Updated July 2020
Can You Get a Job at 14-Years-Old?
Your professional journey starts with your very first job. Although it might differ from whatever you choose as your lifelong career, all job experience looks great on future resumes. Finding a job may seem difficult for young workers, but some companies do hire applicants as young as 14-years-old. However, it’s important to be aware of job requirements, restrictions and what you can do to interview well.
Where Can 14-Year-Olds Work?
Looking for a job at 14-years-old requires a good deal of searching for employers who accept applications from underage candidates. While some states permit 14-year-olds to work, others don’t allow companies to hire people under the age of 16. Thankfully, some states encourage young workers to get out and start gaining valuable job experience.
Companies Hiring 14-Year-Olds
Have an idea of what kind of job you want? At 14, keeping your mind and options open can help create more possibilities for you to join the workforce. These fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, retail shops and entertainment venues may consider motivated 14-year-olds who submit applications:
- McDonald’s: Some McDonald’s locations hire 14-year-old crew members. If you are under 16 and apply, you need a parent or guardian’s consent and a valid permit.
- Safeway: Safeway supermarkets hire 14-year-olds for grocery retail positions like bagger, customer service associate and store greeter.
- Baskin-Robbins: Depending on the location and franchisee, this ice cream chain occasionally hires crew members as young as 14.
- Chick-Fil-A: This fast-food restaurant does consider hiring responsible 14-year-olds to join their team.
- Six Flags: Age requirements vary by state and position at Six Flags, but some parks do hire 14-year-olds to run concessions and assist park visitors.
- Burger King: Some Burger King locations employ 14-year-olds as crew members to perform basic, non-hazardous restaurant duties.
- AMC Movie Theaters: Depending on their availability and work permits, AMC hires young adults between 14 and 17-years-old as ushers and cashiers.
- Publix: Cashier and bagging positions may be available to 14-year-olds at this southeastern grocery chain.
These are only a few examples of jobs that hire 14-year-olds. Some individual franchises may also accept applications from young adults under 16, though this depends on state laws and local school district rules. To find out if a company hires at age 14, review the details of the job posting or contact the hiring manager.
Other Jobs for 14-Year-Olds
When looking for jobs that hire 14-year-olds, applicants may need to think outside the box. You could start your own small business by offering services like babysitting, floral arranging, dog walking or lawn work. As a bonus, these roles can count toward your experience in the workforce and help you get the job you want in the future.
Some small businesses in your area may also hire young teenagers. They might let a 14-year-old help them with everyday tasks that aren’t dangerous and don’t require any special skills. Consider inquiring at a local book store and see if they would hire you to stock shelves or arrange book displays. Other possible positions a 14-year-old hopeful could look into include:
- Garden Assistant
- House Cleaner
- Crop Picker
- Leaf Removal
- Snow Shoveling
- Farm Hand
- Golf Caddy
- Pool Cleaner
- Car Wash Attendant
- Dishwasher or Busboy
- Lifeguard or Swim Instructor
- Camp Counselor
- Hometown Newspaper Reporter
Online Jobs for 14 Year Olds
A quick internet search reveals an abundance of online jobs for people of all ages. Tech-savvy 14-year-olds might find interest in website development, design, and management. While this usually involves formal education, paid and free online tutorials can help give teenagers an early start. Also, those who enjoy writing might start their own blogs or do freelance work for large companies.
Teens who enjoy online gaming and communicating with an audience might enjoy video game streaming. These outlets and services make it possible for young teens to play online, gain followers and earn money. Hobbies like creating YouTube videos and podcasts can also become profitable once content creators attract a large number of viewers and advertisers.
Requirements for Underage Employees
Different states have their own laws about workers under a certain age. Once an underage employee receives permission to work, there are guidelines they and their employers must follow. On weekdays, 14-year-olds can only work a maximum of three hours, and their shift must end by 7:00 pm. Only on non-school days can they clock in for up to eight hours.
Employees who are 14 can work up to 18 hours during a school week. Days can begin no earlier than 7:00 am unless otherwise allowed by a state-sponsored work-study curriculum. Young workers must also receive a certain number of breaks at a specific duration, such as 15 minutes every few hours.
What are Work Permits and How Do I Get One?
Many employers that hire 14-year-olds ask young candidates to get a permit to work before they can start. Not all states require a work permit, so check with the Department of Labor office for further information. These documents certify the applicant’s age and verify that the requested position adheres to state law.
Teenagers should be able to ask someone at their school’s main office to provide them with a work permit. Fill out the form as needed and provide any necessary documentation. In some cases, you might also need a physical from your doctor before starting the job. Additionally, some school districts may require students to earn acceptable grades and prove they can reliably attend class while working.
What Restrictions Are There for 14-Year-Olds?
Child labor laws protect underage workers from performing certain tasks and holding potentially dangerous roles. Those under the age of 18 cannot work in hazardous settings that involve mining, excavation, and power-driven tools. However, there are additional limitations specific to 14-year-olds looking to join the workforce.
No matter the job, fourteen-year-olds cannot work with ladders, explosives, or radioactive materials. There may also be special procedures in place for young people employed by farms or kitchens. Additionally, young adults cannot hold jobs in the following industries:
- Loading or unloading trucks
- Janitorial or window washing
- Public Utilities
How to Apply for Jobs that Hire at 14
To find out if an employer hires people at 14-years-old, teens can either call the company phone number or go to the job site and ask a manager. Once they have explored jobs that hire at their age, 14-year-olds should get a work permit and applications for the places they wish to apply.
Fill Out an Application
While filling out a job application, young adults should never lie. This is especially true when it comes to providing a false age since employers can easily find out the truth. Always complete applications honestly and thoroughly. For young adults, handing written forms to hiring managers is often the best way to apply to jobs.
Return Applications in Person
Going directly to the business and submitting an application yourself gives teenagers a chance to meet potential colleagues and make a good first impression. Supervisors want to see that a 14-year-old worker is ready to handle employment, so communicate maturely, make eye contact and maintain a friendly attitude.
Interview Tips for Companies Hiring 14-Year-Olds
If a company that hires 14-year-olds has an interest in your application, the hiring manager will reach out to schedule an interview. The meeting might take place over the phone, through a video call or in-person at the job site. Managers understand that most 14-year-olds haven’t worked before, so expect your interaction to focus on how your age may impact your job performance and availability.
During the interview, it’s important to tell the truth about your age and your ability to work. The hiring manager might ask you to explain why you want to work there and whether you can provide proof of age. Other common questions for young people involve your future goals and talking about yourself as a person and worker.
COVID-19 and Effects on Jobs for 14-Year-Olds
During the COVID-19 pandemic, school closings and financial need caused many minors to look for jobs. Luckily, many companies that hire young employees are essential businesses that were able to remain open. Now, companies and retailers that reduced their staffing in the beginning are also looking to hire.
However, you may be wondering what jobs you can get at 14 now that there are many extra health restrictions and regulations in place. Some businesses may be cautious when hiring because they want to ensure their workers will follow all the guidelines set by management and the state. Asserting that you are responsible and willing to adhere to all health and safety rules is more important than ever.
If the employer still practices COVID-19 prevention, be prepared to follow any rules they put in place. The business might require face coverings, social distancing and even request proof of vaccination. While companies cannot require workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine, they might prefer vaccinated employees for public health reasons.