Everybody wants a little bit of pocket change, even teenagers in high school. Sometimes, it's impossible to commit to a traditional job while you have schoolwork, sports, and other extracurricular activities to worry about. That is where these side hustles come in.
Job 1: Baby-Sitting/Caretaking
This is one of the most common side hustles for teens to make money. When parents want to have a date night or they just need to get out of the house, they will need to hire somebody to watch their kids.
Best Customers: Young or Busy Parents
This is one of the most lucrative side hustles for teens to make money and it's easy to work around your schedule, since most people would need you on weekends or in the evening. They want to find people that won't ask for a boatload of money, making it one of the best side hustles for teens.
NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU ARE QUALIFIED
This is a great side hustle for teens, but all teenagers looking to start out should at least take a training course and know how to perform first-aid, and some states require further licensing for special cases (the children require special care, you are watching multiple children, etc.).
The more qualifications you have, the more jobs you can get.
Job 2: Lawn Mowing
This is one of the best side hustles for teens looking to make money in the Spring, Summer, and even Fall.
Everybody in the suburbs has lawns, and lawns need to be cut every few weeks by somebody; why not offer that service?
Best Customers: Older People, Disabled People, and People with Huge Lawns
When trying to find the best customers to reach out to for potential jobs, ask yourself "Who would need this service the most" that answer of course is people who do not have the time or even ability to do the job themselves.
Payout: $20 - $45 per Lawn
Where I grew up, no lawn was gonna be the same size, but most people will pay a lot of money for a well mowed-lawn regardless of whether it is a professional lawn care service or some teenagers.
When you are working side hustles, you want to do your best to find those giant lawns where the owner probably needs a hand. Most people that will offer you extra cash are gonna be rich, old, or both.
How to Elevate Your Business: Get a weed-whacker or rent/buy a lawn tractor
If your side hustle is really taking off, you could consider investing in a riding lawn mower. You will also need a truck or some sort of trailer to lug around that thing, but it is an incredible asset to have.
A more realistic way to add to your service is to offer to detail-trim the edges of the yard with a weed whacker for an extra 5 bucks
Important Note: Make Sure that You are Qualified to Use a Riding Mower
You should not use a Riding Lawn Mower if you are younger than 16 or have no past experience using one. Teenagers and Lawnmowers often don't mix well, so always practice caution!
Job 3: Simple Yard Work
Are you a teenager that knows how to dig holes, lay mulch, and do quick outdoor chores? Well, there are plenty of people with quick jobs that would rather pay some teenagers rather than an expensive landscaping business.
Best Customers: People with simple projects in mind
Most customers won't be people looking for a landscape architect or anything special like that. They will be looking for someone to do menial labor that is pretty simple but still hard labor.
- moving stuff from point A to point B (wood, mulch, rocks, etc.)
- pulling up weeds and raking leaves
- collecting dog poop/ garbage from lawns
- digging holes
Payout: $50-$100 per Job
I usually charged a flat rate because it is a waste of everyone's time to charge by the hour for something that the customer wants dealt with quickly.
Also, I would always negotiate with them ahead of time depending on how complex and strenuous the project was.
Note: Don't Over-Do It!
When I was 17, I was paid to get rid of a 15 foot tree that was leaning after a big storm. Looking back all these years later, I almost died that day. I dug it out with a shovel and pulled at it with some rope for the better part of an hour, when the tree finally fell down.
I dodged out of the way just before the biggest limb of that tree swooped down about an inch away from my head. I almost beheaded myself, final destination style, all for 100 bucks.
Always pursue the safest path to achieving a task, no matter how much extra cash you could make by rushing it. Look after yourself when injury or even death is a potential consequence.
How to Elevate your Business: Hire your buddies and bring your own equipment.
An easy way to take your side hustle to the next level is to get one or two of your friends and buy some good equipment (shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, etc.).
The more organized and efficient you are, the higher you can charge for your services. People want your results, not your time. If you can offer to complete the job quickly, they'll happily pay a high flat rate.
Job 4: Snow Shoveling (seasonal/regional)
Growing up in Ohio, this was my favorite winter-time side hustle as a high schooler, even if there was usually only two months where it really snowed. My brothers and I would grab our shovels and some road salt and drive all around town.
Main Customers: Old People, Disabled People, or People with Huge Driveways.
Just like with a lot of these side hustles, you are offering this service to people that can't do the whole job on their own. The real money was also in reaching out to your well-to-do friends who had giant driveways.
Note: Be generous and know when to offer discounts
We always offered a discount for elderly or poor people, sometimes doing it for free if the customer was a little old lady. If we were lucky, maybe she'd give us a cup of hot cocoa.
In reality, shoveling was more like our good deed for the day than a lucrative side hustle. We also offered a complimentary salting of their driveways and steps so ice wouldn't form. We did this to build a good reputation with the neighbors the next time we offered our services.
Payout: $10-$30 per driveway
We never charged hourly; it was always a flat rate. We found an hourly rate was a waste of everyones time since the jobs went so quickly with 2+ people shoveling. That flat rate was never more than $30 or less than $10, and the final price tag always depended on the size of the driveway.
How to Elevate Your Business: Buy a Snowblower
Also, you can charge a lot of extra cash if you have a snowblower that can do the job in a matter of minutes; people are paying you to clear their driveways as quickly as possible.
I have one brother that made $300 in one day by clearing driveways with his snowblower.
The thing paid for itself by the end of winter because he charged the same flat rate for a much quicker task, which led to more jobs and a higher payout.
Note: The Earlier You Start, The Better
If you can hit the houses before 8:00 am, most people will still be waking up and getting ready for their day. If you can offer to clear their driveway before they need to leave the house, they'll be willing to pay you for that.
