What Job Can You Get at 13?

What Job Can You Get at 13?

So you’re 13 years old and you want to start earning your own money. Getting a job can be a great way to gain valuable skills and experience, while also allowing you to have more financial independence. However, there are limited options for 13 year olds when it comes to employment.

This blog post will explore the types of jobs that 13 year olds can legally obtain in the United States, as well as tips for finding and applying for jobs at such a young age.

Jobs for 13 Year Olds

The Fair Labor Standards Act sets rules and regulations around child labor in the US. It establishes a minimum age of 14 for most non-farm jobs. However, there are some exceptions that allow 13 year olds to work in certain occupations. Here are some of the most common jobs that 13 year olds can legally hold:


One of the most popular first jobs for teens is babysitting. As a babysitter, you would be responsible for supervising and caring for younger children while their parents are away. This can include playing games, preparing meals, bathing, and putting kids to bed. Babysitting provides a great opportunity to build trust and responsibility at a young age. It also allows for a flexible schedule, since most babysitting jobs are needed nights and weekends when parents go out.

Pet sitting

Similar to babysitting, pet sitting involves caring for people’s pets while they are traveling or away from home. Pet sitting duties may involve walking dogs, feeding cats/dogs, cleaning litter boxes, giving medication, and providing companionship. Since pet owners often need sitters for weekends or vacations, it can accommodate a 13 year old’s schedule well.

Yard work/lawn mowing

Helping neighbors or family friends with yard work is a common way for teens to earn extra money. Tasks like mowing lawns, raking leaves, weeding, planting, and shoveling snow are all options. Outdoor physical labor like this is usually perfect for an active 13 year old. And neighborhoods often have steady yard work needs throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Farm work

There are certain farm jobs, like harvesting fruits and vegetables, that allow for workers as young as age 12. So agricultural work is often an option for 13 year olds living in rural areas. Farm work requires physical stamina and the ability to work outdoors in all types of weather. But it can be rewarding to play a hands-on role in food production.

Paper route

Delivering newspapers door to door is a classic first job for kids. It involves waking up early, collecting papers, and riding a bike, scooter, or walking to distribute them to homes. While declining in popularity, some neighborhoods still have paper route opportunities. Earning money while getting exercise in the morning can make this a good fit.

Restaurant work

In some states, 13 year olds can work at restaurants in limited roles like host, busboy, or dishwasher. Clearing tables, seating guests, and washing dishes allows teens to learn about food service. Just be aware that restaurant work often involves late hours and weekend shifts.


Kids and teens who perform as actors, models, or extras may start finding paid work opportunities around age 13. While talent and luck are involved, it can be a way to earn money doing something fun. Modeling for print ads, commercials, or catalogues is an option. Acting in local plays, TV shows, or films is possible too.

Refereeing youth sports

Sports referees officiate games and sporting events. Leagues for youth sports like soccer, baseball, and basketball sometimes hire teen refs. Experience playing the sport is helpful. Pay is often per game. Hours are weekends and evenings when practices and games occur.


Students with expertise in academic subjects like math, science, languages, or music can tutor younger kids. You may be able to find clients by reaching out to neighborhood or community groups. Tutoring provides flexible hours and lets you share your knowledge.

Golf caddy

At many golf courses, caddies follow golfers around during their rounds to carry equipment and provide other assistance. Caddying is often an active outdoor job with early morning hours. It combines exercise with customer service skills.


Some teens can qualify as certified lifeguards at age 13 with the proper training. Lifeguarding involves monitoring swimmers, enforcing rules, responding to emergencies, and cleaning pool areas. It requires physical fitness, attention to detail, and maturity. Hours tend to be weekends, early mornings, and evenings at pools, waterparks, or beaches.

Dog walking

Dog walking provides exercise and animal interaction. As a dog walker, you would take dogs on walks, play with them, and care for them while the owner is occupied. Apps and websites like Rover can connect you with pet owners needing dog walkers. You can set your schedule with this flexible gig.

