Jobs for 12 year olds; 12 suggestions

There are a number of part-time jobs for 12 year olds that they can legally do while they are still at school. This is usually through their family network.. Read on for 12 suggestions of jobs for 12 year olds.

Having a job helps younger children learn valuable skills and responsibility as well as gives them some extra spending money. While it is illegal for 12 year olds to work full-time, there are many part-time jobs for 12 year olds that they can legally do. Australia, the UK, and the USA all have child labour laws that outline what kind of jobs children can do and how long they can work. All 3 countries have similar laws, with slightly different details. Each of these countries allows children to work in the entertainment industry, however, and there are many other part time jobs kids can do to earn a bit of money, start learning about the value of money and saving, and to teach them valuable life skills too.

In this article, we will explore job ideas for 12 year olds.

CaptainFI is not a Financial Advisor and the information below is not financial advice. This website is reader-supported, which means we may be paid when you visit links to partner or featured sites, or by advertising on the site. For more information please read my Privacy PolicyTerms of Use, and Financial Disclaimer.

Is a 12 year old allowed to get paid work in Australia?

Each of the Australian states and territories have different laws for when children can start work, but in all states, shifts cannot be scheduled for when the child is legally required to be at school.

Only Queensland has a minimum age for starting work, and that age is 13. However, children can deliver newspapers or advertising material from the age of 11. There is no minimum age for working in family businesses or in the entertainment industry. Children who work need their parents’ permission and cannot work more than 12 hours a week and four hours a day.

In Tasmania, there is no minimum age for a part time job or casual work, but children cannot work during school hours unless they have permission from the Department of Education. The Northern Territory requires that any work a child does must not make it harder for the child to learn at school. South Australian law states that the work can’t interfere with the child’s schoolwork. In both of these places, the law does not specify what that might be, which contrasts with the other states and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) which have quite detailed requirements to protect children.

kid helping with gardening, jobs for kids
Kids can usually get some good connections through friends, family or the neighborhood community, for odd jobs to earn pocket money

In New South Wales, 12 year olds are not allowed to do door-to-door sales, but younger children are free to take other jobs. In Western Australia, 12 year olds can do delivery work but they must be accompanied by a parent or another adult with written permission from a parent. They cannot work full time or during school hours except with written approval from the Minister for Education.

In most states and territories, there are laws governing how many hours a child can work and when the child is permitted to work. For more detailed information about working laws for youth and jobs for 12 year olds in each of the states and territories in Australia, read Youth Law Australia: When can I start working?

“It is against the law for an employer to employ you during hours you are required to be at school.”

Is a 12 year old allowed to get paid work in the USA?

Paid work for 12 year olds is covered by federal law in the USA. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the rules for what kind of work children can and can’t do. There are some jobs that 12-year-olds can do because there is no minimum age. Those jobs are delivering newspapers, performing in radio, TV, movies, or theatre, and working for a family member unless the work is hazardous. If a child is working in a family business, then there are no restrictions on hours or times. Other jobs for 12 year olds may be babysitting jobs and certain agricultural jobs.

When it comes to agricultural knowledge and work, the law is slightly different. A 12 year old can work in non-hazardous farm jobs that also employ their parents or with parental consent. In addition to this, there are different laws governing the employment of children in agricultural work depending on the state you are in.

To learn more about state laws, see the US Department of Labor website.

Is a 12 year old allowed to get paid work in the UK?

In the UK, the minimum age for part-time work is 13 except for television, theatre, and modelling. In order to do these jobs, the child will need a performance licence and they will also need supervision. 12 year olds cannot work between 7 pm and 7 am. They also cannot work during school hours or more than 1 hour before school. A child cannot work for more than 4 hours without a break of at least 1 hour and they must have a 2 week break from work during school holidays each year.

There are also additional rules about school terms and school holidays. In addition to these laws, there may also be local bylaws with restrictions on work for 12 year olds. To find out the different local council restrictions on jobs for 12 year olds, you will need to check with local councils.

To learn more about the UK laws, go to GOV.UK Child Employment.

12 Jobs for 12 year Olds

1.   Babysitting

It may be possible for a 12 year old to babysit younger relatives or their friends’, younger siblings. However, in most places, it could be an offence to leave a 12-year-old alone without supervision for long periods of time or at night.

For a 12-year-old in Australia interested in part-time babysitting, a few steps must be taken. Firstly, the child should acquire basic childcare skills, possibly through a Red Cross babysitting course or similar, which provides essential information about child safety and emergency response. Next, it’s advisable for the child to gain some initial experience by babysitting siblings, relatives, or close family friends, with an adult present. This builds confidence and credibility.

Once ready, the child can start advertising their services, either through word-of-mouth or local community noticeboards. Lastly, setting a reasonable rate that reflects the child’s skills and experience is important. All these steps, under vigilant adult supervision, can help a 12-year-old gain part-time work as a babysitter in Australia.

