Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

How a 15-year-old can make money

Many 15-year-old teens want to have their own spending money, and they're willing to work to earn it. There are several jobs that a teen can do.

Some of these positions offer the opportunity to get fresh air and exercise while others involve working at the computer. You will have set hours with some of the jobs, such as newspaper carrier or office worker, and possibly freelance hours working as a website designer.

Performer or actor

A 15-year-old can work in the entertainment industry on radio or television, in the theatre, or in motion pictures.

Although the job is exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) laws, some states have laws that place restrictions on minors. Whenever there's a discrepancy between federal and state laws, the most protective one applies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Working for parents

A 15-year-old can work in her parents' business, provided they solely own or operate it, and it's not a hazardous job, as defined by the Secretary of Labor. Hazardous jobs include excavation, such as coal mining; working in fireworks or other explosives factories; and operating power-driven equipment, such as welding machines. A teen can work as many hours as she wants, unless her state specifies limits.

Newspaper delivery

A teen who's an early riser can deliver newspapers. He may prefer a home delivery route, or might opt to sell papers on a busy street corner. A teen can only sell to the consumer; he can't work in a distribution centre.

Clerical positions

A teen can work a job in an office and operate office machines, such as a fax or postage machine. Some entry-level office jobs include mailroom clerk, office assistant, receptionist and file clerk.

Shop clerk

A 15-year-old can work in a shop or store helping customers, pricing or bagging merchandise, cleaning or as a cashier. A teen can work up to 18 hours during a school week, and 40 hours per week during other times.

Food industry jobs

A 15-year-old can make money busing tables, washing dishes or as part of the wait staff.

A teen cannot work directly with food, such as chopping vegetables or cooking, nor can he unload the delivery truck or unpack the deliveries in the freezer. Additionally, he can work in a bakery, but as counter help only.


A teen can teach others to play a musical instrument, tutor in academic subjects or show others how to play a sport, such as tennis or basketball.

A teen can speak with her guidance counsellor about her interest in earning money as a tutor. The counsellor may mention the teen's services to students in need of extra help.

Computer jobs

A teen can earn money as a programmer, game tester or website designer.

There are many jobs within the computer field for a teenager. An expert with programmes such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro can sell her creations on the Internet.