Awesome Jobs for 16-Year-Olds to Start Earning Money

From summer jobs to side gigs, we have tons of ideas to make money and gain experience.

Updated March 28, 2024
young lady barista working with coffee machine in coffee shop

If you're ready to earn a little extra cash, there are actually lots of jobs for 16-year-olds at local businesses that can give you great experience and some extra income. Many teens also opt for self-employment when they're ready to start earning money.

Whether you want to work for a business or be your own boss, all you need is a little creativity and a few good leads to find a satisfying and lucrative employment opportunity. There are plenty of things you can do to earn spending money, save for college, or contribute to your family's expenses. These are a few of our faves.

Part-Time Jobs That Hire at 16

Traditional part-time teen jobs are good choices if you're ready to join the workforce but don't want to commit to 40 hours per week. Some of the most popular positions allow you to balance school, social time, and family with fewer hours.

Grocery Store Bagger/Cashier/Stocker

Many grocery stores have jobs for 16-year-olds who are willing to bag groceries and provide customer service. This is a job worth considering if you like dealing with people. Some of these stores may also hire 16-year-olds for cashier and stocker positions. You have to check with the specific company in which you are interested. For example, the grocery stores Publix and H-E-B offer positions to 16-year-olds.

Need to Know

Keep in mind that you need to be at least 18 years old to sell alcohol in many locations. If your grocery store stocks beer, wine, and liquor, you may need to stick to stocking or bagging jobs instead of being a cashier.

Retail Store Cashier

Some companies are happy to hire 16-year-olds for cashier duties, and this is an awesome way to get some customer service experience. You can find these types of jobs at department stores, large retailers such as Wal-Mart, or mall stores. You should be comfortable with basic math before applying for these jobs.

Macy's, Target, and JCPenney all can hire 16-year-olds for cashier or stocker positions; this will depend on the specific store branch, state labor laws, and the level of maturity of the teenager.

Restaurant Cashier/Cook/Waiter

Young waiter serving customer at cash point in cafe

Restaurants are great places to work, and most hire 16- or 17-year-olds. Many teens start their working years in restaurants, often at fast food chains. At a restaurant such as McDonald's or Subway, you can work as a cashier or food preparer. At fancier restaurants, you may work as a bus person who cleans tables, as a dishwasher, or as a host or hostess.

Here are just a few of the restaurants hiring 16-year-olds, depending on the specific location and state laws.

Need to Know

Sometimes a 16-year-old can become a server, but often, you need to be a few years older to get these jobs. This is especially true if the restaurant serves alcohol.

Small Business Worker

barista holding tablet for checking order from customer on coffee cafe

If you want to know how businesses really work, consider helping a small-business owner. The advantage of working at a small company is that you may have a greater variety of job duties and opportunities to learn while earning money. Earning the trust and respect of the owner can lead to more responsibilities and opportunities over time. That's great training for your future career.

You can search for local companies to find potential opportunities, but using word of mouth can actually be an even better way to find job opportunities in town. It's also good to try the proven strategy of walking around your downtown checking for "help wanted" signs in windows, and there's no shame in just walking into a business and asking if they're hiring.

Library Assistant

A library offers a great working environment for teens. It's clean, indoors, and relatively low-stress. You won't have much social interaction, though sometimes patrons will ask you for assistance. If you enjoy books and are organized, this job is great if you can find one. Ask your neighborhood library for information on how to apply the next time you visit. You can also check online for possible library jobs.

Quick Tip

This is one of those jobs that can also take the form of volunteering or an internship. It might not be paid work, but you can get experience that leads to paid work down the line.

Food Delivery Person

student delivering food through city using mobile phone

If you live in a city that allows you to get your driver's license at age 16, you can apply for a food delivery job. This job would allow you to work in the evenings and on weekends. You also should be able to get tips for your service.

Most national chains require that you are 18 before you can get a driving job. However, local eateries may allow 16-year-olds to deliver. Visit some local restaurants to find out if they're hiring.

Data Entry Clerk

If you have basic computer skills and like working in an office, you can often find a part-time job as a data clerk. Many offices may need clerks, but your best bet is with banks, medical offices, accounting firms, or other small businesses. This is awesome experience if you plan to go into this field.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities for 16-Year-Olds

For each of these jobs, you need some visibility to get started. First, you should spread the word among your classmates, fellow community members, or neighbors. You may also be able to post an ad online or post flyers at the grocery store or community center.

