Today, young learners are in many cases already earning their high school degrees online, playing games online, watching YouTube videos, and have a better mastery of social media than their adult counterparts. So, what then, makes parents or teachers think they wouldn’t be just as adept as grown-ups when it comes to earning money online?
In addition to these rather obvious points, many of the jobs teens are able to get “IRL” only offer them the ability to learn very basics skills, such as retail work, which teaches them how to operate a cash register, how to bag up food, or how to make a latte.
Are these the skills they’ll need to navigate the “real world” they’ll face in college or after graduating? Maybe in part, but in a world run by artificial intelligence, smart cars, and highly automated processes, should we be giving them better chances at learning more about these kinds of things?
Online jobs aren’t perfect by any means, but many of them involve the use of skills that kids will need to have full mastery of if they want to be successful later on, plus they give teens the flexible work schedules they need to work before or after school or on the weekend.
We’re not talking about being an influencer — we’re talking about real work that earns real money — and that also teaches real skills, not the least of which are time and project management, reading and writing skills, how to better communicate with superiors and colleagues, and much more.
Let’s have a look at some of today’s best online work opportunities for teens, what they offer, and how you can help your youngster get his or her foot through the digital door.
Set Up an Online Storefront
If you have a creative teen who likes to knit, crochet, sew, make candles, design clothes, or make adorable dog collars, then an online storefront might be the perfect option. Using a platform like Shopify or Etsy, you can quickly and easily set up your storefront and even showcase photos of your most recent wares.
What’s great about Etsy and sites like it is that shoppers can browse the entire site for what they want, and if your store’s description makes use of one of the words they’ve searched, your it will pop up in their results.
By offering a variety of colors and styles, your teen will be more likely to be successful, but it is also important to be inclusive of both larger and smaller sizes so all consumers feel welcome, and therefore more likely to not only shop once, but twice, and also recommend your teen’s store to friends and family.
And, Etsy is also terrific for sellers because visitors to the site are prepared to pay a little more because they know that the items they will find there are all handmade, unique, made to order, and custom products. By setting up a storefront on a site like Etsy, once you start to rank for specific words people are using to search, and as long as your items are well crafted, your teen can make a lot more money than they would slinging beans at Starbucks.
And, the added benefit is that they will learn to manage orders, emails, the time it takes them to fulfill orders, and how to best engage customers for better odds at return customers. It’s not something that will work overnight, but creating and maintaining an online storefront can be profoundly lucrative for a young person, and can even springboard them to their own successful brand — both on and offline.
Sell Online Services
Whether your teen is a quick typist, a great graphic designer, or even has the ability to do voice-over work, speak another language, operate a video camera, edit video, or create website templates, they may do very well by offering their services on a platform like Fiverr.
Since the early 2000s, Fiverr has made it possible for people all over the world to connect and swap services for cash across an almost endless spectrum of industries. There are poets, singers, performance artists, comedians, and translators on Fiverr, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When you set up a profile here, you’ll list everything you wish to offer potential customers, and the sky is the limit. While it’s true the platform does take a small cut of your earnings, if you’re halfway good at what you do and you deliver on time, you’ll garner terrific reviews and quickly be catapulted to the top of the rankings.
Unlike Etsy, it won’t take long for people to take notice of your teen on Fiverr. That’s because the platform marks your profile as new, and often, consumers are eager to try new profiles before anyone else gets to them. That’s because they know new providers can oftentimes be quite good, and if they like what they get in return for their money, your teen may have more work than they know what to do with.
More about Fivrr
Fiverr is a great online job for a web-savvy teen because it gives them a chance to do something they enjoy doing while also teaching them how to manage their time, save their money, and stay on top of projects in a manner that will serve them well in the business world later down the road.
Contrary to the site’s name, you don’t have to set up gigs for $5; you can sell your skills for basically as much as you want to in increments of five dollars. However, it may be smart for your teen to start small and build his or her presence up, then begin offering tiers of services later, when visitors to their profile can see how well rated they are by others who have already used them to provide a service.
In either case, Fiverr is a great jumping-off point for any entrepreneurial-minded teenager, and offers the opportunity to build exactly the kinds of skills they will need later in college and long after.
Become an Online Tutor
If your teen excels in math, science, language arts, history, or a foreign language, they may be a terrific tutor for younger students or even students their own age who are struggling with these subjects.
Online tutoring has become a huge industry since kids started attending school with greater frequency at the onset of coronavirus lockdowns across the nation. But even before that, platforms like Care.com have offered the ability to connect in-person and online tutors to families with students who need them.
Your teen can make anywhere from $15 to $25 or even more per hour as an online tutor, and the more students they have successfully worked with who have given them great reviews, the higher the price they can charge.
Becoming an online tutor will not only allow your child to better learn specific material by repeating it to other students, but it will also help them learn to organize their own schooling efforts and their time while also teaching them how to balance between helping others and attending to their own studies.
By tutoring just 10 hours each week, your teen could earn as much as $1000 in a single month — not too shabby for a 16-year-old!
Of course, there are other things online your teen can do for money, such as filling out online surveys, writing paid reviews, or watching videos for money. But if you’re looking for work that will earn them some spending money while also teaching them some life skills like work-life balance, how to save money, and how to gain confidence in their work product, the above options are some of your best bets in online jobs for teens.