2.   Dog walking

Dog walking can be an excellent part-time job for 12-year-old children, helping them to learn responsibility and earn a little pocket money. As long as the dogs to be walked are suitable in temperament and size for the child’s abilities, this can be a very rewarding job. Remember, safety should always be the top priority.

An adult should accompany the child initially until they are comfortable with the dog and the route. Also, it’s crucial for both the child and the pet owner to understand the laws regarding dog walking in their locality.

dog walking, jobs for 12 year olds
Dog walking is a great option for kids, but it’s important there is adult supervision, at least for the first few times, to ensure safety for the child and for the animals

3.   Pet sitting

Pet sitters are responsible for supervising and feeding animals while their owners are away. It could be as simple as feeding a fish, but it could be more complicated when an animal needs special care such as taking medication. Pet sitters may also walk dogs or supervise them while they play, fill up water bowls, feed animals and provide some company.

Sometimes this can be done within the owner’s home, and sometimes pet sitters can take animals into their own home. This will be case dependant and also dependant on the individual animal’s temperament, and on the availability of the child’s parents to be able to assist or accommodate.

4.   Washing cars / yard work

Parents and guardians can approach local car wash services or neighbours to inquire about potential work opportunities. These jobs could include washing cars in a neighborhood on a weekend, or assisting at a local car washing service during school holidays. Remember, however, that the child’s safety and welfare should be carefully considered, with adult supervision ensured at all times.

12 year olds may also be able to get some work doing odd jobs within the neighborhood community or within the family or friends network, assuming parents have vetted these families and are comfortable with the work involved and the people involved.

kid washing cars, jobs for kids,
Kids can easily help to wash cars, for either family members or family friends – I think we’ve all washed a car or two as kids, right?

5.   Newspaper Delivery person, (pamphlets & advertising material)

Although fewer people are getting newspapers delivered, there are still plenty of jobs for people to deliver advertising material. You will be given a route to follow and you will get paid for the number of items that you deliver. Usually, the pay is well below the hourly minimum wage, but it’s a great way for a 12-year-old to make a bit of extra money and get exercise and fresh air too!

Typically, the job involves delivering newspapers or advertising materials to homes within a designated area. Parents or guardians can inquire at local newsagencies or marketing firms about any available positions. Community notice boards and online job platforms might also post vacancies for local delivery roles. The work would likely be scheduled for after school hours.

The job should not be overly strenuous, with the weight of the newspapers or pamphlets being manageable for the child. Adult supervision is recommended where possible, and the child’s welfare should always be the primary concern.

“Juniors get paid a percentage of the relevant adult pay rate unless the award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement doesn’t have junior rates.”
newspaper delivery, jobs for kids
Newspaper and pamphlet delivery is another great option – usually an after school job on a particular route – great for some extra cash and exercise too!

6.   Plant Sitting

A 12-year-old child may find opportunities for part-time work in plant sitting or plant watering. These roles typically involve tasks like watering plants, pruning, and checking on the health of plants while homeowners are away, which are well-suited to the capabilities of a 12-year-old.

This sort of work can often be found in local neighbourhoods, community centres, or via online portals. Families, friends, and neighbours may require such services, especially during holiday seasons. Plant sitting is not only a fantastic way for young individuals to gain responsibility and develop a work ethic, but also offers a chance to learn about nature, nurturing life, and the importance of environmental stewardship.

7.   Working in a family business

In many countries, children are permitted to work in family businesses. It is assumed that the parents will know what their children can do and will be responsible for ensuring that their children continue their education and not be harmed by the work.

Depending on the type of business, there are many different jobs that children can do. Of course, there are laws that limit what they can do and how many hours they can work, which are also state-specific.

8.   Entertainment work

In Australia, a 12-year-old child might also consider part-time work in the entertainment industry, which can include roles like becoming a child actor, voice actor or extra in film, television or commercials. The first step to entering this field is often to find a reputable talent agency that works with child performers.

To be successful, the child generally must have an interest in performing arts and be comfortable in front of cameras or audiences. It’s also crucial for the child to have the support of their parents or guardians, as this industry requires parental consent and often involves irregular working hours.

Though challenging, entertainment work can be rewarding, offering kids a unique opportunity to express their creativity, build self-confidence, and gain early exposure to the world of performing arts.

child entertainer, child actor, jobs for 12 year olds
Plenty of young kids and teens enter the world of entertainment, with the guidance of their parents or guardians – it can be a lot of running around for parents though, and irregular hours

9.   Gardening, Lawn Mowing and Yard Work

Gardening, lawn mowing, or yard work is another option for a 12-year-old looking for part-time work in Australia. The tasks involved could be weeding, planting, mowing lawns, and general garden maintenance. These tasks may be physically engaging yet manageable for someone in that age group.

To find such opportunities, the child could start by offering their services to neighbours and local community members. Local gardening centres or community boards might also offer leads for such part-time work.

