written by: Deb Killion
• edited by: Carly Stockwell
• updated: 12/3/2015
If you have thought about helping your preteen get a job, it’s a great idea! It gives them a sense of responsibility, makes them feel good about themselves by using their skills to make their own money, and helps create confidence in them for future jobs.
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What kind of job can preteens do?
First, know the law. The law varies somewhat in different states, but child labor laws state that a child cannot work until the age of 14 and then, only with the approval of a parent. Certain types of jobs are okay though, and we will provide information on some of those in this post.
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Jobs for Pre-Teens
1) Lawn Care: Lawn care is a great choice for young men and women who love being outdoors. Kids are allowed to perform lawn care and mowing jobs under the supervision of a parent when under age 14. Parents should just make sure their child is ready to handle the responsibility and that they understand the importance of being safe with such equipment. Gloves should be worn when tending to the maintenance of the lawn mower, for example, to avoid injury to hands and fingers. Kids can post an ad in the local paper offering to trim lawns and hedges for local residents. They can get paid between $7 and $50 an hour for such jobs.
2) Mommy’s Helper: The term “babysitting" is not used as much in regards to taking care of kids in someone else’s home. But it is essentially the same thing. There are plenty of working moms who need the assistance of someone in the house who can look after kids in their absence, as well as take care of chores around the house and other small jobs that need doing. Check around to see who needs help with house chores and watching their kids while they are away. This is a great Saturday job for either girls or boys and a great summer income for preteens.
3) Help for Seniors: Older people have trouble with smaller tasks. As people age, even simple things that used to be easy, such as taking care of their house, cleaning up clutter, or reading medicine labels, can be a challenge. Look into this opportunity by visiting your local Senior Care agency or post an ad in the paper offering your services as a help to seniors. They will appreciate it and many older people have money and will pay well for their help.
4) Sell Online: Entrepreneurs don’t have to have a 6-figure income, own stock in Amazon, or be a publicly traded company. Some of them are 10-year-olds! Entrepreneurs are anyone who has a unique idea that they want to market and which has the potential for sales and profit. Talk to your preteen about something they think they would like to create. Kids often have some of the best ideas for new products! Then see if it’s something practical that might sell, put it up on ebay and watch the profits roll in.
5) Fix-it Experts: Some kids are really good at fixing things. Mechanically-inclined kids could create their own income by fixing things that are broken. Anything from broken necklaces to car repairs could be included in this job idea, depending on your child’s ability level and how much supervision is required. Something is always in need of fixing in people’s homes, so look into this possibility if you have kids who are great at fixing things.
Try these five ideas to put your preteen to work this year. They can do many of these jobs after school hours, on the weekends, or during vacation time and summer break. Over time, they could accumulate a great deal of money that they can use for things they need or want.
Check the WANT ADS first in your local paper, then post an ad and see what results you get. Some businesses also hire kids after school to do some of these jobs within their business. Remember, starting kids working early in life teaches them responsibility with jobs and money management, helps increase their confidence, and gives them skills they will use throughout their lifetime.