Turning a Part-Time Kiddie Job Into a Full-Time Adult Career

These juvenile gigs could mature into something greater.

Kids running a lemonade stand
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[Read: 10 Business That Will Boom in 2020.]

Kids Ages 12 to 14 

From babysitter ... Not everyone has the chops to babysit. The best do more than just "watch" children; they also play games and do crafts, and they might even assist with homework, bath time, and preparing snacks. Responsible, patient sitters with safety training are able to juggle a larger clientele and command more pay. The online babysitter-booking service UrbanSitter recently reported that average hourly rates to sit one child range from $9.50 an hour in St. Louis to $15.50 an hour in New York City.

To school counselor ... Being a school counselor is more than an occupation, it's a calling. But it could be just the calling for those who enjoyed babysitting when younger. Both positions require attentiveness to a child's social, developmental, and academic needs. Counselors are specially trained to best know how to relate to and work with children, plus they're qualified to evaluate cognitive and social abilities, and provide the guidance and support necessary to deal with them. Counselors also offer advice on issues ranging from bullying and abuse to career paths and choosing a college. The BLS expects a 19 percent increase in school counselors by the year 2020. To find work in this field, a job seeker would need a bachelor's degree—possibly even a master's—in education and counseling, plus a state license. Average pay varied from $32,140 to $87,020 in 2011.

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Kids Ages 15 to 18

From lawn mower ... Earning extra funds this way is best reserved for older teens since it requires operating complex and sometimes dangerous machinery. And to be competitive, your teenager will need to charge less than a landscaping company—this summer The Wall Street Journal reported homeowners spent between $35 and $67.50 for professional lawn services. Loyal clients/neighbors might also pay your enterprising teen to rake their leaves in fall and shovel their snow in winter.

To landscape architect ... Those who like tilling earth and soil will find there's no formal education requirement to enter landscaping. Full-time landscapers and groundskeepers with on-the-job training earned anywhere from $17,130 to $23,410 in 2011. But advancement opportunities are ample for those who do pursue additional education and proper licensing. For example, many landscape architects use their knowledge of groundskeeping to design parks and highways. You'll need at least a bachelor's degree plus a license from the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, and the BLS predicts this occupation will grow 16 percent by 2020. In 2011, the highest-paid landscape architects earned approximately $99,560.