In today’s economy, many 12 year olds are looking for ways to earn extra money. Whether saving up for a big purchase, wanting financial independence, or helping to support their family, jobs can provide an income and teach important life skills.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: In Texas, 12 year olds can legally work limited hours in roles like babysitting, dog walking, yard work, lemonade stands, and acting.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best paying jobs for 12 year olds in Texas, typical wages, hours restrictions, and steps to start working legally at a young age.


Babysitting is a popular job choice for 12-year-olds in Texas. It offers a great opportunity to earn some extra money while gaining valuable experience in taking care of children. Babysitting not only provides a chance to be responsible and independent, but it also allows young individuals to develop important skills that will benefit them in the future.

Average Pay

When it comes to babysitting, the pay can vary depending on several factors such as location, experience, and the number of children to be cared for. On average, 12-year-olds in Texas can earn around $8 to $12 per hour for babysitting services.

However, it’s important to note that rates may be higher in certain areas or for special requests such as overnight babysitting.

Hours & Scheduling Flexibility

One of the advantages of babysitting is the flexibility it offers in terms of hours and scheduling. As a 12-year-old, it’s important to balance schoolwork and other activities, and babysitting allows for that.

Typically, babysitting jobs are available during evenings, weekends, and school holidays, providing young individuals with the opportunity to work around their own schedule.

Skills Needed

Babysitting requires a set of skills that go beyond simply watching children. Some of the important skills include patience, creativity, problem-solving, and good communication. Being able to handle emergency situations and knowing basic first aid can also be beneficial.

It’s important for 12-year-olds to understand that babysitting is a responsibility and requires maturity and a genuine interest in the well-being of children.

Certification Options

While certification is not mandatory for babysitting, it can be a valuable addition to one’s resume and provide parents with peace of mind. Organizations such as the American Red Cross offer babysitting certification courses that cover topics like basic child care, safety, and emergency procedures.

These courses can equip 12-year-olds with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in their babysitting jobs.

Finding Babysitting Jobs

There are various ways for 12-year-olds in Texas to find babysitting jobs. One option is to ask family, friends, and neighbors if they know of anyone in need of a babysitter. Additionally, online platforms and community bulletin boards can be great resources for finding babysitting opportunities.

It’s important to approach these opportunities with professionalism, ensuring that both parents and children feel comfortable and confident in your abilities as a babysitter.

For more information on babysitting tips and resources, you can visit the American Red Cross website.

Dog Walking/Pet Sitting

Average Pay

Dog walking and pet sitting can be a great way for 12 year olds in Texas to earn some extra money. The average pay for dog walking in Texas ranges from $10 to $20 per hour, depending on the location and the services provided.

Pet sitting rates can vary, but you can expect to earn around $15 to $25 per visit or per day.

According to a survey conducted by Pet Sitters International, the average rate for pet sitting services in the United States is about $16 per visit.

Hours & Scheduling Flexibility

One of the advantages of dog walking and pet sitting is the flexibility it offers in terms of hours and scheduling. As a 12 year old, you can choose to walk dogs or pet sit during your free time, after school, on weekends, and during holidays.

This allows you to work around your school and extracurricular activities.

Skills Needed

While no formal qualifications are required for dog walking and pet sitting, there are certain skills that can help you succeed in this job. First and foremost, you should have a genuine love for animals and be comfortable around different types of pets.

Patience, responsibility, and reliability are also important traits for this line of work. Additionally, having basic knowledge of pet care and understanding the needs of different animals can be beneficial.

Certification Options

Although not required, obtaining a certification in pet first aid and CPR can provide an added advantage and give pet owners peace of mind. The American Red Cross offers online courses specifically designed for pet owners and pet care professionals.

These courses cover topics such as pet safety, handling emergencies, and administering first aid.

You can find more information about pet first aid and CPR certification courses on the American Red Cross website:

Finding Dog Walking/Pet Sitting Jobs

There are several ways to find dog walking and pet sitting jobs in Texas. You can start by asking your family, friends, and neighbors if they need any assistance with their pets. You can also create flyers or posters and distribute them in your local community.

Online platforms such as Rover, Wag, and are popular platforms where pet owners can find reliable pet sitters and dog walkers.

According to a study conducted by Rover, the largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers, Texas is one of the top states for pet sitting and dog walking opportunities.

You can sign up and create a profile on these platforms, highlighting your experience, availability, and services offered. It’s important to provide references and showcase your love for animals to attract potential clients.

Yard Work/Lawn Mowing

Yard work and lawn mowing can be a great way for 12-year-olds in Texas to earn some extra money. This type of job allows them to work outdoors and develop valuable skills while getting paid. Yard work and lawn mowing jobs are in high demand, especially during the warmer months when people want to keep their lawns well-maintained.

Average Pay

The average pay for yard work and lawn mowing jobs can vary depending on factors such as the size of the yard, the level of difficulty, and the location. However, 12-year-olds can expect to earn around $10 to $20 per hour for this type of work.

Some jobs may also offer additional tips or bonuses based on the quality of the work done.

