A few years ago, an illuminating study at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute revealed a startling fact about teenagers and driving. It showed a steady decline of 16-year olds getting their driver’s license from 1983 to 2014.
The difference between those years is over 45%!
This means several things to various people on different levels. However, our main takeaway is that more driving-age teens are opting to do online work rather than report daily to a brick and mortar workplace. They no longer feel the need to learn how to drive, nor that having a driver’s license is still a prerequisite to getting a decent-paying job in this day and age.
Home-based job opportunities have certainly leveled the playing field for teens looking for employment. But what about those teenagers who do not yet have the choice between driving to and from work, or being a home-based employee? We are referring to those below 16 years old, AKA teens who can’t even apply for licenses yet.
What kind of jobs for 15 year olds are available online in these times? If you are a 15 year old looking to get gainfully employed this year, you’re in luck. That is exactly what we aim to discuss in today’s article.
But first, a word on safe jobs for 15 year olds…
Most teenage jobs are considered entry-level, doable, and easy. They are typically temp jobs that will not blossom into full-blown careers any time soon. However, they will still have to abide by certain child labor laws and regulations.
For instance, young adults in the US between 14 and 15 years old can only work on particular hours within the school year and in the summer, but never between June 1 and Labor Day. All manner of employment with hazardous environments are also considered illegal jobs for 15 year olds. To be sure that you’re abiding by the Fair Labor Standards Act, check out the information on Child Labor in this link (or refer to the Department of Labor site where you reside).
Now, if you are the parent of a teenager who is interested in getting a job, you will first need to consider several important factors:
- Is the job age-appropriate?
- Will it affect their schooling and extracurricular activities?
- Will the job involved provide a good work-life balance for your child?
- Will they get paid fairly for the time and effort they put into the work?
- How can you ensure their safety and security at all times?
Remember, even side hustles need to be free from harmful situations, especially when online predators abound. Which brings us to…
Things to avoid when looking for online jobs for 15 year olds
We took great care to list only the jobs that have parameters and regulations in place. This is to ensure the safety and security of teenagers looking for paid jobs online. However, there are still predatory practices that unfortunately exist in this day and age.
With that in mind, we have also illustrated some important points so anyone could recognize and be wary about/steer clear of these unsavory practices (including job-seeking teens and their parents).
- The company looks to be a fly-by-night gig.
This needs to be said even though plenty of people automatically turn to it for a job: Craigslist is not the best place to look for one – especially for a teenager. This and other online classified ads sites are usually teeming with fly-by-night opportunists. Those advertising for job openings cannot be verified, for one. And there have been far too many incidents of “employers” asking potential hires to take tests, only for the poor job seekers to never hear from them again.
Don’t do this if you don’t want to end up feeling as if you have given an anonymous entity some of your hard work for free. The rule of thumb when looking for jobs is to make sure the company has available and easily verifiable information available online – preferably from reliable job marketplaces and sites.
- The employers or companies looking to hire have no social media or Internet presence.
It’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. If a company that is seemingly too good to be true doesn’t have an online presence (or any presence, for that matter), steer clear. The best places to seek employment are those with established reputations and respectable history – with online and social media presence to back it up, preferably.
If the company has honest user reviews, even better. You can refer to trustworthy review boards, the company’s social media pages, and other online locations where people can share their experiences and opinions about them.
- They suddenly call you for a job offer (even if you haven’t advertised or crowdsourced for one).
HR personnel and head hunters have not developed extrasensory perception yet, as far as we know. So if you get a call out of the blue from someone offering a job you simply can not turn down, take a moment to assess where they could have gotten your contact or personal information.
Even if they claim that they got it via a referral system, don’t be afraid to ask about the person who referred you. This is especially important for teenagers looking for jobs for the first time, given that you still don’t have a substantial work history or employment records for hiring references.
- They promise a huge payout for an easy job.
High-income jobs do not just drop out of the sky for no reason. People work their way towards it or have developed enough experience and skills working in a particular industry for higher-ups to sit up and notice. This is why alarm bells should start ringing once somebody offers a 15-year-old a huge salary for what is promised to be something doable and easy.
Legitimate companies and hiring bodies will likely offer a salary that’s competitive or in keeping with the current rates – yes, even for teenagers! So to be safe, do your homework and some prior research about what kind of salary you should be expecting for the job you’re aiming for.
- They don’t require an interview or even a history of work experience.
Even the simplest of jobs will require assessment and an interview prior to hiring. This is done so both the employee and employer are on the same page regarding job expectations, output, skillset, salary, and other important matters.
