Online Jobs for Teenagers: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
By Stacy Garrels | April 25, 2021
Getting a job as a teenager is a challenge on its own. Many industries have age requirements or minimum ages for their employees. Even without these requirements, however, teenagers struggle to make money.
The good news is that with the rise of the Internet, and even in the light of 2020’s various difficulties, it’s become easier for teenagers to find work. Teens can take advantage of a wide variety of social media platforms or even existing companies to supplement the allowance or other income they might otherwise get. It’s just a matter of figuring out the best place to get started.
The 7 Best Online Jobs for Teens
Online jobs for teenagers are plentiful, so long as you know what kind of industries will take on younger employees. As you’re search for jobs, too, you’ll want to make sure that the industries you’re considering have your best interest at heart, meaning that they’re not going to underpay you or otherwise take advantage of your skills.
With that in mind, some of the best online jobs for teens include:
1. Working as an Influencer
The Internet is rife with influencers nowadays, but that doesn’t mean there’s not room for one more. Any teenager who wants to try and build a reputation for themselves online can do just that. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok make this easier than ever, too, with unique features that allow teens to reach broader audiences than they would on their own.
That said, any teen trying to become an influencer should always work with a legal guardian. Any company that reaches out to a teenager for an influencer partnership may try to take advantage of that influencer’s lack of experience in the field. Teens looking for a way to make money on social media, then, will need to address potential deals with all of the financial know-how of someone three times their age.
2. Creating a YouTube Channel
YouTube, like other websites, has its own types of influencers. Unlike influencers on Instagram and other sites, however, YouTube lets you make money playing video games. Sites like YouTube and its Amazon-equivalent, Twitch, let teenagers go live playing their favorite games and garnering audience attention. Interested parties can make extra money playing something as simple as “Among Us” or something as in-depth as “Dragon Age: Inquisition” (a game still making waves nearly seven years after its release).
YouTube videos help teens earn money in a few different ways. Interested teens can garner a significant-enough following to start monetizing their videos, if they so choose. With ads in place, teens can then earn money for every few their videos get. In a similar vein, video game YouTubers can arrange sponsorship deals with different manufacturers in their fields. Finally, YouTubers who are especially charismatic may have the opportunity to accept donations from their audience.
No matter what way teens choose to make money through YouTube, they can do something they love in exchange for extra cash. What kind of job can anyone that age enjoy more than that?
3. Data Entry for Beginners
Of the online jobs available to teens, data entry is going to be one of the most prolific. Data entry positions, for starters, don’t require much prior experience. Instead, teens looking for online jobs can apply to work with established companies and earn extra cash as well as the experience they need to move up in their chosen field.
Per usual, all teens interested in working in data entry will need to make sure that they’re within a specific company’s age requirement before applying. If you manage to get the job you apply for, though, you can expect to make money based on how many pages of date you’re able to submit to a client. In short, teens can control how much money they make and how often they work, given the flexibility of the data entry field.
4. Social Media Marketing
Who knows the Internet like a teenager these days? If you’re well-versed in memes, social outreach, and interpersonal connections, then you can make money online posting media for your favorite companies. Even if you’re just working on commission, you can connect with your different sites to establish a posting calendar and to share the content that you think will resonate with an audience of consumers your age.
5. Virtual Assistant
Are you good at staying organized? Do you like answering phones and emails? Do you have a color-coded Google Calendar? If you do, or if you think you’d enjoy building someone’s schedule for them, then you might enjoy work as a virtual assistant.
Working as a virtual assistant puts you at the beck and call of the higher-ups in a company. Your day is going to have a lot of structure as a result, even if you are working from home. Do note, though, that the companies you’re most interested in working in may have an age requirement listed on their applications. Most of the time, larger companies will only higher teenagers if they’re 16-years old or older. Do your research, then, before applying to your favorite companies, and you’ll be able to better connect with the people looking to hire a teen as a virtual assistant.
6. Freelance Writer
You can start writing at any age. It takes a certain knack, however, to transform your writing into something that makes you money. Freelance writers are writers who are able to work through writers’ block and meet their clients’ needs, even if the topics they’re prompted to write about are outside of their wheelhouses.
Teens can get work as freelance writers just as easily as anyone else. Most teens, however, may have an easier job of finding work as independent contractors. Teens can create a profile on social media platforms like Fiverr, Guru, and Upwork, and then reach out to the clients they believe may be the most interested in their work. There’s no need to commit to a large project – teens can instead take on long or short-form work, depending on their interests and the amount of extra cash they want to bring home.
Freelance writers can alternatively choose to work with a bullpen. Bullpen companies like to keep writers on tap and can assign work to teens at their leisure. While teens will have less control over the work they take on, they won’t have to network like they would independently. That trade-off can make it easier for younger writers to develop their portfolios, even if they don’t have a direct say over who they work with.
