Jobs for 11 Year Olds: The Ultimate Guide for Preteens Looking to Earn Money

If you‘re an ambitious 11 year old looking to start earning your own money, you likely have a lot of questions. What jobs can someone my age even do? How much money can I reasonably make? Where do I find these jobs? This ultimate guide answers all those questions and more, packed with nearly 30 legal money making ideas for 11 year olds.

Overview of U.S. Child Labor Laws

Before we dive into the many jobs an 11 year old can do, it‘s important to understand the legal landscape. The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act sets limits on how early minors can work and how many hours they can put in. This helps prevent exploitation while still allowing reasonable employment opportunities.

The cliffs notes version is:

  • 11 year olds can work for a business owned entirely by immediate family members
  • 14-15 year olds can work limited hours per week in certain non-hazardous jobs
  • 16+ there are far fewer restrictions

So an 11 year old likely won‘t get hired at the local grocery store. But plenty of opportunities exist like babysitting, lawn mowing, and more which we’ll explore shortly. First up, seasonal jobs…

Best Seasonal Job Ideas for 11 Year Olds

Seasonal gigs take advantage of certain times of year when extra help is needed. The winter and Christmas holiday seasons offer plenty of chances for 11 year olds to make money.

Gift Wrapping

Malls and department stores often hire extra staff to wrap gifts during the holidays. Wrapping one gift typically earns around $2. Ask local stores in October if they need gift wrappers and leave your number. It‘s an easy seasonal job that often pays cash daily.

Pay rate: Up to $15/hour

Shoveling Snow

When it snows it‘s time to start shoveling for neighbors. Going door to door asking if they want their driveway and sidewalk cleared can earn up to $20 per house. Have your own shovel ready and offer to salt walkways too for extra money.

Pay rate: $10 – $30 per house

Halloween Face Painting

Offer face and arm painting for Halloween party goers and Trick or Treaters. Charge $5-10 per design. Practice techniques online ahead of time. Market services through school, neighborhood flyers and social media.

Pay rate: $10 to $30/hour

Holiday Light Hanging

Many families need extra help prepping their homes for the holidays with lights, inflatables, wreaths and more. Offer hanging services for $15-20 per hour. Reach clients through Facebook, signs around your neighborhood and checking with family and friends.

Pay rate: $15 to $20 per hour

Online Jobs for 11 Year Olds

The internet opens up a ton of ways to make money that aren‘t physically limited by age or location. Of course parental supervision is still needed when working online to ensure safety and privacy.

Paid Surveys

Taking online surveys through companies like SurveyJunkie only takes 5-10 minutes each but pays out anywhere from 50 cents to a few dollars per survey. Just share your opinions and provide demographic info. Sign up requires verifying your age and parental consent.

Pay rate: $5 to $20 per hour

YouTube Channel

Kids focused channels featuring things like toy reviews, gaming, challenges and family vlogs can earn significant income. How much? Anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands per month once your channel takes off. But it takes consistency and time to build an audience. Ask your parents to help you start a channel in a niche you love.

Pay rate: unlimited!

Graphic Design

If you have creative and technical chops, offer basic graphic design services like custom logo and t-shirt design. Starting rates on freelance sites like Fiverr are $5 to $10 per logo, with experienced designers charging much more. Build a portfolio to showcase your skills.

Pay rate: $10 to $50+ per project

Small Business Ideas for Go-Getters

The most motivated pre-teens can turn their skills and passions into their own small business. Bake sales, eBay stores and more can earn hundreds of dollars with the right strategy and hustle.

Handmade Crafts

Make customized jewelry, soap, candles, artwork, knitted goods and other handmade items to sell on school grounds, consignment shops or sites like Etsy and Facebook Marketplace. Price pieces from $5 to $50+ depending on materials, uniqueness and work involved.

Pay range: $10 to $500+ per month

Clothing Design

Create custom t-shirt or hat designs using iron-on supplies or sites like CafePress. Sell them for $10 to $25+ each to students, parents and local fans. Bulk orders for school clubs and sports teams can generate even more sales.

Pay range: $100 to $1,000+ per month

Pet Sitting

Offer at-home pet sitting services for neighbors going out of town. Feed pets, walk dogs, clean litter boxes, hang out and play. Key selling points over kennels are the loving attention and less stress for pets. Charge around $15 to $30 per day.