It’s important to note that while this type of work provides an excellent opportunity to learn about plant life and develop a strong work ethic, it also requires careful supervision for safety reasons. Therefore, a parent or guardian approval and oversight is highly recommended.

10. Cleaning Houses

Cleaning services is another field where a 12-year-old could find part-time work in Australia. Tasks could include basic housework such as dusting, sweeping, mopping floors, and washing dishes. This line of work can be a good fit as it requires no special skills and can be carried out in local neighbourhoods, reducing the need for transportation.

The child could start by offering their services to relatives, neighbours, or family friends. Local community boards, online platforms, and word-of-mouth can also be effective ways to find such opportunities. It’s crucial to remember that, as with any work involving children, parental consent and supervision should be required.

Such employment not only offers a means of earning, but also instils a sense of responsibility and work ethic in the child, while teaching them important life skills.

11. Helping the Elderly

Assisting the elderly is another suitable part-time job for a 12-year-old in Australia. The senior population often requires help with tasks that can be managed by a young person, such as grocery shopping, simple meal prep, bringing in or taking out the bins, collecting mail, or basic housekeeping tasks.

The child could offer their services to elderly neighbours or through local community centres that cater to seniors. Additionally, there are organisations that connect younger individuals with elderly ones in need of assistance. These platforms can also be an excellent starting point for finding such opportunities. As always, parental consent and oversight are essential, and the child should be educated on safety measures to take when interacting with others.

This job can provide a valuable opportunity for the child to develop empathy, patience, and communication skills.

12. Online business

Did you know that last year a 7 year old girl earned $28 million posting videos on YouTube? In fact 2 of the Forbes Highest Paid YouTube Stars are under the age of 10.

Online work represents another feasible avenue for a 12-year-old in Australia to earn some income. Numerous platforms offer online jobs suitable for this age group, such as freelancing in graphic design, coding, or writing, provided they have the necessary skills. Online survey sites also offer opportunities for children to earn money by participating in market research.

kid on laptop, making money online
More and more kids are learning how to make money online these days – sometimes they are better at this than us!

As mentioned above, with the rise of platforms like YouTube, talented children can create their own content, such as DIY crafts, gaming, or educational videos, which can generate income through ad revenue once they have garnered a sizeable following.

Additionally, online tutoring is another viable option, especially for academically inclined children who can share their knowledge with others. All these online job opportunities must be carried out under adult supervision to ensure the child’s safety online. As always, parents should vet each opportunity for legitimacy and appropriateness for their child’s age.

What jobs did Captain Fi do as a 12 year old?

As a 12 year old kid, I remember doing the following jobs:

  • Washed cars for neighbours and family members
  • Delivered newspapers
  • Did some odd jobs for family friends and neighbours
  • Traded Pokemon cards
  • (Not that I recommend, as my mum got a call home from school) – sold candy at school (cheaper than the canteen) for a profit.. haha.


In conclusion, there is a wide range of jobs available for 12-year-olds in Australia that not only provide a source of income but also serve as an excellent platform for developing valuable skills and gaining life experiences.

Whether it’s traditional jobs like dog walking and babysitting, or more contemporary online work such as content creation or online tutoring, these opportunities can be beneficial for children’s development.

kid with dog, pet sitting

However, parents’ role in ensuring safety, providing guidance, and vetting these opportunities cannot be overstated. With the right balance, these job opportunities can serve as a stepping stone, preparing kids for future career paths and instilling a sense of responsibility and work ethic at a young age.

Financial Disclaimer

Financial Disclaimer: CaptainFI is NOT a financial advisor and does not hold an AFSL. This is not financial Advice!

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I am not a financial adviser and I do not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). In this article, I am giving you factual, balanced information without judgment or bias, to the best of my ability. I am not giving you any general or personal financial advice about what you should do with your investments. Just because I do something with my money (or use a particular service or platform) doesn’t mean it is automatically appropriate for your personal circumstances. I do not recommend nor endorse any financial or investment product, and my usage or opinion of any product should not be interpreted as an endorsement, advertisement, or intent to influence.

I can only provide factual information based on my journey to Financial Independence, and that is provided for general informational and entertainment purposes only. I make no guarantee about the performance of any product, and although I strive to keep the information accurate and updated as it changes, I make no guarantee about the correctness of reviews or information posted.

Remember – you always need to do your own independent research and due diligence before making any transaction. This includes reading and analysing Product Disclosure Statements, Terms and Conditions, Service Arrangement and Fee Structures. It is always smart to compare products and discuss them, but ultimately you need to take responsibility for your use of any particular product and make sure it suits your personal circumstances. If you need help and would like to obtain personal financial advice about which investment options or platforms may be right for you, please talk to a licensed financial adviser or AFSL holder – you can take the first steps to find a financial advisor by reading this interview, or by visiting the ASIC financial adviser register and searching in your area.

For more information please read my Privacy PolicyTerms of Use, and Financial Disclaimer.

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