Top 11 Highest Paid Jobs for Teens
It is not unusual for teens to try to earn extra pocket money, but for those with ambitions to attend college, to step into high-paying careers or even just for those with an entrepreneurial streak, typical server or store check-out roles are unlikely to be interesting, stimulating or provide much more than a minimum wage.
What’s more, with a huge shift toward remote work, and with many roles being automated, server roles are not as common as they once were.
There are opportunities for teens to train themselves for high-paying remote jobs. For those who prefer to work with people or do physical labor, there are also great options for teens to find high-paying, interesting roles.
With a little ambition, dedication and planning, most teens can turn their skills into rewarding hourly rates that will allow them to save, grow and prepare for dynamic careers.
Why Might a Teen Need a High-Paying Job?
Having a high-paying job as a teen will help raise college funds for living and program costs. Parents often save throughout their lifetimes for their children’s college funds, and for many families, college is prohibitively expensive.
The most competitive programs come at an average cost of around $26,000 per year for those studying out of their home state, and some public schools ask up to $60,000 per year for three years of study.
Therefore, saving by having a high-paying job as a teen will enable you to make a significant contribution towards tuition, study costs or living, and increase your quality of life as a college student.
Having a high-paying job provides work experience to help you get into well-paid jobs later in your career.
Jobs for teens that pay above average salaries do so if they are competitive, or require skills and training that minimum wage jobs do not.
Therefore having well-paid roles on your CV shows you have put effort, initiative and time into job hunting and training yourself, and have tenacity, confidence and stamina for real-world work.
Gaining professional soft skills early on sets you in good stead for later professional success.
In the case of some high-paid jobs for teens, particularly in web design or coding, training yourself may mean you don’t need to go to college at all, or that you can build a career or online business while also studying for a degree.
Top 11 Highest Paid Jobs for Teens
Digital High-Paid Jobs for Teens
1. Web Designer
Average salary: $18 per hour
Web designers are well paid because all businesses, small or large, rely on their websites to bring in customers, explain their offerings and make sales.
Web designers work with clients to build their websites, ensuring that the content, flow and presentation of the website reflect and support the business.
Web developers work on all kinds of projects, from front pages to online stores, booking systems and chatbots. Some will also work on app development.
With plenty of free training resources for coding, web design and front-end development available online, there are no barriers to entry to becoming a web designer as a teen.
It is possible to gain experience as a web designer quickly by building simple sites on platforms such as Squarespace or WordPress with little to no prior knowledge, or by using free online training resources.
Teens can build a portfolio of web design projects by building mock websites for free for friends and family, or approaching local businesses to offer help with a website.
Teens will often need to do some work at a reduced rate or for free as web designers before they can land higher-paid work.
One benefit of web design is you don’t need to state your age when creating online profiles or approaching new clients. You will also save on travel costs as web design can be done remotely.
2. Graphic Designer
Entry salary: $15 per hour
For more creative teens, there are still high-paid remote working opportunities.
Graphic designers are highly paid as creating good graphics requires some artistic flair, technical know-how, and usually some expensive tools and software.
However, there are now plenty of free graphic design training resources and cloud-based software packages, so there is no barrier to teens training themselves online.
Graphic designers create logos, banners, web and social media content for companies or individuals to support their brands and marketing campaigns. A graphic designer’s main role is to create consistent, clear and inviting visuals for a company.
You will need to demonstrate your competence through a portfolio of previous graphic design work to get the highest-paid graphic design gigs as a teen. So it will take time and commitment to build work through mock projects, free online training, and pro bono projects for friends and family members.
Graphic design can be done remotely and, like web design, there is no need to state your age when showing your portfolio to clients or listing services online.
Graphic design requires some tools, such as software and digital drawing pads, but it is possible to get started with free packages online.
With experience, graphic designers can earn an average of $30 per hour, and with flexible project-based work, this is an ideal option for a creative teen to continue with during their college experience.
High-Paid Care Roles for Teens
3. Pet Sitting
Average salary: $12 to $15 per hour
Pet sitting is lucrative work because there is high demand for it, and pet owners want to know they are leaving their animals in trustworthy hands.
