As a 16-year-old, you have plenty of time before you need to make money (unless you’re supporting yourself and your family). If you’re still in school, that’s even better. That gives you time to decide what kind of job you want when you grow up so that by the time you graduate or drop out, you already have an idea of what job to look for. And here is the best part – plenty of jobs out there pay exceptionally well, and they’re open to 16-year-olds.
To help you get started, here are 30 high-paying jobs that are perfect for 16-year-olds. No matter what type of job you’re looking for, this list can give you some ideas on how to get started with your career in the future.
If you’re young and smart, consider becoming a tutor. Many parents seek private tutors to help their kids improve their grades and get on a college track. It can be stressful working with elementary school students who may not want to listen to you – and it’s undoubtedly more complex than tutoring adults – but it can be gratifying if you have a passion for helping children learn.
Depending on where you live, you can earn an hourly rate of anywhere from $13 to more than $35 an hour. Check out Varsity Tutors or Big Future to get started.
2. House Sitter
This is a great high-paying job that often has flexible hours. House sitters monitor, feed, and care for people’s homes while they’re away on vacation. The upside to housesitting is flexibility: Since most pet owners and homeowners are on vacation for limited amounts of time, you can choose when and how often you work. Many house sitters succeed in performing a few weeks in one place during their summer break from school or college before finding other housesitting gigs around their travels.
3. Dog Walker
Dog walking is a high-paying job that doesn’t require any certification. High school students can work part-time during and after school while maintaining their grades. However, it would be best if you liked dogs because your boss will count on you to socialize, play with and exercise pets while their owners are away. And if you’re interested in training animals (more likely to happen with larger breeds), dog walking might also provide opportunities to improve these skills.
Babysitting is one of many high-paying jobs perfect for teenagers with flexible hours since you can usually pick your hours based on where your clients live. It’s also a great gig because parents love having their children looked after by other teens, meaning more repeat business. Babysitters often earn more than $10 an hour, but their rates may vary depending on where you live. Babysitters earn more than $10 an hour, but their rates may vary depending on where you live.
5. Golf Caddy
If you have good grades and know golf, caddying can be a great way to make extra cash on weekends. The money is suitable for a 16-year-old who wants a high-paying job because most caddies are paid flat rates that can top $200 for a single weekend (for example, $100 on Saturday and $100 on Sunday). Plus, if you like being outside, it’s a fun job!
Young people usually don’t think of farmhands as high-paying jobs, but they certainly can be. Beginning on a farm can be hard work, but it’s also one of the most rewarding ways to land your first job. With opportunities to work with animals and learn responsibility, many farmers and ranchers will hire teenagers as soon as possible if they want to make good money at 16.
7. Restaurant Server
Working as a restaurant server can offer top dollar to people between 16 and 17 years old. If you enjoy interacting with people and providing good customer service, becoming a restaurant server could be a fantastic first job. On average, you might serve food and drinks to 10 to 15 customers; your tips will add up quickly if you’re adept at multitasking and serving guests their food quickly. Your pay varies by the establishment but can easily range from $5 to $10 per hour.
8. Newspaper Delivery
Getting up early to deliver newspapers is one of those jobs most 16-year-olds love. Even better, you’re likely to have a lot of free time – which means time for schoolwork or extra chores and money you can save. At around $11 an hour, newspaper delivery is a tremendous high-paying job for 16-year-olds with few responsibilities. Plus, you’ll get valuable responsibility skills.
When you think about making money at 16 years old, you probably don’t consider being a gardener. But it’s a high-paying job, and if you have experience maintaining your yard, it’s easy to do other people’s yards. Starting as a teenager will help boost your pay more than starting later in life because of your knowledge and maturity.
10. Youth Sports Referee
The best-paying jobs for 16-year-olds don’t necessarily require a college degree. By working as a referee for youth sports, teenagers can earn up to $2,000 per season and can help keep kids active through physical exercise. Aspiring referees should show leadership skills on and off their court. It’s recommended that they be familiar with NCAA and NFHS rules before they step onto their first field of play.
11. Snow Remover
If you live in a city, chances are good there’s a lot of snow outside right now. Because heavy snowfall is so common during winter months, it’s no surprise that many people make some extra cash by removing snow from other people’s property. Snow removal can be easy for teens because it doesn’t require much training or equipment.
12. Logo Designer
A logo designer creates logos for all clients, including businesses, non-profit organizations, and people looking to promote their brands. Designers can charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour depending on their experience, skill level, and whether or not they’re providing full-scale branding services.
13. Arcade Attendant
From running arcades at movie theaters to setting up gaming stations at corporate events, if you’re a gamer yourself, why not get paid for it? Arcade attendants earn an average of $10 an hour and are often called on to help troubleshoot video games and entertainment software. You’ll need good hand-eye coordination to work as an arcade attendant.
14. Pet Sitting
This can be a good option for 16-year-olds who love animals and have flexible schedules. In addition to caring for pets, pet sitters need to ensure that their client’s homes are safe and secure at all times, which means you should know your way around a home maintenance checklist. Pet sitting is also popular in big cities like New York City, where people visit with their animals but don’t always have time to care for them properly.
15. Event Photographer
If you have a knack for photography and know how to handle equipment, then event photography could be a great high-paying job for your age group. You will be hired to capture all kinds of events: weddings, birthday parties – even nature and wildlife photography. You’ll need plenty of experience and some expensive equipment, but it can be done. And when you turn 18, you’ll already have some great contacts!
16. Social Media Marketing Assistant
This year, 16-year-old students can start a part-time job as a Social Media Marketing Assistant for a local business. With digital marketing making up a significant portion of advertising, companies are looking for knowledgeable assistants. Social media is critical for every business, but few small businesses are equipped with staff who can manage their pages effectively. This position involves creating, implementing, and analyzing social media campaigns to drive traffic and boost sales.
