Minimum Age to Work in GAGeorgia (GA) Quick Reference Table
|Age||Summary of Requirements|
|14-15||Work Permits are necessary for all workers under the age of 16.|
|16-17||Work Permits are unnecessary, though age-related restrictions remain in place.|
|18-20||Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption|
|21||Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.|
How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Georgia?
While federal labor laws impose a legal working age of 14, the minimum age to work in Georgia begins at 12 years old. In order to avoid interfering with school schedules, the state sets limits on the types of employment these minors may obtain and the hours they can legally work.
Acceptable Jobs for Kids and Teens
Georgia employers offer several types of acceptable job options for kids. As pre-teens, children may work in areas that are exempt from the state’s child labor laws such as the company of their parent or guardian, agricultural tasks and domestic services for private residences. They may also work in the entertainment industry. At 14 years old, minors can begin work in retail, hospitality and parks and recreation. They may also perform restaurant jobs, though it is more common for 16 and 17 year olds to perform these tasks. In general, the state of Georgia authorizes minors to perform customer service or office duties in safe workplace settings free of dangerous machinery or the potential for strenuous physical labor.
Occupations with dangerous or physically demanding job duties typically remain inaccessible to Georgia minors. The state designates the following jobs as hazardous for workers under 16 years of age.
- Loading or unloading vehicles
- Delivering messages
- Manufacturing and processing jobs
- Operating power-driven machinery
- Working with kitchen equipment
- Landscaping with motorized machinery
- Lawn mowers, weed whackers
- Climbing ladders and scaffolds
- Tasks involving hazardous chemicals
- Work in freezers and warehouses
Though the above occupations are accessible to minors 16 and over, job hopefuls must also be aware of federal age restrictions. These guidelines prohibit employees up to 18 years of age from handling explosives, logging or sawmilling, working around radioactive substances, and other professional activities not expressly covered by the more lenient regulations of the state.
How Many Hours Can a Minor Work in Georgia?
Under state law, employees under the age of 16 may work a maximum of four hours on school days, eight hours on non-school days, and 40 hours during non-school weeks. The work must take place outside of school hours while still occurring between the times of 6:00am and 9:00pm.
When it comes to 14 and 15 year olds, federal child labor laws limit minors to three hours of work on school days, eight hours on non-school days, 18 hours during school weeks, and 40 hours during non-school weeks. Underage employees may only work between 7:00am and 7:00pm and must attend school during regularly scheduled hours. Beginning on June 1 of every year, employed minors may work as late as 9:00pm each night through Labor Day.
Work Permit Procedures
While the local school district supplies minors with work permit applications during the academic term, summer time employees may be curious about how to get a work permit in the summer. The following information can help teenagers get employment certificates outside of school.
Do you need a work permit during summer?
All minors under 16 years of age must have a work permit in order to gain employment in Georgia.
Where can I get a work permit besides school?
Underage job hopefuls can find youth work permit forms online at Georgia’s Department of Labor website.
How do I get a work permit during summer?
- Find the Georgia Department of Labor page online and click the “View All Online Services” link.
- Under the “Youth Work Permit” section, click on the “Minor” link.
- Fill in Social Security number and Date of Birth, then click “submit” to begin the application process.
- Complete the forms in order to receive a Minor Security Key for accessing the teen’s online application.
- Give the security key code to a potential employer.
- The employer will fill out “Employer” section of application and register it with the Department of Labor after hiring the minor.