11 Easy Ways for Teens to Create an Income Online

There's a huge demand for easy online jobs for teens. In this list, we walk through things to consider when searching for a job online and safe options for making money on the web.
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  • Selling used or handmade things online can be a great source of income.
  • Content creation on vlogs, blogs, and streaming sites has many monetization options.
  • Many websites let you take surveys or watch videos to make money in your spare time.

Between SAT and ACT costs, application fees, and transport costs to visit schools, the college application process can cost hundreds of dollars. This is in addition to the daily costs of being a teenager, including spending money on clothes, gas, and activities with friends. It's no wonder many teens are looking for additional income.

With many jobs unavailable to teens under the age of 18 and school taking up a lot of their time, there's a huge demand for easy online jobs for teens. In this list, we walk through things to consider when searching for a job online and safe options for making money on the web.

How Old Do I Need to Be to Earn Money Online?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you must be at least 14 to work. Even then, restrictions are in place for how many hours employees under 16 can work per week. However, there are still many easy ways for teens to create an income online.

While it is possible to make money online without being employed by a company, each company sets its own policies. Most online jobs require you to either be older than 13 or older than 18 for more experienced jobs. While age restrictions can be frustrating, it's important to be honest about your age to avoid any potential legal trouble.

Is Earning Money Online Safe for Teens?

While many online money-making opportunities are safe, there are also people lying about online jobs for teens. Make sure not to give any personal information (e.g., social security number, address, bank account numbers) to a website you don't know or trust.

There are many places to check a website's reputation, like the Better Business Bureau, to see if a company is trustworthy. When in doubt, it's better to be cautious. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, teens can always ask a trusted adult whether an opportunity is legitimate.

How Can Teens Get Paid Online?

Many online money-making opportunities pay in gift cards. You can often choose which location your gift card goes to. However, some online opportunities pay via PayPal or another form of digital cash transfer, such as a direct bank deposit. Some may even mail a physical check directly to your house.

It can be difficult to manage income delivered by physical checks or a direct bank deposit without a checking account. Luckily, you can find many options for free checking accounts that you can open with little or no opening deposit.

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11 Easy Online Jobs for Teens

Join the Online Marketplace

One of the easiest ways for teens to create an income online is to sell things. Do you have clothes you're no longer wearing, old toys, or collectibles gathering dust? Platforms like eBay and Etsy let you sell items directly to online shoppers. You can easily create listings for things you already have or for new things you create.

Etsy is a great option for crafters, as it focuses on handmade goods. Fashion-focused users on sites like Poshmark may reinvest their profits, buying and reselling hidden gems from thrift stores and flea markets.

Take Online Surveys

With teens being an important marketing target, many companies are willing to pay for teens' time and opinions by taking surveys. Sites like Mechanical Turk and Swagbucks offer paid surveys and studies, paying out in either gift cards or cash deposits.

While the pay is relatively low, with many users making less than $2.00 an hour, the ease with which you can complete a survey or two during a break in the day can make it worthwhile. As such, survey-taking is a good side hustle for when you have a free moment.

Watch Ads

One easy online job for teens is watching ads. On websites like iRazoo and QuickRewards, companies offer points for watching short videos. These could be anything, including advertisements, trailers, or short videos on cooking demos and celebrity gossip. These points are then redeemable for gift cards, including Amazon and Visa cards, offering flexibility on how to use earnings.

Many of these websites also offer sign-up bonuses. This online job for teens is easy to pick up in your spare time, and watching ads could support weekly treats or a small shopping spree.

Leave Reviews

With companies trying to get their products noticed online, many offer money to people willing to try them and write reviews. Companies like Review Stream pay for reviews and offer bonuses for each user who finds your review helpful.

Some companies pay for honest feedback to help improve their products. Companies like UserTesting connect reviewers with companies looking for feedback. Reviewers can make $4-$10 to take short videos showing how they use the product. They can also sometimes participate in higher-paying live video discussions of their product opinions.

Tutor Online

One of the best online jobs for teens is tutoring online. Whether you choose subject matter tutoring for AP exams or for standardized tests like the SAT, this job often pays well. Through companies like Varsity Tutors, tutors can make about $16 an hour on average.

