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A boy popping through a newspaper.

Ah, the good old days! When I was a youngin’, jobs for 12 year olds were not as common as they are now. But, I was lucky to have found one that made me feel like a real businessman. I was a newspaper delivery boy, traveling the streets of my neighborhood on my trusty bicycle, rain or shine. It was a job that taught me responsibility, time management, and the value of hard-earned cash. Plus, the tips were great!

But times have changed, and there are now so many more opportunities for 12-year-olds to earn extra pocket money. So, if you have a budding entrepreneur in your family, here’s a fun guide to the best jobs for 12-year-olds, approved by this experienced dad.

The Positive Aspects of Working at a Young Age

Working at a young age can have numerous positive aspects that go beyond just earning their own money. It teaches children the value of money, instills a strong work ethic, and helps them develop important life skills.

By taking on age-appropriate jobs, children learn responsibility, time management, and the importance of following instructions. They also gain valuable skills, which can be a great asset as they grow older and enter the workforce. 

1. Development of Responsibility

Taking on a job at the age of 12 teaches children valuable lessons in responsibility. They learn to manage their time effectively, fulfill their obligations, and prioritize tasks. This early exposure to responsibility sets a solid foundation for future endeavors and helps instill a strong work ethic.

2. Acquisition of Life Skills

Working at a young age provides opportunities for 12-year-olds to acquire essential life skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. They learn how to communicate effectively with others, handle money responsibly, and problem-solve independently. These skills contribute to their personal growth and readiness for adulthood.

3. Building Self-Confidence

Successfully completing tasks and earning money through work can significantly boost a 12-year-old’s self-confidence. As they overcome challenges and achieve goals in the workplace, they develop a sense of pride in their abilities and accomplishments.

This increased self-confidence can positively impact various aspects of their lives, including academics, social interactions, and future career pursuits.

The Negative Aspects of Working at a Young Age

While there are many positive aspects of working at a young age, it’s essential to consider the negative aspects as well. Child labor laws are in place to protect children from harmful or exploitative labor. These laws prohibit 12-year-olds from being legally employed by businesses.

So, the jobs we’ll discuss are more creative and designed to earn some extra cash from family, friends, and neighbors. It’s crucial to ensure that the jobs your child takes on are safe, age-appropriate, and don’t interfere with their education or well-being…So, let’s check out some cool job opportunities for your 12-year-old!

walking dogs outside. Perfect jobs for 12 year olds

Traditional Jobs for 12 Year Olds: Putting a Modern Twist on Classic Opportunities

1- Babysitting: The Ultimate Responsibility

Babysitting has always been a classic job for 12-year-olds, and it’s still a great option today. Your child can offer their services as a responsible babysitter, taking care of younger siblings or cousins.

But remember parents, you should be in close proximity to ensure the safety of both the babysitter and the children. It’s a good option to teach your child about caring for others and earning some extra money.

2- Dog Walking: ‘Unleash’ Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

If your child loves animals, being a dog walker is an excellent way for them to earn money while enjoying the great outdoors. Many dog owners are willing to pay for someone to walk their dogs, especially during busy workdays.

Your 12-year-old can offer their services to neighbors and family friends, ensuring they only handle dogs they know and can control. It’s an opportunity to combine their love for animals with a small business venture.

3- Yard Work: A Little Sweat for Some Extra Cash

Yard work is a physically demanding job, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for 12-year-olds to earn some extra money. From mowing lawns to raking leaves and shoveling snow, there’s always a need for some helping hands.

Of course, make sure your child is appropriately attired and supervised, especially when using equipment like lawnmowers or weed whackers.

4- Pet Sitting: Caring for Furry Friends

Pet sitting is another job perfect for animal lovers. Your 12-year-old can take care of pets in their owners’ homes while they’re away. Responsibilities include feeding, providing fresh water, and spending quality time with the pets.

It’s crucial to ensure your child is comfortable being alone in someone else’s home and can follow instructions from pet owners.

5- Tutoring: Sharing Knowledge and Helping Others

If your child excels in a particular subject at school, tutoring can be an excellent job opportunity. They can offer their services to help other children struggling with their studies. A strong academic background in the subject they wish to tutor is essential, as well as the ability to explain concepts clearly and patiently.