Quick Tip

Before you sign on to work for a new client, it's a good idea to let your parents help you screen them. That way, you can make sure you're building your business with people you can trust.

Lawn and Gardening Services

Like being outdoors? Many teens earn some summer spending money by mowing lawns and performing gardening tasks. If you can supply your own equipment, you may be able to get more work. Try to line up clients before summer starts to have a head start on the competition.

Tutoring Services

Teen giving lessons to young girl

If you are a good student who enjoys helping people, you might be able to make some money as a tutor. The most common subjects teens need help with are math, science, English, and foreign languages.

Dog Walker

If you like dogs, being a dog walker may be just the right job for you. Let people in your neighborhood know that you are seeking opportunities to earn extra money by providing this type of pet care. If you are reliable and trustworthy, you may be able to win some clients who will let you walk their dogs daily and others who will turn to your services when they leave on vacation. If you do a good job, you will likely attract even more customers through referrals.

Car Washer

Washing cars is another traditional summer job for 16-year-olds, although it can easily become an ongoing business venture for teens. Let everyone in your neighborhood know that you are willing and able to wash cars year-round to earn some extra money.

Quick Tip

Cleaning the interior of cars is another great service that people really need. You can offer it as an add-on when you wash the exterior.


Babysitter and kid spending time reading a book

Babysitting is one of the easiest jobs for teenagers to get, but it does take word of mouth. You need a good reputation, reliability, availability, and possibly a parent who will verify your maturity. It can be a good way to make extra money while not being tied down to a weekly job schedule.

Related: How to Get Babysitting Jobs & Advertise Your Services

Music Teacher/Tutor

If you play an instrument, you may be able to offer lessons to both children and adults. Contact interested people through your school or religious institution. Where you teach the lessons depends on what type of instrument you play; consider trying to set up a relationship with the school or organization to use their facilities if you need a place to teach.

Personal Assistant

With the hectic pace of our lives, there are probably many people who would like to get some effective assistance. If you are responsible and enjoy running errands, doing housework, and performing other little tasks, you might find work as a personal assistant. Place flyers on the wealthier parts of town or use word of mouth to get your name out there. Again, screen the family carefully before accepting the job.

Web or Graphic Designer

Teen boy studying at desk on laptop

If you are already spending every free moment on your computer, why not turn your skills into money? Many companies and individuals need someone to create or enhance their websites. Start by creating your own website to advertise your skills. Then, whenever you come across a website that could use your services, make contact and sell yourself and your ideas.

Social Media Assistent

Are you awesome at growing your Instagram or Twitter account? Put those skills to work for you by managing the social media presence for businesses or people in your community. You can do this on a freelance basis. You'll need a great online presence of your own to show that you've got what it takes to make their accounts more visible.


If you have a way with words and are knowledgeable about a topic, you can make money blogging or writing. Consider joining a blogging network that offers either a guaranteed per-post wage or a share of advertising revenue. Be sure to review the guidelines closely before you join a revenue-sharing blog site, as some require contributors to be 18 years of age or older.

If you prefer to have more control and earn all the advertising revenue, then create your own blog on or and work for yourself. You can sign up for AdSense or promote products on your site. You may have to have your parent sign up for the advertising accounts because you are not yet 18.

Senior Citizen Socializer

Teenage boy delivering groceries to a woman

Many senior citizens find it hard to get around, especially in inclement weather. Provide company to lonely seniors by dropping in to play cards or board games once a week. Help a group of senior friends get together by driving them to and from a gathering place to play games or to and from events for seniors held by local organizations. Look for work with your grandparents and their friends or check with local senior citizen agencies to advertise your skills.


Head out to thrift stores and yard sales to find items you could fix or clean up and then resell. Join groups on Facebook or create an account on a resale site like eBay to sell your repurposed goods. Look for items with mass appeal that won't take too long to fix up that you can buy for super cheap. Small furniture pieces and old picture or window frames are easy to clean, paint, and even redesign to create fun, functional home décor items. If you're more artistic, look for pieces you can use to make unique found art.

Related: Vintage Thrift Store Finds to Look For & What Not to Buy


Some kids and teens make a living with their YouTube channel, and you could totally be one of them. Once you establish a following, you can sign up for an online advertising tool to make money from your channel or look for paid sponsors. If you get a large enough following and have a unique platform, you could go on to get paid for public appearances.

