8 answers

How can I make money at 15-16 years old?

Asked Seneca Falls, New York

I'm very young, but being a teen is quite expensive, and i'd like to start contributing to my family. I have years of babysitting and pet sitting experience, I can cook, clean, anything, but no one is willing to hire a high schooler. #money #finance #money #career #business

8 answers

Kristy’s Answer


I love your drive to want to help your family and cover some of your own expenses. My daughter is 16 and is currently working in fast food. With the experience you do have, you may want to share it on your neighborhood app like NextDoor. I see lots of parent advertising for their teens to babysit, walk dogs, etc. You also may check with your school counselor as some businesses will reach out to the school for students who are looking to enter the workforce. When I was in high school, I worked at a printing location which taught me how to make copies of large files, pay attention to details and I even learned how to laminate. This is a great way to get you into the workforce.

Kristy recommends the following next steps:

  • Reach out to your school counselor.
  • Ask your parent if they are active on the app NextDoor which allows you to reach those in your neighborhood and surrounding areas.

Jeffrey’s Answer

Updated El Segundo, California

It's great you are motivated to find a job. It's very satisfying and important to earn your own money. Along with the jobs list above, target jobs and companies that interest you. Small to medium sized businesses can often find a role for a young person. It may not be glamorous, but you can prove yourself once you're in the door. Remember, your #1 job is your education. Good Luck!

Melissa’s Answer

Updated Edgewood, Maryland

It can be tough being motivated and eager to work, and no one is willing to hire you, but don’t get discouraged because you are already on your way to success. The experience you listed is the start of your resume, now its time for you to believe in yourself and sell your talent. Here’s a few suggestions:

Parents can be one of the most rewarding employers because they also believe in you and will contribute to your success. One popular employment opportunity idea for a teenage is, instead of your parents going to a carwash or paying a lawn service to cut the lawn or someone else to watch your siblings, you can offer to do it cheaper than other company charges and earn an income right at home. They can also help you by sharing your services with neighbors, co-workers, family members etc.

If you enjoy babysitting, you can offer weekend, holiday and maybe some evening services and offer an incentive at a cheaper rate than agency or people they may currently use. If there’s a local hospital in the area, these are the shifts, doctors and nurses and personnel tend to have difficulties finding reliable and consistent people to perform these services. An advantage is you’re availability and to be flexible to accommodate various work shifts and you're close in proximity to their employment.

 Approximately a year ago, my neighbor on the third floor asked my nephew (15 years old) if he could collect her trash on Tuesdays and Thursdays and take it to the curb for pickup and she would pay him for his services. He realized this was an opportunity to help others as well as make money. With him having the same drive and motivation as you to work, he created fliers and posted them in all the buildings in the community. Today, he has earned enough money to purchase a car and still service three communities while attending school.

Just as the previous person stated, “You are never too young to become an entrepreneur”

Melissa recommends the following next steps:

  • Contact your school counselor for any work study or summer employment opportunities

Gina’s Answer

Updated Goffstown, New Hampshire

Determine the needs of your community and make it work for you. Example, do you see a lot of people who need their lawn's mowed in your neighborhood? Offer to do it for a fair price. Have them tell their friends, etc. Before you know it, you could have 10 yards a day at $30 a yard. Build up a good clientele and you can convert them to winter customers and shovel their drive ways (if you live in that climate).

If you are fan of pet sitting, make flyers and put them up at the local vet and/or grocery store(s) for pet sitting, dog walking, etc. Come up with a catchy name and logo, and make a go of it.

You are never too young to become an entrepreneur.

Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Grace,

It is great that you are interested in finding a paying job. As the comments above state, you can try grocery stores and restaurants. I would also encourage you to look into baby-sitting or, if you are really good at a subject in school, tutoring younger kids (helping them with their homework). It is great to work with other young people and I think you would find it rewarding. That is what I did when I was 16.

I have suggested the following steps

Alexandra recommends the following next steps:

  • Speak to a teacher or school counselor
  • Speak to relatives or neighbors with kids

Susan’s Answer


You are old enough to get a job bagging groceries, working at Walmart, or busing tables at a restaurant. It’s hard work, but you can build your resume with a reputation as a hard worker. Your town may hire summer workers for the Recreation camp or the after school program if you are interested in child care/ education. Good Luck!

Heather’s Answer

It is wonderful you are taking the initiative to find a job early in an effort to make your own money! My daughter started working at a pet supplies store recently when she was 16 and loves it! She and I both have been volunteering at a local cat shelter for the last 5 years together so she was definitely prepared.  She loves animals as well.

Pam’s Answer

Updated Overland Park, Kansas

I applaud you thinking ahead! Here are some suggestions of places who hire at 16 in my area.

  • grocery stores
  • pet stores (you mentioned you like pets!)
  • animal shelter (you may have to start as a volunteer here, so it might not be the best option, but very rewarding!)
  • fast food
  • mall clothing stores

Next steps -

  • check w/your local job placement centers to find jobs willing to hire 15-16 year olds
  • check w/your local pet store or vet to see if they know of anyone needing a dog walker
  • post on bulletin boards at the grocery store, your vet, pet stores, etc. with jobs that you are willing to do

Good luck!