Earning extra money now can help you pay for college later, save for retirement, or even just earn some extra pocket money for other needs. If you’re looking for some ideas, here are some of the best-paying part-time jobs you can do as a high school student.
1. Camp Counselor
As a junior camp counselor, you can help guide younger children at camp. Work all summer at a camp, or even help with day camps in your hometown, and you could earn plenty of money to get you through the school year.
As a camp counselor, if you work at a sleep-away camp, you’ll have your food and shelter provided and you won’t have anyplace to spend your money — making it easy to save.
Even if you work in your hometown as a junior camp counselor at day camps, you still have the chance to save up money.
If you’re particularly good at a subject, you might be able to get paid for helping younger students get better grades.
In many cases, it’s possible to earn $15 – $20 an hour if you’re a good tutor. Plus, with tutoring, you’re able to set your own schedule. It’s a flexible way to earn money while you get through high school and participate in extracurricular activities.
3. Teach Music Lessons
Are you in the school choir? Do you participate in band or orchestra? If so, you might be able to make money teaching music lessons to younger kids.
I was so busy in high school with sports and with music, that working a “regular” job was tough. So I began teaching piano lessons to beginners. I could charge $10 for a half-hour lesson and could pick the days and time most convenient for me.
Not only was I able to make decent money, but I also enjoyed the feeling of pride at our end-of-the-year recital when my students displayed their improved abilities.
You might be surprised to discover that working as waitstaff at a restaurant is one of the best-paying part-time jobs. Even though you might not make a lot of money in wages, you do have the potential to pick up extra cash in the form of tips.
When I waited tables, I always had cash, sometimes coming home with as much as $75 to $100 for a four- to six-hour shift. You might be surprised at how well you can do if you have the coordination and customer service skills to wait tables.
Depending on how many kids you watch, and your qualifications, you might be able to earn $12 to $15 an hour as a babysitter. For good measure, get certified with First Aid. Some community centers offer babysitting courses, and you can charge at the high end if you are certified.
Additionally, if you have a driver’s license and can help shuttle the kids to different activities, you can charge a premium rate as a babysitter.
6. Pet Sitter
Increasingly, families have four-footed members — and they need watching, too. This can be a great part-time job, yielding about the same amount as babysitting.
As a pet sitter, you can watch others’ animals while they’re out of town or at work. You can walk dogs, feed cats, and take care of other animals as well. This is a really flexible job in many cases, allowing you the ability to work around your own schedule.
If you’re a good swimmer, lifeguarding can be one of the great part-time jobs available to high schoolers. You have to pass the training, but some aquatic centers and pools will pay for you to go through the classes — as long as you promise to work for them.
At the entry level, you might only earn $9 to $10 an hour, but as you become more experienced, you could earn up to $15 to $16 per hour. If you can be a lifeguard for more than a year or two, the potential for increased earnings could be solid.
One of the most popular drinks in the world is coffee. Coffee shops are brimming with activity. You can earn minimum wage or more working as a barista, and then there are tips on top of it.
Not only can you make some decent cash at a part-time job, but there are some coffee chains that offer tuition assistance. So if you work for them, and continue working for them during college, you could even get help paying for school. The value of tuition assistance goes beyond what cash you make, and makes being a barista more than just another item on your resume.
9. Lawn Care
If you like working outside, you could make some money providing lawn care services. The more you can offer, the better. This could include mowing lawns, trimming edges and hedges, and maybe even light gardening. Depending on the situation, you could make $200 – $300 per month per client.
As with many jobs like this, however, you do need to make sure you do high-quality work. The good news is that, often, you can do the bulk of the work on the weekends. Line up three or four clients, and you could make fairly decent money, just by working on the weekend.
10. Personal Assistant
Many adults lead such busy lives that they struggle to make time for things like picking up the dry cleaning, walking the dog, or taking the car to get the oil changed. This is where you could step in.
As a personal assistant, you might help with a number of mundane, every day tasks that adults might not want to do. You could charge $10 to $15 an hour, depending on the tasks you do. This can be a flexible way to earn extra money while learning responsibility and how perform certain adult tasks.
11. Social Media Consultant
Many brick-and-mortar businesses are looking for ways to connect to customers on social media — even locally. This is where you could help out. You can help businesses in your area by creating posts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other networks.
Your tech-savvy skills and ability to quickly create and share memes could come in handy. Even just making simple, non-controversial posts can be a good way to make money. Offer your services and you could make between $12 and $15 an hour. The more services you offer, and the more you do, the more you can charge. There are some social media consultants that make thousands of dollars a month.
12. Online Video Editor
One of the best part-time jobs for the savvy and experienced online teen is as an online video editor. You can make upward of $20 or $30 per hour when you do a good job editing videos.
With video content exploding, all sorts of people, from individuals starting YouTube channels to local businesses looking to put out interesting content, are hoping to get recognition through video. It’s a perfect way to put your skills to use, and do it on your own schedule.
13. Podcast Editor
If you know how to edit sound, you could be a podcast editor. Many people are interested in starting podcasts, but the process of editing can be tedious. If you can insert music, and get rid of awkward pauses and mistakes, you could be a podcast editor.
As with editing video, it’s possible to make $20 or more per hour by working competently in this growing medium.
14. Sell Items on Etsy (or Some Other Site)
My son has been trying to figure out how to make money, and recently someone asked him if he could convert a piece of fabric into a rug. He’s talented at sewing and he did so — and was paid $75.
Now he’s working on making microwavable, reusable hand warmers. Selling on Etsy does require an adult’s help, but you can also sell in other places. Consider crafts at local summer events and fairs. Even farmer’s markets sometimes allow people to sell handmade items.
Being able to create allows you to set your own prices (as long as the market will bear them) and work on your own schedule. If you have a creative spark, whether it’s sewing, woodworking, or painting, you can make money.
15. Start a Blog, YouTube Channel, or Other Online Property
It takes time for these types of money-making strategies to bear fruit. However, online content creators who do a good job can make money through Patreon by getting people to donate to help them with their efforts. You can also monetize a blog, YouTube channel or other online property.
Perhaps you have experience in a particular niche. You might be good at cooking and start a channel based on the recipes you prepare. If you play sports, you could review the different equipment and hold unboxings.
Having special content and using tools like Discord and Twitch can also help you as you grow an audience and begin to make money. And, of course, this can be done on your own time.
Bottom Line: No matter whether you’re looking for more traditional part-time jobs, or whether you’re interested in starting your own business and making money on your own terms, there are a number of ways you can earn money while still in high school. Plus, any job you get will enhance your resume and make you look more attractive to colleges.
And, of course, depending on how you develop your income, it could even allow you to make money while you’re in college.
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This post was written by Miranda Marquit, who has been covering personal finance for more than 10 years, including aspects of college planning and student loans. She is a recognized money expert and has contributed to numerous media outlets, including Forbes, Marketwatch, NPR, USA Today, Investopedia, and U.S. News & World Report. She lives in Idaho with her teenage son — who she’s just starting to guide through the college selection and admissions process.