TEENS

“How Much Do I Owe You?” How Much to Charge for Teen Jobs

By Jessica Port

June 7, 2023

I must’ve been around thirteen when my dad first started hounding me to find ways to make some extra money. I had no transportation other than a hand-me-down bike, so any job I got was limited to how far my hand-me-down bike could take me.

Mowing lawns seemed like a good option, except I didn’t know how. Could I work at a fast food restaurant? Nope. I was too young to apply. I didn’t really know how I was going to earn money until my dad gave me a suggestion: Why not start babysitting for the kids on my street?

I printed some fliers on my parents’ desktop and the calls started rolling in. By the time I figured out which YouTube videos to play on loop for one ornery toddler and how to help one excitable five year old paint her nails (and how to be fine with her using lip gloss to paint mine), I was a babysitting pro.

There was only one thing that always posed a problem, and it came at the end of the night, when the parents stepped through the door. When parents asked “How much do we owe you?” I never knew what to say.

If you have an entrepreneurial teen, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how much to charge for services, and they might ask you what you think is a fair price. So, let’s talk about how to figure that out.

To help answer that question, I researched some of the most popular jobs for teens that don’t come with a regular paycheck and then I searched Google, job listings, and comments on Quora to see what teens typically charge for these jobs. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics also lists occupations and wage statistics. After you figure out a base price, you and your teen will want to factor in different variables (like location, job complexity, level of experience, special skills, for example) to help decide on a fair price to charge, and maybe brainstorm even more ways to earn money.

How much should your teen charge for babysitting?

During the summer, many teens start their job search with babysitting gigs. With school out of session, working parents often need reliable childcare. However, parents may be unsure of how much to pay their babysitter. While the cost of babysitting can vary widely depending on factors like age, level of involvement, and where you live, the average rate falls between $9.50 and $20 per hour.

How much should your teen charge for mowing lawns?

Summer is the perfect time for teens to start offering lawn mowing services to their neighbors. Not sure how much your teen should charge?  Angi.com has a handy list providing professional lawn care rates according to lot size. Based on my research, most teens charge between $18 and $24 per hour for lawn mowing.

How much should your teen charge for overnight dog sitting?

Pet owners appreciate the opportunity to have their dog looked after by a trusted caregiver rather than taking them to a kennel where they may feel overwhelmed. But finding someone to stay at your home can often be a big request. If your teen is interested in offering dog-sitting services, they might be wondering, how much should you charge for dog sitting? The cost can vary depending on factors such as location, the specific needs of the dog, and the dog’s age and behavior (older dogs often need more care, and puppies may not necessarily behave), but when I looked on Rover.com, I found that on average, overnight dog sitters charge about $35-150 per night, with higher rates in metropolitan areas and for dogs that require additional care or attention.

How much should your teen charge for dog walking?

Now that we’ve covered dog-sitting rates, let’s talk about dog-walking fees. While there are several factors that can affect the cost of dog walking (such as the size and strength of the dog, as well as the walking route), my searches on Rover.com and indeed.com are yielding that on average, dog walkers charge between $10 and $30 for a 30-minute walk. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the location and level of experience of the dog walker.

How much should your teen charge for watering plants?

Maybe you have a neighbor who just has a lawn or house full of plants that needs constant watering. How much do you charge for that? On average, a plant waterer can charge anywhere from $10 to $50 per visit. Ziprecruiter indicates an hourly rate of about $30. It’s important to consider the time and effort required to water each plant, as well as any special instructions or equipment needed for certain types of plants.

How much should your teen charge for tutoring?

Summer is a great opportunity for teens to earn some money while helping others catch up on schoolwork. While professional tutors may charge up to $90 per hour, for teens tutoring younger students in elementary or middle school, a more reasonable rate would be around $18 to $20 per hour. Keep in mind that rates may vary based on the level of education and experience of the tutor, as well as the subject matter being taught. You can check out more specific rates for tutors on indeed.com.

How much should your teen charge for recreational caddying?

Professional caddies can make thousands of dollars on PGA tours, but you don’t have to caddy for Tiger Woods or Will Zalatoris to earn some extra cash. If your teen is interested in caddying, they can look for opportunities at their local golf course or offer their services to friends and acquaintances. An article on golfstead.com says recreational caddies often charge between $20 and $50 an hour, depending on the amount of equipment and the amount of experience they have. Rates may vary based on the specific golf course and the level of competition. And according to independentgolfreviews.com, recreational caddies earn $100 to $140 per bag per round, and often carry two bags at a time to earn more money.

How much should your teen charge for a car wash?

While automatic car washes can be as cheap as $12 a wash, you can provide a convenient and affordable option to your neighbors by offering to wash their cars by hand. With just a large bucket, a hose, and some soap, a Google search will reveal you can charge anywhere from $5 to $10 for a quick and thorough car wash. Happychild has some great tips.

How much should your teen charge for music lessons?

Are you musically inclined? Whether you’re part of the school band or have taught yourself to play the guitar, you can turn your musical talents into a profitable venture. My internet searches revealed that professional music teachers can charge $120 per hour, but for amateur music lessons, rates typically range from $10 to $50 per hour, depending on the instrument, skill level, and experience of the teacher. Indeed.com can give you more targeted rates in your area.

If your teen is looking for a summer job and wants to create their own opportunities, less structured jobs like these can provide them with valuable experience and teach them about responsibility, entrepreneurship, and hard work. Figuring out how much to charge for services will be one of their biggest challenges. Hopefully, this list gives you a good jumping off point to discuss how your teen might use the skills and experience they already have to earn money with their summer job, and how to determine a fair price to charge for their services. With a little guidance and research, your teen can successfully create their own job this summer and start earning money.

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