What makes a potential job suspect would be if no tests, interviews, or assessments are done before they hire someone. So if you are hired on the spot with no questions asked – be afraid. Be very afraid.
- You need to shell out money for some training packet before you can start working for them.
This particular practice is strange, unfair, and altogether unsavory – but unfortunately, it is all too common, especially among freelancers. Those looking for several side hustles, in particular, could be susceptible to this. Companies who claim that you need to buy one of their training packets before you can get hired are not to be trusted. It simply doesn’t make sense to shell out money just to get employed.
On the other hand, multi-level marketing schemes have developed the habit of recruiting new members by having them purchase “starter kits”. These kits usually come with products that need to be bought by members before they can go up and start collecting from those newbies “buying in” on some new inventory. While it’s strictly not considered illegal, schemes like these will suck you in and require you to recruit others in turn – and on and on in a sketchy loop.
- You’ve heard unsavory comments about the person or company from forums, review boards, or other ex-employees.
It won’t hurt to do a bit of background research on potential employers, since they do the same for potential hires, anyway. This is especially true if you’ve been hearing negative things about a company or person looking to hire someone for a job that seems right up your alley. If you know someone who has worked for that particular company, ask them for their honest feedback on their employment experience when they were there.
It is also important to research using reliable means (and not just word-of-mouth feedback from possibly disgruntled ex-employees). We’ve already mentioned trustworthy job review sites and forums that encourage feedback from current or former employees and staff of particular jobs. Turn to them for verification, and to get an idea if it’s truly a good fit for you.
Now that we’ve gotten that note of caution out of the way, it’s time to seriously start looking for gainful employment. So what are good jobs for 15 year olds these days where they can just go online and start working? The answer, in a nutshell, is PLENTY.
The ones we have listed below are tried-and-tested jobs that are age-appropriate, highly doable, in keeping with current innovation and trends, and pay decently for the kind of work and skills required.
Dozens of Paid Jobs for 15 Year Olds Today
Everyone loves shopping. It’s why kids, teenagers, senior citizens, and just about anyone in-between are all target markets of some retail company or business. One of the best ways to make sure they maintain brand loyalty and continuous business with their clients is via the cashback shopping method. Though not a “job” in the strictest sense, it’s nevertheless an easy and fun way to earn money from doing something you love.
Where to look?
- Ibotta lets users earn their cash back on everyday purchases. If it sounds too simple, maybe because it is. Registered users can choose between shopping online or in-store using the app in about 50 national retail outlets. Plus, there is a $20 “welcome” bonus for first-time app users!
- Shopkick is another mobile app that lets you earn gift cards when you rack up enough points (called “kicks”) from shopping sponsored products. You can also earn kicks just by stepping into partner retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Marshalls, and more.
- Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is a free app available for both iOS and Android users. There are thousands of partner stores to get cashbacks on this app, including JC Penney, Walgreens, Macy’s, Tom’s, and more! Plus, there is an option to get paid via check or PayPal.
- Dosh allows users to earn cold, hard cash (“not points, not coupons” as their motto goes) via their cashback app. Aside from selected retail stores, Dosh can be used for partner restaurants and hotel chains. You can also earn more cash via their referral system.
Joining age-appropriate survey sites
We are placing special emphasis on “age-appropriate” in this section. While plenty of survey sites allow users who are 13 years or older to register with them, a lot of them still get screened out for not meeting the target demographic. It’s a good thing there are survey sites that value what teenagers have to say based on their age and lifestyle, and are willing to reward them for their time and input.
Where to look?
- If you are between 13 to 18 years old and from the US, the site Teens Eyes is willing to pay you for answering teen-related survey questions on clothing, sports, TV shows, movies, music, and more.
- GCLoot is a new site that has survey-taking as one of its tasks to earn points. The best thing about it all is that it is a platform built with the gamer in mind, and offers a wide range of gaming-related rewards in exchange for points. Registration is open for anyone 13 years and older.
- Swagbucks is a popular rewards site offering surveys on its menu, along with web browsing, downloading videos, playing games, and more. Interested participants 13 years and above can join to earn points and redeem them for cash or gift cards.
- SurveySavvy has an app for those teenagers who like to be on their feet (and making some money while they’re at it). Those who are at least 14 years old can sign up for free and start earning.
- Opinion Outpost lets users who are 13 years old and above earn points from completing surveys. After racking up enough points, they can redeem those for cash or other kinds of rewards (including gift cards and vouchers for Amazon, the App Store, and iTunes).
