How to Make Money as a Teenager without a Job

Ashwin Honawar

Updated on:

how to make money as a teenager without a job

All of us need money, don’t we? The same is true for teenagers. A few teenagers are fortunate enough to get lots of money from parents while others have to struggle to get cash. This depends on the overall household income of the teenager.

However, there’re millions of teenagers across the US and in fact, elsewhere in the world, that don’t really depend on anyone to give them money. Instead, they make their own money through various legit means. They don’t take jobs because in most countries around the world, there’re laws that prohibit underage persons, including teenagers below 13 years of age from working.

Therefore, you might wonder, how can a teenager make money without a job? Actually, there’re as many as 10 different ways. Each different way depends on your age, education and in some cases, your location. Before we start talking about these ways to make money as a teenager without a job, let’s understand FLSA and why you need to comply with that.

Understanding FLSA

For the uninitiated, FLSA stands for the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is a Federal act and has rules on all sorts of stuff ranging from minimum hourly wages to limitations and requirements for underage persons such as teenagers to work.

Here are some important laws of the FLSA that you need to understand before setting off to make money as a teenager.

1. Minimum Age for Employment: The FLSA sets the minimum age for employment in non-agricultural jobs at 14 years old. However, there are exceptions for certain types of work, such as agricultural employment, which may allow younger children to work under specific conditions.

2. Restrictions on Hazardous Work: The FLSA prohibits teenagers under the age of 18 from performing certain hazardous occupations or tasks that the Secretary of Labor has deemed dangerous. These include jobs involving operating heavy machinery, working with explosives, logging, mining, and other potentially hazardous activities.

3. Limits on Hours and Times of Work: Teenagers who are 14 and 15 years old have additional restrictions on the hours and times they can work. For example, during the school year, they may only work limited hours and cannot work during school hours. They also cannot work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (except during the summer when they can work until 9 p.m.).

4. Overtime Pay: Teenagers who are covered by the FLSA and work over 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.

5. Work Permits: Many states require teenagers under a certain age to obtain work permits or employment certificates before they can legally work. These permits typically require parental consent and may have additional requirements such as maintaining a minimum GPA in school.

It's important for both employers and teenagers to be aware of these regulations to ensure compliance with the law and the safety of young workers. Parents and guardians should also be familiar with the FLSA regulations to help ensure that their children's employment experiences are safe and legal.

If we look at the FLSA and its clauses carefully, teenagers can take only a few jobs.

FLSA Applies to All Teenagers

At the same time, it’s also important to understand that FLSA applies to all teenagers living in the US, without exception. The act also covers various activities that teenagers could perform to generate some sort of income.

In simple words, this means that even if you don’t find a job but have other ways to make money, it’s necessary to check whether the FLSA places any restrictions or limitations. Otherwise, whatever you do could be deemed illegal by law and you can face stiff penalties.

IRS Laws for Teenagers

Teenagers who make money, including without jobs can’t escape the taxman or taxwoman, if you please. The Internal Revenue Service deems that certain kinds of incomes of teenagers are also taxable and have to be paid directly by their employer after due deductions from their pay. If you’re doing something independently, it’s possible to pay income taxes directly to the IRS.

Teenagers who earn income are generally subject to federal income tax and, if applicable, state income tax. Whether they are liable to pay taxes to the IRS depends on various factors, including the amount of income they earn, their filing status, and whether they are claimed as dependents on someone else's tax return.

If a teenager earns income above a certain threshold, they are required to file a tax return and may owe taxes to the IRS. However, many teenagers who work part-time jobs may earn below the threshold and not owe any taxes or may qualify for tax credits or deductions that reduce their tax liability.

It's essential for teenagers who earn income to understand their tax obligations and consider consulting with a tax professional or using tax preparation software to ensure they comply with federal and state tax laws.

Additionally, employers are typically required to withhold federal income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax from employees' paychecks and remit those taxes to the appropriate government agencies.

Now that you’re aware of the FLSA and IRS laws related to the income of teenagers, let’s explore some ways and means by which you can make money without working.

Also Read: 30+ Countries With No Income Tax

How to make money as a teenager without a job?

One of the best ways to make money without working for teenagers is by finding certain tasks that you can easily complete from home. Broadly speaking, tasks that you can perform online- meaning on the Internet- are exempt from FLSA rules.

That’s because you’re working from home and hence, the question of hazards and physical labor, missing school and other such stuff doesn’t arise.

Here’re some ways to make money as a teenager without a job.

1. Blogger


If you’re passionate about something and have superb writing skills, become a blogger. Usually, all bloggers are independent and don’t report to an employer. That means you don’t need permits from the Department of Labor to work as a blogger.

Furthermore, there are no age limits: you can start blogging at any age, even if you’re a preteen. Create a wonderful blog site by investing a small amount of money in a good domain name and website hosting.

