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27 Highest Paying Jobs for 18 Year Olds (Ultimate 2024 Guide)

Don't Work Another Day is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own.
  By Forrest McCall | Last Updated:  July 29, 2022

Every teenager wants to make more money. To generate more income, some pick up a side hustle while others look for a high-paying job.

Luckily, there are many high paying jobs for teens to consider – even if you don't have an extensive list of unique skills.

Whether you want to work from home or in a physical location, there are many jobs that pay quite well.

In this post, I'll explore some highest paying jobs for 18 year olds, how much money you can make, and much more. Let's get started!

Best High Paying Jobs for 18-Year-Olds

There are a range of employment opportunities out there for 18-year-olds across different fields. Below are some of the highest paying jobs for 18 year olds to consider!

Swim Instructor

Swimming Instructor

Swimming instructors teach both children and adults how to float and swim.

They help their students feel safe and comfortable around water, and the skills they teach could turn out to be life-saving one day. It's also a great position for those who want to tan in the warmer months.

If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, becoming a swimming instructor is a great way to achieve this goal. You'll need to be a good swimmer, understand time-tested swimming techniques, and pass a safety background check to get started. In most areas, you may also be required to pass a lifeguard course to become a swimming instructor.

On average, swimming instructors make about $24 an hour but you could make even more if you’re a swimming instructor at a high-end country club.

Tutoring Job for 18 Year Olds


A tutor can make money from the comfort of their home. They help students who are struggling with academic subjects, and they also share studying tips and tools that students can use to excel on their own. A tutor can work at the elementary, middle, high school, or college level.

If you’re an expert in an academic subject, you’ll love being a tutor. They can specialize in just about any subject including math, English, science, history, and more.

Tutors make about $18 an hour but if you have a large client list, you can make over $1,000 in a month from tutoring. It's a rewarding job, one that can lead to a high-paying career like a college professor.

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants may work hard, but they are certainly compensated well for their hard work.

Young adults in particular make excellent administrative assistants because they practice the skills that are required for the job on a near-daily basis.

As an administrative assistant, it’s likely you’ll answer phone calls, schedule meetings, and organize files for your employer.

Administrative assistant will be an ideal position if you’re an organized person, and people who enjoy organizing usually excel in this role. Also, being well-versed in administrative and clerical work may help you down the road in your career.

On average, administrative assistants have an average pay of around $21 an hour. However, if you possess skills, qualifications, experience, and certifications, you can make much more.

Mail Carrier

Mail Carrier

When you turn eighteen, you can become a mail-carrier and work for the government.

There are many benefits associated with this job, and all you have to do is bring mail to residences and businesses.

If you love to drive and walk around—and you want attractive government benefits—being a mail carrier may be an excellent position for you and it's one of the highest paying jobs for 18 year olds.

Working this job may also help you land a high-paying career down the road, as you’ll learn how to deliver an essential service, people skills, and other valuable lessons and information.

Mail carriers have an average pay of around $17 an hour. However, after many months of carrying out your duties successfully, you will likely get a raise, and you could eventually be bumped up to a supervisor position.

Retail Associate

This is a great job for young people, which in part explains why there are so many young retail associates out there these days.

In this position, you’ll fulfill many roles.

You might walk the aisles asking customers if they need any assistance, or you could be the one operating the cash register to check people out. You might also work in the customer care department.

If you’re friendly, you may thrive as a retail associate. This is also a great position for those who can think quickly on their feet.

Retail associates make about $14 an hour so it's not necessarily one of the highest paying jobs for 18 year olds out of the gate but you can easily get promoted by performing your job well. Where you work and your level of experience collectively determine how much you’ll earn.

Online Seller or Flipper

If you have items at home that you don’t want or need, you can sell them online.

Truly, anyone can do this, as no experience is required.

You can sell items like clothes, shoes, toys, games, and books. Plus, there are plenty of websites that make it easy to sell.

An 18-year-old who doesn't want to work with people may enjoy selling items online. You can even shop at thrift stores and flip the items you purchase.

You can make hundreds, even thousands (depending on what you sell) making it one of the highest paying jobs for 18 year olds on the market. And once you get good at selling and you develop a large client base, the profits will really begin to mount. Look for valuable items that you can flip for a few hundred dollar’s profit.