- Anybody who is 13 years old and up can register to be a user at GrabPoints. Aside from answering surveys, members can also download apps, watch videos, complete offers, and more! Basically stuff a typical teenager does online at any given day – so why not earn from them, as well?
- Those living in Canada and the US and who are 14 years or older can join Harris Poll Online and help “influence decision makers in government, corporations, and non-profit organizations with your unique insights”. Rewards come in the form of favorite brands such as gift cards to Starbucks, Amazon, and iTunes.
- Survey Junkie encourages its members to become influencers via surveys. Sharing their opinion can not only help brands deliver better products and services – it could also earn them some pocket money or gift cards in the process! Those who are interested to sign up have to be at least 13 years old.
- Panel Polls was established in 1999 and has steadily provided family-oriented surveys and beta-testing for apps, websites, and games. In this regard, it’s a good place as any for a teenager to start earning points for cash or gift cards.
Reviewing new music
Teens and music make for a ubiquitous pairing. A lot of music videos, ads, concerts, and acts are directed towards this particular demographic.
It comes as no surprise that there are now platforms open for music reviews by interested users. Teenagers are welcome to participate and give honest feedback about new music and musical acts. Companies and businesses behind these platforms are willing to reward users for their opinions, either with cash or in kind.
Where to look?
- Slice The Pie seeks valued feedback and opinion from its users for new music, fashion, and ads. Members can review what they like and get paid for it (via PayPal at a $10 minimum). It is open for registration to those who are at least 13 years old.
- MusicXray features a variety of musical genres for members to listen to and review. Fresh feedback (especially from the teen set) is valuable to the songwriters and producers who sign up with this site, so new reviews are encouraged and rewarded.
- Hit Predictor offers plenty of music-related rewards in the form of gift cards and other kinds of merchandise. To redeem these rewards, members have to rack up enough points by reviewing new music on the site.
Reviewing recorded calls
What jobs are available for 15 year olds who are introverted and not comfortable talking to people? Being a recorded call reviewer is one practical suggestion. The kind of feedback provided in recorded call reviews will help the company behind it improve their services and reputation. Plus, you won’t have to deal with talking with others face-to-face if it makes you uncomfortable.
The calls to be reviewed are those that have the “this call is being recorded” prompt right before a dialogue between a customer service representative and the customer who is calling. The one who will be reviewing these recorded calls will ensure that the client’s concerns are addressed and resolved properly, and take note if they aren’t.
Where to look?
- Humanatic is one of the best places to go to for recorded call review jobs. The hours are flexible, and users can work in the comfort of their own home (or anywhere they feel like working).
- Reynolds and Reynolds is a company that is always on the lookout for part time recorded call reviewers. There is some training involved, but it will be worth it to be able to do a simple task without having to leave one’s home.
Writing content for clients
You’re never too young to share your talent and get paid while you’re at it. If you have the gift of prose (along with the patience for research, revisions, and other stuff associated with writing fresh content for clients), then why not try your hand at applying for a writing job online?
Where to look?
- Those who are 13 years and up and who can write well can apply at Helium. The site is always looking for fresh articles that meet their requirements and standards.
- TextMaster is first and foremost a translation service. However, they also offer content writing services to clients, so it won’t hurt to try and see if you can contribute to this particular service.
Being a customer service representative
Some of the best paid jobs for 15 year olds have to do with customer care. Prior experience in the field is typically not required, and teen-oriented companies can always use the energy and “relatability” which teen customer reps can lend to their business. Who knows – that friendly and helpful teenager at the other end of the line, willing to lend a helping hand (or voice) could be you!
Age restrictions will depend on the company, but it won’t hurt to try if you have the personality for the job.
Where to look?
- U-Haul is known for always being on the lookout for home-based customer care representatives. They have official call centers, but sometimes the sheer volume of calls needed to be handled are rerouted to work-from-home agents.
- FlexJobs has dozens of customer care representative jobs on their menu. It’s a simple matter of matching your schedule, age, preference, work experience, skills, and other important factors to the advertising company.
Becoming a voice talent
Now here is a fun way to make some pocket money without having to shell out any overhead or initial cost – by using your voice! Do you have a funny, sweet, distinct, or altogether unique voice that a commercial or any voice-over project could use? Do you have any voice talent experience which could help you land more voice-over jobs? Even if you don’t, it’s worth giving voice-over gigs a try because they are potentially enjoyable ways to make an income.
