Age-appropriate jobs for 12-year-olds to make money

Age-appropriate jobs for 12-year-olds to make money

Is your 12-year-old eager to get a job? If so, they are not alone. We know from our research that there are many ways that kids can start making money, whether it's setting up their own business or doing chores for pocket money. To help, we look at all the age-appropriate jobs for 12-year-olds.

Can a 12-year-old legally work?

The youngest age a child can get a part-time job is 13. This means the only work most 12-year-olds can do is informal, such as helping parents and small jobs for relatives, family, friends and neighbours. While this may feel like bad news, there’s no reason 12-year-olds can’t seek out odd jobs for money.


The benefits of work for a 12-year-old 

Twelve-year-olds are at an age where they are starting to develop their independence and responsibility, and informal work can help them build new skills, as well as teach them other valuable life lessons.

Here are some of the benefits of a 12-year-old helping out:

  • It develops a sense of responsibility: Working requires your child to be responsible for their time and actions. They will need to be able to meet deadlines and follow instructions. This can help them to develop a sense of responsibility that will carry over into other areas of their life.

  • It teaches them about money: Working will give your child the opportunity to earn their own money. This will teach them about the value of money and how to manage their finances. 

  • It builds self-confidence: Successfully completing a job can give your child a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-confidence. This can be especially helpful for shy children.

  • It encourages time management skills: Juggling school, work, and other activities can help your child develop their time management skills. This is an essential skill they will need to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

What jobs can 12-year-olds do?

Washing the car

An excellent job for a 12-year-old and one that he/she could possibly do for neighbours and family friends too. Be sure to give a quick taster lesson on how to do it well.

Gardening work

While this tends to vary according to the time of year, there’s plenty of gardening work your 12-year-old can help with in the Summer and Spring, from weeding to mowing lawns and planting.

Running errands

Who hasn’t been home and needed milk, bread, or toilet roll? If you feel your 12-year-old is capable, send him off to the corner shop to 


Our Youth Economy Report shows that nearly one in five (18%) kids earn money from gaming, with 12-year-olds making the most, taking home on average £8.24 a month.


If your child is responsible and has experience caring for younger siblings, they could offer babysitting services to neighbours or families you know.

Pet care

Twelve-year-olds may be too young for dog walking, but they can offer pet services. If your child loves animals, they could provide pet care services such as pet sitting, feeding or cage cleaning. These services are in high demand, especially among busy pet owners.

Making and selling items

From cakes to birthday cards, digital prints and more. There are a range of creative things 12-year-olds can make and sell.


Another option is to volunteer. You won’t get any money for this, but you will get some fantastic working experience, which will look great when you apply for a job at 13.



What employment can a 12-year-old get?

In terms of employment, the only jobs children under 13 can do is professional acting and modelling. If this is the case, then you must apply for a performance licence ​​from the local authority where you live. Plus, The Children (Performances) Regulation of 1968 specifies that a 12-year-old who is acting or modelling requires supervision at all times by a parent, a teacher or a local authority-approved chaperone.

Working hours of jobs for 12-year-olds

Children of this age can only work limited hours. During term time, a 12-year-old can work 12 hours per week, and during school holidays they can work 25 hours per week.


How can your 12-year-old manage their money?

Helping your 12-year-old develop healthy financial habits is crucial for their future financial well-being. To help them manage any money they earn: 

  1. Encourage saving: Encourage your child to save a portion of their allowance or any additional money they receive. Open a savings account for them and explain the concept of compound interest, showing how their savings can grow over time.

  2. Discuss budgeting: Introduce your child to the concept of budgeting. Help them create a simple budget that divides their allowance into spending, saving, and giving. This will help them prioritise their expenses and make informed financial decisions.

  3. Teach smart spending: Guide your child towards making responsible spending decisions. Encourage them to compare prices, consider their needs versus wants, and avoid impulse purchases. Help them understand the difference between spending and investing.

  4. Promote financial responsibility: Encourage your child to pay their bills on time, even if they are small amounts. This will help them develop a sense of financial responsibility and avoid late fees or penalties.

  5. Have regular financial conversations: Talk to your child about money regularly. Discuss current financial news, explain financial concepts, and answer their questions patiently. Open communication fosters a comfortable environment for financial discussions.


How can GoHenry help

GoHenry's mission is to make every kid smart with money. The card and app are packed with great features that help kids safely and securely learn about money, from saving to smart spending. In-app Money Missions make learning about money fun and engaging with videos and quizzes covering everything from saving to budgeting. Parents can set flexible parental controls in the GoHenry app and receive real-time spending alerts whenever their kids use their GoHenry kids’ prepaid debit card. You can also create savings goals and recurring pocket money payments.

Written by Anita Naik Published Jan 29, 2024 ● 5 min. read