There comes a time in every child’s life when they realize that their pocket money can only take them so far.
While there’s no specific age when such a realization dawns, 11 to 12 is particularly noteworthy because they’re ages when kids start to crave more independence.
If your preteen is at that stage in their life, you’re probably wondering whether there are any jobs for 11-12 year olds that pay decently. Wonder no more, as this article has you covered. We reveal 16 excellent options your child can try.
- An Overview of the Best Jobs for 11-12 Year Olds
- Types of Jobs for 11-12 Year Olds That Pay
- Best 16 Jobs for 11-12 Year Olds That Pay Well
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of the Best Jobs for 11-12 Year Olds
- Pet Sitting
- Car Washing
- Dog Walking
- Raking Leaves
- Mowing Lawns
- Shovelling Snow
- Pool Cleaning
- Painting Fences
- Voice Acting
- Video Game Testing
- Taking Surveys
- Family Business
- Newspaper Delivery
Types of Jobs for 11-12 Year Olds That Pay
There are a few ways you can categorize the types of jobs your preteen can do to earn extra money. They include:
- Traditional Jobs: As the name suggests, these are the best jobs for typical character-building physical labor, like cleaning, snow shoveling, or lawn mowing jobs. Less intense jobs in this category also include pet sitting.
- Seasonal Jobs: These jobs are seasonal, but they can be a great way for your kid to start their own business, whether on a hot summer’s day (e.g. a lemonade stand or other summer jobs) or in winter (hot chocolate stand, snow shoveling, etc.).
- Online Jobs: Kids can do online jobs and come up with business ideas with just a computer and internet connection. Examples include taking online surveys, testing video games, and so on.
- Creative Jobs: These jobs tap into your child’s creativity. Activities like writing, working as a T-shirt designer, running a YouTube channel, and voice acting all qualify as creative jobs.
- Artistic Jobs: Modeling, acting, or voice acting can all be an excellent outlet for your child’s artistic side.
Best 16 Jobs for 11-12 Year Olds That Pay Well
The jobs discussed below are among the best jobs for 11-12 year olds to make their own money. Many of them require little in the way of skills or knowledge.
When they do require them, your child can either acquire the skills or tap into their natural talent.
1. Pet Sitting
One excellent way your preteen child can earn extra cash is to work as a pet sitter.
If a neighbor or family member has a pet that needs looking after while they’re away, they can leave their companion with your child.
The responsibility of feeding the pet and keeping it safe lies with the preteen until their customer returns from their trip.
What You’ll Need for Pet Sitting
Pet sitting requires the following:
- A pet to look after
- Pet supplies (pet food, leash, cage, toys, etc.)
Fortunately, the pet’s owner will provide everything.
- Younger children can develop nurturing skills when taking care of pets
- This job can develop a child’s sense of responsibility
- It’s a low-cost way for making money
- This job isn’t applicable to all pets (e.g., snakes, tarantula spiders, etc.)
Top Places to Find Pet Sitting Jobs
You can find pet sitter roles online or by asking around your neighborhood.
2. Car Washing
If you walk around your neighborhood, you’ll likely see two or more cars that could do with a wash.
While some neighbors may be content with taking their vehicles to the local car wash, others may not have the time or inclination to drive down there or do the washing themselves.
Therein lies the opportunity for your 11 or 12 year old. They can offer to wash your neighbor’s cars in exchange for payment. And if they do an excellent job, it could turn into a recurring gig.
What You’ll Need for Car Washing
You’ll need the following to wash cars:
- Car vacuum cleaner
- Bin bags
- A rag
- A bucket
You can procure all of the above at your local store (if they aren’t already lying around the house).
- One of the best character-building jobs
- It can be done alongside a school schedule
- The job could get kids interested in automobiles
- This job requires care to prevent the car’s paint job from peeling
Top Places to Find Car Washing Jobs
A walk around your neighborhood should suffice. You can also visit local businesses to check if they need help.
3. Dog Walking
Dog walking is among the top pet business ideas and is one of the best jobs for 11 and 12 year olds who love man’s best friend. If your busy dog-owning neighbor needs someone to walk their dog, your kid can offer to go in their stead.
What You’ll Need for Dog Walking
Your child will need the following when working as a dog walker:
- A dog
- A leash
- A poop scooper
- Plastic bags
Regarding the third and fourth items, your child will need to ensure that they pick up after the dog when it finishes doing its business.
- One of the most straightforward jobs a preteen can do
- It’s a good way to let children care for dogs
- Kids can develop an interest in dogs and veterinary practice
- This job is only suitable for smaller and tamer dog breeds
Top Places to Find Dog Walking Jobs
You can find dog walking Jobs around your neighborhood or look online for local listings on classified websites.
Is your 11 or 12 year old conventionally good-looking? You might want to consider letting them work as a model in the fashion industry.
This can be a fun job for fashion-conscious kids who like to dress up and are good in front of the camera.
