Legal Age to Work in Maryland

Minimum Age to Work in MD

Maryland (MD) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Must have a Minor Work Permit.
16-17Must have a Minor Work Permit.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

How Old Do You Have to be to Work in Maryland?

Maryland child labor laws ensure the safety, welfare, and continued academic progress of workers under the age of 18. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation enforces a series of youth labor laws, which establish the minimum age to work and specify appropriate as well as prohibited jobs for teenagers. According to state and federal labor laws, job seekers between the ages of 14 and 17 can only enter the workforce after obtaining special work permits for minors. The State of Maryland withholds work permits until applicants actually secure an official job offer.

Despite Maryland’s minimum age requirements, there are some employment opportunities for minors under 14.  Minors of any age can work as models, performers and entertainers, provided they obtain an industry-related permit. Employment certification is unnecessary for kids and pre-teens who work on farms, in homes as domestic assistants, in the family-run businesses of their parent, on golf courses as a caddy, and as newspaper carriers. Teenage counselors at certified youth camps and unpaid volunteers working for nonprofit organizations typically enjoy exemption from state labor laws, as well.

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Maryland Child Labor Laws

The state of Maryland maintains a list of occupations which are dangerous for underage workers. For 14 and 15 year olds, The list of hazardous jobs primarily includes:

  • Excavating
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Logging
  • Manufacturing
  • Meatpacking
  • Mining
  • Roofing
  • Woodworking
  • Brickyard, lumberyard and construction site work
  • Jobs on railroads or at airports
  • Volunteer firefighting

Sanctioned jobs for teenagers in Maryland come with several restrictions set forth by the child labor laws of the state. In addition to needing a workers permit, employees between 14 and 17 years old must comply with regulations regarding the number of hours minors can work on a daily and weekly basis. Maryland labor laws require jobs for 14 and 15 year olds to last up to 4 hours a day and 23 hours per week during the academic year, excluding weekends. During weekend and the summer, these minors may work up to eight hours per day and forty hours a week. Throughout the year, these young employees may only work between 7:00am and 8:00pm

Sixteen and seventeen year old workers in Maryland enjoy less restrictive job scheduling policies. The state requires 16 and 17 year olds to spend 12 or fewer hours a day at school and work combined. Employers of 16 and 17 year olds must also give employees at least one day off per week. All jobs for teens under the age of 18 must feature a break of at least 30 minutes after 5 consecutive hours of work, as well.

Jobs Available to Maryland Minors

Despite the limitations on available occupations for minors, Maryland child labor laws still allow teens to pusue a number a jobs. Young people can work in retail positions, or find employment with a fast-food or full-service restaurant that does not serve alcohol.

Maryland Work Permit Regulations

p>In order to legally qualify for employment, job seekers between the ages of 14 and 17 must obtain an application for a work permit from a local high school. During the summer months, however, teens may have trouble getting the proper paperwork. See the following information to understand how to get a work permit in the summer.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

Yes. Minors in the state of Maryland must have a work permit in order to hold any employment position

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

Teens looking for jobs can find applications for work papers at the or the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Online forms are available as well.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer?

    • Get a job offer from a state-approved workplace for your age group.
    • Complete an Employment Certificate application
      • The application includes sections for the employer and parent or guardian of the underage worker to complete, as well.
    • To receive approval to begin working, applicants must take the form as well as proof of age to an issuing officer. Acceptable proof of age includes a birth certificate, school records, Maryland driver’s license, and any other government document showing the birthdate of the potential employee.
source: Maryland child labor laws

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