As we enter summer vacation season, a lot of high school students or their parents are looking for ways teens can earn money. They’ve got free time on their hands and are looking for cash. There’s good news on the youth employment front: It’s trending upward.
Nearly 50 percent of teens and young adults, ages 16 to 24, are employed, according to a report from Child Trends, a national nonprofit. That number had dropped to 45 percent in 2009, at the height of the Great Recession.
And, last summer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed teens and young adults ages 16 to 24 increased by 1.9 million to 20.5 million.
Plenty of those teens and young adults are working traditional summer jobs -- babysitting, mowing lawns, scooping ice cream and keeping swimmers safe at the neighborhood pool. But there’s a new crop of summer job opportunities found in a marketplace that probably didn’t exist when the parents of today’s teens were looking to earn a little summer cash: the internet.
Before parents and teens begin to explore online money-making possibilities, be sure to bone up on online safety habits to ensure you don’t open yourself -- or your teen -- up to con artists and scams. StaySafeOnline.org shares some great tips. InternetMatters.org also shares tips specifically for teens and their parents.
Now that you’ve armed yourself with knowledge about internet safety, here are five ways teens can earn money online.
Etsy: Back in the day, crafty teens had to rely on their own network to sell their handmade earrings or scarves. Today, they can sell those items around the world thanks to sites such as Etsy, which features handmade goods. The site does, however, have pretty strict rules for teens, who have something to sell. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian manage their Etsy account. They also aren’t allowed to use Etsy’s community features. Teen Vogue shares some tips for starting an Etsy store.
Fiverr: The website claims to be the “world’s largest freelance services marketplace” where small business owners and entrepreneurs go to find services, including writing, programming, graphics, design and more. The right teen -- maybe a computer science whiz or a talented web designer -- could find work here. The site is offered and available to users who are 13 years or older, according to Fiverr’s terms of service. Fiverr “sellers” can get paid between $5 and $10,000 per job.
Enroll: Tutoring has long been a popular summer job for smart teens, who excel in academic subjects. Enroll.com makes it easy for teens to connect with potential students across the country and around the world. To be a tutor, teens must be at least 15 years of age and are only allowed to tutor students under the age of 18, according to Enroll’s website.
Swagbucks: There are lots of reward sites out there that hand out retail gift cards, PayPal cash and other rewards for simply shopping, taking surveys, playing games and participating in other online activities. Swagbucks is one of the big ones. Teens ages 13 and up can participate. Nobody is getting rich on Swagbucks, but they are earning a little extra cash that, for a teen, can add up along with other summer work.
E-Poll: Like those reward sites, the internet is full of survey sites where users can make money taking online surveys. On E-Poll, teens “over the age of 13,” the website says, are encouraged to participate in surveys. Like those reward sites, survey sites aren’t going to make anybody rich, but they do give teens opportunities to earn a little extra money.
And, for teens, a summer job shouldn’t be just about the money. It’s also about the time management lessons and the confidence-building experiences that come with a job well done.
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