How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Job?

What Is the Minimum Age Limit For Employment?

Specific laws bar or allow people of certain ages to work specific jobs. 16 years old is the minimum age to get most jobs. Employers can hire people under 16 years old in certain circumstances, but in other circumstances, employers cannot hire people under 18 years old.

The list of exceptions is long. This page lists all of the exceptions to the rule that a 16-year old can work most jobs. 13-year old, 14-year old, 15-year old, 16-year old, and 18-year old workers should study this to avoid applying for jobs they cannot be employed at.

13-Year Old or Younger People Can Work These Jobs

  • Newspaper Delivery
  • Baby-Sitter
  • Actor/Performer in Theater, Radio, Television, Motion Pictures
  • At a Business Solely Owned/Operated By Your Parents
  • On a Farm Owned/Operated By Your Powers

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work?Note: Parents cannot employ their children in mining, manufacturing or other jobs considered potentially hazardous.

14 & 15 Year Old People Can Work These Jobs

  • Acting
  • Agriculture: Farming, Orchards
  • Baby-Sitting
  • Banks
  • Golf Course: Caddy
  • Hospitals, Rest Homes, Hotels, Motels (Except Food Service, Laundry)
  • Household Chores for a Homeowner
  • Insurance Companies
  • Newspaper Delivery, Shoe shining
  • Professional Offices: Lawyers, Accountants
  • Summer Camps (Licensed)
  • Town Offices: Recreation Departments, Libraries
  • Yard Work for a Homeowner

14 & 15 Year Old People Cannot Work These Jobs

  • Barber Shops
  • Manufacturing Industries
  • Mechanical Industries
  • Recreational Locations
  • Restaurants or Food Service
  • Retail Stores, Grocery Stores*
  • Service Industries
  • Theatrical Industry
  • Any Other Job Not Specifically Listed Under the “Can Work” List

*Note: A 15-year old can work at a grocery store under two circumstances. One, only on Saturdays during the school year. Two, during non-school weeks. Both of these apply to work as a stock clerk, bagger or cashier.

You Must Be 18 To Work These Jobs

  • Making/Storing Explosives
  • Mining
  • Driving a Car or Truck on the Job
  • Using Electric Tools, Electric Equipment or Circuits
  • Logging
  • Working in a Saw Mill
  • Manufacturing Brick, Clay or Tile
  • Operating Metal-Shearing, Metal-Punching or Metal-Forming Machinery
  • Any Job That Exposes You to Radioactive Material
  • Demolition or Ship Breaking
  • Roofing
  • Excavation
  • Animal Slaughtering, Meat Packing or Meat Processing
  • Food Processing
  • Tar Processing
  • Processing Leather, Tanning Leather
  • Bottling Beverages
  • Glazing, Glass Cutting
  • Dry Cleaning or Laundry Work
  • Manufacturing Ice
  • Manufacturing Paper, Plastic Products
  • Manufacturing Pharmaceuticals
  • Manufacturing Synthetic Fiber
  • Manufacturing, Processing Rubber or Synthetic Rubber
  • Operate Power Presses, Foot Presses, Hand Presses
  • Pressure Testing
  • Sewing Machine Operation
  • Tire Recapping, Tire Vulcanizing, Tire Manufacturing
  • Textile Machinery Operation
  • Working With Trash Compactors, Cardboard Compactors
  • Maintaining, Repairing Electrical Machinery/Equipment
  • Spray Painting, Dipping
  • Construction Work*
  • Motor Vehicle Maintenance/Repair**

*Construction Work Exceptions – 18 Year Olds Can Work These Jobs

  • General Yard Work, Cleaning (Except Riding Reel Lawn Mowers)
  • Landscaping: Planting Trees, Shrubs
  • Brush Painting
  • Window Cleaning (No Ladders Over 6-ft tall; Can’t Work with Flammable Cleaners/Thinners)
  • Clerical Work for Construction Firms
  • Shipping, Stock Work for Construction Firms

**Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Exceptions

  • Changing Tires on Passenger Cars, but no Trucks
  • Island Work
  • Use Air Hand Tools
  • Sanding, Masking Cars in Preparation for Painting
  • Hand Cleaning, Washing Motor Vehicles
  • Clerical Work for Motor Vehicle Maintenance Company
  • Bench Work for Motor Vehicle Maintencance Company

If you know of any additional exceptions or information that we should have included in this “how old do you have to be to get a job” article, please leave a comment.

See also:

    1. Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
    2. How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Hotel Room?
    3. How Can You Get Paid to Drive a Car?
    4. Which Colleges Earn Their Graduates the Most Money?
    5. How Old Do You Have to Be to Babysit?
    6. How Old Do You Have to Be to Be a Bartender?
    7. How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?

      13 thoughts on “How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Job?

      1. William

        Hey, I’m william, and I want a job so I can get a X-plorer guitar with a marshall stack amplifier, because I don’t really like my Line 6 that much, Just a knock off of marshall, and I have a King V… So yeah. Spent my Life Savings on that.

      2. Christine mcgroder

        Your dad should not be burdening you with his working. Are you getting good grades and helping around the house? If you keep up with you responsibilities your dad will feel less burdened. Try to talk to him about what’s expected of you. Most parents want their kids to learn to be responsible so they know they will be happy in life.

      3. Rhys Dyson

        I am 13, 14 in November im wondering if i can gt a small job and earn a little bit of money.

      4. Sam Robyn

        Hey im Sam, i just turned 13 May 4th, and i was wondering if there are any like minimum wage jobs at retail stores of something, because i know what it says but i have been an experienced casher since i was ten i my parents old store, but since the economy crashed we were left on the street pretty much so we’re struggling, so are there any jobs that might pay a descent amountof cash, and i do have 2 brothers who are both 16(Twins) and a sis that is 18 and they all have jobs but i thought one more could help…. sorry i know this is an extremly long message, i dont want to say my whole lifes story or anything but its rather urgent, and i live in Oregon if that makes a difference with child labor laws and such….

      5. Rav

        I turn 13 this year and want to work at a little cupcake kiosk at my mall. Not baking, just as a cashier/person who gives it to yu, not a server, idk what its called. Would that be a job i could apply for ?

      6. Liz

        I am a writer. I want to get some of the stuff I write published, problem is I’m only 11 (turning 12 the 18th). I realize people probly won’t want 2 publish anything by a, and I put air quotes around this because that is more dramatic, “kid”. First of all I want 2 know if there are any laws against “children” becoming published authors and also if u people know any publishers willing (or not willing don’t worry il figure it out) 2 listen 2 me and read at least one of my books. :-) PLZ help me out

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