Hours & Scheduling Flexibility

One of the advantages of yard work and lawn mowing jobs is the flexibility in hours and scheduling. Many homeowners are willing to work around a 12-year-old’s school schedule and other commitments. This allows them to work after school, on weekends, or during school breaks.

It’s important to establish clear expectations with the employer regarding availability and preferred working hours.

Skills Needed

While yard work and lawn mowing may seem like simple tasks, there are some skills that 12-year-olds should possess to excel in this job. They should have basic knowledge of how to operate lawn mowers, trimmers, and other gardening tools safely.

Attention to detail, good physical stamina, and the ability to follow instructions are also important qualities for this type of work.

Licensing Requirements

In Texas, there are no specific licensing requirements for 12-year-olds to engage in yard work and lawn mowing jobs. However, it’s always a good idea to check with local regulations and homeowners associations to ensure compliance with any rules or restrictions that may be in place.

Finding Yard Work/Lawn Mowing Jobs

There are several ways for 12-year-olds in Texas to find yard work and lawn mowing jobs. They can start by asking friends, family, and neighbors if they need any help with their yard work. Online platforms such as Craigslist or neighborhood Facebook groups can also be useful for finding job opportunities.

Additionally, local landscaping companies or garden centers may be hiring young workers for part-time positions.

Remember, it’s important for 12-year-olds to approach potential employers with professionalism and a strong work ethic. By providing quality service and showing dedication to the job, they can build a strong reputation and potentially secure more yard work and lawn mowing jobs in the future.

Lemonade Stands

One of the best paying jobs for 12-year-olds in Texas is running a lemonade stand. It not only allows them to earn some money but also teaches them valuable skills such as entrepreneurship, financial management, and customer service.

Setting up a lemonade stand can be a fun and rewarding experience for young kids.

Average Earnings

The average earnings from a lemonade stand can vary depending on various factors such as location, pricing, and customer demand. However, on average, a well-run lemonade stand can bring in around $20 to $50 per day. Some successful stands have even reported earning up to $100 or more in a single day.

Hours & Scheduling Flexibility

One of the great benefits of running a lemonade stand is the flexibility it offers in terms of scheduling. Kids can choose to operate their stand after school, during weekends, or even during special events in their community.

This allows them to balance their studies and other activities while still earning money.

Skills Developed

Running a lemonade stand helps kids develop a wide range of skills that are valuable in both personal and professional life. They learn about financial literacy by handling money, calculating profits, and managing expenses.

It also helps them improve their communication skills as they interact with customers and provide excellent customer service. Additionally, they gain valuable experience in marketing and sales as they promote their stand and attract customers.


Before setting up a lemonade stand, it is important to check with the local authorities regarding any permits or regulations that may be required. Some cities or towns may have specific rules regarding food handling or operating a business.

It is always better to be informed and comply with any necessary requirements to ensure a smooth and legal operation.

Setting Up a Successful Lemonade Stand

To set up a successful lemonade stand, it is important to focus on a few key factors. Firstly, choose a strategic location with high foot traffic, such as a park or a busy street. Secondly, create an eye-catching and well-designed stand that stands out from the crowd.

Thirdly, offer a quality product with fresh ingredients and unique flavors to attract customers. Lastly, don’t forget to promote your stand through social media, flyers, or word of mouth to maximize your potential earnings.


Average Pay

Acting can be a lucrative job for 12-year-olds in Texas. While the pay may vary depending on the project and the specific role, child actors can earn an average of $100 to $300 per day for their work. Some high-profile projects may offer even higher compensation.

It’s important to note that child actors are subject to different regulations and restrictions compared to adult actors, so the pay may differ slightly.

Hours Restrictions

Child labor laws in Texas regulate the number of hours a 12-year-old can work in the entertainment industry. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, children between the ages of 11 and 14 can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school year.

During school breaks and summer vacation, they can work up to 40 hours per week.

Skills Needed

Acting requires a combination of natural talent, dedication, and training. While some children may have a natural flair for performing, taking acting classes can help develop their skills further. Acting classes can teach young actors how to express emotions, memorize lines, and work well with others.

Additionally, having good communication skills, confidence, and a willingness to take direction are essential for success in the field.

Finding Acting Opportunities

There are various ways for 12-year-olds in Texas to find acting opportunities. One option is to enroll in local theater programs or join community theater groups. These programs often stage productions that involve young actors.

Another option is to join talent agencies that specialize in representing child actors. These agencies can help connect young actors with casting directors and auditions for movies, TV shows, commercials, and theater productions.

Additionally, online platforms such as Backstage and Casting Networks provide a platform for actors of all ages to find casting calls and auditions. It’s important for parents of 12-year-olds to be actively involved in their child’s acting pursuits, ensuring they are pursuing safe and legitimate opportunities in the industry.


At just 12 years old, there are limited but potentially lucrative opportunities for kids to start earning their own money in Texas. With proper parental guidance, limited hours, and age-appropriate roles, a part-time job can provide earnings and teach young teens financial literacy, responsibility, and entrepreneurship. The most realistic jobs include babysitting, pet care, yard work, lemonade stands, and acting gigs. While building their resumes and wallets, 12 year olds in Texas can gain financial know-how and skills that will help them thrive as adults.

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