How Old Do You Need To Be To Get A Job?


If you’re wondering how old you need to be to get a job, whether or not to work for your school, or maybe you want to make some money over the summer, then you should read this post.

You will have to be 18 years old for nearly all jobs. There are a few exceptions, however for a young person. For example, if the employer is a relative, they can hire someone as young as 14 who is still not technically legal working age. And there are a few other exceptions for those under 16 years old and still attending high school, but those are rare cases.

In general, you indeed have to be at least 18 years old ( legal age) to work in the United States legally. But remember–if you don’t have a job now, try looking around your neighborhood! Your local coffee shop might need help with its summer rush or after school hours.

You Need To Be 18 To Work Legally In The US

You’ll need to be 18 years old to work legally for most jobs. There are a few exceptions, though. For example, if the employer is a relative or you are still attending high school–but these exceptions are rare.

There Are Some Exceptions

As mentioned above, there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, some employers can hire someone 14 years old, but this is rare. There are also a few other exceptions for those under 16 years old and still in high school. However, most jobs require you to be 18 years old.

But you don’t have to be 18 to find a job. If you’re not 18, but you are old enough to work, there are some exceptions. For instance, if your employer is related to you, they can give you a job as young as 14 years old. There are also special exemptions for those under 16 years old and still in high school. But these cases are rare. In general, the minimum age for employment in the United States is 18 years of age or older.

But don’t worry–if you’re not working now, try looking around your neighborhood! Your local coffee shop might need help with its summer rush!

Can I Get A Job If I Am Under 16 years in the United States?

No, in general, you have to be at least 18 years old to work in the United States legally. But remember–if you don’t have a job now, look around your city! For example, a local bakery might need help during weekends.

Where To Find A Job As A Teenager In The United States

Now that we have answered the question- how old do I need to be to get a job, let’s tell you where to find one. If you’re looking for a job but don’t have any luck finding one from the list below, there are some options to help make the process smoother.

With the gig economy, side hustles are more accessible than ever. So maybe it’s time to hire yourself!

You could offer your services as an assistant or even work on social media promotion for your business. Another option would be to raise money through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. If you’re not sure how that works, read up on the basics of crowdfunding. And lastly, if none of those ideas work out, you can always volunteer or intern with a company. There are countless opportunities available to young people who want to find jobs in their community.

United States Law on Child Labor

In the US, child labor laws have been put in place to protect children from being exploited. The most common exception will be if the employer is a relative of the minor. As we previously mentioned, it’s illegal for someone under 18 years old to work in the United States. However, a few exceptions include those who are emancipated, those still attending school, and those working as actors or models.

You also can’t work specific jobs if you’re a minor–it’s against the law to sell alcohol or tobacco products, operate a motor vehicle, or work in a mine.

Tips on getting a job in the US

We have now gone past how old you need to be to get a job; it is time to give you tips. There are a few ways to get a job, but one of the most popular methods is through your high school’s career center. They will know about any jobs that are available in the area. You can also find jobs by looking on sites like Monster or Craigslist. 

Once you find out about a potential job, you need to research. Ensure that the pay is worth it and that they’re hiring for what you want to do. If you’ve narrowed down your search to two different possible jobs, make sure you make an educated decision by weighing all of your options before making a final decision.

Before starting work, you’ll need to complete some paperwork, like filling out an I-9 form and getting background checks done. And if it’s your first time working, then there is some other information that will be required as well. When applying for that first job, remember that they might ask for references–including teachers or someone who can speak to how dependable or responsible you are.

It’s essential not only to show up for scheduled interviews but also to dress appropriately and act professionally when meeting with employers! Be confident in yourself and remember: never say “no” without thinking it over!

Popular Jobs For Teenagers

Teens looking for summer jobs should check out the list below. These jobs require no previous work experience and offer flexible scheduling that can fit around a high schooler’s social life. These opportunities also provide teens with a glimpse into various career fields. Some even decide to make a career out of the profession they discover during their summer job!


One of the most popular jobs among teenagers is working as a server in restaurants across America.  The pay isn’t great (usually between $2-$5 an hour plus tips), but plenty of servers work part-time throughout high school to help support themselves financially.   Don’t forget about your hard work and commitment to your job:  it will help you secure a higher-paying position at this establishment or another restaurant.

Retail Worker

If serving food is not for you, working in retail might be the best option!  From clothing stores and department stores to pet shops, there are many options where teens can apply their skills.  These positions include cashier/bagger, stock clerk, sales associate, etc.  

Library Assistant

Working as a library assistant provides students with a chance to develop various skills, including exceptional customer service abilities and knowledge of computers.  This position also offers opportunities for advancement if a student expresses a desire to move up within the organization.


Sitting for younger children or children with disabilities is another popular job choice among teens.  The responsibilities include ensuring the child’s safety, providing food and snacks, engaging in activities, maintaining an orderly environment, etc.   This position can be great because it allows for experience caring for youth while allowing you to earn money!

Aquatics Director/Lifeguard

Working as a lifeguard is one of the highest-paying jobs available to high school students. It allows them to stay fit and increases their health benefits. In addition, they get paid decently (usually between $10-$15 an hour). Most employers require that potential guards swim competitively and have a certain number of lifeguard certifications.

Animal Trainer/Handler

If you love animals, a job as an animal trainer or handler is perfect! It requires hard work and patience, especially if the student wants to train predators. However, working as a trainer can lead to a career in marine biology or zoology if it suits you.    

Administrative Assistant

Almost half of all jobs within the business world are found within administrative assistants.  To secure one of these positions, students must complete certain training courses specific to their state, which teach them how to create documents such as spreadsheets, memos, letters, presentations, etc. Therefore, teens must be highly organized and detail-oriented to excel in this profession!

So there you have it!  Now you know all the jobs available to high school students without previous work experience. Plus, they offer flexible hours for your social life or allow you even to pursue a career path during your free time!   


You’ve got answers on how old you need to be to get a job, places to find a job, and some job searching tips. We think you are fully equipped to start looking for one. So go out there and start the search.

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