Personal Finance

Jobs for 13 Year Olds That Pay Well

Turning 13 sparks that first taste of independence. Yet bigger expenses arise too for interests like gadgets, entertainment, and hanging out with friends. Seeking part-time work represents a logical way to start earning income. But jobs for 13 year olds face tight legal restrictions – if not outright bans – across traditionally physical roles involving dangerous equipment or materials.

This guide examines realistic jobs for 13 year olds within lawful limits. We’ll highlight the most accessible opportunities, detail key requirements securing roles, and provide tips optimizing your application success. Let’s explore how 13 year old workers can effectively enter the workforce legally.

Typical Limitations Around Employing 13 Year Old Workers

Jobs for teens span ages 13-19 – but labor laws differ drastically between the youngest 13-14 bracket versus older high school students. Myriad legal teen jobs suit mature 16-19 year olds that remain prohibited for early 13-14 year old adolescents under tighter minor worker protections. Identifying appropriate roles means teens must closely assess workplace fit based on exact age, location, and school obligations before applying.

Strict Hour and Schedule Rules

Most states prohibit 13 year olds from working over 3 hours on school days/8 hours otherwise. Total weekly hours top out at 18 for students and 40 during vacations. Most locations also prevent overnight shifts.

Banned Industries and Activities

Hazardous tasks and occupations with exposure to dangerous commercial equipment, vehicles, environments, or industrial materials universally sit off limits. This includes construction, manufacturing, warehousing, power tools, heavy machinery, and more.

Minimum Wage Rights

While the federal minimum wage fully applies to 13 year old workers, certain state exceptions exist around initial training periods allowing percentage-based wages in some entry-level vocations. Standard minimums take effect quickly though.

Top Jobs for 13 Year Olds Within Legal Limits

Creative Work

Leveraging artistic talents, musical abilities, craft skills, or tech acumen through programming, blogging, tutoring, pet art, merch sales etc unlocks income potential sans traditional employment.

Lawn Work/Snow Removal

lawn work for teen job

Seasonal yardwork and shoveling brings income through manual efforts like mowing, raking, pruning, trimming, and sweeping. Great for those energetic teens not phased by playing outside across weather shifts.

Pet Care Services

Dog walking, pet sitting, boarding assistance etc for neighborhood animals offers flexible scheduling for 13 year old animal lovers reasonably able to transport themselves reliably when needing to handle creatures entrusted into care.

Cleaning/Household Chores

Assisting elderly, busy parents, or homebound neighbors complete basic tidying tasks makes meaningful community impacts when handling duties carefully while providing helpful conversation for isolated seniors.

Farmhand Helping

In rural areas, assists neighbors and family agricultural operations provide approved income generation streams when following safety protocols regarding equipment/animal interactions per legal guidelines. Verify insurance coverages.

Sports Refereeing

Youth recreation programs, town leagues, local camps providing summertime active entertainment all seek junior refs able call games fairly. Know the rules inside out and exercise non-biased authority publicly.

Carefully Permitted Food Services

While commercial kitchens stay prohibited, select dining establishments allow 13 year olds assist during peak hours greeting guests, bussing tables, hosting customers, packing takeout orders etc under direct adult supervision without hazardous machinery risks.

Family Business Assisting

Working alongside parents/relatives contracts (under guardian ownership) to legitimize and enhance productivity across approved occupations avoids barriers. Transition gradually eases into formal external employment later when legally able.


childcare job for teens

Babysitting, mother’s helping, and similar care-based roles attend to younger kids working well around 13 year olds’ variable school schedules. These classic opportunities develop nurturing competencies, communication grace, responsibility prioritizing others’ needs – all capabilities positively impact healthy teen development.

Administrative Assistance

Some self-employed individuals permit family member volunteers aiding real estate tasks, online retail selling, musical instruction etc where beneficial learning traction moves East into professional participation once legally allowed age arrives.

Key Tips for 13 Year Olds Seeking Jobs

Scoring that crucial first gig requires embracing some core realities around how rare underage hiring has become:

Broadcast Interests Widely

Very few employers proactively seek underage workers given extra paperwork/supervision and work limitations/bans. Success requires financial literacy and widely communicating abilities through both formal and informal community channels persistently. Ask everyone you meet.

