Business Ideas

15 Highest Paying Jobs for 15-Year-Olds

There are plenty of jobs available for kids under 16, but most don’t pay very well – here are 15 of the highest paying jobs for 15-year-olds.

It can be difficult for 15-year-olds to find a job that pays well. By federal law, 14- and 15-year-olds are prohibited from working more than three hours a day on school days and eight hours per non-school day. Therefore, young teens are limited in how much money they can make after school.

Also, minimum wage laws vary from state to state. As per the federal minimum wage requirement, all workers in the United States are legally entitled to receive a minimum hourly wage of $7.25 or higher depending on regional regulations; some cities and states have set their own local rates as high as $15 per hour.

In other words, how much money you can make as a 15-year-old can depend on where you live. That said, there are ways for teenagers to earn above minimum wage. Here are some of the highest-paying jobs for 15-year-olds that pay more than the minimum wage.

15 Best Paying Jobs For 15-Year-Olds

Although the opportunities are limited for kids 15 and under due to labor restrictions, there are still many jobs that will allow young workers to gain experience. Here are 15 jobs and online gigs 15-year-olds can do that pay more than minimum wage.

1. 3D Modeler

girl sitting at a desk looking at a 3d-animation on a computer screen
  • Minimum age requirement: 15
  • Earning potential: $15 to $25 per hour
  • Flexibility: Part-time, freelance

3D modeling! What a cool job for a 15-year-old with creativity and computer skills. As a teenage 3D modeler, you can create three-dimensional models from two-dimensional drawings and concepts.

You could work on anything from advertisements to TV shows – the possibilities are endless.

And the best part?

This field is still relatively new, so there’s plenty of room for growth and innovation. So if you’ve got an eye for design and some serious digital chops, this could be the perfect gig for you.

And as technology continues to advance, so too will the demand for skilled 3D modelers. So not only is this a fun and fulfilling job now, but it’s also one with plenty of potential for the future.

2. Barista

  • Minimum age requirement: 13-15
  • Income: $12 to $15 per hour
  • Flexibility: Most coffee shops offer part-time and flexible schedules, which can be a great fit for teens.

A barista prepares coffee and espresso beverages for customers at a cafe or coffee shop. It’s a fun job that offers an excellent opportunity to showcase your creativity and customer service skills.

One of the best things about being a barista is that there are no age restrictions when it comes to using coffee equipment. This means that even if you’re just 14 or 15 years old, you can still operate all the machinery used in coffee preparation. From grinding beans to frothing milk, you’ll get hands-on experience with all aspects of making coffee.

3. Animator

  • Minimum age requirement: 15
  • Earning potential: $15 to $20 per hour
  • Flexibility: Part-time, freelance

If you’ve got a knack for animation and creativity, then this job is for you. As a teenage animator, you get to learn the latest computer animation software.

With a few clicks and keystrokes, bring characters to life and create compelling stories that captivate audiences of all ages. Whether you’re interested in 2D or 3D animation, there are endless opportunities for you to showcase your skills and make some serious cash.

As an animator, you’ll work with clients who want to bring their visions to life. You could be creating animated shorts for social media campaigns or designing animated characters for video games.

Whatever your specialty is, there’s always someone out there looking for talented animators like yourself. And since technology has made it easier than ever to learn the craft of animation, you don’t need years of schooling to get started.

4. Freelance Writer

up close image of a person working on a laptop
  • Minimum age requirement: 13-15
  • Earning potential: $10-$15 per hour
  • Flexibility: Work anytime, from anywhere

That’s right – even if you’re in high school, you can still make money as a freelance writer. This job is perfect for teens who love exploring new topics and sharing insights with others.

As an article writer, you can work with a diverse range of clients, crafting engaging content on a wide variety of subjects.

To excel in this role, you’ll need to be a skilled researcher, able to dive deep into any topic and extract key insights that will captivate your readers.

You’ll also need to be an excellent writer, capable of crafting compelling articles that are both informative and enjoyable to read. But don’t worry – with practice and dedication, anyone can develop their writing skills.

Of course, you’ll need to find clients who are willing to pay for your services, but once you do that, you’ll be in for an exciting job search journey.

You can advertise your services on the following freelance marketplaces:

5. YouTuber

  • Minimum age requirement: Not specific.
  • Earning potential: Depending on your skills
  • Flexibility: Work anytime, from anywhere

These days, thousands of teenagers are making money on YouTube. Whether it’s fashion, music, or even video games, you can create exciting content that will attract viewers from all over the world. You will be responsible for developing unique ideas for your videos and filming and editing them.

