Remote work has, undoubtedly, become the norm in the past two years thanks to the global pandemic. Social distancing and social isolation have made it so that most of our lives happen online. While the world is (thankfully!) healing and returning to normal, the concept of working online remains. Now, more than ever, online jobs are prevalent. And it’s not only adults who stand to benefit from this trend.
Turns out, there are plenty of online jobs for teens. One just needs to know how and where to look.
We highly encourage parents to let their teenagers experience work. It’s a great way to motivate and teach valuable life lessons. For teens, you’ll be able to practice and improve your technical skills while you work. You’ll also learn a good deal of practical skills, like financial responsibility and a good work ethic.
Earning your own money is also incredibly satisfying!
If you’d like to know what sort of opportunities are available for you, here’s a list of the most popular online jobs for teens!
1. Take Paid Surveys
If you need a little extra cash but don’t want to have a set “work schedule,” why not answer surveys in your free time?
Many companies are more than happy to pay teens (aged 13 and up!) for their honest opinion and feedback. All you need to do is enroll in a (verified) platform, take recommended surveys, and get rewards!
The best part is that there is no catch. Paid surveys are a real thing that many businesses do to get valuable customer feedback when they don’t have specific departments to do it for them. They hire third-party survey companies who then put out questions and collect data on their behalf.
Businesses rely on this data to improve their existing products and services according to what their customers want. This, in turn, solidifies and expands their current consumer base, leading to more sales.
And considering that sales are the lifeblood of every business, it’s really not a stretch to believe that companies will pay teens to answer a few questions honestly.
Here are some legitimate survey panels that have been recommended several times by several credible surveys:
- Swagbucks (one of the most popular ones)
- Opinion Outpost
- Survey Junkie
Just bear in mind that paid surveys offer a minimum payout. The average stands at about $1 to $5 per survey, and the rare ones that offer upwards of $10 are highly competitive and often targeted towards a very specific niche.
Yes, you can still make quite a bit of extra money answering a lot of low-paying surveys (ten surveys at $1 each is still $10, after all!), but just take note of the word “extra.”
2. Test Websites
Again, companies thrive on feedback. They need to know that what they’ve got is above average and fully functional before they release it into the world. This goes for both their products and their websites.
This is where you, as a tech-savvy teen with free time, could come in.
A lot of companies need random, unbiased users to test their websites and mobile apps for possible bugs or glitches in the code before the program goes live. Ideally, the company’s coders and developers should be able to catch these problems during their initial debugging.
However, if you’re familiar with coding, then you know that it’s never as clear-cut as we’d like it to be. No matter how experienced and skilled the development team is, there will always be small bugs that can’t be caught until a different user (with different hardware specs and systems) runs the program.
If you’d love to test websites and apps for a little extra cash, there are sites that can help you do so!
Testers can earn a minimum of $10 for a fully completed review, which could take anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes of intensive work. Longer reviews (starting at 30 minutes) offer higher compensation, which means you can earn upwards of $20 for, particularly in-depth tasks.
You won’t have to have any existing knowledge of coding or computer programming, but familiarizing yourself with the basics of coding could help you write better reviews!
3. Tutor Someone Online
If English is your first language, you can earn big bucks for helping other teens learn it! Online tutoring is a big thing right now, and many platforms pay really well for it.
Preply accepts applicants aged 18 and up, and they pay their tutors up to $20 per hour-long tutoring session. Cambly also allows teenagers aged 18 to sign up as a tutor—no teaching experience or bachelor’s degree required!
Hey; if you’re particularly good at a certain subject (math, science, language, etc.), you might as well get paid to spread your knowledge, right?
Do take note, though, that you may be required to pass a test to prove your mastery of a subject. Kaplan, for instance, requires interested tutors to have achieved a score at or above the 90th percentile on the exam.
This is completely understandable, of course, and we think it’s a fair way to filter applicants and guarantee the quality of the teachers. Some platforms may even require applicants to go through a quick, one-week training and/or refresher course of their chosen subject just to ensure that their knowledge is correct and up-to-date.
This online job for teens is one of the best-paid options out there, but it’s also one of the more demanding ones. You’ll need your own laptop or PC, a web camera, good audio (microphone and headset), a quiet environment, and fast internet.
Some online tutoring platforms even request that teachers use a direct connection rather than a wireless one to avoid lag and disconnections.
4. Enter Data for Cash
Data entry is sort of the middle ground of online jobs for teens. It’s not quite as flexible as answering surveys and testing websites, but it’s also not as strictly scheduled as online tutoring. Data entry, as the name suggests, is the process of entering (or inputting) data into a computer. This is usually done to make information computer-readable and more accessible.
For example, transcribing a handwritten list of names into an Excel or Google Sheets document for digital organization.
If you can type quickly (usually above 50 WPM) and accurately, this could be the perfect job for you!
The pay-per-project and the age requirement will depend on the company or platform you apply for. While most websites would set 16 to 18 as the minimum age requirement, some platforms will accept teens as young as 13!
