Finding jobs 14 year olds can do, or jobs for 15 year olds, can be really tough – with things like worker's permits, limited availability and no work experience standing between you and your dream job, getting to work before you’re 16 can seem impossible.
If you want to work before your sixteenth birthday, you're going to need a worker's permit and a flexible employer, or an entrepreneurial spirit. If you find yourself in the second group, here are ten teen jobs that will get you to work, fast.
This job is usually the first thing on everyone's list, which makes the job highly competitive. You can help yourself stand out by getting CPR certified, and building rapport with the real decision makers (the kids).
It's not just about dog walking, don't sell yourself (or your services) short. When it comes to pets, people will spend the big bucks to make sure their furry friends are happy. Expand your horizons to pet sitting and grooming. Everyone loves a one-stop-shop, and if they only have to have one number for baths, vacation and exercise, they'll be more likely to call.
You know the house in the neighborhood your parents are always complaining about? They let their weeds go crazy, never mow the lawn and all their flowers are dead? Yeah, knock on that door first. Do some research to figure out what the going rate for yard work is in your area, and then start knocking on doors. You'll want to ask your parents' permission to experiment on their yard first. You don't want any weed-whacking mistakes while you're building your clientele.
No matter what sport you play, you can probably find a job coaching, giving private lessons or refereeing. These jobs are always going to be after school hours, because you'll be working with school-age children. For lessons you can go to the local community centers and post flyers detailing your services. For coaching and refereeing, do some research on the local pee-wee sports organizations and contact the supervisors to find out about job opportunities.
Even if you couldn't clean your way out of a paper bag, lots of people will pay for help organizing their basements and attics. You can start by targeting the houses with for sale signs in the yard. They'll have a lot of boxes to pack, and a house that needs to stay clean.
If you're going to get into auto detailing, make sure you do lots of research. Call up some local detailers and offer to help for free so you can learn the trade. People who are willing to pay to have their vehicles detailed are going to be very particular about the job you do.
No matter what subject you're good at, someone needs help learning it. Talk to your parents' friends who have young children and see if their kids need any help with their school work. Make sure you don't over extend yourself, leave plenty of time to keep up with your own school work.
Selling low-cost stuff
This might sound silly, but there's a lot of money to be made selling things like candy. People will pay for convenience, your classmates included. With some modest start-up funds and a membership to your local wholesale club, you can bring goodies to your classmate with at 200-400% mark up. That snickers bar you paid 30 cents for will fetch $1 at lunch time. No lie.
Selling free stuff
Find things and sell them on craigslist. Explore the "free" section or buy things on the cheap around town, polish them up a little and sell them for twice or three times what you paid for them. Furniture seems to be the prime candidate, but really anything there's a market for will work just fine.
Many sports organizations and athletic clubs (golf courses, pools, tennis clubs) have concession stands. These are a prime candidate for quick cash. It will also get you real life cashier and customer service experience that will help bolster your chances of getting a better paying job down the road.
Jobs for teenagers are hard to come by, so if nothing on this list strikes your fancy, just be creative.