I am 14 or 15

Fourteen and 15-year-olds are limited in what hours they can work and what jobs they can do.

What hours can I work?

All work must be performed outside school hours and you may not work:

  • more than 3 hours on a school day, including Friday;
  • more than 18 hours per week when school is in session;
  • more than 8 hours per day when school is not in session;
  • more than 40 hours per week when school is not in session; and
  • before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on any day, except from June 1st through Labor Day, when nighttime work hours are extended to 9 p.m.

If you are home schooled, attend private school, or no school, a "school day" or "school week" is any day or week when the public school where you live while employed is in session. There are some exceptions to the hours standards for 14 and 15-year-olds if you have graduated from high school, you are excused from compulsory school attendance, or you are enrolled in an approved Work Experience or Career Exploration Program or Work-Study Program.

More information on Hours Restrictions.

What Jobs can I do?

There are certain jobs you are allowed to do, including:

  • retail occupations;
  • intellectual or creative work such as computer programming, teaching, tutoring, singing, acting, or playing an instrument;
  • errands or delivery work by foot, bicycle and public transportation;
  • clean-up and yard work which does not include using power-driven mowers, cutters, trimmers, edgers, or similar equipment;
  • work in connection with cars and trucks such as dispensing gasoline or oil and washing or hand polishing;
  • some kitchen and food service work including reheating food, washing dishes, cleaning equipment, and limited cooking;
  • cleaning vegetables and fruits, wrapping sealing, and labeling, weighing pricing, and stocking of items when performed in areas separate from a freezer or meat cooler;
  • loading or unloading objects for use at a worksite including rakes, hand-held clippers, and shovels;
  • 14 and 15-year-olds who meet certain requirements can perform limited tasks in sawmills and woodshops; and
  • 15-year-olds who meet certain requirements can perform lifeguard duties at traditional swimming pools and water amusement parks.

If an occupation is not specifically permitted, it is prohibited for youth ages 14 and 15.

How much should I be paid?

Although some exceptions may apply, in most circumstances you must be paid the federal minimum wage, $7.25 per hour. Your eligibility for the federal minimum wage depends on what you do and where you work.

If you are younger than 20 and eligible for the minimum wage, your employer may pay you as little as $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of your employment. This is not limited to your first employer. Each time you change jobs, your new employer can pay you this youth minimum wage.

There are different rules for 14 and 15-year-olds working in agriculture and states also have rules; employers must follow both

Read more about exemptions from child labor rules.

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