Where to look?
- Fiverr is a freelance market site above all else, but you will likely find a voice-over job here if you search hard enough.
- Voices is perhaps the best known platform for voice-over talents to land a gig. Talents will have to get an account and upload samples of their past work (or even just a recording of their voice) so potential clients can get an idea if their voices and personalities are the perfect fit for the projects they have in mind.
Selling stuff no longer needed
Teenagers can quickly outgrow stuff, so it only makes sense to try and make money off the things they can no longer use (but are still deemed usable by others). Thankfully, decluttering is no longer confined to dusty activities that usually end up in garage or yard sales often ignored by passersby.
Today, there are plenty of apps, sites, and other platforms to sell anything from clothes, toys, games, textbooks, and a whole slew of items to sell at a reasonable price tag. Below are just some tried-and-tested ones you can use.
Where to look?
- eBay is a popular platform for selling new or slightly used items for sale. It’s a great way for teens to make money from stuff they no longer have any use for – like books, clothes, games, and other items that are still in good condition.
- Facebook Marketplace may be relatively new to the online selling game, but it’s fast gaining a reputation for being a practical and speedy online version of a garage or yard sale. Anyone with a Facebook account can set up their own Marketplace ads and communicate quickly with potential buyers.
- BookScouter is best known for offering some of the most competitive buy-back prices for those who use the platform to sell their old textbooks. Their search functions also allow users to easily check out the titles, condition, subjects, and other pertinent factors prior to buying or selling.
- Decluttr, as its name implies, is a popular and handy app that helps people valuate and sell the stuff they want to let go.
Signing up for online rewards programs
Thankfully, most of the part time jobs for 15 year olds do not require any sort of upfront investment. The best ones allow you to register or sign up for free as long as you meet their prerequisites.
Online reward programs have become a favorite go-to side hustles of teenagers and adults alike precisely because of this. You can have the luxury of working on a flexible schedule, choosing to do tasks you are comfortable with, working at a pace you enjoy, and selecting the kind of reward that suits your wants and needs best. And you won’t need to pay any kind of sign-up fee just to join!
Where to look?
- As previously mentioned, GCLoot is quite new to the world of rewards programs. But as far as its target demographic goes, it will appeal to the teenage gamer sensibilities. For simply doing everyday online activities like playing games, completing offers, answering surveys, and more, anyone who is 13 years old and above can redeem their earned points for exciting game-related rewards.
- ZoomBucks allows users who are at least 13 years old to register for free. They can then choose to do their favorite online activities – and get rewarded in cash or gift cards for them! Some of the doable online tasks on the menu include answering surveys, watching video clips, and taking on offers.
- GrabPoints has earned the reputation of being one of the highest-paying reward sites currently in existence. It also processes payment fast – the average is within 48 hours, so that’s a huge boost to teens who need to cash out on their earnings ASAP.
- Apart from answering surveys, members of InstaGC can also rack up points by trying out mobile apps, taking on offers, watching videos, and more. The different kinds of activities here will prevent any teen from getting bored while earning enough to redeem via PayPal, or gift cards from a number of retail partners.
Proofreading and editing articles
Ever worked as an editor or proofreader in your school paper or your neighborhood’s community newsletter? Then you have ample experience to try out for other projects that could actually pay you decently. Proofreading and editing articles or manuscripts often require a bit of previous experience. However, if you present enough credentials and pass initial tests, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try your hand at making an actual job of it.
- UpWork is a job marketplace for “specialized talent”, so that those needing particular tasks to be fulfilled can take their pick from a roster of freelancers. The site helpfully categorizes the jobs that need to be filled so you can easily advertise your editing and proofreading experiences and skills to potential clients there.
- TextMaster, as previously mentioned, offers translations and content creation on their menu. However, they also have proofreading services for their clients. Proofreaders can improve the overall writing style, or simply focus on spelling, grammar, and syntax – whichever the client prefers.
Doing data entry work
While mostly considered rote and dull, data entry is nevertheless reliable and could become a regular source of income for many teens. Data entry covers numerous tasks so a number of skill sets is needed. From audio transcribing, filling up spreadsheets, proofreading texts and manuscripts, to classifying data and just about anything in-between, it is safe to say that there will be no shortage of data entry work for those who meet the qualifications of one (or several).
Where to look?
- Microworkers is known for offering plenty of data entry work under the micro-tasks menu on its site.
