Legal Age to Work in Michigan

Minimum Age to Work in AL

Michigan (MI) Quick Reference Table

Age Summary of Requirements
14-15 Can work between 7:00am and 9:00pm for up to 48 hours per week.
16-17 Can work between 6:00am and 10:30pm Sunday through thursday. May work for up to 18 hours per week during the school year.
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.

Michigan Child Labor Laws

The state of Michigan enforces a variety of child labor laws which regulate the employment of minors. These rules determine the available occupations, necessary credentials and required hour restrictions that apply to working individuals who are less than 18 years of age. Following state guidelines allows teens to safely and smoothly navigate their entry into the workforce.

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Michigan?

Though the minimum age for employment in the Wolverine State stands at 14 some jobs allow kids to start working at a younger age. At 11 years old, kids can referee sporting events for small children or work as golf and bridge caddies. Thirteen year olds can find employment setting up trap machines at shooting ranges, or working for their parents in a store, restaurant or farm setting.

Youth Work Permits

Before they can start a job, people under the age of 18 must have a work permit or training agreement on file with their soon-to-be employer. During the school year, guidance counselors provide students with the necessary applications to get working papers. The following information tells teens how to get a work permit in the summer.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

Yes. All underage workers need to have an active permit for employment.

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

Work permit application forms are available for download and printing on the Michigan Department of Education website.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer?

    • Choose a job that meets state guidelines for the appropriate age group
    • Access the online work permit application, then have the applicant, their legal guardian and their prospective employer must complete and sign it.
    • The issuing officer will review and sign the completed form, allowing the minor to start their new job.

Legal Hours Teens Can Work

How Many Hours can a 16 or 17 Year Old Work?
Teenagers sixteen and seventeen years of age may work up to 24 hours per school week or 48 hours during a non-school week. After 5 hours, underage workers must take an uninterrupted 30 minute break. Minors can stay on shift until 10:30pm on school nights, or 11:3pm on weekends. During any week, individuals may work for 10 hours a  day for six days out of the week

Work Hours for Minors 15 and Under
Fourteen and fifteen year olds may work 18 hours in an academic week, thought they can have a 40 hour work week during summer vacation. Minors may labor until 9:00pm between June 1st and Labor day, or until 7:00pm otherwise. These minors are also entitled to a break after five continuous hours of work.

Restricted Occupations for Minors

Where can 16 and 17 Year Olds Work in Michigan?
The State of Michigan deems some occupations unsuitable for minors due to their unsafe nature, as well as the high levels of responsibility, involved. The list below details positions and duties which minors are unable to legally perform

  • Construction (Excluding some Cleanup Duties)
  • Handling Clay or Silica Products
  • Work with Explosives or Loaded Firearms
  • Sawmill and Logging Jobs
  • Working with a Hoisting Apparatus
  • Working in Mines and Quarries
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Work with Power Driven Machinery
  • Handling Radioactive Materials/Self-Luminous Compounds
  • Slaughtering/Meat Packing/Rendering
  • Work with Respiratory Equipment
  • Tanning (Animal Hides)
  • Exposure to Blood-borne Pathogens
  • Work with Boats or other Watercraft
  • Garbage Carts
  • Work with Hot Grease or Oil
  • Repairing or Servicing Kansmacker Machines
  • Work Involving Knives
  • Laminators
  • Pharmacies and Prescription Drug Delivery
  • Power Drills (Over 3/8″ Chuck)
  • Dispensing Propane Gas
  • Tire Changing

Restricted Jobs for 14 and 15 Year Olds
In addition to the previous list, state law bans 14 and 15 year olds from the following jobs:

  • Work in Confined Spaces
  • Construction (Including Cleanup)
  • Extinguishment of Fires
  • Work with/on Ladders or Scaffolding
  • Ore Reduction/Casting Metals
  • Welding
  • Amusement Parks (Operation/Maintenance of Rides)
  • Work on/near Conveyor Belts
  • Go-Cart Spotters
  • Gator Vehicles/Golf Carts (Not on a Public Road)
  • Work with Snow Blowers
  • Sewing Machines in a Manufacturing Process
  • Peddling/Door-to-Door Sales For Profit


Though they may not handle alcoholic beverages in any capacity, 16 and 17 year olds can work in establishments that have a liquor license. However, the sale of alcohol must contribute to less than half of the business’ total income. These minors may also operate non-agricultural tractors and lawn mowers, perform some firefighting duties, and take tickets for carnival rides while helping passengers board and exit attractions. Once older than fourteen years, children become eligible to apply for lifeguard positions, as well.

The State of Michigan allows several exceptions to labor regulations in the field of agriculture. With parental permission, children under 12 can make money working non-hazardous jobs on small farms during non-school hours These kids can perform more tasks around the farm as they age, and are able to do all the jobs on the farm by the time they turn 16. Minors of all ages can work on a farm belonging to their parent, provided they have constant supervision of their legal guardian.

source: Michigan child labor laws


  • Savannah says:

    How many hours can an 18 year old work when they are still in high school but on spring break for two weeks?

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