Pay rate: $20 to $50 per day

Quick Money Making Ideas

If you‘re looking to make money as fast as possible (who isn‘t?), here are some of the best ideas for 11 year olds to earn quick cash around your neighborhood.


Babysitting might be one of the most classic childhood jobs out there. Parents of younger kids always need date night sitters. Charge around $10 to $15 per hour, depending on number of kids to watch. Ask family, friends and other parents looking for reliable sitters.

Pay rate: $30 to $100+ for evening babysitting jobs

Party Entertainer

Bring the fun and energy of entertaining kids‘ birthday parties while dressed up as popular characters. Ask $50 to $100 per 1-2 hour gig. Check for local need by posting on community boards and Facebook. Rent costumes or build your own.

Pay rate: $50 to $200 per weekend

Senior Errands & Helper

Many elderly folks need companionship and help around the home but have limited budgets. Keep them company, read out loud to them, organize their space, help using technology and other small tasks. Get hired through local senior centers and community bulletin boards.

Pay rate: $10 to $15 per hour

Car Washing

Wash neighbors‘ car exteriors for $10 to $20 per standard car or SUV. Add $5 to $10 more for vacuuming and cleaning interiors. Market with sidewalk signs and flyers or go door to door asking if they want fresh shining wheels this weekend.

Pay rate: $20 to $40 for 2-3 hours work

Mother‘s Helper

Lend mom a hand caring for younger siblings, cleaning around the house or completing chores in exchange for cash allowances or set fees of around $5 to $15 per hour. Saves mom stress and teaches you new skills.

Pay rate: $10 to $30 per week

More Ways to Make Money in Your Free Time

Here are over a dozen more ideas for go-getters to make money around the home and neighborhood in their extra time. Every bit adds up!

  • Farmhand – Feed animals, mend fences etc at $8 to $15 per hour
  • Errand runner – Get paid to pick up groceries and more for busy neighbors
  • Pool cleaning – Net leaves and maintain backyard pools for $15 to $30 per week
  • Bake sale – Sell homemade treats from 50 cents to $2 each
  • Family business – Work part-time and gain experience
  • Plant watering – Keep neighbors’ gardens alive while away at $5 to $10 per day
  • Lemonade stand – Pull in $20+ on hot days selling cold drinks
  • Gardening – Weed, dig, plant and improve backyards for $10 to $20 per hour
  • Garage/attic cleaning – Organize and clean out unused spaces for $15 to $30 per project
  • Yard sale – Sell your own unneeded toys, clothes and items for quick cash
  • Hang flyers – Get paid to distribute local business flyers door to door
  • Photography – Take professional photos for neighbors’ events and milestones
  • Dog walking – Exercise pooches around your neighborhood for $15 to $20 per 30 minute walk

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do you need to be to get a job?

The minimum age to work is 14 in non-hazardous jobs under federal law. However 11 year olds can still find ways to earn money like the options mentioned in this guide.

What hours can an 11 year old work?

There aren‘t restrictions on occasional side jobs like dog walking or yard work. But children younger than 12 cannot have paper routes, regular part-time jobs or work during school hours under U.S. laws.

What jobs hire 11 year olds?

Babysitting, mothers helper, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, running lemonade stands and more are all options for 11 year olds. The key is doing odd jobs or self-employment instead of traditional hourly jobs.

What is the highest paying job for an 11 year old?

YouTube Channels have the highest earning potential in the thousands per month. But it takes significant effort to build an audience. For quicker paydays, gift wrapping and party entertainer can bring $15 to $30 per hour.

Final Takeaways

As you can see, there are plenty of ways for motivated 11 year olds to start earning their own money—over 25 ideas covered here and more waiting to be imagined. Babysitting, yardwork and birthday party entertainment gigs are all great starts, while creating an online business gives you something to build on for the future.

Remember to exercise caution when seeking jobs online or outside your trusted circles. But otherwise, scan the options here and choose one that fits your strengths. Then set a savings goal and make a plan. Before you know it, you’ll be on the path towards financial independence and valuable work experience—both priceless assets later in life.

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