade crafts
You can always try turning your hobby into something that brings cash. In addition to Etsy, which is the best-known marketplace for artisans and craftspeople, you may list your items on ArtFire or take part in a local craft show. In 2017, the US creative industry was estimated at an astonishing $43.9 billion, which was 45% more than in 2011. This means that more and more customers are prepared to pay for handmade items. So, selling them or getting custom orders is getting easier.
Quality tutoring is in high demand, especially in summer. If you’re prepared to help kids catch up in the subjects with which they’re struggling, you may let your teachers know about it. They can help connect struggling students with your services. Also, you can post in local Facebook groups.
- youth sports referee
- window cleaning for neighbors – you’ll need micro-fiber cloths, a squeegee, a bucket, and a window cleaner. The pay rate is usually somewhere between $1 and $2 for each window
- washing cars or trucks for people who live in your neighborhood
- selling bottled water (you’ll need to buy the bottles and fill them with purified water)
- playing music at houses of worship and weddings
- trimming trees and hedges – you’ll need hedge clippers and a saw if there’re larger branches.