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant will help a professional or business with a range of tasks that can be completed online.

It's like being an in-person assistant, but you can perform all your duties from the comfort of your home.

A virtual assistant might answer calls and emails, keep track of appointments and events, or organize files for their client. If you like administrative work, you will excel in this position.

Virtual assistants have an average pay of about $16 an hour but you can make more if you work for a wealthy individual or a big corporation. Plus, the skills you learn in this role may help you later on in your career.

Ready to get started working as a virtual assistant?

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Landscapers use tools, machines, knowledge, and techniques to make landscapes and lawns look beautiful.

They can plant trees, mow lawns, and ensure flowers and other decorative pieces are well-maintained and visually attractive. A landscaper may also make arrangements so your lawn isn’t susceptible to flooding.

If you like to work outside, you may do well as a landscaper and it's one of the better paying jobs out there. You’ll make the yards of others look good and get plenty of hours in the sunshine.

Landscapers have an average pay of around $14 an hour but you can make more if you work in a wealthy area. Offering a variety of landscaping services will increase how much business you do.

Research Assistant

If you’re going to college to study science or math, you can work as a research assistant while you learn.

This job involves conducting research and performing related tasks for a professor who’s writing an academic research paper. A professor will often start interviewing for this position at the beginning of the academic year.

As a research assistant, you’ll spend several hours on the computer each day, and often you’ll be working in the library. But if you like being alone with your thoughts, this job could be great for you.

On average, research assistants make about $19 an hour. Some colleges, however, reduce how much a student owes in tuition instead of paying a traditional salary. Ensure you know how payment works before you apply for this job.

Earn Money Dog Walking


Dogs are very active, which explains why they need so much time outside. But many dog owners work during the day, and these individuals don't have time to take their dogs on regular strolls. This is where dog-walkers come in. They take dogs on walks when the owners aren’t around to do so.

If you love dogs and you want to get some exercise, becoming a dog-walker is a great move and it's one of the easiest high paying jobs out there.

Not only will you practice responsibility but you’ll also learn a lot about all kinds of dogs.

On average, dog walkers earn about $15 an hour. If you work for wealthy clients, you can make much more. Some dog-walkers get $20 per walk.

Freelance Writing with Laptop

Freelance Writer

Freelance writers are utilized by all kinds of companies big and small.

They write blog posts for websites, create flyers for businesses, and generate written social media content.

There’s always plenty of work available for a good writer—all you need to get started is a computer and a good work ethic.

If you love to write, it’s likely you’ll thrive as a freelance writer. Plus, you don't need experience to get started, as many freelance websites will help you get established.

Freelance writers have an average pay of about $24 an hour – which makes it one of the highest paying jobs for 18 year olds.

The more skilled and experienced you are, the more likely it is you’ll receive a lucrative contract. You could even start a writing business one day, where you employ others to write for you.

A high school diploma is not required to start working as a freelance writer making it one of the top online jobs for teens.



If you like to be woken up in the morning by delicious coffee, it’s likely you’ll enjoy being a barista.

They make all kinds of coffee beverages, and you’ll learn so much about coffee working this job. It takes a lot of patience to be a barista, but this skills learned in this job may help you in the future.

If you want to work on your customer service skills and you love making and serving coffee, become a barista. This is quite a popular job for 18-year-olds plus, you can get discounted coffee from the shop you work at.

Baristas have an average pay of about $11.26 an hour but how much you make is determined by what kind of coffee shop you work at and its location.

In general, a chain like Starbucks will pay more than a local coffee shop, but working for a corporation requires more work.

Lifeguarding Side Hustle


Becoming a lifeguard is another career path many 18-year-olds take.

As a lifeguard, you’ll get to spend many hours each week around a pool, and you may even be called on to deliver life-saving assistance. And at 18, as a legal adult, you are even more qualified to take on this position.

If you love being at the pool, this job is for you. But before you can be an official lifeguard, you need to take a lifeguard course, learn CPR, and pass a short interview.

Typically, lifeguards have an average pay of around $13.96 an hour. This average hourly pay is above the national average minimum wage but some lifeguards make upwards of $20 an hour.

Slow Paced Jobs - Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer

Graphic design is an art form, and learning the ins and outs of it could lead to a high-paying job for a young adult.

