How to make money as a teenager in the UK

How to make money as a teenager in the UK

Whether looking to save for a car, pay for university, or earn some extra spending, there are many ways that teens can make some extra money. For a start, many businesses need part-time workers, and the good news is that teens can start working part-time as soon as they are 13 years old. If they feel a little more ambitious and want to be their own boss, your teen can even make money without leaving the house. Here's our guide to how to make money as a teenager in the UK.

Top ways to make money as a teen:

  1. Delivering newspapers

  2. Weekend shop work

  3. Working in a salon

  4. Retail work

  5. Events work

  6. Babysitter

  7. Make and sell stuff online

  8. Paid surveys

  9. Video game streaming

  10. Completing chores

  11. Tutoring

  12. Declutter and sell stuff


Working while you are a teen

Before your teen starts looking for a job, it's important to know that while they can start working when they turn 13, they are restricted to 12 hours a week during the school term and 25 hours a week during the school holidays. This increases to 25 hours at 14, 35 hours at 15 and 16, and unlimited at 17 and over.

Different types of jobs for teens

Teens can sign up for a variety of different kinds of work


  • Part-time jobs - retail or restaurants, hair salons, and customer service fall under this.

  • Summer jobs - this tends to be seasonal work and includes the above as well as things like summer camps, fruit picking and hotel work.

  • Internships don’t always come with a salary but with expenses and sometimes a paid weekly sum.

  • Self-employed jobs here include car washing, babysitting and pet care, and as teens get older can include being a Virtual Assistant.

  • Own business - this can be anything from selling clothes on online marketplaces to Etsy shops, a baking or tutor business.

The benefits of making money as a teen

There are many benefits to encouraging your child to find a part-time job. From independence to flexing their earning muscles, working helps build financial literacy and enables your child to understand their earning power.  Alongside this, making money helps teens to:

  • Understand the correlation between hours worked and earnings

  • Develop a sense of responsibility

  • Build self-confidence

  • Understand the power of a work ethic

  • Be responsible 

  • Learn how different working is to school life

How can a teen prepare for their first job?

To help teens prepare for their first job, you need to put them in control of their work needs. From punctuality to having a clean work uniform and factoring in how to get to work, ensure that they know this is their responsibility, not yours. Alongside this, talk about:

  • What it means to be professional at work, from listening to what you are being told to having a positive mindset about work.

  • Staying committed. It’s easy to be excited about work in the first few weeks, but teens can lose enthusiasm fast. Don’t give them an easy way out of leaving their job. Remind them they have made a commitment.

  • Safety concerns. Working may mean coming home late, starting early, or working with different people and age groups. Be sure to talk to your teen about safety and what to do if they feel unsafe or harassed at work.

  • Getting paid. A first job also means teens need a bank account to receive their wages. Teens can open a bank account on their own from 16 years old. Another option is the GoHenry teen debit card. A GoHenry account has an account number and sort code so an employer can pay their salary via a bank transfer or BACS.

  • Establish how much they will save from their pay. Suggest that a certain percentage (ideally at least 20%) of their earned income always goes into a savings account. This is an excellent life habit; ultimately, your teen will thank you for it.  


Related: Essential job skills for teens


Different ways teens can make money

The type of job your teen gets and how much money they make comes down to their age, how much spare time they have, and whether they want to work for themselves or prefer a more traditional part-time job.

Part-time jobs for teens


1. Delivering newspapers

Not as popular as it was 10 years ago, but check at your local newsagents.


2. Retail

Working in retail from sales assistants to customer service and even online shoppers, all make up part-time retail jobs.


3. Hair salon

From sweeping floors, receptionist work and making drinks for customers.


4. Sports coach

If you’re good at a particular sport see what vacancies there are for part-time positions


5. Restaurant or fast food

Working in a restaurant or fast food place always needs servers, waiters and kitchen staff.



Holiday or summer jobs for teens

Summer for teens is the perfect time for earning extra cash and gaining valuable part-time work experience. Here are some ways for teens to make money in the summer:


6. Summer camps

From sports camps to summer schools, they all look for teen mentors, office staff, teachers, activity leaders and coaches.


7. Theme parks

If you live near a theme park there will be many part-time roles, from food and drink sales to customer service staff and ride attendants if you live near one. 


8. Summer festivals

Summer festivals take place right across the UK, and many offer a variety of opportunities for older teenagers. Jobs include selling food, drink and merchandise to stewarding.


9. Gardening

Gardening help is always needed during the summer months, from mowing lawns and weeding to cutting back hedges. Contact local gardening companies and ask if they are looking for extra help. 


Ways for teens to make money online

If your teens spend a lot of time online, they could turn that time into money. Making money online means they don't have to worry about getting someone to drive them anywhere, and its flexibility means they can fit it around their studies. Here are the ways teens can make money online:


10. Make and sell stuff online

Selling homemade crafts is big business. In 2021, as many as 25% of young people sold items online, according to GoHenry's Youth Economy Report. If your teen likes making things, why not encourage them to make money from their skills on eBay and by selling on Etsy?


Kids between 13 and 17 can only sell on Etsy via a parent-registered account and kids under 13 are not allowed to use Etsy.


You must be 18 years old or older to sell on eBay but with parental permission, your teenager can use your eBay account. 


Related: Side hustles for teens

11. Paid surveys

Many companies want to learn what consumers think about their products through paid online surveys. It won't earn your teenager a fortune, but it's relatively quick and easy work; all they need is internet access.


12. YouTube channel

Growing a successful YouTube channel may take time, but once your teen gets enough views and subscribers, they can apply to have adverts on their channel and get paid for these.


13. Video game streaming

Video game streaming has become hugely popular in recent years. It's a fun way to share a love of gaming and generate some income.