If you can prove that you’re fast, committed, and capable of managing yourself, businesses should have a little issue taking you on as a part-time or outsourced data entry specialist.
Do keep in mind that competition is fierce, though!
A lot of remote workers (teenagers and adults alike) prefer data entry as their main or side source of income because of the pay and flexibility. Many of them also have the experience to back up their work.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t land a gig immediately. Just keep applying and keep practicing your typing skills. Eventually, you’re sure to nab a job! Active consistency is key.
5. Build/Design Websites
We’ll preface this section with a little caveat: most (if not all) tech companies won’t hire teenagers as full-time – or even part-time! – programmers, no matter how skilled or experienced you are. They’ll look at credentials, certificates, and portfolios. They’ll prioritize applications backed by degrees and recommendation letters.
So just know that you’ll be hard-pressed finding computer programming positions for 16-year-olds.
But don’t get discouraged!
There are plenty of startups and new businesses that need websites. Even if they aren’t part of the tech industry, they know that they need a solid online presence.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a good start, but a professional website can do wonders to boost credibility and sales. This is why many business owners have no problems paying someone to create a website—especially if it’s just a one-time thing.
Instead of hiring an in-house developer that they’re only going to use once (and yet pay weekly or bi-monthly), start-up owners would much rather outsource it to a freelancer. A one-time payment for a one-time product makes more sense.
And the good news is that they won’t be too chuffed with certificates and degrees since it’s not a permanent position. As long as you’ve got an impressive body of work to show, they’ll be happy to take you on.
That being said, this means that developing a website won’t give you a steady income. But if you’re a teenager looking for online jobs that pay well, one-time programming gigs (if you can book them) can definitely give you a sizable sum.
6. Be a Digital Freelancer
Designing and/or developing websites aren’t the only job options for teenage freelancers.
You may not know how to code (yet), but do you know how to create beautiful graphics? Write awesome blog posts? Grow an Instagram account from 0 to 2,000 followers in a matter of days?
Following the same concept as the one-time website developer, a lot of businesses (again; especially startups) need creative, talented people for certain projects that will only happen once or twice a year. This is where digital freelance comes in. It offers a win-win situation for all parties involved. The business gets a professional to do the task without drawing up a long-term contract that requires them to pay regularly—even when the professional isn’t working.
The professional freelancer, on the other hand, gets paid without having to go through a lengthy, time-consuming hiring process.
And once the short-term project has ended, the freelancer can look for additional work without breaching any sort of employment contract.
Of course, flying as a solo freelancer can be difficult. That’s why we highly recommend that teens interested in freelance sign on with legitimate platforms that can help source, filter, and verify job offers.
Here are some popular ones with great verification processes that protect both the employer and the freelancer:
Most of these platforms have a fairly flexible age limit. Make sure to read their terms and conditions carefully before applying!
And, just for reference, here are some of the most popular, in-demand freelance jobs in 2021:
- Content Writer
- Web Developer and/or Designer
- Graphic Designer
- App Programmer
- Photographer and/or Videographer
- SEO Professional
7. Be a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are basically remote secretaries. They’re jack-of-all-trades that handles small – but important! – tasks for their client, such as scheduling appointments, answering emails, and posting social media content.
For particularly organized teenagers, this could be an awesome opportunity.
If you’re comfortable with performing random assignments that could change every day (depending on what your client needs), you may find this to be one of the most lucrative online job opportunities.
And, believe it or not, you don’t have to be 18 to work as a virtual assistant! It all depends on the platform you sign up for. As long as you can prove your skills, availability, and commitment, small business owners and new startup CEOs won’t mind taking you on. The skills in question would fall under the umbrella of general computer knowledge and digital/online communication.
You’d need to be familiar with – or willing to learn about – a number of programs, too; Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, Trello, Asana, Slack, Zoom, Hubstaff, and Calendly.
Just to name a few.
If you’re up for the challenge and you love the idea of a structured work schedule, definitely give this one a try!
Other Online Jobs for Teens
- Sell crafts online (via Etsy, Cafepress, or Instagram)
- Proofread other people’s papers (via Textmaster, MTurk, or Upwork)
- Photoshop pictures/photos (via Fiverr or Upwork)
- Review music (via Slice the Pie)
- Do a voiceover (via Fiverr, Upwork, or Voices.com)
We hope you found this list to be informative and inspiring. Technology has made it so that even young people have a more or less even playing field to get started on building their work experience.
And it never hurts to have a little extra cash, right?
Remote work or online work is no longer the strange concept that it used to be. It’s now much safer, too!
Here’s a quick recap of your options:
- Take Paid Surveys
- Test Websites
- Tutor Someone Online
- Enter Data for Cash
- Build/Design Websites
- Be a Digital Freelancer
- Be a Virtual Assistant
- Other Online Jobs for Teens
Remember; it’s normal to experience some competition when trying to land gigs—especially in niche markets. Just keep practicing your craft and putting yourself out there. It’ll all pay off in the end!