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How to earn money at a young age? Overview of activities for teenagers

Do you know how to earn money at a young age? What can teenagers do? Find out what are the benefits of starting work at a young age.

Nowadays, more and more teenagers want to have extra money that they could spend on their expenses. For this purpose, they most often decide to take up work. If you’re wondering how to make money at a young age, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we describe 8 ways for teenagers to earn money. You will also find some ideas for your own business for young people. We also describe what benefits working at a young age can bring you.

At what age can you go to work? – Poland vs. USA

In Poland, the minimum age from which you can legally start working is 16. However, there are exceptions where people under 16 can work. However, they must obtain the consent of their parents or legal guardians and the permission of the labor inspector. This applies to cultural, artistic, advertising and sports activities.

If you are over 15 years old but have not yet reached the age of majority, you are legally a juvenile employee. People of this age can be employed if they have completed at least primary school, which lasts 8 years. Moreover, people up to 16 years of age cannot work 8 hours a day, but a maximum of 6. After the age of 16, they can work a maximum of 8 hours a day.

It is important to remember that work at a young age should be carried out in accordance with applicable labor law. The second important issue concerns maintaining occupational health and safety conditions. Work should also not interfere with school obligations or other activities in the young person’s life. Please remember that in Poland there is compulsory education until the age of 18. This means that until adulthood is reached, school comes first. Therefore, you can subordinate your work to the lessons you need to be present at, and not the other way around.

For comparison, in the USA the minimum age for legal work is also 16. Interestingly, according to the law, young people, regardless of age, can work in companies owned by their parents. An exception is the employment of persons under 16 years of age in industrial production and mining and a ban on performing work recognized by the Minister of Labor considered dangerous for persons under 18 years of age. Children go to school at the age of 6-7, compulsory schooling in the USA lasts 12 years.

16 and 17-year-olds can work an unlimited number of hours and perform any work, except those considered dangerous by the Minister of Labor. These include, for example, motor vehicles, electrical equipment for meat processing, and a waste paper press. 14- and 15-year-olds can be employed outside school hours to do a variety of jobs for a limited time and under certain conditions. However, the regulations limit the time of day, the number of hours and the types of work performed. Teenagers most often work in the restaurant, retail, cinema, entertainment industry or take care of children.

a boy writing something in a notebook, a laptop lying next to him

Working for teenagers – what are the benefits?

You certainly realize that many young people would like to have some savings. Money they could spend on certain whims or things their parents don’t want to pay for. Sometimes, however, they are not sure whether taking up employment at their age is really a good idea. It’s normal that they have doubts – for example whether they will be able to combine school and work. For this reason, part-time work is often beneficial for teenagers.

Therefore, we will now discuss the benefits that young people can gain when they start working. These will primarily be:

  • sense of independence and responsibility,
  • earning your own money,
  • allocating the earned amount at your discretion,
  • gaining professional qualifications,
  • getting to know the labor market,
  • making new friends,
  • appreciation of the value of money,
  • developing communication skills,
  • learning new skills,
  • better time management.
pink piggy bank in child's hands

How to earn money at a young age? – Check out these ideas

As you know, adults have many options when it comes to employment. For teenagers it’s not that simple. Mainly because job offers are most often addressed to adults. In addition, they also have slightly different rules, such as limited working hours.

Below we will discuss some ways for teenagers to make money.

Restaurant or fast food

girl in a waitress outfit, she holds a cup of coffee and a croissant in her hands

Working in a restaurant can be a good way for teenagers to make money. Many restaurant owners employ young people to earn extra money. Most often, it is possible to adjust the schedule to suit yourself, i.e. the so-called flexible working hours. You can then make sure that work does not interfere with school or studies. You just need to remember that working in a restaurant will require your availability. Especially on weekends and evenings, because that’s when the traffic is the busiest.

There are several options to choose from in a restaurant: you can be a waiter, which will also allow you to earn tips. Besides, you can become a barista or a kitchen help. If you have a knack for cooking, maybe you can become a chef’s assistant.

A related option is to work in a fast food restaurant. There you can sell meals, prepare them or clean them. Working in such places may prove beneficial, e.g. by gaining professional experience or developing interpersonal skills. In addition, you have the opportunity to learn team work and customer service. Thanks to this, you will know how to deal with difficult situations and manage your time.

Animals care

girl taking a dog for a walk, playing with a dog

Pet sitting is another job option for teenagers. Do you like animals and want to earn your own money? Then this proposal may be a combination of business and pleasure. Many people need help caring for their pets. Especially during the holiday season or during short business trips.

This work may include walking the dog or cat, feeding and cleaning up after the animals. In some cases, it’s simply about keeping them company. One of the biggest advantages of this job is that it can be very flexible and tailored to individual needs. Most issues can be resolved with the pet owner. This activity may require you to adapt only to set times for meals or walks.