Students with high standardized test scores who are already in college should look into tutoring test prep companies with more selective hiring, such as PrepScholar, where they may earn a higher hourly pay. While you can do many tutoring positions part time, be aware that many of them require minimum weekly time commitments.

Proofread Online

For those who love to read and write and have a keen attention to detail, one easy way to create an income online is to proofread. In this position, you review all sorts of written materials, checking them for correct grammar, punctuation, and adherence to a style guide.

On websites like ProofreadingServices.com and EditFast, you can find proofreading opportunities. Depending on the website you work with, the pay can either exceed the minimum wage or be offered on a per-project basis.

Live Stream Video Games

Another easy online job for teens who love video games is streaming games. While many websites, including YouTube, allow live streaming, Twitch is the most popular.

After developing an audience, streamers can make money by monetizing their channel and sharing ad revenue, and by tips and paid subscriptions offered by their viewers. While top streamers can pull in millions of dollars, income can be inconsistent for new streamers. It can also be difficult to build a fanbase. Nonetheless, streaming allows people to make extra money through an already enjoyable hobby.

Create a Blog or Vlog

People love discussing strong opinions or reading about cool life experiences, so blogging or vlogging can also be a fun outlet to earn money. A blog can be a collection of your thoughts around a subject, reviews, or commentary published via a website like WordPress or Medium. A vlog is often the same content but in video format.

Once you've developed a following, it's possible to make money by selling ad space, creating sponsored content, or by creating premium content for subscribers via a website like Patreon. While a blog or vlog won't necessarily make money immediately, it can allow you to create a personal brand and eventually lead to a consistent income stream.

Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube is the go-to website for broadcasting video content. It makes for a great platform for all sorts of creators. Whether you enjoy making cooking videos, comedy sketches, or lets-play video game commentary videos, YouTube has a large audience of viewers. For those with a large enough viewership, the YouTube partner program allows creators to monetize their videos and share in ad revenue.

Other revenue sources on YouTube include sponsored content and paid premium content. Outside of the monetary rewards, a YouTube channel allows people looking to study film to build a portfolio.

Sell Stock Photos

For shutterbugs, one easy way for teens to create an income online is to sell stock photos. On platforms like Shutterstock and Getty Images, photographers can upload pictures to be licensed for use by other media companies. Every time that image is licensed for use, the photographer then receives a portion of that licensing fee.

While photos of current and important events often see a lot of traffic, one nice thing about selling stock photos is that even older photos can continue to provide income over time.

Become a Brand Ambassador

If you already have a large social media following — or are developing one — on a social media platform, becoming a brand ambassador can also provide extra income. Brand ambassadors feature sponsored products and put a friendly face on a brand.

Many companies reach out directly to social media users with a high presence, but you can also sign-up to seek opportunities through websites like creator.co. Brand ambassadors can expect free or discounted products, commissions on sales generated through their social media, and direct sponsorship of posts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Jobs for Teens

How can I get paid from TikTok?

There are two primary ways to get paid from TikTok. Users can either become brand ambassadors, creating sponsored content, or apply to earn money via the TikTok creator fund.

The creator fund is an earning program that rewards popular creators. They receive funding directly from TikTok. To be eligible, users must be over 18, have over 10,000 subscribers, and have at least 100,000 video views within the last 30 days. How much money each creator gets is determined based on video views and engagement.

How can a teenager make $1,000?

Many of these listed online opportunities, especially when paired with traditional part-time work, can generate a good revenue stream. However, the key to making any large lump sum is a good savings plan. Be sure to create a budget for how much of the money you will spend, what things you need to spend it on, and how much you will put into savings.

A savings account with a bank is a safe way to store money. Plus, you will passively make more money through interest. Remember, every little bit deposited brings you closer to your goal.

What jobs can I do at 13?

At 13, many of the jobs on this list are available with a parent or guardian's permission, including taking surveys, watching ads, and with an adult's help, joining the online marketplace. While laws prevent most jobs from hiring 13 year olds, you can always look for local, casual opportunities such as mowing lawns, dog walking, or babysitting.

Many types of content creation, such as streaming and vlogging, are also possible at 13. Although for some of these, it may not be possible to monetize them yet. But starting early lets you build an audience, potentially making it easier to earn money when you can make money off them.