From Math and English to Piano or Coding…There are many subjects that your child could help others with.

6- Newspaper Delivery: A Modern Twist on an Old Favorite

Having a paper route may seem like a job for the ol’ school crowd, but there are still opportunities in some areas. Your 12-year-old can take on the role of a newspaper delivery person, bringing the news to homes and businesses in their neighborhood. It’s a chance to develop responsibility, time management skills, and interact with community members.

Arts and Craft tools for kids

Online Jobs for 12-Year-Olds: Embracing the Digital Age

The internet has opened up a world of opportunities for young entrepreneurs. Here are some online ideas that your 12-year-old can explore.

7- Freelance Writing: Wordsmithing for Cash

If your child has a passion for writing, they can become a freelance writer. They can create their own blog, write stories or articles, and even submit their work to magazines or websites. Encourage their creativity and help them navigate the online writing world safely.

8- Social Media Management: The Gen Z Experts

Gen Z has grown up with social media, making them experts in the field. Your 12-year-old can offer their services to small businesses, managing their social media accounts, creating content, and engaging with customers. It’s an opportunity to develop marketing and communication skills.

9- Arts and Crafts: Creativity and Earning Money

Arts and crafts can be a fun and creative way for 12-year-olds to earn money while expressing their talents. They can create handmade jewelry, paintings, pottery, or knitted items to sell online or at local craft fairs. It’s a chance for them to show their creativity and develop important skills like problem-solving and time management.

10- Video Creation: Lights, Camera, Action!

With the popularity of YouTube and other video-sharing platforms, video creation has become a viable job opportunity. Your 12-year-old can create their own YouTube channel, producing content related to their interests, such as gaming, fashion, or cooking.

They can earn money through ad revenue or sponsored content, all while learning valuable video editing and marketing skills. Check out my list below of uber-famous young YouTubers and entrepreneurs…

Seasonal Jobs: Making the Most of Their Free Time

Summer Vacation Jobs: Fun in the Sun and Extra Cash

The summer months offer an excellent opportunity for 12-year-olds to earn money while enjoying their vacation. Here are some seasonal jobs perfect for the summer.

11- Lifeguarding

If your child is a strong swimmer, they can become a certified lifeguard and ensure the safety of swimmers at local pools or beaches.

12- Ice Cream Shop Assistant

Working at an ice cream shop is a sweet gig for any 12-year-old. They can serve customers, scoop ice cream, and learn about running a small business.

13- Camp Counselor

Summer camp adventures await! Your child can spend their vacation as a camp counselor, leading outdoor activities and making lifelong memories.

14- Community Event Helper

From festivals to fairs, summer is packed with events! Your child can lend a hand with organizing, setting up, or assisting at local community events.

Gift wrapping with ribbons and schissors. Jobs for 12 year olds

Winter Vacation Jobs: Embracing the Holiday Spirit

The winter months offer its own set of job opportunities. Here are some seasonal jobs perfect for the holiday season:

15- Gift Wrapping Service

Your 12-year-old can offer their gift-wrapping expertise to family, friends, and neighbors. It’s a great way to spread holiday cheer and earn some extra cash.

16- Caroling

If your child loves to sing, they can organize a group of friends and go caroling in the neighborhood. People are often willing to give generous tips to talented carolers.

17- Snow Shoveling

Winter wonderland awaits! Your child can turn snowy days into a business opportunity by offering snow shoveling services for neighbors.

18- Ski Resort Helper

Hit the slopes with a job at the local ski resort! Your kid can assist with ticketing, rentals, or even ski lessons, embracing the winter fun.

19- Hot Cocoa Sales

A winter twist on the Old Lemonade Stand! Warm up winter days with a hot cocoa stand. Your child can spread cheer by selling hot cocoa and snacks at winter events or in the neighborhood.

20- Holiday Decoration Setup

Deck the halls with your child’s help! They can assist neighbors or businesses with setting up Christmas lights and other holiday decorations and spreading festive cheer.

