Can You Get a Job at 13?

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Legally? There is a shot. But you probably won’t be running to your local factory, fast food restaurant, or professional office. Everyone under the age of 16 is protected by child labor laws restricting where and when they can work. I wouldn’t consider yourself out of luck just yet – you can still work. There are plenty of jobs out there but they’ll most likely be considered cash jobs.

The Best Jobs for a 13 Year Old

We hand selected the best jobs for a 13 year old to do on their summer vacation. These are jobs that usually don’t last into the school year so kids can stay on top of their schooling.

Best Job #1: Babysitter

Yup, pretty standard. That’s because babysitting doesn’t involve much that can break the law or harm the child. It’s usually for a low amount of hours and paid in cash, making it that much better. If possible, take a CPR course before you start babysitting just to be safe.

Best Job #2: Cleaner/Mow Lawns

You walk by your neighbors house, grandma’s house, or heck maybe even your own house and it needs to be cleaned. You can do general lawn care and cleaning around people’s houses to take the stress off of them after they’ve worked all week. Let the parents or grandma relax while you clean their house for a few extra bucks.

Best Job #3: Pet Sitter

A lot of people hate leaving their animals caged up all day. Put their minds at ease and take their dogs for a walk or play with their cats. Keep their animals entertained, fed, and loved while the owners are away at work. You may not find this so much in a small neighborhood but in a larger city or area there are quite a few people with the money to afford having someone take care of their special friend.

Is There a Limit on How Much a 13 Year Old Can Make?

In short – no. There is actually no limit on how much money a 13 year old can make in a given job. There is a limit on how many hours a child can work during a given week, usually limited to less than 20.

Don’t Break the Law

Each state has their own rules, laws, and regulations that may hinder what your 13 year old can do. Teen Finance Tips suggest reaching out to your local government or state government for more information before they start working, just to play it safe and not be taken advantage of by others. Your child won’t be able to work in a job that handles cash or heavy machinery but they can babysit or mow lawns for their neighbors.

How to Avoid Breaking the Law

There are some exemptions to the law where a minor can work and what they can do. Here are a few exempt places that are not entirely governed (not fully, but still have some say) by the government:

  • If you are employed by a family business that doesn’t involve heavy machinery, agriculture, or violate the Secretary of Labor laws on hazards.
  • If you are employed as an actor or performer in television, radio, theater, and so on.
  • If you are employed delivering newspapers.
  • If you are employed by making custom crafts to sell to other people, as long as it doesn’t involve machinery.