Write amazing blog posts and upload them on this blog site. If you’re successful, you could make anything from a few hundred to millions of Dollars from your blog. This is possible through Google AdSense and other resources such as paid or sponsored posts.

Also Read:

2. Teenage Model

Teenage Model

Teenage models generally don’t require permits. And even where it’s necessary, the ad agency or company enlisting you as their model will procure a work permit. Anyone can be a model, regardless of whether you’re 13 years old or 19 years old, as a teenager.

Models make a lot of money, depending on who hires their services. Generally, local businesses look for local models. If you’re a top grader at school or high school, a sports player or have some such achievements, you could become a model for certain local businesses.

Beauty salons and parlours also enlist teenage women as models to showcase their services such as hairstyling, manicure, pedicure and beauty treatments.

3. Vlogger


Vloggers are those who make superb videos and upload them on YouTube or some other online platform. If your videos become famous and you get a certain number of subscribers, it’s possible to subscribe to Google AdSense and make a lot of money.

As a vlogger, you can also promote merchandise for others or create your own to sell to your followers. Vlogging is quite simple if you know a topic well and can make fabulous videos that people would love to watch and share.

You don’t need an expensive camera or setup. Your mobile phone would generally be sufficient for vlogging if it has a good quality camera.

Also Read: A Guide to Make Money from YouTube Partner Program

4. Dog Walkers

Dog Walkers

Anyone above the age of 14 years can work as a dog walker. There are several apps such as Woof and Rover where you can enroll and get tasks for walking pet dogs in your area. Generally, most dog walkers take more than one canine on a round.

That means they can earn a lot of money with only one round. More if you can take many more dogs and do multiple rounds.

This is a hazard-free job as long as you know how to handle dogs and are willing to pick after them. Generally, senior citizens and busy folks require dog walkers and hire through such apps.

Also Read: How to Start a Pet Sitting Business

5. Bakery Assistants

Bakery Assistants

In some cases, you might need a permit from the Department of Labor to work as a bakery assistant. This isn’t really a job because you’re only going to be helping the bakery to decorate cakes and pastries, and arrange bread, biscuits and cookies for display and sale.

There are no hazards in this kind of work, though laws on working at bakeries in the US differ according to each state. You could enquire with the neighbourhood bakery and find out if they want your help and are willing to pay some money for that.

6. Mascots


Mascots are common across the US. Stores and businesses hire teenagers to wear costumes and perform outside their premises as a form of advertisement and to attract clients. You will generally find restaurants and supermarkets displaying such mascots outside their store. This can be the best summer job for teenagers.

All you need to do is wear that costume and perform some acts or hand out brochures to passersby. These are temporary tasks- for a day or two or usually over the weekend and during festival seasons. Playing mascots can help you earn some money.

Also Read: 21 Best Online Jobs and Side Hustles for Teens

7. Tutor


As a teenager, you might be good at one or more subjects taught at school or high school. If that’s the case, make some money by teaching junior students in your neighbourhood. This is a perfectly legit way for teenagers to make money without a job.

Nowadays, some teenagers tutor their students online, using software such as Zoom or even Google Meet, among others. You can become a tutor from your home. This is a hazard-free and risk-free task that anyone with superb knowledge of any school subject can do.

8. Gardening Assistant

Gardening Assistance

Almost everyone loves to have a superb garden. While some homeowners work on their gardens to bust stress and as a hobby, others hire professional gardeners. As a teenager who has green fingers, you too can work on gardens as a gardening assistant.

Let the people in your neighbourhood know that you’re available to work as a gardening assistant. Also, contact professional gardeners in your area. The tasks are very simple and you can make a decent amount of money per hour, working as a gardening assistant.

Also Read: How to Start a Landscaping Business?

9. Craftsperson


A craftsperson is someone who can make paintings, portraits, carvings and other such stuff. This kind of work requires a very high level of creativity. Therefore, use your creativity and make stuff that people would love to buy.

You can see such handmade stuff through Amazon, own marketplace on Etsy or through Facebook Marketplace. Usually, craftspersons get orders first and then create the stuff that a customer wants. However, be careful to ensure that the handmade stuff you create doesn’t get categorized as made with child labour.

10. Pinterest Virtual Assistant

Pinterest Virtual Assistance

Did you know you can also make money by helping others on Pinterest? Even if you're still in your teens, you can offer your services as a Pinterest Virtual Assistant. This means you could help businesses or bloggers by creating beautiful pins, writing descriptions, and managing their Pinterest accounts.

It's a cool way to use your creativity online, and the best part? You don't need to be an adult to start. This job lets you work from home, making it perfect for busy school schedules. Plus, it's a great way to earn some extra cash while doing something fun and creative.


Actually, you can come across a lot of ordinary tasks that aren’t hazardous or dangerous and those you could do outside school and college hours to make some money. It’s common nowadays for teenagers to find online tasks such as blogging and vlogging to make money.

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