The 11 Highest Paying Jobs for Teens

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If you are (or have) a teen who’s thinking about building an income stream, this post is for you!

I’ve previously written guides to building digital businesses and landing your dream job which may be relevant to you as well.

Enough small talk from me :). You can go ahead and click the video below or read the written version further down.

The Written Version:

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We don’t need to tell you that some teenagers have made a lot of money, but the richest have done so mainly because they became celebrities through music or acting, or even YouTube. Some teens have even made a small fortune as entrepreneurs.

But today we’re going to talk about what you might call normal jobs, things that the average team can do while working through the summer or doing part-time work as they study, jobs that you could do and make a bit of spending money. We’ll focus mainly on the USA as that’s where most of the English language articles on this subject have been written. But perhaps there might be similar jobs in other parts of the world that pay also as well.

Welcome to this episode of The Infographics Show: Highest-Paying Jobs for Teenagers.

Summer Jobs for Teens

Let’s start with summer jobs for teens. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these days only 40% of American teens take a summer job which is way down from the early 90s when it was 60%. Are American teens getting lazier? Or do they just have better ways of making a buck? That we don’t know. But we do know what jobs pay a decent wage.


Tutor. This could be a summer job, but it could also be a regular part-time job. You obviously must be talented to earn the big bucks. But if you can show some interest in tutoring and have a very good educational background, a young tutor can rake in $30 to $40 an hour. Even the average wage is 20 bucks an hour.

And that’s not bad at all.

It’s likely that 18-year-olds will get higher wages, but if you’re talented at a particular subject and you can help someone else, there’s no reason someone younger couldn’t earn some good money. You could also do this through websites such as Enroll or Samespeak teaching English, but the pay isn’t as good as sitting down with someone in your own private lesson.

Still, if you’re 16 or older, you can get up to $20 an hour tutoring online.

Working the Phones

What if you don’t have any kind of special academic talent? U-Haul says if you are 16, have a USB headset, and a decent internet connection, you can work for them as a seasonal center sales reservation agent. You’ll be helping customers on the phone from your house. You’ll start on 10 bucks an hour and be paid throughout your four-week training. You can also get bonuses that will drive the way.


Forbes tells us that you can start caddying at just 14 years old. It might help to be a golfer yourself, of course, but if caddies are in demand and you know a little bit about golf, maybe you could land this job if you are presentable and fairly fit.

We’re told that if you carry two bags around the course over 18 holes. You get around 120 bucks, and it usually takes about four hours to complete a round, but that’s 120 bucks for staying in shape. If you want, the course and watching a beautiful game could be much more, as you’ll be getting tips, and golfers on some courses are certainly not short on cash.

One New Jersey course offering a job online as we write this says “our caddies are mostly high school-aged boys and girls working at perhaps their first job. They live and go to school locally. Some are on local high school golf teams.” What a fun way to spend a summer


It was a job for the entrepreneurial teen of the past and it still is today. While some landscaping work requires a certain degree of skill and experience to be left alone doing it, teens will be allowed to learn on the job or can be hired to do the hard labor. The average wage when landscaping with a company for a teen is about $12.

But why not set up your own and start mowing all those lawns in the neighborhood? The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us the median wage for residential lawn mowing right now is $13.31. Forbes says it’s closer to $20. But you must know that you’ll be spending some cash on fuel and maintenance. You’ll need a mower and the folks in the neighborhood will have to trust you somewhat before they let you loose on their garden.

The American lawn is a much talked about topic these days with Scientific American asking in 2017, “Why do Americans place so much importance on lawn maintenance?” Well, the short answer is: lawns are all about status, and the bigger, the better if you want to be admired or envied.

Motors of America, your job is safe.


If taking care of grass isn’t your thing, why not take care of something with a pulse? Did you know that you can become a caregiver at just 16 years old?

You could just be hanging out with the aged, bringing them their food, or doing their errands. And for that, we’re told you’ll be getting around $10 an hour. Good old hard labor.


