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How to Make Money in High School - 10 Amazing Ideas

In today's world, financial independence isn't just a goal for adults. As a high school student, you might be thinking about ways to earn your own money. Whether it's to save up for college, kickstart a personal project, or simply have some extra cash for your hobbies, having your own income can be incredibly empowering. More than just a paycheck, earning money at this stage in your life teaches you the value of hard work, responsibility, and financial literacy—skills that will serve you well into adulthood.

But where do you start? With school commitments and extracurricular activities, it might seem daunting to find ways to make money. That's where this list comes in. We've compiled 10 practical and creative ways for you to start earning, no matter your interests or skills. From freelancing in areas like writing and graphic design to launching your very own startup, there's something here for everyone.

1. Freelancing in your skill area

In the digital age, freelancing has become a go-to method for many to earn money, and it’s not just for adults. If you have a skill like writing, graphic design, programming, or even video editing, you can offer your services on freelancing platforms. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr are great places to start. They allow you to create a profile showcasing your skills and find clients from all over the world.

To get started, build a portfolio with any projects you've done in the past, even if they were for school assignments or personal projects. Then, set competitive prices by checking out what other freelancers with similar skills are charging. Remember, as you gain more experience and positive reviews, you can increase your rates.

2. Establishing a startup

Ever dreamed of being your own boss? High school is a great time to experiment with starting a business, and is effectively a step-up from freelancing. Whether it's a tech solution, a unique product, or a service like tutoring, think about what you’re passionate about or what problem you could solve.

Begin by validating your idea with potential customers to see if there’s a real demand. Then, look into creating a business plan and finding ways to market your product or service. There are dozens of ideas to pursue, but social media and the internet overall can be a powerful tool both for validating your ideas and for reaching your target audience. Forbes has a good guide to starting a business, as does LinkedIn. Remember, persistence and flexibility are key to navigating the ups and downs of starting a business. You can consider incubator programs such as Young Founders Lab  or BetaCamp to help you launch a developed startup!

3. Getting an internship

Internships aren't just for college students. They're a fantastic way to gain real-world experience in an industry you're interested in and earn some money at the same time. Start by identifying companies or organizations in your desired field and check their websites for internship opportunities.

Platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed can also be valuable resources for finding internships. Don’t forget to leverage your network—teachers, family friends, or even connections from extracurricular activities can provide leads. Tailor your resume to highlight relevant skills and experiences, and prepare for interviews by researching the company and practicing your answers. 

You can check out our blog on some of the best internships for high school students here

4. Tutoring

If you excel in a particular subject, tutoring can be a lucrative way to share your knowledge and help others. You can tutor peers, younger students, or even adults looking to learn something new.

Online platforms such as can connect you with students in need of tutoring in your area of expertise. Alternatively, advertise your services in local community centers or schools. Tutoring not only allows you to earn money but also reinforces your own understanding of the subject.

5. Participating in surveys and research studies

Online surveys and research studies are an easy way to make some extra cash without a significant time commitment. Websites like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie pay you for your opinion on various topics.

While this won’t make you rich, it’s a simple way to earn money in your spare time. Be mindful of scams and only use reputable sites. Also, consider this option as supplementary income, as it’s unlikely to provide substantial earnings on its own.

6. Selling handcrafted goods

Are you creative and enjoy making things by hand? Platforms like Etsy allow you to sell handmade goods, from jewelry to artwork and everything in between. This is a highly niche skill that can be easily monetized, as there is always demand for handcrafted goods, and the internet has made international logistics easier and more approachable than ever before.

To succeed, focus on creating high-quality products and take great photos for your listings. Identify a niche market to target, and use social media to promote your shop. Understanding your customers and continually adapting your offerings based on feedback can help your online store thrive.

7. Blogging or vlogging

Content creation is one of the most lucrative and sought after careers in today’s day and age. Creating content about your hobbies or interests can eventually turn into a source of income through ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing. Whether you prefer writing articles or creating videos, consistency and engaging content are key to growing your audience.

Platforms like WordPress and YouTube can be used to host your blog or vlog. The biggest challenge is that it can take a lot of time and effort to build a following. You will need to find your niche, ideally something where you’re able to add a unique perspective or storytelling method, and then consistently churn out content to feed the algorithm and organically build a loyal base. But with dedication, it is possible to turn your passion into profit.

8. Contribute to your community

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, doing odd jobs in your community can be a quick way to earn money. This can include lawn mowing, pet sitting, baby-sitting, or helping neighbors with various tasks. Such jobs are becoming more and more lucrative due to a combination of an aging population, fewer people willing to do manual labor, and more intensive careers leaving less time for such work. If you’re a physically fit young person, you can utilize that to your advantage by charging to do such jobs. Many of these tasks are usually critically important, which means you can command an outsized price for them if you can guarantee timeliness and quality.

Advertise your services on local bulletin boards or community Facebook groups. Word of mouth can also be incredibly effective, so let friends and family know you’re available. This is also an approach that becomes even more lucrative with positive references.

9. App development

If you’re tech-savvy and interested in coding, developing your own app can be a rewarding challenge. Free online resources like Codecademy and Udemy offer courses to help you learn coding languages necessary for app development.

The key to success is identifying a need that your app can fulfill. Conduct market research and solicit feedback from potential users to refine your app. Once it’s developed, you can monetize it through in-app purchases, ads, or a purchase price.

10. Creating and selling digital products

Digital products such as eBooks, courses, or design templates can be created once and sold repeatedly without the need for inventory. Platforms like Gumroad and Teachable make it easy to sell and distribute your products.

Identify a topic you’re knowledgeable about or a skill you can teach others. Market research can help you understand what potential customers are looking for. Effective marketing and customer engagement are crucial for success in this area.

Even as a high school student, the world of earning money is wide open for you. Whether it’s through freelancing, starting your own business, or any of the other ideas mentioned, the experience you gain now will pay dividends in the future. Remember, the key to success in any endeavor is persistence, learning from failures, and continually seeking ways to improve. So, don’t be afraid to try different methods to find what works best for you. Good luck!

Bonus - Young Founder's Lab

If you’re looking for an incubator program that helps you establish a developed startup in high school, consider the Young Founder's Lab! 

The Young Founder’s Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X. 

You can access the application link here!

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper



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