At what age should I encourage my kids to go out and find a job (be it part-time or full-time) and start to earn some money and have a taste of what working life is like?

  • Let kids be kids!!!! They should start working when they feel confident enough.
    – user23456
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 18:30
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    Keep in mind that this money earning should not endanger the results in school. Working a few hours on week end or during holidays if fine. When the tiredness start to eat at the concentration needed to learn, it means you are trading a few coins now for a better paycheck later.
    – MakorDal
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 6:38
  • I would say right now!
    – David
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 14:38

6 Answers 6


If you want, this can start very early. You can "employ" them yourself for chores that are outside of the scope that you expect. These first jobs will help them understand that they can earn extra if they are prepared to work for it.

Note based on comments below:
By definition, "chores" are understood to be mandatory tasks to be done without payment. What I am aiming at in this answer is that kids can perform tasks that exceed their assigned chores.
Eventually the kids will grow into the age where these extra tasks become the norm, and then the payment should stop - and by then there will be new "extra" tasks they can do instead.

When they're old enough that you can teach them how to --

  • rake leaves,
  • shovel the snow away from the entrance,
  • operate the vacuum cleaner, etc.

then teach them proper operation and tell them what goal you expect. Pay them according to how well they achieved the goal.

  • Good realistic suggestions. I'd suggest that you also gradually move from them working for you. Have them negotiate with neighbors for leaves, snow, candies or other goods they can make or buy/sell. This helps them learn to deal with people and the market in a small scale. Have them learn to budget for equipment and expenses. Making money and having a job that earns a fixed income should not mean the same thing. Be sure they understand this concept. Also be sure that they manage school and money well. I started at around 8, and it has helped me enormously through life. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 19:04
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    +1. The only caveat that is suggest is that they shouldn't be making money for chores, but for specific tasks. For instance, cleaning any part of the house, especially their room, dishes, etc. don't deserve payment.
    – John Doe
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 2:32
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    I second John Doe’s comment. No money for regular ol’chores. I offered to pay my sons $5for each box of junk they removed from the basement and into the dumpster, 100’ away. Boxes were pretty large, so this was hard work. My 6 yo old earned $50 in one day! My 8 year old...$0, 14 yo earned $20, but in two days. 8 yo still doesn’t understand why the others earned money and he didn’t, and why he doesn’t get $$ for putting his laundry away. It’s a hard lesson he’ll be forced to repeat over and over until he finally learns that chores are chores, it’s the extra that gets a reward.
    – Jax
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 0:51

Torben's answer is a fantastic answer. I'm not sure how realistic it is to think that a child who is younger than a teenager is going to be able to get a "real" job what with child labor laws and whatnot. I've had students as young as 15 with part-time after-school jobs, but they had to have their parent's written permission. You might want to check with your country's/state's laws regarding employment of minors before you start pushing your child too hard.

From what I have seen with my students, many teenagers (15 years and up) really want to go out and find a job so they can make their own money and not have to depend on their parents for everything. It's almost a rite of passage here. You can certainly encourage your child to find other small jobs that will earn him/her money before he/she is legally able to go find a job working for a company. Besides earning money around the house, perhaps offering his/her services in the fall to rake the leaves of people in the neighborhood, shovel the walkways/driveways, babysit, etc. Obviously ensure that he/she can accomplish these tasks well first before offering the services to other people. You want to reinforce not only doing a job, but doing it well, and if he/she doesn't do a good job he/she won't be asked to repeat the task.


Start when they are young(4 or 5) by giving them a little for house chores. Around 9-10 Get them to do a paper route. When they hit 12 or 13 let them do a babysitting course and learn first aid and then offer for them to babysit the neighbours, family or friends kids . When they turn 15 get them to get a part time job after school or weekend job. Once they hit 16 every summer should be full time work for at least a month or two.

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    Hi and welcome. Do you have any particular reasons for choosing the ages you have for particular jobs? Fleshing out this answer would make it better. Thanks. Commented May 4, 2015 at 1:51
  • Paper route doesn't work so well any more - print publications are being driven out of business by online publications.
    – pojo-guy
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 3:57

I personally believe kids should start at an early age. What I mean by this is parents should encourage their children to save early through pocket money given for certain jobs performed at home. For example, if they do the washing for you and perform other tasks for an hour or a few, give them a nice allowance to encourage them to continue with it in future!

This is a great start for children and will encourage them to look for work in future, knowing they will be rewarded for their hard work and commitment.

Moreover; making use of a piggy bank as suggested by this blog post about teaching children to save and spend would encourage them to save and use that money when well accumulated.


We started our kids earning money early - 4 to 5 years old for doing jobs extra to their regular chores around the house at a few pennies per job. At 7, my son mows the grass with a lot of assistance for $10.00 (compared to $40.00+ if I were to hire it done). By 12 my daughter was freelancing wedding videos. We try to pay market rates for work our kids do, and encourage them to seek (an be worthy of) market rates for work they o outside the house.

We don't pay for regular chores.


I personally believe kids as young as 12 should start to work part-time after school jobs. Kids this age are about to go into high school or already are. They are learning responsibilities and want to earn money. Some kids don’t get pocket money so working part-time will let them earn what they would like to have.

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