Finding a Job at 13

Now that you know some of the options, here are tips for a 13 year old to actually land a job:

  • Start with personal connections. Ask family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and other contacts if they have or know of any opportunities for someone your age. Lots of teens find jobs through someone they already know.
  • Check online job boards. Sites like Craigslist, Indeed, and Snagajob allow you to search for local openings. But make sure to filter for opportunities that your age qualifies for.
  • Apply at local businesses. Think about stores and restaurants you frequent. Stop in and directly ask if they hire 13 year olds. Speaking to managers in person can help.
  • Offer your services. Promote babysitting, lawn mowing, tutoring, dog walking, or other services you can provide via online ads or flyers. Market yourself and find clients.
  • Check your school. Ask about school-sponsored work programs, internships for class credit, jobs in the cafeteria or office, or leads from guidance counselors.
  • Search youth job boards. Sites like YoungJobs.com, TeenJobSection.com and GrooveJob.com cater specifically to teenage job seekers.
  • Contact local farms. If interested in agricultural work, call farms and farmers markets to ask about opportunities.
  • Audition for performances. If pursuing acting or modeling, have headshots ready and check for casting calls.
  • Get certified. Obtain CPR, first aid, and other certifications that may help qualify you for certain jobs like lifeguarding.

Applying and Interviewing for a Job

Follow these tips to make a positive impression when seeking jobs as a young teen:

  • Fill out professional applications. Neatly complete all paper and online job application forms. Provide references and details on relevant experience.
  • Create a resume. Highlight any prior work, volunteering, skills, achievements, and activities even if you don’t have extensive experience yet.
  • Write a cover letter. Use a cover letter to formally introduce yourself and explain your interest in the role. Tailor it to each application.
  • Prepare for interviews. Come up with answers to common questions about your abilities, interests, strengths and weaknesses. Rehearse to build confidence.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear clean, pressed, professional clothing to interviews and when inquiring about jobs in person.
  • Make eye contact and shake hands. Look the interviewer in the eye, smile, and give a firm handshake. This creates a good first impression.
  • Speak clearly. Use proper grammar, avoid slang, and answer questions concisely. Show you can communicate effectively.
  • Explain your skills. Give examples of how experiences like babysitting, lawn mowing, sports refereeing apply to the job. Highlight work ethic and people skills.
  • Ask good questions. Inquire about job duties, training, hours, and other details to show engagement.
  • Follow up politely. After applying or interviewing, call or email to thank the employer and reiterate your interest.
  • Get working papers. If offered a position, complete the process to apply for working papers which allow minors to be employed.

Tips for Success at Your First Job

Once you land your first job as a 13 year old, use these suggestions to perform well:

  • Arrive early. Give yourself extra time to show up a few minutes before your scheduled start time. Tardiness makes a bad impression.
  • Learn quickly. Pay close attention to training and instructions from supervisors. Ask questions to understand your responsibilities.
  • Work hard. Maintain a high level of energy and effort. Look for things to do rather than standing around idle.
  • Act maturely. Behave professionally. Avoid gossip, complaints, inappropriate jokes, or distractions.
  • Communicate politely. Always speak kindly to customers, clients, coworkers and managers. Use manners.
  • Dress properly. Follow any dress code requirements. Even if not specified, err on the side of neatness and modesty.
  • Limit phone use. Never use your cell phone for personal matters while working. Stay focused.
  • Admit mistakes. If you make an error, apologize quickly and learn from it. Do not hide mistakes.
  • Accept feedback. Listen to critiques and guidance without getting defensive. Strive to improve.
  • Build relationships. Getting along well with coworkers and bosses can help you enjoy the job more.
  • Save money. Open a bank account to deposit paychecks. Set savings goals for larger purchases or the future.


Finding a job at age 13 comes with challenges but can provide many rewards. Babysitting, lawn mowing, pet sitting, farm work, refereeing youth sports and other gigs allow teens to earn income part-time.

With effort and professionalism, a first job can build skills that benefit young people for their entire working lives. The money earned also allows more financial freedom. While options are limited by child labor laws, motivated 13 year olds can secure jobs with persistence and preparation.