21- Indoor Event Assistant

From holiday parties to craft fairs, winter events need helpers! Your child can assist with organizing, serving, or entertaining at indoor events.

a lemoda stand with many kids

Potential Business Ideas

Apart from traditional and online jobs, your 12-year-old can explore potential business ideas. Here are a few options to consider:

22- Lemonade Stand

A classic business venture, a lemonade stand can teach your child about entrepreneurship, customer service, and money management. He or she could include water bottles, cola cans, or even protein shakes for sale.

23- Bake Sale

If your child enjoys baking, organizing a bake sale can be a fun way to earn some extra cash. They can sell cookies, cupcakes, or other treats at local events or in the neighborhood.

24- Customized Jewelry Making

Sparkle and shine with a jewelry-making business! Your child can create custom bracelets or necklaces, turning beads into beautiful treasures.

25- Homemade Candle Making and Selling

Light up lives with handmade candles! You and your child can create aromatic candles and sell them, spreading warmth and coziness.

26- T-shirt Designing and Printing

Wear creativity on your sleeve! Your child can design and print custom t-shirts, turning their artistic visions into wearable art.

27- Plant Care Services

Bring greenery to homes with plant care services! Your child can help neighbors with watering, repotting, and caring for indoor plants.

28- Mobile Car Detailing

Just a fancy phrase for car washing! Rev up for success with a mobile car detailing business. Your child can offer car washing and detailing services, making vehicles sparkle and shine.

29- Homemade Skincare Products

Pamper with natural skincare goodies! Your child can create homemade skincare products like lip balms or scrubs, offering eco-friendly pampering.

30- Subscription Box Service

Surprise and delight with a subscription box! Your child can curate themed boxes filled with snacks, crafts, or other goodies, delivering joy every month.

Girls could get some items on Alibaba or the Dollarshop and combine them into a nice-looking basket for their friends and family. Boy could offer some guy stuff, like deodorants, sports cards, or fun comic books.

31- Personalized Stationery Designing

Write in style with personalized stationery! Your child can design and sell custom stationery sets, adding a personal touch to correspondence.

Great Options for 12-Year-Olds

a lawn mower seen between the grass

Online Jobs or Businesses

32- Graphic Designer

Unleash your creativity by designing logos and social media graphics. With your artistic touch, you can help businesses stand out in the crowded digital landscape!

33- Virtual Assistant

Kids nowadays are tech-savvy, right? They can put those skills to good use by offering virtual assistance – managing emails, organizing schedules – and being heroes behind the screen!

Weekend Jobs

34- Lawn Mowing or Gardening

Got a green thumb in the family? Your kid can help with lawn mowing or gardening chores for neighbors, making their weekends blossom with greenery!

35- Assisting at Local Markets

Weekends are bustling at local markets and local businesses! Your child can lend a hand with setting up stalls or helping vendors, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.

36- Assisting at Cafes or Bakeries

Is your kid a morning person? They can join the weekend crew at a local café or bakery, serving up smiles along with delicious treats!

a boy taking a picture with a camera

Jobs for Boys

37- Handyman Services

Does your son have a knack for fixing things around the house? He can offer handyman services such as fixing leaky faucets, assembling furniture, or painting fences for neighbors.

38- Tech Support Services

If your son is tech-savvy, he can offer tech support services to neighbors or family friends. Whether it’s setting up a new computer or troubleshooting software issues, his expertise can be valuable.

39- Photography Services

If your son has an eye for photography, he can offer photography services for events like birthday parties or family gatherings. He can capture precious moments and provide families with lasting memories.

40- Sports Coaching

Boys who excel in a particular sport can offer coaching services to younger children in the neighborhood. Whether it’s soccer, basketball, tennis, or even martial arts he can share his skills and passion for the game.

41- Grocery Delivery

With the rise of online shopping, there’s a demand for grocery delivery services. Your son can offer to pick up and deliver groceries for elderly neighbors or busy families in the area.

42- Event DJ or Entertainer

If your son loves music and has a knack for entertaining, he can offer his services as a DJ or entertainer for events like birthday parties or school dances.

43- Pet Grooming Services

Boys who love animals can offer pet grooming services for neighbors who have dogs or cats. He can bathe pets, trim nails, and brush coats to keep them looking their best.

44- House Sitting

House sitting can be a great job for responsible boys. He can water plants, collect mail, and ensure that homes are safe and secure while the owners are away on vacation.