Lead Locally

Outside of family, friends, and acquaintances become referral sources rather than successfully cold contacting complete stranger hiring managers lacking awareness around youth employment nuances. Politely inform all local personal and professional contacts about your work availability and creative service ideas fulfilling potential consumer or business needs nearby.

Confirm Guardians Are Fully Supportive

parents support

Minor hiring legally mandates robust parental permissions with consent forms and liability acceptance around duties. Ensure your guardian proves dependability transporting to shifts reliably when public transit lacks. Trouble securing one signature kills opportunities quickly.

Remain Flexible

While school comes first, communicating willingness to accommodate employer scheduling needs around core class times and family situations keeps you viable for recurring and one-off jobs. Treat obligations as seriously as academics.

Finding open positions expects effort given legal hurdles. But embracing the hunt for community connections matching reliable 13 year olds with customer service gaps persists until the right opportunity intersects with your availability. Then consistency upholding the workplace end of bargains continues that welcomed momentum.


Securing that first life-changing paycheck brings immense satisfaction and responsibility at the pivotal age of 13. While reasonable protections limit jobs for 13 year olds from traditionally physical realms, ample customer-facing roles do actively enable motivated young teens to gain income, skills, and crucially – references – for the working world.

Remember, money merely represents half the equation here – intentionally engaging experiences bolstering your human capital capabilities matters equally for preparedness securing later leadership duties. With due diligence embracing the documentation demands and legal guardrails protecting adolescent workers, abundant opportunities exist for ambitious 13 year olds able to exhibit workplace diligence, emotional intelligence, and dependability in roles well-matched to rising competencies.


What’s the youngest legal age someone can work?

Federal law sets 14 as the absolute minimum employment age for limited non-agricultural jobs. However additional state restrictions may further tighten prohibitions on 13 year olds securing any normal employment presently.

What jobs allow 13 year olds to earn an income?

Common 13 year old friendly jobs include babysitting, pet care, lawn/yard work, house cleaning, mother’s helper roles, some agricultural assisting, sports refereeing, tutoring, and limited food services. Artistic, creative, technical, and entertainment jobs also remain options.

Can 13 year olds work the same hours as older teens?

No. 13 year old workers face substantially greater restrictions regarding night and weekend working hours. Most states limit 13 year olds to no more than 3 hours on school days and 8 hours otherwise with total weekly hour caps differing significantly from older teen peers and especially adult staff.

What should I consider before seeking jobs as a 13 year old?

Apart from assessing responsibilities levels fitting your capabilities and availability, ensure securing necessary work permits, reliable transportation to/from shifts exists, parental approvals, no negative school performance impacts, appropriate attire, and ability to articulate what value your efforts offer employers relative to simply hiring older staff with fewer strings attached legally.

Do labor laws also dictate 13 year old worker pay rates?

Yes. The full standard federal minimum wage applies equally to 13 year old employees with almost zero exception presently. Certain allowances for percentage-based training wages got eliminated over recent years – ensuring fair pay in exchange for workplace efforts.

What’s the main difference in jobs for 14 year olds vs 13 year olds?

The clearest legal distinction comes through expanded jobs for 14 year olds no longer facing strict hourly restrictions permitting only limited after-school and weekend hours. Fourteen year olds in most states can work full-time during summer or other extended school breaks.

What online jobs can a 13 year old legally do?

13 year olds face limitations securing traditional employment on-site, but online remote work widens options thanks to tech leveraging boundless digital opportunity reach. Budding programmers, video editors, social media influencers, video game streamers, bloggers, tutors, designers, and digital creators can monetize talents directly – or assist entrepreneuring adults behind-the-scenes – given results matter more than age assumptions online.

Aiden Murphy
Aiden Murphy is your expert for job finding strategies. With a finger on the pulse of the job market, he not only provides valuable insights but also updates our audience with the latest job market analysis, ensuring you stay ahead in your career endeavors.

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