25 Summer Job Ideas for Teens

Welcome to Catalyst Teen Center’s top 25 ideas for teens who want to make some extra cash this summer!  While not every teen is a born entrepreneur, developing business skills is something schools traditionally do poorly and summers offer the best form of “learn by doing” environment.

If you are scared to fail, we get it.  Here are a few success tips.

You are broke now, so you got nowhere to go but up.
Every business will get 9 rejections for every 1 sale.  
Price is always negotiable, start high, then offer discounts.
Use social media/video to showcase your sick skills.
Use Canva to create some sweet flyers.
Use the NextDoor app to market your product/service.

And finally, I know this is painful but….

Get yourself a Facebook account so you can hit up ALL of your parents friends!  This is where the money is and where every adult on earth focuses their attention.  You can delete your account before school starts.  Your friends never have to know.

25 SUMMER JOB IDEAS FOR TEENS IN 2017

1. Lawn Care or Landscaping
Set up a list of clients and make a schedule for weekly or monthly maintenance. Post flyers around your neighborhood with your contact information and rates.

2. Pet-sitting
If you really love animals, this is a great opportunity! Make a profile on Rover.com (click on “become a sitter”) and download the app. Contact friends and family with pets directly and let them know you’re available. Advertise your services on Facebook (and ask your parents to share your post).

3. Flip Used Items from Amazon or eBay
Buy used items cheap from online, a thrift shop, or a garage sale and then refurbish and resell them. Look up craft or vendor fairs near you to sell your restored items. Create a Facebook page or Insta account to post pictures of the things you’re selling. Post your items online on Craigslist (watch out for creeps!), eBay (takes 10% of your profit), or Amazon (fees differ depending on category of product).  Or Etsy! (fees = around 7%)

4. Babysitting
Depending on how often you work and how much you do, babysitters can make anywhere from $10-15 per hour.  An older teen who can drive can work as a nanny and make closer to $20 per hour. Make an account on Care.com (click on “I want a care job”). Ask your mom to spread the word among her mom friends that you’re looking for work. Take a first aid or babysitting course!

5. Tutor Elementary-Age Kids
Help kids catch up or get ahead by tutoring them over the summer.  Advertise on Facebook and other social media, of course. But sometimes the best way to get this kind of work is to talk directly to people you know. 

After you have a client, make a plan.  Syllabus planning doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to happen.  Talk with the parents (and maybe the kid too) about what they want to accomplish by the end of the summer.  Once you know your goal, plan smaller milestones that move towards it. Work out a schedule.  Figure out how many times a week you’ll work and how long the sessions will be. Work out a rate. Decide whether you want to be paid by the hour or the session.  Most tutors can make $10/hr.

6. Clean Houses
Everyone’s kids are out of school for the summer, that means the house is a wreck.  Capitalize on the chaos and start a housecleaning business. Post flyers around your neighborhood and advertise on social media. Put together a cleaning kit of supplies you’ll need on the job (make sure you bring gloves). Establish an hourly rate.

7. Give 1-on-1 Lessons
Swim lessons, soccer lessons, piano lessons - whatever you’re good at.  Evaluate your skill set and what you have to offer other people. Type up a bio.  You need to convince other people that you have experience. Post on social media!  Use your newly-created bio and let people know where they can get qualified 1-on-1 help with the skill you offer. Come up with prices.  It may be helpful to offer the first lesson for free if they agree to purchase 3 or 4 lessons.

8. Photography
Give photo shoots for money!  Whether it’s a wedding, a graduation, senior pics, family pics - whatever - offer to shoot it. Create a portfolio.  CarbonMade is free and easy! Create a Facebook page. Consider investing in photo editing software, like Adobe Photoshop.

9. Market for Other People’s Businesses
Pass out flyers, canvas, or cold call.  Find out where a small business owner needs help marketing and do it. Contact small business owners your know or who are in your area and ask about potential marketing work.

10. Hire Yourself Out as an Organizer
Garages, messy desks, sheds, etc.  People likely have messes they can’t deal with anymore.  If you’re good at problem-solving and organization, offer to straighten things up for them. Look at Pinterest for organization hacks!

11. Design & Sell T-shirts or Jewelry
Again, make a Facebook page or create a vendor account on Etsy. Keep track of your cost of production so that you can price your items to make a profit.

12. Paint Keds or Converse
People LOVE these.  So if you’re artistic and you know a lot of people who aren’t, this is a great way to make money. Set up a portfolio or collection of potential designs. Use Google Forms or create a PDF form for customers to place orders.

13. Play Paid Gigs with Your Band

14. Throw Kids Birthday Parties
Birthday parties have become elaborate ordeals so you may want to get a couple people together for this business idea. Advertise your business around your neighborhood. Decide how much you want to take on.  Are you in charge of just the decorations and the games?  Or is the cake and party favors your responsibility too?

15. Become a Lifeguard
It pays well and you get a nice tan.

16. Be a Personal or Administrative Assistant
A lot of people who work from home often need administrative help - things like filing paperwork, scheduling meetings, and ordering supplies online. Put together a simple resume that includes an explanation of your work ethic (responsible and organized), personality (pays attention to details), and technical skills (do you know how to use Word and Excel, Outlook or Google calendars, or Slack?)

17. Website Designer
Using Wix, Wordpress or Squarespace makes it really easy to create websites and blogs, but not everybody has an eye for that kind of thing and plenty of people are looking for help creating a nice (non-clunky) website.

18. Organize Garage Sales
Offer to come to people’s houses to price and organize items in bins and on tables for the garage sale their putting on.

19. Consign Clothing
Name-brand old clothing can gather a good sum at consignment stores like Plato’s Closet or Just Between Us. Offer to take people’s used clothes off their hands and sell it to a consignment shop.

20. Create Pre-Made Meals
A lot of homes have two working parents, preparing meals everyday can be difficult.  This is an opportunity for you to help a family out AND make money.

Step 1: Make sure you actually know how to cook.  It’s not in everyone’s skillset so don’t build your income around it if it’s not your thing.
Step 2: Make a meal plan with your client.
Step 3: Make a spreadsheet of ingredients, costs, and final price.

21. Canvas for a Political Candidate
Canvassing is a great way to be politically active and earn 10 to 12 bucks an hour.  Also, even though it’s politics, don’t dress fancy, you won’t be giving speeches - you’ll be walking door to door asking if residents will vote for your candidate next election.  Running shoes are a safer bet. Think local, contact county representatives in your area to see if positions are available.

22. Story Editing
If you’re a strong writer and enjoy reading, story editing is a perfect fit. Be fluent on google docs.  That’s the best platform for shared documents with live-editing features.  Make sure you know how to use the suggesting feature to run edits.

23. Be Someone’s Golf Caddy
Not even joking, being a caddy can bring in $50-100 per game.

24. Graphic Design
Design flyers, business cards, brochures, and more for businesses seeking to promote themselves. The best way to start is with a design portfolio (CarbonMade). Consider investing in better design software, like Adobe Illustrator.  But if you don’t have the money for that yet, Canva is a great free resource to get you started.

25. Movie Editing
If you’re looking to pursue a career in film, or have film editing skill already, use your gifts and passions to generate income.

There you go!  Hope that helps!  Need additional help flushing out some of your ideas? Comment on this post and we will respond!