If you’re struggling to think of a topic for your YouTube channel, write a list of things you love to do and are good at. Creating content on YouTube takes a lot of work, so you must enjoy the subject to stay motivated. It also helps if you have a lot of knowledge about your subject. Here are five steps you need to know to make money on YouTube. If you can build a large audience and begin to monetize your channel, YouTube can become a great source of passive income.

6. Busser

  • Minimum age requirement: 14
  • Income: $12.49 per hour
  • Flexibility: Work around school and extracurricular

If you’re looking for a first job that pays well and provides a dynamic work environment, you may want to consider a job as a busser in a local restaurant.

Busser’s clear tables and clean dishes at restaurants or cafes. Although it may seem like menial work, the role of a busser is critical to ensuring customers have an enjoyable dining experience.

As a busser, you’ll gain valuable time management and teamwork skills. You’ll work alongside servers and kitchen staff in a fast-paced environment where every second counts. This job is perfect for teens who thrive in a busy atmosphere and want to hone their organizational skills.

7. Cashier

A young grocery store cashier standing with his arms folded smiling at the camera
  • Minimum age requirement: 15
  • Income: $13.11 per hour
  • Flexibility: Not specific

A job as a retail store cashier is perfect for anyone who wants to develop their customer service and money-handling skills.

Cashiers work on the front lines of retail stores. They are responsible for ringing up purchases, handling cash and credit card transactions, and providing customer service. You can find cashier positions in various places such as grocery stores, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and other food service work environments.

One of the best things about being a cashier is the flexibility of your schedule. Many employers offer part-time positions perfect for students who want to balance school with work, and many retail stores are open long hours, so you can work after school.

8. Data Entry Specialist

  • Minimum age requirement: 13 (with parental consent)
  • Earning potential: $10.30 per hour
  • Flexibility: Work around school and extracurricular

Data entry specialists are responsible for transferring information from one form to another, ensuring all the details are accurate and up-to-date.

You gain valuable experience working with different computer programs, and you can improve your typing speed and accuracy. This job is perfect for teens who are detail-oriented and enjoy working independently.  

9. Babysitter

teenager playing lego with a young girl while sitting on the floor
  • Minimum age requirement: 15
  • Income: $13-18 per hour
  • Flexibility: Can work on evenings and weekends

As a babysitter, you’re the primary caregiver for kids while their parents or guardians are away doing something else. The job allows you to set your own pay and schedule, giving you the flexibility to balance work with school and other activities.

Whether you’re watching kids at their home or yours, babysitting is a great way to gain experience in childcare while earning money. You’ll learn important skills like communication, problem-solving, and decision-making, all of which will serve you well in future jobs and endeavors.

10. Restaurant Host

  • Minimum age requirement: 14
  • Income: $11.83 an hour
  • Flexibility: Part-time job after school

Like the busser job, a restaurant host job is perfect for teens who are looking for their first job. As a host, you’ll be the first face customers see when they enter the door. Your job is to greet them with a smile and get them seated at their table. But that’s not all – you’ll also be responsible for ensuring each server has an equal number of tables to wait on throughout the night.

But being a restaurant host isn’t just about seating customers and counting tables. You’ll also need to be prepared to answer any questions they might have about the menu or the restaurant itself. Whether it’s dietary restrictions or recommendations for the best dish on the menu, you must be knowledgeable and friendly. Plus, you’ll also help ensure that the restaurant runs smoothly by monitoring customer wait times and restocking items as needed.

11. Grocery Bagger

  • Minimum age requirement: 14
  • Income: $14.58 per hour
  • Flexibility: Part-time job after school

This job is perfect for those who love to stay active and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment.

Grocery baggers help customers pack their purchases into bags and carry them out to their car if necessary. This might sound like an easy task, but it actually requires a lot of skill and attention to detail. You’ll need to ensure that each item is packed carefully so that nothing gets damaged during transport.

One of the best things about being a grocery bagger is that you get to meet people from all walks of life. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with customers and make their shopping experience more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll get to work as part of a team with other employees who share your passion for customer service.

12. Lifeguard

female lifeguard looking away from the camera
  • Minimum age requirement: 15
  • Income: $14.27 per hour
  • Flexibility: Part-time job during summer

A lifeguard’s main responsibility is to keep swimmers safe while they enjoy swimming at indoor pools, water parks, or the beach. Lifeguards must remain alert and vigilant at all times, ready to jump into action if someone needs help.

In addition to rescuing swimmers in distress, you may also have the opportunity to teach swimming lessons. This can be a great way to enjoy something you love while earning a good income.

Remember that federal law prohibits anyone under 15 from working as a lifeguard, so make sure you meet the age requirement before applying. You’ll also need to complete specific training before starting your job as a lifeguard, which will teach you important skills like CPR and first aid. So if you’re up for the challenge and want to earn money while enjoying the summer sun, consider becoming a lifeguard.