Even if you don’t like the idea of your child gracing the runway, there are less-demanding modeling gigs they could try, like modeling for stock photos and advertisements.
What You’ll Need to Do Modeling
You’ll need a kid with conventional beauty, a professional photography portfolio, and a contract with a modeling agency.
- It doesn’t require too many skills
- This job can be lucrative
- The job can be an excellent confidence booster
- It may involve pulling your child out of school and homeschooling them
Top Places to Find Modeling Jobs
You can start your search on the websites of modeling agencies like Elite Model Management and IMG Models.
5. Raking Leaves
In the fall, a month or two before the holiday season, trees begin to lose their leaves, signifying winter’s approach.
Rather than view the phenomenon as an extra chore they’ll have to do around the house, your preteen can rake in money by taking on a gig raking the leaves off your neighbor’s lawns.
What You’ll Need to Do Leaf Raking
Leaf- raking requires the following tools and gear:
- Warm clothing (including gloves)
- A rake
- A dustpan
- Bin bags
- (Optional) A small leaf-blower
Depending on how far your child will need to travel, they might take their bike.
- This job is an excellent way to keep the kids busy for a few hours
- It could be lucrative (depending on how many neighbors needs the service)
- Your child can contribute to keeping their environment tidy
- The job requires that your child work in the cold
Top Places to Find Leaf Raking Jobs
Your child can find these kinds of jobs in their local neighborhood.
6. Mowing Lawns
When life gets too busy, normally beautiful lawns become unkempt, presenting a money-making opportunity for entrepreneurial kids.
During summer break, your child can offer to mow your neighbors’ lawns in exchange for cash.
What You’ll Need to Do Lawn Mowing
Here’s what’s needed to mow lawns:
- A lawn mower
It’s likely your neighbor’s will have theirs, but if they don’t, you can provide the one from the house.
- The hard work involved teaches kids financial responsibility
- It can be a rewarding way to earn money during summer vacation
- Your child gets to beautify their neighborhood
- Particularly unkempt lawns may house creepy crawlies and small animals
Top Places to Find Lawn Mowing Jobs
The best place to find lawn mowing jobs is within the neighborhood.
7. Shoveling Snow
If the holiday season happens to be a snowy one this year, your 11 or 12 year old can make money shoveling snow off your neighbors’ sidewalks and vehicles.
What You’ll Need to Do Snow Shoveling
- Warm clothing
- A shovel
Shoveling Snow is yet another one of those jobs for 11 year olds where the client provides the equipment.
- Seasonal Jobs like this are an excellent way for 11 and 12 year olds to earn cash before returning to school
- Your kid starts the new year productively
- This job keeps the environment safe
- It involves working in the cold
Top Places to Find Snow Shoveling Jobs
Kids can find this type of job in their neighborhood.
8. Pool Cleaning
Pool cleaning is another one of those character-building jobs for 11 and 12-year-olds. Your child can help your neighbors clean their pools in the summer.
This isn’t the type of pool cleaning with harsh chemicals done commercially, but rather a way to keep the pool clean in between those cleanings.
What You’ll Need for Pool Cleaning
Pool cleaning requires the following items:
- Cleaning brush
- A pool net
The customer can provide the above-listed utensils.
- It’ll keep your kids busy during the summer months
- Your child may learn a thing or two about pools
- It’s one of the most time-consuming jobs for 11 year olds.
Top Places to Find Pool Cleaning Jobs
The best place to find a pool cleaning job is in your neighborhood.
9. Painting Fences
If you walk through your neighborhood, you’ll see a couple of houses whose fences could do with a new lick of paint.
Your preteen can knock on a few doors to find out whether their neighbors are willing to pay them to paint their fences.
What You’ll Need for Fence Painting
Painting fences requires the following tools:
- Paint bucket
- Paint brush/roller
With the exception of the paint, your child can get most of the above from the house.
- Your child can help restore their neighborhood’s beauty
- The act of painting can make kids interested in DIY and home renovation
- It’s a fun way to keep kids busy
- This job isn’t suitable for kids with breathing problems
Top Places to Find Fence Painting Jobs
Your child can find fence painting opportunities in their neighborhood.
10. Voice Actor
Does your child have a clear speaking voice? They may have the makings of a voice actor.
They can get voice acting roles in radio commercials, cartoons and animated movies, audio books, and so on.
What You’ll Need for Voice Acting
Voice acting requires the following:
- A clear speaking voice
- The ability to create funny or dramatic voices (optional)
Please note that the type of voice acting roles you seek out determine the skills required.
- Voice acting is one of the higher-paying jobs for 11 year olds and above
- It could develop into a life-long career
- It’s fun
- This job may be difficult to secure
Top Places to Find Voice Acting Jobs
You can check websites like Bunny Studio and Filmless to find voice acting jobs
Does your child have a flair for theatrics? You may be raising the next Jennifer Lawrence or Bradley Cooper.
Acting can give your child a fulfilling outlet for their performance, so it’s worth checking out if they’re talented enough.
