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How Old Do You Have To Be To Work at Dairy Queen?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Work at Dairy Queen

Everyone loves ice cream, don’t they?

So, what could be better than a job serving up the good stuff?

With a position at Dairy Queen, you could make some cold, hard cash while indulging in a few tasty treats.

With a variety of different roles, Dairy Queen is a great starter company for someone entering the world of work. But like any organization, this brand has some pretty strict guidelines to follow when it comes to hiring.

So, read on, as we answer the burning question: “how old do you have to be to work at Dairy Queen?”

how old do you have to be to work at dairy queen

What’s The Age Limit?

Age is nothing but a number…

Let’s not beat around the bush. The minimum age for an employee at most Dairy Queen locations is 16 years old.


As you probably know, labor laws vary from state to state. In Hawaii, a child as young as ten can work in coffee harvesting! But other states have a much higher cut-off point of 14, or even 16, years old.

It can be tricky for companies to navigate these laws. Therefore, it’s easier for Dairy Queen to issue a nationwide rule that all employees must be 16 or over. That makes sure that neither the brand nor the employee accidentally gets in trouble.

Under 16?

Don’t worry! There’s still hope for you to get a job at Dairy Queen. Many locations are franchises, so they’re operated independently. Get a work permit, and there could be a role for you if you’re 14 or 15 years old.

If you’re not sure about the labor laws in your state, it’s easy to find them online. Simply visit the Department of Labor Website and search for your state. It will give you all the information you need on the legality of employment in your area.

Other options…

If you can’t work at Dairy Queen due to your age, then don’t despair. You might have other skills that are best suited in a different environment. Check out notice boards in your community, or try Craigslist for babysitting, petsitting, or gardening jobs near you.

What Positions Are Available at Dairy Queen?

If you’re lucky enough to be old enough, then congratulations! A position at Dairy Queen is within grasp! But what can you do there?

As a teenaged, part-time employee, you’ll probably start as a team member. However, not all team members have the same duties. Your tasks will depend on where in the shop you are stationed.

Kitchen Staff

Team members cased in the kitchen don’t have to speak with customers. Instead, they’re responsible for handling food. Employees must prepare and assemble food items, following the correct protocol every time.

This role would suit someone with an eye for detail who likes routine. Health and safety procedures must be strictly adhered to, so if you like to work methodically, then this could be the job for you. You’ll also need to stay calm under pressure, as a busy kitchen is a hot, stressful place.

how old you have to be to work at the dairy queen

Can’t Stand The Heat? Get Out of The Kitchen!

Kitchen employees are expected to be comfortable handling all kinds of food products, fresh and frozen. If you don’t fancy handling meat, then you might want to look elsewhere. It also requires a lot of physical strength as you could be carrying items weighing up to 50 pounds, and you need to be on your feet all day!

If you’d rather stay away from the customer side of things, then this is a good option. It still comes with a lot of pressure during busy periods, but at least you’re behind the scenes and not out front. In the kitchen, no one can hear you scream!

Chill Staff

Chill staff deal with customers a little more than kitchen members do. However, it’s not an entirely customer-facing role. Chill staff deal with the assembly of treat orders.

Basically, you’ll receive instructions from the counter staff. From there, you’ll create the treat perfectly and hand it back over. You’re also responsible for keeping the supplies well-stocked.

Clean up…

Chill staff handles janitorial duties, too. You’ll be cleaning the customer areas (including toilets) and keeping them maintained throughout the day. As this does involve occasionally interacting with customers, you should be polite, friendly, and keen to help.

Like kitchen staff, this is another physically demanding job. Those big bucks of detergent can get pretty heavy! Employees need to be fit enough to carry heavy loads and to remain standing or walking for the entire shift.

how old do you have to be to work at dairy queen

Cake Staff

Maybe you want to let your artistic side shine; if so, working as a member of the cake staff at Dairy Queen is a great creative outlet. Why not release your inner Picasso by decorating goods for your customer’s special day?

In this job, you’ll prepare ice cream cakes. Once assembled, it’s time to start decorating. This could be done with a whole host of different materials, as Dairy Queen uses frosting, edible gels, rice paper images, and more!