13. Photographer

  • Minimum age requirement: 13 (with parental consent)
  • Earning potential: $16-$20 per hour
  • Flexibility: Part-time job during summer and after school

If you love photography, you may have an opportunity to turn your hobby into a lucrative source of income. One way to do that is by uploading high-quality photos to stock photo websites like Shutterstock, where businesses needing high-quality images can purchase them.

By focusing on popular subjects that are in high demand for advertising purposes, you can increase your earnings as a teenage photographer. Whether capturing breathtaking landscapes or snapping candid shots of people in everyday situations, there is no limit to the possibilities when it comes to photography.

Just be sure to get parental consent before you start, as some platforms require photographers to be 15 or older.

14. Camp Counselor

  • Minimum age requirement: 15
  • Income: $14.27 per hour
  • Flexibility: Part-time job during the summer and school holidays

Camp counselors are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of young campers while also planning and leading exciting activities that will keep them engaged and entertained.

Whether you work at a day camp or overnight camp, you’ll have the opportunity to impact young people positively. You can share your skills and talents with them while learning new things yourself. And best of all, you’ll get paid to do something you love.

You’ll also be able to work alongside experienced leaders who can teach you valuable skills like leadership, communication, and teamwork.

15. Selling Your Creations on Etsy

  • Minimum age requirement: 13
  • Income: no limit
  • Flexibility: Work on your own schedule

If you enjoy creating handmade items, like jewelry, purses, or handmade accessories, you can open an online store on Etsy, the world’s largest marketplace for handcrafted and vintage goods. While you have to be 18 years of age to have an Etsy store under your name, Etsy does allow kids as young as 13 to use their platform, as long as they have the “appropriate permission and direct supervision of their parent or legal guardian who is the owner of the account.” Check our Etsy’s Minor Policy for more details.

Companies That Offer Jobs to 15-Year-Olds

Even though many states don’t allow teens to begin working until they are 16, the following employers re known to hire teenagers between the ages of 14 and 15:

  • AMC: Catch the latest movies and earn some money on the side by working as a ticket seller or cleaning crew member at one of their over 600 theaters.
  • Baskin-Robbins: Indulge your sweet tooth while earning cash at one of their 2,400 U.S. stores.
  • Publix: Join the team at one of their 1,300 locations and work as a cashier, floral clerk, or service desk clerk.
  • McDonald’s: As one of the largest fast-food chains in the country with 14,000 locations, they hire teens to work in their kitchens and at the front counter.
  • Safeway: Work as a cart runner or grocery bagger at one of their over 900 U.S. locations.
  • Burger King: Flip burgers and earn some dough by applying for custodial, cashier, or cook positions. Burger King has more than 7,000 U.S. locations.
  • Rita’s Italian Ice: Cool off during hot summer days while serving Italian ice and gelato at one of their over 500 U.S. locations. Jobs include cash handling and cleaning duties.
  • Dairy Queen: Get a taste of the fast food industry while scooping ice cream or cooking up some burgers at one of their 4,000 locations.
  • Arby’s: Roast beef sandwiches aren’t the only thing on offer – apply to be a cashier, cleaner, or food prep worker at one of their over 3,400 locations.
  • Pizza Hut: With your parent’s permission, you can work as a cashier or busser at one of the pizza chain’s 7,000 restaurants across the country.

FAQs

Are there online jobs for teens?

Yes, several of the jobs on our list (YouTuber, freelance writer, data entry) involve working online. Other ways for teens to make money online include paid survey websites, or social media management.

What is the minimum wage job for 14 and 15-year-olds?

The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 an hour, but job seekers should check their local state laws for the exact wage rate. However, all of the jobs on our list are above the minimum wage.

How much money can I make online as a teenager?

It’s hard to say exactly how much money you can make online as a teenager since many variables exist, such as job type, hours worked, and experience. However, most of the jobs we’ve listed can help teens earn between $10 and $20 an hour.

Are online jobs safe for teens?

Yes, all the jobs listed above are legitimate and are not scams. However, it’s always important to know the potential risks associated with online job opportunities.

How do I get paid for online jobs for teens?

Most online job opportunities for teens pay via direct deposit or check. Some companies may also offer payment through PayPal, Venmo, or other digital payment apps.

Final Thoughts

Making money as a teenager can be challenging, but by doing your research and keeping an open mind, you can find an array of side hustles that not only help you gain valuable experience but also provide an income. Whether it’s a part-time job or an online gig, you can start to gain work experience and begin preparing for your future career.

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