You can work on a construction site as a laborer as young as 16 years old, and you might get paid as much as $20 an hour.

Weed Trimmer

Or what about becoming a weed trimmer? We’re talking about marijuana, not pesky, unwanted weeds.

There are people online talking about doing this and how they made fast cash during the weed trimming season. It’s best if you get a job where you’re paid by the pound as those jobs pay more. You could also work through the season in places such as California and Las Vegas and earn about $13 an hour.

Fruit Picking

Then there are fruit picking summer jobs all over the United States. One writer talks about apple picking saying in the bumper year, when labor is short, growers pay up to $28 per bin, and they say experience workers can fill one bin per hour.


If all that sounds like too much hard work, you could always become a lifeguard. You can start this job when you are 15. You’ll probably need to have a background check, be able to meet all the physical requirements set by the American Lifeguard Association, and be certified by the American Red Cross in first aid.

This job usually pays about $9.25 an hour to start. And you might remember that it’s not all about sitting around the pool or at the waterfront. You could also be asked to pick up trash throughout the day and do other cleaning or maintenance jobs. You can earn more cash if you’re experienced, and you might get as much as $16 an hour. Float away.

Lifeguard on a Cruise Ship

What about being a lifeguard on a cruise ship and sailing the high seas? We must say that 18 is the minimum age for the jobs we looked at. But if you’re willing to get on board, you can travel and most of the money you make is safe.

One website writes these positions pay between $600 and $950 per week that’s between $9,600 to $15,200. In income in four months, you could also be a dishwasher or deckhand.

You really don’t need any experience for these jobs. You might work 12 hour days, seven days a week, and you might get homesick. But when you do get home after the summer, you’ll have cash in the bank.

Animal Caretaker

Taking care of animals. You can become a pet sitter or dog walker in the US as a teenager. You can either go through an agency or just set up by yourself. You can be as young as 14 for this job, but if you know the people you’re working for, perhaps they’ll allow you to do the pet duties at an even younger age.

You might need to check the United States Department of Labor website to see if your area requires that you have a certificate so you can work, but many young folks do this job.

The website PayScale tells us that dog walkers in the USA earn anything from $9.72 to $23.99 an hour. If you love animals what job could be better?

The Guardian in the UK says “dog walkers earn a fifth than the average UK salary but work less than half the average hours”. The newspaper also says “it can be hard work with a dog walker often doing 197 walks a month.” That’s a lot of walking. But imagine how good that is for your health. It’s like being paid to exercise.


This is one job available to most teens, at least if they’re reliable and can show they’re trustworthy and good with kids. It might help if you’ve done something such as the Red Cross safety class.

Forbes tells us babysitters can get an average of $13.44 per hour in the USA, and that’s not too bad for a teenager. A recent survey by Urbansitter, however, said that the average is a little on the low side. It said most families in the US now pay $16.43 cents an hour to watch over one kid. $18.86 per hour for two kids and $20.56 per hour for three kids.

Of course, it all depends on the neighborhood. You can imagine you get paid a good rate for taking care of little <axima Chan Zuckerberg


Blame the referee, but he’s only 12!

How about being a referee? You’ll probably be doing kids games, but there’s no shortage of them. Of course, you’ll need to know the sport inside out. But that’s not so unusual for some young sports fanatics. You’ll also likely have to take a course and get some certification, but that might just be a one day course.

The best thing, depending on where you work is, you can be as young as 12 or 14 in the USA. The wage all depends on the location and what teams are involved. Still, you can earn anything from $15 to $30 an hour as a young referee. It can be a tough job though, in 2018.

One report in the UK media talks about a 15-year-old referee, who during a game was subjected to abusive, intimidating, disrespectful, and very inappropriate language by the other team’s coach and training staff. That was an adult amateur game, so he could have been paid anywhere from $26 to $52.

For that game, according to numbers given by the mere newspaper, maybe the abuse was worth it.


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Could you help us add to this list? Tell us in the comments what job you had as a team that paid well or tell us which job you would take from this list.

Thanks for watching.

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I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.