Learn on the job…

This position is an awesome way to gain some new skills! Cake decorating isn’t as easy as it looks. This is the ideal chance to develop their art using a new medium.

Suitable candidates for this role should have a tidy mind and be well-organized. Sure, it’s an enjoyable role with lots of opportunities for creativity! But it also requires keeping track of inventory and working to deadlines as well.

Front Counter

And then there’s a job for those who prefer to talk to their customers. Some people crave interaction. They want to be out the front, chatting to and helping their guests.

Front counter team members greet clients, take orders, and answer questions. You should be able to assist visitors to the restaurant with any queries about items on the menu or ingredients. This could be actually at the counter, or it might be on the drive-through with a headset.

Service skills…

For this, you have got to be a people person. There’s no hiding from customers, unfortunately! You’ll need to be confident, smiley, and have a bright personality.

It’s important to be level-headed, too. If a customer is yelling about something, it’s up to you to diffuse the situation. Just stay calm, speak politely, and remember that for every bad customer, there are hundreds of nice ones!

How Do I Apply?

You can find all of these jobs and more on the Dairy Queen Works website. Simply input your city and state, and you can find a list of opportunities in your area. And if you’re looking for a specific role, then there’s an option to search for that as well.

It’s also worth checking out our in-depth articles on how to complete the Dairy Queen Application and the most common Dairy Queen Interview Questions to make sure you land the ice cream job of your dreams.

How Much Will I Get Paid To Work at Dairy Queen?

That’s why we work, isn’t it? We all need a bit of cold, hard cash. But how much does Dairy Queen pay?

You probably know that minimum wage varies from state to state. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but many states have a much higher amount. So, where you live can affect how much you’ll get.

More than the minimum?

Most entry-level positions at Dairy Queen pay anything between minimum wage and $12. But if this is your first job, don’t expect a high amount. It’s far more likely that you’ll begin on the minimum.

On average, the hourly wage for a part-time member of staff is $8. It may not seem like much, but for a job in the service industry, that’s pretty typical. Plus, if you stick around long enough, then you could see it go up over time.

Special skills

But there is a way to get a higher wage from the start. Cake staff must be good at art and maybe even already have experience in decorating cakes. If this sounds like you, then you could earn a lot more.

Cake decorating isn’t easy, so if you can do it to a high standard, then you’ll be high in demand. That means you can negotiate a better rate of pay! The average rate for a member of the cake crew is a much more impressive $11 per hour.

Looking For A Career in Ice Cream?

Great because we’ve got some great options just for you! So, check out our Marble Slab Creamery Application, Pinkberry Application, Menchies Application, Red Mango Application, Ben And Jerrys Application, Braums Ice Cream Dairy Store Application, or our Yoghurtland Application for a superb ice cream job in 2023.

Or take a look at my applications, including Interview guides with the Cold Stone Creamery Application & Cold Stone Interview Questions and the Baskin Robbins Application & Baskin Robbins Interview Questions.

And for great family fun in the kitchen, I recommend Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop: A Cookbook, the Old-Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream Cookbook, The Homemade Ice Cream Recipe Book, The Perfect Scoop: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, the Mexican Ice Cream cookbook, and The Best Ice Cream Maker Cookbook Ever, all available online today.

Plus, you’ll need the right equipment, so check out the Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker, the KuuGuu 3 PCS 3D Ice Cream Ball Shape Silicone, JoyMech Instant Ice Cream Maker, Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker 2 Quart Capacity, or the Play and Freeze, Ice Cream Ball- Ice Cream Maker for perfectly yummy treats!

Final Thoughts

Working at Dairy Queen is a fun, satisfying way to earn some moolah. It does come with certain challenges, such as awkward customers, but learning to deal with them is an awesome skill to develop. You’ll discover new things, take on different responsibilities, and probably make some pretty good friends along the way.

And the best part?

Ice cream! Remember, you get to spend every shift working with that cold, creamy goodness! Surely that alone makes it a perfect first job for anyone!

So, all the best with your interview and happy ice-cream-eating, folks!

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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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