Start by checking out which teen YouTubers are the most successful in your area of expertise and interest. Then come up with an original idea that will appeal to a wide audience. Plan your videos in advance for a more professional feel and get the word out about your new venture.

Seasonal and Summer Jobs for 16-Year-Olds

You may not want to work all year round; perhaps working during the summer or Christmas breaks could provide you with enough spending money. There are several fun and lucrative seasonal positions that a 16-year-old may be able to get.

Gift Wrapper

We all know people who hate wrapping presents, and if you're good at it, you can put that skill to use. Wrapping Christmas gifts can be a good way to earn some extra money during winter vacation. Most of these jobs are at department stores or in mall kiosks. Start looking for opportunities early in the fall, as these seasonal jobs are often filled well in advance of the holiday season.

Amusement Park Worker

Love roller coasters? A fun summer job could be working at an amusement park like Six Flags or SeaWorld. You can work at the ticket booth, at a concession stand, or even as an entertainer at the park.

Hotel Worker

If you live near a tourist town, there's no shortage of summer work at hotels. In warm locations, the busy season may be summer, but at ski resorts, this could be in winter.

There are several positions that hotels may hire a 16-year-old for — especially during the busy season. Bellboy or front desk worker are common positions that may be available. The hotel restaurant or gift shop may also have several positions open.

Quick Tip

Many hotels say you have to be 18 years old, but if you inquire with the manager, you may find out that there are indeed positions for which you qualify. Check with the hotel well before the busy season starts to get an application and gauge the availability of positions.


Lifeguard in working clothes guarding the beach

Do you know how to swim and rescue others? You may be able to put this to use to get certified as a lifeguard during the summer. You will have to deal with rambunctious kids and be able to assert your authority to maintain control of the situation at the pool. This is usually a seasonal job; however, if you find a job at an indoor pool or in a temperate climate, the job may be year-round.

Farm Work

When harvest time comes, many farms are looking for seasonal labor. Scores of Midwest teens have spent their summers detasseling corn, for example. If you live in an area with nearby agriculture, look for outdoor opportunities.

Snow Removal

You may be able to offer your services to neighbors in the winter to assist with snow removal directly. You can also contact local snow removal services to see if they are hiring; the advantage of working with a service is you don't have to market your services.

Animal Care Assistant

If you love working with animals, look for a gig as an assistant caretaker at the zoo. You'll most likely do a lot of enclosure cleaning, but you will also have the chance to learn about and interact with some of the less dangerous critters. Other jobs you might be asked to do include face painting and animal crafts with kids at the zoo.

Holiday Decorator

For some families, putting up and taking down holiday decorations feels like a bothersome chore they don't have time for. That's where you come in. Whether it's Christmas, Halloween, or Easter, offer to decorate the inside and/or outside of busy families' homes for a small fee. Look for older neighbors or working parents with kids as your first clients. Use their decorations and take care of the hard parts, leaving them some simple decorating to do if desired.


If you are great at baking and decorating cakes or cupcakes, you might be able to turn it into a lucrative side job. Offer to make kids' birthday cakes or desserts for other casual events. Start by making a couple for friends for free. Take pictures of your finished product and get your friends to give you reviews on social media. If you're successful, you could even open a booth with fresh baked goods at your local farmers market.

Package Porter

You've probably seen those December news stories where thieves are stealing packages off other people's porches, especially near Christmas. Help your neighbors keep their gifts safe by offering to move their packages out of sight. Since you'll likely be home from school a couple of hours before most working adults, you could either put the packages in their house for them or move them to a back porch or garage so they're out of view from thieves.

Get a Job!

There are some websites that focus on part-time and full-time jobs that teens may be interested in.

  • has many retail and service jobs, and you can search by ZIP code.
  • lists jobs only for 14- to 19-year-olds.
  • is not specifically for teens; however, it lists available jobs at amusement parks, national parks, and other seasonal jobs.

Make Extra Money and Gain Valuable Experience

Teen jobs are just an awesome way to earn money and gain work experience. To find the best job for you, consider work that is suitable to your skills, personality type, and future ambitions. Contact employers in your community to inquire about jobs for 16-year-olds if you are ready to start working or do the legwork necessary to get your own small business venture going. After all, it's never too early to start preparing for the future.

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Awesome Jobs for 16-Year-Olds to Start Earning Money