Q:

What jobs can 13-year-olds do?

A:

Mowing lawns, raking leaves, babysitting, cleaning and serving as a camp counselor are all suitable jobs for a 13-year-old. Teens should choose jobs based on their skills and ability to perform physical work.

The minimum age for non-agricultural employment in the United States is 14, as set by the Department of Labor. This means a 13-year-old who does not work on a farm cannot get a job waiting tables or working the cash register at a grocery store. However, 13-year-olds are allowed to do what is called "non-formal" work. Raking the leaves for a neighbor or walking the neighbor's dog are examples of non-formal work.

There are possible tax consequences of getting a job as a teen. A 13-year-old may not have to file a tax return, provided he does not earn more than the annual standard deduction. In 2014, the standard deduction was $6,200, so a teen who made $5,000 by doing lawn work would not have had to file a federal return.

Making fliers and asking for referrals are two of the easiest ways to drum up work as a young teenager. Neighbors and family friends may have contacts in need of babysitting, lawn care, dog walking or cleaning services. Teens interested in camp counselor work should check with their local camps to find out the minimum hiring age.


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