As a graphic designer, you’ll make a range of designs for an employer, and these could be featured on flyers, banners, etc. Or you could start your own graphic design business and sell your artistic creations on your own.

If you have an artistic side, this job could be an excellent one for you. And one day, you could be so good that your talents earn you a handsome living.

Graphic designers have an average salary of around $23 an hour. However, if you develop a large customer base with repeat customers, you’ll make much more.

This can lead to an excellent long term career that's always in demand.

Proofreading Side Hustle


Even those who can write well sometimes need help to ensure what they put down on the paper is correct.

Proofreaders scan documents for errors and revise sentence structures to ensure content is readable.

Sometimes, it takes another set of eyes to spot a mistake you missed, and that’s where a proofreader comes in.

If you like to correct documents, becoming a proofreader could be an excellent job for you. In high school, you can even offer your services to those who need their college applications and essays proofread.

A proofreader has an average pay of around $19.27 an hour – making it one of the highest paying jobs for 18 year olds. If you’re proofreading for a wealthy client, however, you can make upwards of $30 an hour.

Most proofreaders will charge according to document size and subject matter.

The benefits of this position include the ability to work from anywhere and a lucrative future career.

Best Delivery Side Hustles

Delivery Driver

Being a delivery driver is one of the best high-paying jobs for 18-year-olds.

You will travel in a car or truck and bring items from one place to another. You can work for a small, local courier service or a national delivery service like Amazon.

Some of the best delivery side hustles include:

  • Delivering food with Doordash

  • Delivering groceries with Instacart

  • Working for Amazon Flex

If you like to be on the road, this could be a rewarding job for you. You can drive all over the place and see things you’ve never seen before.

Delivery drivers make about $15 an hour and you'll need a clean driver's license to get started.

It's a job that doesn't take much effort and the barrier for entry is not high at all. Any young adult can be a delivery driver, provided they have their driver’s license.

With Doordash you can set your own schedule and work when you want. Earn over $20 per hour today!
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Online Jobs for Teens - Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer

At eighteen, you can become a certified personal trainer.

In this role, you will help individuals get in shape and lead healthier lives. You will create workout routines and meal plans for your clients, and you’ll encourage them to keep going throughout the fitness journey.

If you love to work out, becoming a personal trainer might be an excellent job for you.

You can work for a local gym or create your own training business. With enough work, you can turn this job into a lucrative long term career.

On average, personal trainers make about $31 an hour but if you develop a solid reputation, you could land some high net worth individuals who might pay thousands for your services.

Warehouse Packer

Warehouse packers have become indispensable in a world that relies on online shopping.

In this role, you pack boxes and prepare them for shipping. You’ll also be responsible for making sure packages get to the right destinations.

If you don’t possess a lot of work experience and you aren’t bothered by mindless work, you should consider becoming a warehouse packer.

Warehouse packers have an average pay of about $16 an hour. But if you work dozens of hours a week, you could make a decent living, and eventually you’ll get a raise and perhaps even a promotion to supervisor.

Camp Counselor

Camp counselor is a well-paid and fun position that a lot of 18-year-olds sign up for in the summer months.

You get to work at a camp and facilitate plenty of enjoyable activities for children. You can teach swimming, art, archery, dance, or another camp-related skill.

As a camp counselor, you can earn decent income while getting in touch with your inner child making it one of the best high paying jobs for teens.

If you want to spend your summer outside with kids, this job may be excellent for you. There are always summer camps that need counselors to provide a range of services. Moreover, you can be a camp counselor year round.

Camp counselors have an average pay of about $12 an hour. However, you could make more if you work at a camp that serves wealthy clients.

Pet Sitter

Many regard pet sitting as a great job that allows you to work from home with no high school diploma required.

Pet sitters are paid to look after pets when their owners are away. They often deal with cats and dogs, but you could be a pet sitter for a bird or even fish.

If you love animals, being a pet sitter is an excellent job. You can interact with animals and make money at the same time. Moreover, this is an ideal job for young adults because they can complete their schoolwork while they’re pet sitting.

Pet sitters have an average pay of about $16 an hour. If you’re watching pets for wealthy individuals, however, you can make much more.

If you're ready to get started, you can use a platform like Rover or create your own pet sitting and dog walking services yourself.

Start Pet Sitting!


Being a receptionist might seem like a lot of work at the outset, but it's one of the highest-paying jobs an 18-year-old can take up.

