Can children earn money before they turn 18? It’s totally possible! But there are a few laws and rules that tell you what you can and absolutely cannot work with depending on how old you are. There are even some jobs that are adapted for children and young people!
So how do you make money when you’re a child? It depends. First, you have to know what the labour laws are in your country and how that affects you if you want to start working before you turn 18.
Working under the age of 13
Before you turn 13 you can’t work outside of your family home. A lot of children around this age can earn extra money by helping out with chores, like mowing the lawn or unloading the dishwasher.
Working between the ages of 13-15
When you have turned 13 you can apply for simpler jobs, like helping out in a corner shop during the summer. You won’t be able to work by yourself if it involves money or cash registers. If you are between 13-15 you can’t do physically strenuous jobs or other tasks that could be dangerous, like working with machines or chemicals.
Working between the ages of 16-18
When you’re between 16 and 18 you can take on all types of jobs, except ones that are immediately dangerous like working on an oil rig. You aren’t allowed to work alone if cash is handled at your workplace.
If you want to read more about working as a minor, visit gov.uk
Working hours for children and teenagers
Minors, which is everyone who hasn’t turned 18 yet, cannot by law work before 7 AM and after 7 PM. If you are working during the school term, you can only work a maximum of 12 hours each week, which is a maximum of 2 hours per school day and Sunday. If you’re between 13-14 you can work 5 hours on Saturdays, and 8 hours if you’re between 15-16.
Remember to make a cup of tea once in a while, it’s important to take breaks! You need to take a break for at least an hour every four hours.
During the school holiday, children between the age of 13-14 can work 25 hours a week, and 15-16 year-olds can work up to 35 hours.
Common chores for children and young people
We recommend that younger children under the age of 13 start out by helping out at home or at a relative or family friend’s house. The youngest, under the age of 10, should definitely keep it within the family home.
The Gimi app help children and parents to keep track of the chores that you can do around the house to earn a bit of extra money.
Recommended chores for children under the age of 7
- Pick up dirty laundry and put it in the laundry basket
- Put away groceries
- Put toys back on shelves or in toy trunks
Recommended chores for children between the ages 8-10
- Help cook dinner
- Fold clean laundry
- Unload the dishwasher
Recommended chores for children between the ages 11-13
- Take the dog for a walk
- Put younger siblings to bed
- Vacuum the entire home
Working for neighbours from the age of 14
When you have turned 14, it’s common to start helping out around the neighbourhood. For example, you can help your neighbour or relative by mowing their lawn, or maybe pass out leaflets?
Common jobs for children and young people
Help relatives and neighbours
There is almost always someone in your neighbourhood that needs help, like shovelling snow in the winter or mowing the lawn during summer. It’s important that you check with your parents first before you start your own lawn mowing business!
Maybe you have baby cousins or other young children in your area that you could babysit? Working as a babysitter is a fun job that you can do on the weekend. It’s important that you check with your parents first and that they meet the parents that you will babysit for.
Maybe the world’s best job, dog sitting?! Dogs are social animals and need to be taken out for exercise. If you have a dog at home that you walk, your neighbours will probably be open to the idea of letting you care for their dog. Speak to your parents about things that are important to think about before you start dog sitting.
Sell old things
Do you have a bunch of old toys and clothes that are just lying around at home? Good! This could be a goldmine! Maybe somebody else could use them? Check with your parents if they also have things that they want to get rid of. You can sell your things on websites such as eBay or you can set up a stand at a flea market!
Helping your family or neighbours with a car wash is often a much-appreciated way to earn some extra money!
Handing out leaflets
You will probably be given a certain area that you are responsible for handing out leaflets in, either to people on the street or in mailboxes.
Leaflets can be handed out in certain areas, find out more here.
In many areas, it is common for young people so sell or distribute newspapers. This has been a popular part-time job for over a hundred years, many parents did this in their youth and have since passed the tradition on to their children. Maybe your parents did this when they were your age!