14. Take and sell photos

If your teenager enjoys taking photos as a hobby, they can turn it into cash by selling them online. 


15. Sell excess clothes and stuff

If your teen has something they don't want or use anymore but is still in good condition, they could make money by selling it at car boot sales or online through eBay, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace


Under-18s can’t sell on Facebook Marketplace, so they will need to sell through a parent's account with their approval and knowledge.


Vinted has a policy that users must be individuals aged 18 years or more. For under-18s, a parent must register and supervise the use of the services.

Related: How do you have to be to sell online? 8 ways for teens to make money online 


Start a business as a teen and earn money 

There are also plenty of opportunities to make money with small business ideas by offering a useful service, for example:


16. Tuition

If there's a subject your teenager is particularly confident in, then they could offer themselves as a tutor both online and in-person in the area.


17. Pet photographer/ event photographer

If your teen is doing a photography GCSE or is adept at taking pictures, they could offer photography services.


18. Drink stand

An old-fashioned option that works well if a location is chosen wisely.


19. Window washing

This is another business well worth trying – if your teen invests in a telescopic window cleaning pole they won’t need a ladder.


Related: Small business ideas for teens


Make money doing household chores


20. Doing extra household chores

Your teen can also earn some money by doing some extra chores at home. Think about what household chores would be most helpful to you and suggest that your teenager takes responsibility for them in exchange for pocket money. Here are some ideas:

  • Helping younger siblings - with homework, with their own tasks and babysitting.

  • Doing your own laundry or that of your family.

  • Taking care of the garden and mowing the lawn.

  • Taking out the rubbish and sorting the recycling daily.

  • Cooking one meal a week and doing top-up grocery shops.

  • Vacuuming and mopping floors.

Find out more about the best chores for teens.



The best high-paying jobs for teens

The best high-paying jobs for teens aged 13+:

  • Delivering newspapers - £5 a week with more at weekends when the papers are heavier.

  • Weekend shop work - £4.81 an hour. Tends to be in smaller shops, and duties include stacking shelves and clearing up.

  • Working in a salon - £4.81 an hour plus tips. Mainly Saturday work, which includes sweeping up, making hot drinks and washing hair.

The best high-paying jobs for teens aged 14+:

  • Retail work - pay is £9 - 10 an hour. One of the best high-paying jobs for teens is working in the leading supermarket chains. These jobs pay between £9 and £11 an hour. 

  • Events work - pay is £9 an hour. This means helping with the serving of food and setting up for events such as weddings, engagements, christenings and company events. Pay is around £9 an hour. 

  • Babysitting - pays £8 an hour. Depending on the child's age, the hours and how many children your teen will be watching, babysitting can pay anything from £8 upwards. 

Understanding your payslip

Getting your first part-time job is exciting, but research from the Money Advice Service has found that teens need to prepare for working life, with only 59% saying they understand their payslips. The good news is it's easy to explain to your teen how to understand their first payslip.


Firstly, teens need to understand that a payslip is a summary of their earnings and deductions issued by their employer whenever they get paid.


A payslip will, therefore, show the following:

  • Pay period - this is the date range that this payslip covers. 

  • Tax code - which tells an employer how much tax-free income an employee gets in a tax year.

  • National Insurance number - every UK person 16 and above has a unique NI number that ensures National Insurance contributions (which help build an entitlement to benefits such as the State Pension and Maternity Allowance) are recorded only against the person's name.

  • Gross earnings - is the money earned before taxes and other deductions are subtracted.

  • Taxable earnings are earnings, less any salary sacrifice deductions such as a pension. Deductions only apply to full-time employees.

  • Net payment - the amount paid after all taxes and deductions are taken.

Do teens pay taxes on their earnings?

Under-18s only pay income tax if they earn more than £1,042 a month (over £12,570 a year). Still, everyone has to pay tax at some point, so it's essential to explain to your child what income tax is. Also, at 16, be sure your teen knows they need to pay National Insurance payments if they have a part-time job. This will come off as an automatic deduction that entitles them to things like the state pension, maternity pay and statutory sick pay.


What is the minimum wage for teenagers?

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour most workers in the UK are entitled to by law. The rate varies depending on age. For teens aged 16 - 17, the minimum someone can pay them is £5.28 an hour.


What can teens do with the money they make?

According to our Youth Economy Report, kids and teens who are encouraged to save are far more likely to continue saving as adults. For this reason, teach your teens to save money as soon as they start earning. Whether they are looking to save up for their first car, a new pair of trainers, or university, getting started is the most crucial step.


Your teens can save money by:

  1. Setting up an auto-save on the day they get paid

  2. Tracking their incomings and outgoings to see where they can make more savings

  3. Budgeting so they have more money to save

  4. Doing extra chores to earn pocket money

  5. Getting a GoHenry prepaid debit card

  6. Delaying gratification

  7. Understanding needs versus wants


Related: How to save money as a teen


As for how much teens should save, the general rule of thumb is 50/30/20. That’s 50% for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings. The key to saving is consistency. Get them to save a percentage of their earnings or pocket money as soon as they get paid so they learn the right money management skills to set them up for life.


Related: Can you invest in the stock market before you turn 18?

How can teens manage their money?

If your teen is making money, there are various ways to help them manage it, from banks offering current accounts to building societies with kid-saver accounts.  


Money from part-time jobs can also be paid straight into a GoHenry account. This is a safe and secure way for teens to get their wages. A GoHenry teen debit card means they don't have to remember to pay money into the bank or carry cash around with them when they are out. 


It's a convenient way to be paid as once the money is in their account, they can use their GoHenry card to pay for items online, in-store, or withdraw cash from an ATM. They can also set up saving pots and track their weekly and monthly incomings and outgoings via the GoHenry app.

Written by GoHenry Published Dec 20, 2023 ● 6 min read