While some owners are content with leaving pets alone for a whole day, many would prefer their pets to have company.
A pet sitter takes responsibility for keeping a pet of any type company while the owner is at work or away by visiting and staying in the house for a few hours.
Aspiring pet sitters can find work online, or gain experience by helping family, neighbors and friends with their pets and then ask for referrals.
Having some experience looking after particular animals would be beneficial but there is no formal training for pet sitting.
There are plenty of websites where you can list services as a pet sitter and set your price; however it is best to use a website that also provides insurance when you are booked for a job.
Average salary: $12 to $16 per hour, area dependent
Babysitting is highly paid as parents want to find carers they can trust to build good relationships with their children.
Babysitters are hired by families to supervise children in the evening or on weekends while parents are out. Babysitters may be asked to cook and feed children, collect them from kindergarten or school, and tidy the house after children have gone to bed.
Although it is inconsistent work, once you have been hired by a family and they are happy with you, they will usually use you again and refer you to other families.
This means, with dedication, you can earn well by building up a roster of regular babysitting work.
Depending on where you live, the hourly rate might vary, but usually $12 is the minimum hourly rate for babysitting.
Babysitting is an ideal role for teens, as it provides an opportunity and space to get on with studying after children have gone to bed, while also earning extra money.
5. Dog Walking
Average salary: $12 per hour-long walk
Dog walking is highly paid, as it is possible to take three to four dogs for a walk at the same time.
Dog owners who also work full-time jobs will require trustworthy and reliable dog walkers to take their pets out for at least an hour every day and to socialize their pets with other dogs, and so there is high demand.
A dog walker’s responsibilities include collecting a dog from its home, taking it for a walk, returning it, and ensuring it is safe in its designated space or cage, and that the dog has adequate food and water.
Dog walkers will usually be given keys to access an owner’s house while they are at work.
The challenge for teens is to schedule these walks so they align, and also fit dog walking around school work and studying.
Dog walking doesn’t require training but does require experience with dogs. Teens can find work independently through listings sites or dog walking sites, or work for dog walking companies to find work faster.
It is worth using a company that provides dog walking insurance to list your services.
If you can drive, that might be an advantage, but check your car is suitable, adequately insured and safe for transporting dogs to and from public spaces before you commit to dog walking work.
6. House Sitting
Average salary: $25 to $45 per day
House sitters are paid to water plants, take care of pets and mind the security of a property while an owner is away for days at a time.
House sitters can make use of the house while also taking care of it, giving a property owner peace of mind while they are away.
House sitting is highly paid for a few reasons. If a house contains pets, house sitting is a way for owners to save money on kennel fees, which are much higher than house sitter rates per day.
Houses that contain valuables or might be attractive to burglary if left empty are generally owned by wealthier people who will pay for peace of mind while they are on vacation or away on business.
You will be 'on-duty' 24 hours per day, so will get a good hourly rate.
House sitting is an ideal highly-paid job for teens as families tend to go on vacation during school breaks, so the work fits around high school studying and can provide some space and independence for responsible teens.
High-Paid Labouring and Hands-on Jobs for Teens
7. Landscape Gardening
Average salary: $12 to $18 per hour
Landscapers are highly paid as the work is physically demanding, requires attention to detail and also requires respect for the client’s property.
Landscapers are hired to shift earth and soil, mow lawns, build garden decking or outbuildings, and plant beds and seeds.
Clients who hire landscapers are usually proud of their homes and gardens and want someone who will work on their garden maintenance without dirtying their property or disturbing their day-to-day lives.
Landscaping can be ideal high-paid work for teens who are physically fit and energetic and enjoy being outdoors.
Depending on the job, landscapers may go into a garden for one project or be hired to maintain a garden regularly. The work is seasonal, so there is a lot of work during spring and summer break.
Landscaping doesn’t require any training, but it is a good idea for teen landscapers to work alongside professionals to gain experience and understanding of how to work for clients before finding work independently.
