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Can A Teenager Work Full-time?

Can A Teenager Work Full-time

Earning your own money gives you financial freedom and independence, which is why part-time jobs for teenagers are so popular!

Not only can you gain financial independence, but employment looks great on college applications! But what if you want to earn more and work full-time?

So, in this article, I will be covering can a teenager work full-time?

can a teenager work full time

Benefits of Teenagers Working

Joining the workforce full time-or part-time can be excellent for your personal growth. It not only looks good on your college application, but it can help you gain the necessary experience to land an even better job!

Transferable skills you can gain whilst in any occupation include multitasking, responsibility, and time management. These skills can even benefit you in your school life! Most importantly, working a job will help you to start advocating for yourself.

The Hours Teenagers Can Work Full-time

The hours you can work fully depend on your age. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is responsible for setting the wage, working hours, and even the safety requirements for teenagers under 18 years of age in the US. But on top of this, each state has its own laws! When FSLA and the state law cross, it is the law that offers the most protection to the under 18-year-old who wins.

Under 14

In general, those under the age of 14 cannot work non-agricultural jobs. However, there are some exceptions! You are legally allowed to work as an actor on TV or in a theatre, you can deliver newspapers, or babysit. Also, if your parents run a non-hazardous business, you are permitted to work for them.

can the teenager work full time

Ages 14-15

Fourteen is the minimum age you can work a non-agricultural job. However, between the ages of 14-15, there are still restrictions on the types of jobs that you can do and the number of hours you can work.

Firstly, only hours outside of school hours can be worked; additionally, you cannot work for more than three hours on a school day. The working day must be between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, excluding June 1st, where it must be between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm.

Restriction on hours…

Finally, the total amount of hours you work per week is also restricted. You cannot work more than 18 hours a week during term time or more than eight hours a day outside of term time. Finally, the total hours a week you work outside term time must be less than 40.

Ages 16 – 17

There are much fewer restrictions when you turn 16. You can work an unrestricted number of hours in any profession that is not deemed hazardous. If you are still in school, however, you must pick hours around your school day.

It is also recommended to discuss your school commitments with your boss so you can work together to create a schedule that will work for you both such as, reducing your hours around exam time or picking up more hours during the school holidays.

Ages 18+

Well, you are officially an adult now, even if you still feel like a teenager! Therefore, you are free to work as many hours as you like or as many hours as you need. If you are still in school or college, though, you should discuss with your boss to create the optimum schedule for your school commitments.

What Jobs Can I Work?

Not only do the hours you work vary with your age, but the jobs you can and cannot work vary too! You should check your local state laws in case they vary from those of the FLSA but here are the FLSA restrictions on job occupations for teenagers.

Jobs for Ages 14-15

The jobs you can apply for must be non-manufacturing and non-hazardous. You also cannot operate any machinery, make door-to-door sales, or work at a height on ladders or scaffolding. The good news is that there are lots of jobs that fall into the non-hazardous category!

You can work in retail as a cashier or sales assistant, as a delivery driver using a bicycle, public transport or by foot, or even within a restaurant kitchen washing dishes.

can the teenager works full time

Jobs for Ages 16-17

Unlike those below 16, there are fewer restrictions on the jobs you can work when you are between 16 and 17. However, there is still a restriction on any job that is deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Hazardous jobs include anything to do with explosives or coal mining or anything involving high-powered machines such as chain saws, forklifts, meat slicers, and sawmills. You are also restricted from working in demolition, roofing, or any job that may expose you to radioactive substances.

Jobs for Ages 18+

Once you have reached the grand old age of 18, you are free to work in any occupation you like. Different states can have different rules, however, so it is recommended that you check with your own state labor laws.

Wages for Under 18s

Those aged 14 and over qualify for the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour. You can be paid your wage based on an hourly rate right up to a monthly salary; it really depends on your employer.

Some states have different minimum wages, so it is worth checking your state’s minimum wage. Also, it is worth noting that while you are under 20 years old your employer may pay you less than the minimum wage during your first three months of work; this is called the youth minimum.

Putting Together Your First Resume?

How exciting! Let’s start with my resume advice on the Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume, How To List Education On A Resume, Job Titles On Resume, or what about How To List References On A Resume, and Achievements To List On Your Resume, Motivation Letter Writing Guide to help guide you.

Next, let’s get you noticed with a superb CV or resume, take a look at the English for Academic CVs, Resumes, and Online Profiles, Land Your Dream Job: Join the 2% Who Make it Past Resumé Screening, or Marketing Yourself in the Age of Digital: CVs, Applications, Interviews, Social Media, LinkedIn, and CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn: A Guide to Professional English available online in 2023.

We also found the Resume Format Guide, Optimize Your Resume: DOs and DON’Ts the SamNova Way, Resume Writing: 10 Ridiculously Simple Tips, the Resume Formats book, and the How to Write an Amazing IT Resume to get that CV to really shine!

Final Thoughts

Depending on your age, both the hours and occupations you can work are restricted. This is to encourage teenagers to stay and perform well in school, so you must try and maintain a balance between your work and school life.

The good thing is, no matter your age, you are guaranteed the federal minimum wage, and you now know the answer to “can a teenager work full-time?”.

All the very best with your first job!

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About Carmen Smith

Carmen grew up in San Diago but now lives in Boston. She loves traveling, experiencing other cultures, and basically exploring the world, be country at a time.

Her other passion is helping people find the perfect career. We spend 33% of our working lives at work, so it's ridiculous that many people do jobs that they do not enjoy. Carmen wants to change this and thinks that anyone who isn't happy in their employment should keep looking until they find something that they really enjoy. 

She firmly believes that "Everyone's perfect job is out there; it's just a case of continually looking until you find it."

Carmen lives with her husband Johnny, a keen birder who also loves to travel. He finds birds while Carmen makes plans for where they will be eating next...

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