Freelance writing is not the same thing as freelance proofreader, even if there’s a lot of overlap between the two jobs. Teenagers who want to make money as proofreaders will need to display a talent for reading quickly and for eloquently improving other people’s content.
Once again, proofreaders can either work for a bullpen or independently. Sites like Upwork, Guru, and Fiverr all have a plethora of work available to the teens interested in pursuing it, however, making them some of the simplest sites to use for beginners who want to start developing experience. Anyone who chooses to work through these platforms should expect to make money via PayPal or another third-party platform, as the sites strive to ensure all of their users can safely manage client transactions.
When Should You Start Working Online?
Teenagers who want to make a little extra money can easily turn to the Internet for help. Determining when the best time to start working is, though, can be a trickier matter. There are two reasons for this: first, a teen’s proper age, and second, the work that’s available to younger folks.
For starters, consider your age or the age of the teenager who’s expressed interest in working. 13-year olds, for example, don’t necessarily need to be on the Internet in a working capacity. While these teenagers can take advantage of social media to kick off a career as an influencer, doing so often has more negative side effects than it does positive ones. Most of the time, teenagers this young will also need a legal guardian to help them manage their careers, whereas if they waited, they’d have more control over their career path.
Teenagers who are 16-years old and older, however, would already be entering the job market if there were traditional jobs available. Any parent who wants their child to work from home can encourage teenagers in this age group to forgo the summer jobs at Dairy Queen or in the world of retail in favor of online or freelance work.
At the end of the day, however, determining when the best time for a teenager to start work is will be up to that teen’s parents as well as the teen, themselves. If there are opportunities available to teenagers who want to kick off their careers earlier, and there’s a way for them to start working without compromising their high school education or mental health, then it’s never a bad idea to start growing their resume.
Tips and Tricks for Online Jobs
When you first get an online job, you can feel like you’re on the top of the world. After all, you’re making money online. You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas to get paid. That kind of excitement, however, can easily translate into overconfidence. Teenagers who aren’t prepared to tackle online work can find themselves rapidly overwhelmed by the expectations employers or clients have of them, not to mention the new standard that they’ll have to hold themselves to.
With that in mind, any teenager looking to make money online should keep the following tips in mind:
Don’t Get Cocky, Kid
Getting a new job, especially one that lets you make money online, is always exciting. You can’t let your confidence get ahead of you, though. If you have the opportunity, either as a freelancer or as an assistant with an established business, to connect with an older employee, do so. Learn about the people you’re working for or with! The more time you take to get a handle on your new work environment, the sooner you can translate your initial excitement into competency – and nothing helps you make money like competence.
Use Third-Party Payment Platforms
When you first start working online as a teen, you may have the option to share banking information with clients or employers who want to pay you. While sharing account information with an established employer is part of your job, don’t go sharing any sensitive information with individual clients or the like. Instead, if you want to get paid, make sure you have an account with a third-party platform. A PayPal account, for example, lets you get paid for your work in no time at all while also encrypting your personal data.
Play to Your Strengths
Even when you’re young, you know that there are things that you’re better at than others. If, for example, you love spending time around people, you’ll be better at a social career than you will be at a solitary one. Similarly, if math is your strong suit where writing is not, you’re not going to want to pursue a career that sees you writing thousands of words on a daily basis.
Don’t think, then, that you have to apply to every online job that crosses your path. Instead, think carefully about what you’re good at and what you might want to do in the future. If you’re able to work in your preferred field, you can translate that experience into different, better positions as you get older – even if those positions are still online!
Know Your Limits
Who doesn’t like making money? There’s a difference, though, between making money consistently and working yourself to the point of exhaustion. When you’re working online for the first time, you may be tempted to seize every opportunity that comes your way. If you’re young, though, you need to make sure that you’re not pushing yourself to the brink. Expand your resume, sure, but take breaks, too. Don’t work five jobs all at once if you’re having trouble sleeping, finishing your homework, or seeing your friends.
One of the most important lessons you can learn as a young person is how to balance your time. While the extra cash is great, knowing your limits will make it easier for you to keep working later down the line. If you’re not careful, you may end up burning out way too early in your career.
Supplement Your Income – Or Allowance – With Swagbucks
Teenagers looking to make money on the side don’t always have to get a job to do so. Instead, anyone interested in supplementing their income can sign up for a Swagbucks account. Swagbucks, like several other survey-taking platforms, rewards its users for the amount of time they spend online. Users are encourage to take surveys, play games, and watch videos in exchange for platform points. Users can then exchange those points for cash or gift cards through platforms like PayPal or even through their existing banks.
The online marketplace is a goldmine for teenagers looking to kick off their careers or to make money on the side. Start your side hustle today with help from Swagbucks.
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