What You’ll Need for Acting
Getting an acting career off the ground will require talent and an agent.
- It can be a fulfilling career
- There’s no limit to the mediums your child can appear in (movies, TV series, short-form content online…etc.)
- It can be lucrative (depending on your child’s star power)
- The transition from child actor to full-fledged actor/actress can be difficult
Top Places to Find Acting Jobs
12. Video Game Testing
Your child can get paid to play games by testing video games online.
This job lets them play games and give their feedback on what the games get right and wrong. Therefore, it’s one of the most fun jobs for 11-year-olds and above.
What You’ll Need to Do Video Game Testing
Video game testing requires the following:
- A stable internet connection
- A laptop or PC
- A PayPal account (or other means of accepting payments online)
You may need to help your child set up this job and also monitor the games they test.
- It’s a fun way for them to earn money
- Your child may develop an interest in video game development
- It doesn’t require too much in the way of resources to start
- It requires parental supervision
Top Places to Find Video Game Testing Jobs
You can do video game testing on websites like Rewarded Play and Bubble Cash.
Does your child have a way with words and an active imagination? They can get paid to write prose like short stories, blog posts, and more.
Please note that your child’s ability to do this job depends on their aptitude for reading and writing.
What You’ll Need to Do Writing
You’ll need the following to get writing jobs:
- An excellent command of English
- A laptop or computer with a word processor
- Internet connection
- A mode of payment (PayPal, etc.)
It’s also worth investing in a tool for spelling and grammar checks (e.g., Grammarly).
- This job can help improve your child’s writing skills
- Your child can get paid to create stories using their imagination
- It can be lucrative if they write a hit book or story
- Writing is one of the most difficult jobs for 11-year-olds to do
Top Places to Find Writing Jobs
There are numerous sites like Upwork where you can get writing commissions. However, if your child is going the story route, you’ll be better off looking up literary agencies online.
14. Taking Surveys
One of the most unconventional jobs for 11 year olds your child can try is taking surveys.
That said, they can answer short online questionnaires and earn a little extra money to supplement their pocket money. Check out our list of high paying surveys to get your child off to a roaring start.
What You’ll Need to Do Surveys
You’ll need the following to take online surveys:
- An internet connection
- A laptop or computer
- A method for collecting payments
Make sure you monitor the types of surveys your child takes when they do this job.
- Your child can do it from the comfort of their home
- It’s an uncomplicated job anyone can do
- Some surveys take no longer than five minutes to complete
- This job requires parental supervision
Top Places to Find Survey Jobs
You can visit websites like Swagbucks to find survey jobs.
15. Family Business
One of the easiest ways for kids aged 11-12 to find work is to work in their family’s business. It could belong to their parents, other family members, or even family friends.
Either way, they can start gaining valuable work experience and the money that comes with it.
What You’ll Need to Do a Family Business Job
This job requires a family-owned business for the preteen to work for.
- You can be sure that your child is in a safe environment
- The child gets to learn the ins-and-outs of their family’s business
- It’s an excellent way to prepare an heir to take over the business
- It may not give the child the opportunity to meet new people
Top Places to Find a Family Business Job
If you don’t own a business your family runs, you can contact immediate and extended family members who do and need an extra pair of hands.
16. Newspaper Delivery
Finally, one of the oldest jobs kids in the US do to earn money is newspaper delivery.
Kids can deliver newspapers before going to school and it’s excellent for building character and developing a good work ethic.
What You’ll Need to Do Newspaper Delivery
This job requires a bike with a compartment for storing the newspapers.
- A paper route can give kids much-needed exercise
- Kids that deliver papers could develop an interest in their community’s goings-ons
- This job can help to improve their sense of direction
- It requires getting up in the early hours of the morning
- Many news agencies are going paperless, reducing the number of available newspapers
Top Places to Find a Newspaper Delivery Job
You can find a newspaper delivery role by looking in the phone book or online for the local newspaper’s Circulation Department.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an 11-Year-Old Work for a Business?
No. According to the US Department of Labor, child labor laws (Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938) restrict the minimum age of employment to 14. All the jobs in this article avoid actual employment and are mostly simple tasks a preteen can do.
What’s the Easiest Job for 11-12 Year Olds?
Raking leaves is the easiest job an 11-12 year old can do. It doesn’t require any equipment, talent, or skill. And chances are that the child in question does it as a chore in their home, anyway.
Which Jobs for 11 Year Olds are the Most Difficult to Get?
Modeling and acting roles are among the most challenging jobs to get. Your child needs to be extremely talented or good-looking before agencies can confidently take a chance on them.
As the article reveals, there are plenty of jobs an 11 or 12 year old can do to earn some extra pocket money. The ones we’ve curated shouldn’t run afoul of child labor laws and are easy enough for children at that age to do.
So what do you think of these jobs? Would you let your kid try any of them? Let us know in the comments below and share this with a friend who has a preteen looking for extra money on the side!