Job 5: Power Washing
Power washing is one of those jobs that can make you a ton of money and the only real hurdle is purchasing the power washer. But once you get past the overhead of the power-washer, you're gonna be raking it in.
Best customers: Almost Anyone With a Dirty House or driveway
The beautiful part about power washing is that all home owners would love to have their walls and walkways cleaned. The best time to do it is in the spring and summer once all the snow is gone and reveals all that dirt and grime that has built up over the past months.
Payout: $40-$60 per house (always negotiate)
You want to get your foot in the door, so always be willing to hear lowball offers. However, you should walk away if it is clear that they won't listen to realistic offers.
Explain to them that Power washers are expensive, and you have to charge a certain amount in order to pay off the machine.
How to Elevate Your Business: Offer Extra Services
To really drive the demand (and price) up, you can offer to use your power washer to clean anything else around their house. You could spray down their back porch, their gutters, even their car.
Note: Power washers can cause property damage
Power Washers are extremely powerful, and can easily scrape off paint and leave ugly streaks and markings along surfaces.
Always start at a low pressure and work your way up, as you could end up being the one paying the customer if you damage their property.
Job 6: Tutor Younger Students
Are you a good student? have you passed classes that other students have a lot of trouble with? Well you should consider being a tutor and put those smarts to use!
Best customers: Classmates in a Tough Class You Aced
The best customers are gonna be younger classmates that are in a really tough class that you absolutely crushed. Students are looking for help all the time in tough classes like Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry, and a good tutor could be the difference between passing and failing that class. You can check some online learning platforms like Brighterly for more information.
Payout: $15-$20/ Session
I would avoid charging by the hour, but set a standard fee for a 30 minute tutoring session. That way, if you go over, you can ask them if they want to give you more money to extend the session.
How to Elevate Your Business: Spread the word on Social media.
Teenagers exist on social media and platforms like snapchat, twitter and TikTok are great ways to reach out to classmates. Also, don't be afraid to announce your services to anyone who will listen.
Note: Know what you are allowed to do (don't help them cheat)
Make sure you don't help classmates cheat or plagiarize, as that could put you in a ton of trouble with the school.
Reach out to your teachers and speak with them on how you should operate your service, so you know what is allowed and what isn't.
Job 7: Car Wash
This is a kind of "lemonade stand", meaning it is a job that is more suited to somebody younger who doesn't want that much liability or complexity to their job.
Best customers: Anyone with a Dirty Car
You could set up shop at the nearest parking lot (if the owner is ok with it), and flag down anybody in a car.
Payout: $5-$10/ Job
Even if you charge super low for a carwash, you would be surprised how quickly you can finish a job. If you can wash 10 cars in an hour, you and your friends just earned over $50!
How to Elevate Your Business: Make it a Fun, but Quick, Experience
Most people look at the car wash as a fun ride, so you should emulate that in your "business". You could do things like:
- Play music on a speaker
- Have funny costumes and enthusiastic sign spinners
- Use colorful soap and cool sponges
Note: Always Have Adult Supervision when working in public spaces.
It is an unfortunate fact that the world is not a safe place to let a kid loiter around in public. Always have an adult there to help you handle money and make sure everyone has a fun and safe experience.
Job 8: Help People Move
This has always been one of my easiest ways to make a little bit of money on the side. Being a stocky dude is a lot like owning a truck; everyone is always asking you to help them move.
Best customers: People moving in to a new place near you, College Students
Reach out to friends and family that are moving into a new place and ask them if they would pay you to help them move.
Columbus, Ohio is essentially a giant college town, which means a bunch of students are constantly moving in and out of the city.
I'm currently enrolled at OSU and a lot of my friends have made a ton of money helping other students move between semesters.
A lot of college students families live within 30-45 minutes of the campus. That means that if they are going back home for the summer. That makes it the best time to offer to help them move for a really lucrative payout.
Payout: $100-$150 Flat Rate (negotiate ahead of time)
How to Elevate Your Business: Bring Your Own Truck & Trailer and Promise Same Day Completion
People will offer you a much better rate if you can bring your own truck and even a trailer. Even if they have a truck or van of their own:
More Trucks = Less Trips = Less Time
That allows you to charge a higher flat rate and also frees up your day to take even more moving jobs if you want to.
Note: Always be careful when moving heavy things like furniture and appliances; think it through ahead of time.
Your longterm health is more important than $100-$200. Everyone who helped people move has a horror story about a buddy who did too much and injured themselves.
Slipped discs, broken bones, and pulled muscles are very common for inexperienced movers. However strong you think you are, never carry large and cumbersome objects on your own.
I also highly recommend hiring at least one partner to help you; it makes your job safer and speeds up the moving process for the customer and allows you to charge more.
Also, consider bringing a shoulder dolly along for the job. That takes a ton of pressure off of you and your partner's backs and makes moving that washing machine a much easier and safer task.
Side Note: Put Yourself Out There and Jump at Opportunities
This is a bit of a tangent but it is an important thing to remember; never stop looking for ways to make money. Back in my high school and college years, I always was looking for side jobs.
I was a pretty stocky guy even in high school, so I made a lot of money helping people move, lugging around bags of mulch, and other manual labor on top of my actual job at the grocery store.
At one point, I was making more money volunteering for side jobs than I was making at my actual job. It was all because I was constantly asking friends and family if they had some manual labor or side jobs for me.
Interestingly enough, that is how I got started at Entreresource; doing side jobs landscaping for Nate in the spring and summer. One day, he asked if I would be interested in being his full time assistant and I jumped at the opportunity.
I've been here ever since and I am absolutely loving every day. I would not be here if I was afraid to take any job that came my way.
I'm still figuring out my career, but I know this: if you want to succeed in anything...
don't be afraid to bet on yourself and jump at every opportunity you get!