Kids' jobs

Part-time work for teenagers

Starting work is a great opportunity for teenagers to develop new skills and learn responsibility while making their own money for the first time.

How earning money teaches kids

Smart tip

Volunteering is a good way for your teen to get work experience.

Teenagers starting work will get the chance to learn lots of new skills. Here are some skills they can learn:

  • Active listening - Listening to and following instructions
  • Problem solving - Learning to think and overcome difficulties
  • Team work - Working and cooperating with others
  • Time management - Planning and prioritising tasks
  • Communication - Being able to convey their point of view and engage with colleagues and customers

Jobs also allow teenagers to develop skills around money. As they will be earning their own money they will need to work out how to save, when to spend and how to budget.

Starting work

Have a look at the Fair Work Ombudsman's website to find out what age your kids can start work.

Encouraging kids to get a job

Smart tip

Teenagers need a tax file number to start work. This can be organised through your child's school.

Here are a few things you should consider when encouraging your teenage kids to get a job.  While some teenagers are keen and motivated to find work as soon as they can, others require more help and encouragement, especially in a competitive job market.

Writing a resume

Your teenager will need a resume to apply for a job. If this is their first job, they may not know what to put in a resume. You may need to help them pull the information together.

There are a number of resume templates available online. It is also a good idea for your teen to contact potential employers directly to check what information should be included in the application and what experience is expected. You could also include references in the resume of people who you know your child, such as family friends, teachers or a sporting coach.

How often does your child want to work?

Before taking up a new job, it can be useful for your teenager to think about what they hope to get out of part-time work, what their goals are and how work will fit with their other commitments.

Some of the questions your child should ask themselves include:

  • How often do I want to work?
  • How often can I work?
  • How will starting a job affect my school work and after school activities?
  • How will I get to work?

Video: Kids' money advice and teaching spending habits

Video about helping your children develop good spending habits

David and Libby Koch and their son AJ provide some tips on helping kids and teens develop good spending habits.

This video was developed in partnership with the Koch family and Father Chris Riley's  Youth Off The Streets.

Transcript: Kid's money advice and teaching spending habits

How to help kids budget and save their pay

Smart tip

Get your teenager to download MoneySmart's TrackMySpend app to help them see where their money goes

Once your child has a job, they should think more about starting a budget and setting savings goals.

Get them to draw up a spending budget for their wages, allocating some money to spending and part of it to saving. Running out of money before pay day is a great lesson in the value of sticking to a budget.

Our budget planner can help you and your teenager put together a budget.

Budget planner

Encourage them to set specific and realistic long-term goals and to save some of their pay each week towards their goals. Get started by using our savings goals calculator.

Savings goals calculator

For more information about starting a new job, see our first job web page in our under 25s section.

Mobile phone lessons online

Get your kids to try MoneySmart Teaching's digital resources about mobile phones which are all for years 5-6.

What should kids use their money for?

Smart tip

Do your teenagers have part-time jobs? Check their payment summary to see if they had any income tax deducted. If their income is low but they've had tax deducted they can do a tax return and get it refunded.

This will depend on how much you want your child to contribute to their own personal expenses, but here are a few things to think about:

Mobile phone bills

Managing a teenager's mobile phone bill can be a big issue for families, so you might ask your child to contribute money to help pay some or all of their mobile phone bill. See our mobile phones for Under 25s web page for more details.

Brand clothing

If you usually pay for your teenager's clothes and shoes, but they want a brand item that is more expensive, you could ask them to contribute the difference between the brand item and what you would usually pay, from their own earnings.


You could consider asking your teenager to contribute to any technology or mobile devices they want from their part-time job earnings.

Starting a part-time job is a great way for teenagers to develop life skills and independence, but remember they will need good advice and guidance around money to stay on the right track.

Related links

Last updated: 03 Nov 2015