By Pam Molnar

With today’s economy, teens are having a hard time finding work. According the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, only 60% of teens were employed last summer compared to 75% in 1983. Under-employed adults are now filling jobs that have traditionally been filled by teenage workers in our society and recent college graduates. If a teenager is without a job during their high school years, where will they get the money to buy a car, save for college or even have a little spending money for a trip to the movie theater? Entrepreneurship is the answer.

As a third generation entrepreneur, I can tell you that starting and maintaining your own business is not easy nor is it something for everyone. It takes hard work, self-motivation and perseverance. The majority of teen businesses are service oriented and many of the families in your neighborhood can benefit from those services. Take a look at some of these ideas and see if they would be a good fit for your teen.

Pet sitting: Pet sitting involves caring for someone’s pets while they are on vacation or away for the day. A pet sitter will be responsible for giving fresh food and water, walking dogs and cleaning out cat litter boxes. Pet sitters need to be early risers and have the ability to get back and forth to the pet’s home three or four times each day.

Tutor: Teens can use their skills to tutor younger kids in a variety of areas. If your teen plays an instrument, he can work with younger students to keep up their skills over the summer and improve their technique throughout the school year. Teens who play sports can share their talents with younger athletes who need to improve their throwing, hitting or dribbling techniques. And of course, academic tutors are needed to help with math, reading or ACT prep.

Summer nanny: Babysitters are needed for both working and stay at home parents during the summer months. For parents that work out of the home, they need a Mother’s Helper to entertain the children. Working parents that leave the house during the day may need someone to walk or drive their child to the local pool or summer activity.

Online retailer: An eBay retailer is an awesome job for teens as you can post, pack and ship at any time during the day. Teens can start by selling their own items like books and gently used clothes, and then replenish their inventory with good deals found at thrift shops and garage sales. Craftier teens may enjoy selling their creations on Etsy.

Odd jobs: Odd jobs can mean a variety of things to different customers so it is best to be prepared and know your limitations. Make a list of the things you can do and hand it out to friends and neighbors. Odd jobs may include washing the dog, weeding the garden, mowing lawns, painting, sweeping out the garage or helping to serve dinner at a party. Doing odd jobs can be a good match for someone with a busy schedule.


Online Jobs for Teens

Looking to supplement your earnings with multiple streams of income? Consider increasing your bank account with these online jobs.

Fiverr: Teens can sell their product or service for $5 ($4 after Fiverr takes their fees). Use your skills to proofread papers, design a logo or provide SEO analysis. Check out what others are doing and set up your own shop easily.

Slice the Pie: Get paid to rate music. This is perfect for the teen in your life. The starting pay is terribly low (2 cents per review), but your rank and pay increases with the quality of your reviews bringing you up to 20 cents per review.

My Survey: Give your opinion and receive points that can be converted to PayPal or gift cards. After filling out the application, emails will be sent to you containing a survey. Answer only the surveys you want to and points will be added to your account.

Swagbucks: Receive points for using this search engine. As teens are researching for their homework, they can earn points. Convert points for payout in the form of gift cards like Amazon, Starbucks or a variety of gas cards.

Parents: Please read several reviews and search for scams before allowing your teen to sign up for an online job. Never pay for membership to start working for an online business.

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three teenagers. She is proud to see the entrepreneurial spirit has touched a fourth generation in their family.

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