Working in animal care can help you, above all, develop responsibility. Of course, you can also gain experience in the pet industry this way. However, you must remember that you are responsible for the animals’ safety and understanding their needs. Not everyone will be suitable for this.

Distributing leaflets

girl counting banknotes in her hands

We move on to the next activity, which is distributing leaflets. Your task is to reach as many people as possible who are potential customers of the company you work for. Importantly, this work can take two forms: either you deliver brochures to mailboxes, or you hand them out directly on the street. As for the second option, you only move within a designated area of the city.

The big advantage of this job is that you don’t need any special knowledge to do it. You just need to be physically active and persistent. You learn time management, teamwork and communication with other people. You can often find advertisements that provide very flexible working hours. So you can easily adapt them to other duties so as not to neglect anything.

Work in the shop

boy in apron, shop worker

Working in a store is the most frequently chosen option at the beginning of a professional career. A big advantage is that you can take up various positions there – cashier, salesperson, warehouseman or person responsible for customer service. A lot also depends on the type of store you choose, so it’s worth considering it carefully.

In the case of teenagers, such work may be a hit. Let’s take into account learning very useful skills, including: operating a cash register and payment terminals, organizing a workplace, selling products and everything related to customer service.

Very often you can find job offers that do not require experience. You definitely need to have some mathematical knowledge, openness and the right approach to people. Working among clients requires a lot of communication skills, so not everyone will be able to work in such a place.


cinema hall interior, empty seats

By working in a cinema, you can primarily gain experience in customer service. In addition, you will also learn how to use audiovisual equipment and work in a team, which will be useful in any profession. It often doesn’t take much to get a job like this. The ability to operate a cash register and possibly a terminal is desirable. Although you can basically learn everything during the trial period, it shouldn’t be a problem.

You can work in various positions in the cinema, e.g. as a ticket seller, cashier or person responsible for film screening. In addition, you can also clean the halls, because cinema employees often do a little bit of everything.

There is one more thing you should know – as a cinema employee, you will receive free tickets. So you will be able to stay up to date with all the new releases.

Seasonal work

a girl in overalls holds oranges picked from a tree in her hands

Seasonal work is a popular form of employment for teenagers, especially during holidays or before Christmas. This is an excellent opportunity to gain your first professional experience, earn money and learn new skills.

It may cover various sectors, including: trade, agriculture, gastronomy, tourism, customer service and manual work. Interestingly, seasonal work can be short-term or long-term. It is not said that grass only periodically. It mainly depends on the employer’s needs and the type of work.

The most popular seasonal jobs for teenagers include working in stores, shopping centers, cafes and restaurants. In addition, you can also work in hotels and tourist resorts, which will certainly result in making new friends. There is still work in the agricultural sector, i.e. picking fruit or vegetables. And it’s not just about picking fruit abroad, you can also work in the country this way.

Call center

workstations with computers and keyboards, headphones next to them, call center

To get such a job, you must be able to cope with stress, be assertive and open in contact with other people. So if phone calls stress you out, you might want to look for something else. Moreover, computer skills will be crucial in a call center. Job offers usually include knowledge of a foreign language because clients are often from abroad. In this job, in addition to customer service, you will also gain interpersonal and sales skills.

This is another example of a job with quite a lot of flexibility. As we mentioned earlier, this will allow you to combine work with other responsibilities, e.g. school. You just need to pay attention to the requirements of individual offers, because not every call center employs people under 18 years of age.

Own business

man is holding a camera in his hands

Nowadays, young people are also becoming more and more enterprising. What does it mean? Many people think about opening their own business so that they can gain experience for the future. Another option may be to try your hand at freelancing, i.e. providing services on your own account.

You can do special occasion makeup, photo sessions, and sell handmade products. Maybe opening your own catering is something for you? Or computer repair, if you know that? If you have the skills, you can write freelance texts or design websites. You can see that there is no shortage of ideas for opening a business. Especially in the era of virtually unlimited access to the Internet.

Do you have an original business idea? Then you can try your hand at being an entrepreneur. If it doesn’t work out, too bad. You’re young, so you have plenty of other opportunities ahead of you.

However, if none of these ideas appeal to you, we have a fallback solution. You can check out a few other ways that we wrote about in another post: How to earn money at a young age?


As you can see, working at a young age can bring many benefits. The most important ones include earning extra money and gaining professional experience. It is also an opportunity to learn responsibility and organize your time.

We hope you liked the presented opportunities to earn money at a young age. Maybe you will be able to test some of them yourself.

Or maybe you have already learned about earning money and now you would like to start saving your accumulated funds? In this case, we recommend one of our previous entries: How to save money at a young age?

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