++Many of these could also be great for girls!

Young teen with long braided hair seen from the back.

Jobs for Girls

45- Fashion Designing

Girls with a passion for fashion can offer fashion designing services. Whether it’s designing custom clothing or creating fashion sketches, she can showcase her creativity and style.

46- Hair Braiding and Styling

Girls who are skilled at braiding hair can offer hair braiding and styling services for friends or family members. From simple braids to intricate styles, she can create stunning looks for any occasion.

47- Babysitting Co-op

Girls can organize a babysitting co-op with friends where they take turns babysitting each other’s siblings or younger children in the neighborhood. It’s a fun and collaborative way to earn money while helping out their community.

48- Home Organization Services

Girls who are organized and detail-oriented can offer home organization services to help people declutter and streamline their living spaces. From organizing closets to tidying up rooms, she can help clients create a more functional and harmonious home environment.

49- Party Planning

Girls who have a flair for creativity and event planning can offer party planning services for birthdays, holidays, or special occasions. From designing invitations to coordinating decorations and activities, she can help clients throw unforgettable parties.

Young Children That Made It Big!

Ryan Kaji

Known for his YouTube channel “Ryan’s World” (formerly “Ryan ToysReview”), Ryan Kaji started his channel at the age of 3, reviewing toys and sharing his experiences. His channel quickly became one of the most-watched on YouTube, earning him millions through ad revenue, sponsored content, and merchandise sales.

EvanTubeHD (Evan Moana)

Another YouTube sensation, EvanTubeHD, features Evan Moana and his family testing out toys, DIY projects, and fun activities. Evan started the channel at the age of 6, and his videos have garnered billions of views, making him one of the highest-earning YouTubers in his age group.

Isabella Barrett

Isabella Barrett gained fame as a child beauty pageant contestant and reality TV star on the show “Toddlers & Tiaras.” She later launched her own fashion and accessory line called Glitzy Girl, which has seen considerable success, contributing to her net worth.

Moziah Bridges

Moziah Bridges founded his own bow tie company, Mo’s Bows, at the age of 9. He started by making bow ties with his grandmother’s sewing machine and eventually expanded his business online, gaining attention from major media outlets and celebrities.

Mikaila Ulmer

Mikaila Ulmer is the founder of Me & the Bees Lemonade, a company she started at the age of 4. Her lemonade recipe, which incorporates honey from local bees, gained widespread acclaim. She has since grown her business through online sales and partnerships with major retailers.

Final Thoughts: The World of Opportunities Awaits

As a parent, you play a crucial role in guiding your child toward age-appropriate job opportunities. Whether it’s a traditional job, an online gig, or a seasonal venture, there are countless 12-year-old work opportunities to earn extra money, gain valuable work experience, and develop essential awesome life skills.

Encourage their entrepreneurial spirit, provide support and guidance, and watch them thrive in the world of work. Who knows, your 12-year-old might just become the next successful business tycoon!

man in black and white holding a 'JOB' card

Check Your Local Laws

United States

In the United States, child labor laws are governed by both federal and state regulations. Generally, 12-year-olds are not legally allowed to work in most industries. However, there are some exceptions for certain types of employment, such as agricultural work or newspaper delivery, with restrictions on working hours and conditions.

Additionally, children may be able to work in the entertainment industry with proper permits and supervision. It’s essential to check with both federal and state labor departments for specific regulations in your state.
Source: United States Department of Labor – Youth Rules


In Canada, employment laws vary by province or territory. Generally, the minimum age for employment is 14 or 15 years old, depending on the province. However, some provinces may allow children as young as 12 to work in specific jobs, such as delivering newspapers or working as a farm hand.

Like in the United States, there are strict regulations regarding working conditions, hours, and types of employment for young workers.
Source: Government of Canada – Young Workers


In Australia, the minimum age for employment also varies by state or territory. Generally, children must be at least 13 to 15 years old to work, depending on the jurisdiction. Some states may allow children as young as 11 to 12 to work in certain jobs, such as delivering newspapers or working in family businesses, with restrictions on hours and conditions.

As with other countries, there are strict regulations in place to protect the safety and well-being of young workers.
Source: Fair Work Ombudsman – Young Workers

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