8. Construction Assistant
Average salary: $15 per hour
Although there are age limits for some jobs on construction sites around operating heavy machinery, there are still opportunities for teens to earn good hourly rates assisting on construction sites.
Responsibilities for construction workers include loading materials, directing vehicles in and out of sites, and moving earth and rubbish.
Working on construction sites can be a great highly-paid work experience option for teens who are looking to pursue careers in engineering, or who want to gain experience in building, carpentry and construction as adults.
9. Golf Caddy
Average salary: $11 to $15 per hour
Teens who are passionate about sport and have a good understanding of golf can earn well working as caddies.
Golf caddies are highly paid because they take on responsibility for small tasks, allowing their golfers to focus on their strategy and the game.
Good golf caddies will also provide advice to a pro-golfer on club choice as they walk the course.
Golf caddies are employed by golf and country clubs. They carry bags for golfers, clean balls and pins, hold flags, manage scorecards, and walk ahead with measuring yards.
Caddying is ideal high-paid work for teens that fits around school, as most golf games take place during evenings and weekends.
Caddying also keeps you fit, gets you outside and guarantees a lot of hours of work, as most full-length 36-hole games take a whole day or are spread across the weekend.
Average salary: $11 to $18 per hour
Lifeguards are highly paid for a few reasons – lifeguarding requires you to be a strong swimmer, undergo lifesaving and first aid training, and pay attention for many hours at a time to enforce public safety at swimming pools or the beach.
For teens who love to swim and are spending time at the pool anyway, lifeguarding is an ideal highly-paid job.
Once you have undergone training, there is plenty of demand and the hours will be consistent and mostly fit into evening and weekend work.
Lifeguards also often have the opportunity to coach young swimmers, providing a chance to gain worthwhile experience for a career in sports coaching or teaching.
High-Paid Jobs for Teens in Education
Average salary: $20 to $40 per hour
Tutoring is an ideal highly-paid job for teens who excel academically and can support younger children in doing so.
Tutors are highly paid as all parents want their children to do well in school and will pay to ensure this happens.
Demand is higher than ever for tutors, as many parents aim for their children to catch up with missed learning after school closures in 2020.
Teens can earn well supporting middle school students with simple academic skills such as spelling or arithmetic. Parents might also hire tutors to teach music or languages, and the more specialized the tutor, the more money they can ask for per hour.
It is possible to tutor online and consequently to find students all over the world who are looking to learn from English-speaking individuals, and some of these opportunities are open to older teens.
Although tutoring is well paid per hour, it can be hard to build regular work, so this is something you should be passionate about.
Most families will look for tutors to visit their homes locally and will hear about tutors through word of mouth, and once you have found those first clients, the rest will follow.
There are plenty of high-paid job options for teens to suit those with different skills, schedules and ambitions that can provide good earning opportunities as well as valuable work experience for future careers.
High-paying jobs for teens are competitive.
Some high-paid jobs for teens with consistent, reliable hours have a higher rate of pay as they require training or prior experience.
Other more casual work might be easier to come by but more difficult to maintain and rely on.
Online learning opportunities mean there are no barriers for teens to try out real careers in web design, graphic design or programming.
With a shift toward remote working in general, this also is a great option for teens working in areas where hourly rates for casual work such as dog or babysitting are lower.
Teens need to approach finding high-paid work with the right mindset. It takes time to build up high-paid casual work and/or to build a strong portfolio of designs.
Similarly, it takes time to find a job, be interviewed and land a secure position with regular hours. Teens should be persistent in pursuing high-paid jobs that they really want to do well at and be patient in finding work or clients.
It can also pay to take time to review your CV and consider why you are applying for a certain kind of work.
So, teens should think ahead, start working a few years before college, choose the one work option that appeals to them most and stick to the plan to test if it works for them.
It's inadvisable to attempt to build up a casual or online work portfolio and apply for jobs in multiple areas at the same time. Focusing on one will pay off faster than spreading efforts too widely.
With patience and diligence, it is possible for teens to land high-paying jobs with little to no experience which will help them build professional skills to last through college and into their careers.