- Amazon MTurk is in need of HITs, or “Human Intelligence Tasks”, all the time. Thankfully, data entry is one of those HITs, so looking it up on this platform is definitely worth a try.
- Clickworker requires applicants to fill out a form online and a verified email first, but there will always be a data entry job available in its roster of freelance jobs.
Becoming a virtual assistant
The kind of work involved with becoming a virtual assistant can not be contained in a single category as, say, being a tutor. Some of the work associated with this particular job includes providing personal or professional assistance to a virtual “boss” or employer. But there could be more tasks involved, seeing as the needs for virtual assistance will change with each employer.
Virtual assistance could cover:
- booking their flight, restaurant, or hotel accommodations,
- arranging their weekly or daily schedules and itineraries,
- making sure their bills are paid on time,
- answering their emails,
- managing their social media accounts,
- reserving venues or car rentals,
- buying their grocery or other shopping activities,
- doing audio transcriptions,
Though diverse and could vary from client to client, the kind of work involved with being a virtual assistant is typically easy, flexible, and won’t require a lot of onboarding (requirements will depend on the client, however). You will just need to understand the client’s expectations and be on the same page regarding practices and schedules.
Where to look?
- Microworkers has already been mentioned under a different category, but since virtual assistance almost always includes data entry (and other “micro” jobs), it’s worth mentioning it under this section, as well.
- Fiverr lets users create a profile that highlights their skills and experiences. If you have prior virtual assistance experience, you can choose to mention it via this job marketplace. It’s a good way to get a higher chance of getting hired again.
- Though not a site to directly try your hand at getting a virtual assistant job, VA Networking is nevertheless worth checking out for its free resources on educating, training, networking, and mentoring potential virtual assistants.
Creating original designs for merchandise
Creativity should be rewarded – and if it’s in the form of financial compensation, all the better! Artistic teens now have the option to make money from something they truly love doing (and having the satisfaction of knowing other people like their creations enough to buy stuff that feature them).
Good thing a lot of online selling platforms are open for young designers. They can make some commission for each piece of merchandise they sell that has their designs on them. Below are a couple of reliable sites to check out if you are feeling particularly artsy and enterprising.
Where to look?
- Red Bubble upholds the independent artist via their gift shop designs, which features a range of merchandise that appeals to every demographic. Each purchased piece that features a unique design will pay the artist, so it is up to the creative person to come up with as many sellable designs as they could.
- CafePress also has a gift shop featuring such items like cell phone cases, coffee cups and mugs, T-shirts and hoodies, blankets, tote bags, greeting cards, and more. What makes these merchandise unique are their designs, which are user-submitted and therefore always original.
- Like the two previous items in this section, Zazzle is a design marketplace for custom products ranging from pillows to custom napkins, labels, wedding table cards, T-shirts, ribbons, scarves, stickers, and many more.
- Etsy is first and foremost a platform for OOAK (one-of-a-kind) merchandise, even if they allow other vintage, used, antique, and other items not strictly made by hand or unique on their menu. This is why a lot of creatives turn to Etsy to sell their original creations, whether they are digital or hand-made.
Most freelance job marketplaces offer micro-tasks, which are usually one-off jobs. While they are not sustainable by any stretch, they are nevertheless easily available and come with a range of doable activities that will suit anyone’s age, work experience, skills set, and other considerations.
Micro-tasks are perfect for those looking for something easy to do, and getting paid right away for an immediate financial need. They are similar in nature to the paper routes, baby or pet-sitting, raking or mowing lawns, clearing sidewalks of snow and debris, running errands, messenger jobs, and other doable part-time analog jobs of our parents and grandparents.
Where to look?
- UpWork is a practical source of micro-tasks because of the helpful way they categorize jobs. They also allow anyone who is 14 years old and above to use their platform.
- Another good microtasking platform is The Smart Crowd, which offers such jobs as data entry, social media management, proofreading, and more.
- Amazon MTurk is constantly on the lookout for people to perform HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), so it’s always worth checking out for possible leads.
- Fiverr deserves another mention under this section because of its easy-search functionalities and categorization of jobs and freelancer features. As a “quick job” site, the talent fees are understandably not that much (an average of $5 per small task). But there will always be somebody who does not have the time to perform a task (no matter how small it is) and is willing to pay someone who does have the time and inclination for it.
Convenience is something you can offer to anyone as a paid service. Be it writing short descriptions for a blog or catalogue, coming up with summaries or reviews for a paper, updating a social media account, and anything else that takes up very little time and effort – there’s a lot of potential to earn from microtasking here!