In this position, you'll take phone calls, arrange meetings, and interact with individuals as they wait for appointments. You don’t need a lot of experience to land this job, for you’ll learn as you go.

There are plenty of receptionist jobs out there, as companies always need individuals who can receive clients, guests, etc. in a professional manner.

If you’re friendly and you love to talk to people, being a receptionist could be an excellent job for you.

The average pay for a receptionist is $13 an hour. You could make a lot more if you’re a receptionist for a large company, or if you work for a dentist, doctor, psychiatrist, etc.

Web Design with Laptop

Web Designer

Web designers get paid to create unique and engaging websites for clients.

You don't need any kind of degree to begin, and you can even get started before you graduate high school.

You can even become a professional web designer by learning how to code online through platforms like YouTube or Udemy.

If you’re an expert with computers and you want to get started in the tech industry, this job could be excellent for you. It's one of the highest-paying jobs that an 18-year-old can have.

A high-quality web designer can easily earn six figures, especially if their work quality is top-notch.

On average, a web designer make about $33 an hour. Some people develop websites as a hobby, eventually realizing that it can be a very lucrative career for them.

Casino Gaming Manager

Once you turn eighteen, you can work at a casino as a floor manager. The floor manager is in charge of keeping track of employees on the gaming floor. You will monitor what is going on and ensure everything is working properly.

If you like to manage people, this job could be ideal for you. You’ll get to have some power at a young age, and you can make a decent amount of money if you work at a high-end casino. And with casinos popping up all over the place these days, there are so many opportunities for young people.

On average, casino gaming managers make about $36 an hour – making it one of the top high paying jobs for 18 year olds. In this role, you can earn a good living while interacting with people and enjoying the casino atmosphere.

Babysitting Job


Sometimes, parents want to get away from their kids and enjoy a night on the town.

This is where babysitters come in. These professionals will watch the kids and interact with them until the parents come back. To parents, the services babysitters provider are invaluable.

If you’re good with kids, being a babysitter could be an ideal job for you. You get to have fun with children, but you aren’t responsible for them once your shift ends.

On average, babysitters make about $17 an hour making it one of the highest paying jobs for 18 year olds.

What you make largely depends on the income of the family you babysit for. You can work for a handful of families to generate more income.

Search Engine Tester (SET)

To be a search engine tester (SET), you only need a computer and a little knowledge regarding how computers work.

As an SET, you will search terms and keep track of what comes up in search engines. Your findings are then passed on to your employer. This is an easy job that virtually all young adults are qualified for.

Plus, the more skilled and experienced you are, the more likely it is you’ll connect with clients who are willing to pay you a decent wage for your services.

On average, survey engine testers make about $17 an hour, but you can make upwards of $25 an hour depending on your skills and experience. Moreover, you can do this job anywhere in the world.


There are plenty of websites out there for survey-takers nowadays. Just enter some basic information and you’ll be provided with a list of surveys you can take. If you take enough, you can earn a decent income from doing so, but you’ll need both patience and commitment.

If this job sounds like a good fit, visit the leading survey sites and make profiles. They will guide you through the steps you need to take before you can start earning.

Some surveys pay less than $1, while others pay close to $20. Persistence is critical when working as a survey-taker; some days you’ll make a lot and other days you won’t make as much.

Voiceover Actor

Do you have a unique voice?

You can make great money as a voiceover actor. Plenty of companies need voiceover work. You could read a script for an ad or provide the voice for a new toy. And you can do this job from the comfort of your home.

If you want a creative job, this one might be ideal for you. All you need is a computer and a quality microphone to succeed in this role.

On average, voiceover artists make about $19 an hour. However, beginners usually earn less while skilled, experienced professionals tend to make more.

Final Thoughts on the Highest Paying Jobs for 18 Year Olds

There are plenty of high paying jobs for 18 year olds to consider when looking to make money.

Whether you're searching for a part time job or a full time job, there are several entry level positions that pay well.

Between working as a web designer in the software and technology industry or working as a sales associate in the retail and hospitality industries – there are plenty of job opportunities to with a strong career path at a young age.

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing expert dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He has a Bachelor's degree in business and has been featured in many popular publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Bankrate, CNET Money, and many others. To learn more about Forrest, visit the About Us Page for more info.
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