How to Make Money in High School During the School Year

When your teen is in school, school is the most important thing to be working on.

Psst: here are the pros and cons of having a job in high school.

That’s because their high school diploma, teacher referrals, testing scores, extracurricular activities, and more can really give you a leg up in their young adult life.

Specifically, focusing on studies can help them to:

  • Get into the college they want
  • Get a scholarship to post-high school training
  • Get excellent referrals for a post-high school job

Still – most teens I know want to earn money as well (I had multiple jobs as a teenager, so I totally get it!).

Not only that, but gaining on-the-job experience can help in many ways, like in getting solid referrals, in figuring out a career path they might want and which career path they DON’T want, and in developing some capabilities they may not have known they had.

During the school year, there are some opportunities to both earn money AND stay on top of their studies.

Hint: your teen will need to prioritize their time better in order to hold down a job on top of school. Check out my free after school routine for high school teens printable to help them stay on top of homework, projects, and manager their afterschool time (even with extracurriculars).

And we’ll go into those below. 

But to start with, they’ve got to figure out how available they are to work during a school year. Times like winter break, summer break, and weekends could all be used for employment.

Your teen will also want to keep in mind activities like sports seasons that they find important. Maybe they’re a star baseball player, so the Spring/summer season is going to be ultra-busy, but the Fall would be a good time to hold down a part-time job.

Next up, I want to talk the difference between making consistent income in high school, versus non-consistent. Because you guys might choose one over the other depending on family and your teen’s needs/wants.

Psst: here’s a 3-week job search plan for how to get a job as a teenager, plus 5 free teen resume templates.

43. Collect and Recycle Metals

I know a young guy with a pickup truck who did this for several years and made good money. Metals – steel, aluminum, and especially copper – can easily be recycled.

Contact companies in your area who buy scrap metal, then go around your community and collect any metal left out for garbage pickup.


2. Rob a bank

Is there a more cliche way to get rich illegally t

Is there a more cliche way to get rich illegally than pulling off a bank heist?

Probably not. Which is why this strategy has wielded some of the wildest and craziest true stories ever.

There’s the 2006 classic Securitas Depot Robbery, where a British team of 6+ robbers (including former UFC fighter, Lee Murray) impersonated a police officer, kidnapped the depot manager and his family at gunpoint, and forced him to open the vaults.

That team made off with $92 million in cash – so much that they literally spent hours loading it onto multiple trucks. To this day, it’s still the largest bank heist ever. (Topped only by a strange technicality, when Saddam Hussein pulled some political strings to rob the Central Bank of Iraq of nearly $1 billion dollars. But that’s cheating.)

They almost got away with it too. Despite the world knowing he was guilty, Lee Murray fled to Morocco, where he spent months living it up in a million dollar mansion and golden Mercedes-Benz, thanks to a strange extradition policy between the U.K. and Morocco at the time. Eventually though, Murray was arrested, and he’s currently serving 25 years in a Moroccan prison.

Then there’s the Banco Central Burglary in Brazil. There, a 25 member gang created a fake landscaping businesses, bought property next to the bank, and spent three months digging a 300 foot underground tunnel leading underneath the bank vault’s floor. Then, over the weekend, the team poked a hole in the floor and ran off with $72 million dollars.

($50 million was never recovered, and many team members were never arrested.)

And if all else fails, there’s always the much simpler route. In 2016, a Reddit user hosted an Ask Me Anything where he confessed to getting away with numerous bank robberies before turning himself into authorities.

His master plan? He’d walk into banks, armed with nothing more than a hand written note, and ask the teller for all their cash. Afterwards, he’d grab something to eat from Chili’s.

In his own words:

Q: What did you say to the teller?

A: Walked in the bank and waited in line like a regular customer. Whichever teller was available to help me is the one I robbed. I simply walked up to them when it was my turn to be helped, and I told them — usually via handwritten instructions on an envelope — to give me their $50s and $100s. There was no threat. I just told them what I wanted, and they complied. This is how it works in America because the amount of money a bank gives up ($5-$7k on average) per bank robbery is infinitely less than the amount of business they’d lose if sh*t got wild in a bank full of customers.

Q: Where did you go after your escape?

A: I usually went to Chili’s or somewhere to eat and chill out.”

4. Become a drug dealer

Cocaine Kingpin Pablo Escobar once had so much money that instead of turning on the heater, he burned $2 million in cash.

I guess that’s what you can do when you&#821

I guess that’s what you can do when you’re supplying 80% of the world’s cocaine – an accomplishment that earned him $420 million a week during his cartel’s peak. (And had him spending $1,000 per week on… rubber bands for all that cash.)

Yes, Pablo Escobar made $22 billion a year selling drugs. Seriously.

In fact, Escobar’s insane earnings actually led to his downfall, because he was bringing in so much cash that he literally couldn’t launder the money fast enough. Instead, he resorted to storing cash in old warehouses, inside the walls of his houses, and even in empty farm fields.

Not ideal. Which is probably why his accountant budgeted a staggering $2.1 billion a year in ruined cash, usually from water damage, mold, or rats eating the bills.

15. Make and Sell Crafts on Etsy

If you have a talent for making crafts, you can start making some extra money selling them on Etsy.

It’s a site dedicated to those who create and sell handmade crafts.

Why Would Someone Want to Make Money Illegally?

After reading this list, you’re probably wondering why anyone would want to make money illegally given the risk of jail time.

Well, for some people, it’s all they know. Their friends are criminals, their family members engage in criminal activities, and their communities are riddled with crime.

With others, it’s a crime of desperation. Their situation has gotten so out of control, that they believe their only option is to commit a crime to make ends meet.

Even other people do it for the thrill. Breaking the law and making money illegally is a dopamine rush that they’re addicted to. Just like sky-diving adrenaline junkies, for them, the risk is worth the reward.

Whatever the reason is, it’s not morally justifiable to break the law to make ends meet. There are plenty of ways to get by or make money legally.

Gain New Skills

If you don’t have a way to make money on your own,

If you don’t have a way to make money on your own, you need to learn some new skills. Here are a few of our favorite resources for doing so. All are free or cheap.

92. Skillshare

Once again, this isn’t exactly a way to make money directly. But to make money, you need to have the right skills. Skillshare is our favorite place to learn them. You can learn pretty much anything you can imagine, from drawing to design to woodworking. Check it out here to get 2 weeks free.

93. Your Local Library

Want to get a great education for free? The library is the place. You can get books that will teach you about any subject you want to learn, as well as access online learning databases like And the librarians really would love to help you—just ask.

Illegal Interview Questions Table Download:

Download all the illegal interview questions above in a PDF and use them to create your own EEO guidelines.

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