If you know how to leverage social media and have excellent written communication skills, a high-paying job as a social media marketing assistant may be for you.
17. Sales And Reservation Agent
Reservation agents handle incoming calls from patrons and customers, helping them secure seating for various events. Because of their outgoing nature, these positions typically pay between $15 and $18 per hour. Since you’ll be handling people’s money, you must have good customer service skills. The combination of good customer service and sales skills is perfect for those seeking a high-paying job.
18. Retail Worker
Working as a retail salesperson can provide 16-year-olds with some good income opportunities. Starting hourly rates are around $9.00, according to Glassdoor data, and employees usually earn commission bonuses at 20 percent of their base pay rate. For example, a worker who earns $10 per hour may take home an extra $2.50 for each sale they make; clearly, commission payouts add up quickly over time for good performers.
Most 16-year-olds don’t have cashier experience, but a little bit goes a long way. The average annual salary is $20,870 (or $10.18 an hour), according to Glassdoor. If you’re good at math and like interacting with people – which most teens are – you could potentially be promoted to shift manager as quickly as six months after starting work at your local chain store.
You might not see too many 16-year-olds running lifeguard shifts these days, but one thing is clear: Lifeguards can make good money. While most states and localities cap lifeguard salaries at $20 per hour, part of that compensation can be made up by seasonal tips during summer months. If you have swimming skills, consider making a living saving life as a guard on an aquatic team (e.g., water rescue) that gets paid more than pool patrols.
21. Delivery Service Driver
This gig involves running an errand to pick up a package for delivery. Many local companies offer flexible work schedules, and driving is one of the best ways for 16-year-olds to make money legally (with permits). The typical wage for such drivers is between $11 and $12 per hour, but average mileage fees may bring that rate closer to $15 or higher.
22. Automotive Technician
An automotive technician is a skilled professional who fixes or diagnoses vehicle problems. A 16-year-old can start an automotive apprenticeship program, where they’ll learn skills and get paid to work on other people’s cars. Automotive technicians typically make up to $45 per hour, and many unions and employers pay for workers to attend school part-time at a local technical college. If you love cars, then consider becoming an automotive technician. You can make up to $30 per hour by starting as a junior technician. This beats other high school jobs by leaps and bounds!
23. Library Assistant
Most teens need summer jobs. And although you may think library assistant isn’t a high-paying job, you’ll be paid $11.54 an hour at your local library – and that rate could go as high as $12.95 depending on where you work and how many hours you work per week. If libraries are willing to pay teens so well, imagine what other companies might be willing to pay!
24. Swim Instructor
As a swim instructor, you’ll be paid to help people improve their ability to swim. This job is also a good one if you want to pursue a career as an athletic trainer or personal fitness trainer; many people who work as swimming instructors do so while they attend school and work toward those other jobs. Being a swimming instructor could be a high-paying job if you are comfortable around large bodies of water and teaching children.
25. Content Writer
Whether you’re writing content for a news outlet, creating ebooks, or editing Wikipedia pages, content writing is a high-paying job with a low entry barrier. 16-year-olds looking to start their careers can consider content writing an excellent place to start. Most businesses need an engaging and helpful online presence, precisely what writers create. It also doesn’t require specific qualifications – just a love of reading and crafting words!
26. Graphic Designer
The field of graphic design is rapidly growing and is relatively accessible. 16-year-olds looking to break into high-paying jobs with little or no experience can take a look at graphic design, where they can get their foot in the door without any formal education. The demand for designers has increased immensely as more and more websites pop up on computer screens. 16-year-olds interested in graphic design should enroll in an online course to start working on their portfolio and building an impressive client list.
You may have heard that YouTube is one of the most popular ways to make money online. It’s true – there’s a reason why so many people post videos on YouTube, and it’s because there are millions of people watching every day. Whether you want to be an advertising partner or make your ad revenue, you can earn a great amount on YouTube. And while it’s hard to start a popular channel today, it isn’t impossible.
28. Internet Researcher
If you have a knack for finding and compiling information, working as an internet researcher is a great way to make money for a 16-year-old. You can take on some of these tasks from home, whether it’s researching trends, ideas, or information for use in advertising campaigns and articles (which can be published online or elsewhere).
The average pay is $11 per hour. But keep in mind that you’ll need to have exceptional computer skills if you’re going to excel at research jobs like these since employers are looking for candidates who can dig up obscure facts on just about any topic.
If you love writing and have a knack for sharing insights on relevant, important topics, blogging is an option that can pay well. For those just starting, consider doing some freelance writing or building up a personal brand to get started. To market yourself as a professional blogger and get business inquiries, you can create your own website or build a substantial social media following. If making money online initially sounds overwhelming, try taking things one step at a time and enjoy what you learn.
30. Video Editor
High-paying jobs for 16-year-olds are not a myth; many teenagers work hard and make good money for their age. However, if you’re looking for an exceptionally high-paying job, video editing is one to take seriously. 16-year-old video editors made a median salary of $15.00 an hour. Because most work on commission, that rate can vary wildly depending on their skill level and experience. The position requires many of the same skills as those employed by professional film editors:
- A solid technical understanding of cameras, sound equipment, and lighting.
- An ability to create story arcs through editing.
- Critical thinking skills.
While money and career success are important factors when considering which high-paying jobs to pursue, keep in mind that employment is not just a financial decision. You’ll want to ensure you are passionate about what you do, or you will eventually burn out. Find your passion and ensure it’s nurtured so that your career can be something worthwhile to strive for – and find fulfillment in. Start with our list of high-paying jobs for 16-year-olds above, then work towards securing one as soon as possible!