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How to Get a Work Permit in Massachusetts?

how to get a work permit in massachusetts

Are you planning to get a part-time job in the state of Massachusetts?

Working on weekends and after school is a great way to earn a little extra cash. You can also learn new skills that can help you to get a better job when you graduate from high school.

However, if you are under eighteen, you probably need to get a work permit before you start work. This official document permits you to do certain jobs as long as you meet the requirements.

If you are wondering, ‘how to get a work permit in Massachusetts,’ then it’s time to find out.

how to get a work permit in massachusetts

The Minimum Working Age

You can legally work in Massachusetts from the age of fourteen. A large number of companies hire teenagers to do entry-level jobs. If you are under the age of eighteen, you usually need to get a work permit before starting work.

However, you are allowed to work in a family business without a work permit. You can also do odd jobs for friends and family members and run your own business. Other jobs that don’t need a work permit include babysitting and dog walking.

How To Apply For A Work Permit In Massachusetts?

Getting a work permit in Massachusetts is pretty simple. Before starting the process, you need to apply for a job and get a job offer. You then need to find the Employment Permit for Massachusetts Application online.

Your future employer has to complete the Promise of Employment section of the Employment Permit. They have to include their name and address, your job title, days and hours of work, and connected duties. If you are fourteen or fifteen, you also need your doctor to sign the Physician’s Certificate of Health section. This confirms you are physically able to do the proposed job.

Superintendent needs to sign off…

You will need to take a look at the Summary of Massachusetts Laws Regulating Minors’ Work Hours and Occupations Restrictions with your parent or guardian. They also have to sign the application to confirm they give consent for you to work.

You then need to take your completed Employment Permit application and school records to the public school superintendent. Provide proof of age, which can be your birth certificate or passport. The school official will review your documents and sign the work permit if you meet all the requirements.

how to get a work permit in the massachusetts

Employer Work Permit Responsibility In Massachusetts

When the work permit has been completed and signed, take it to your future employer. Your employer has to keep your work permit on file at the place you will be working. Your employer has to return your work permit to the superintendent’s office within two days of your last day of work.

It is not possible to transfer the work permit from one job to another. If your employer wants you to work at another location, they will need to complete and sign another work permit.

Restrictions On Work

Even when you have got your work permit, there are still limits on the type and amount of work you can do. It is important to be aware of the restrictions before you start work. Otherwise, both you and your employer could end up with fines and other penalties.

Work Hours

The earliest you can start work if you are fourteen or fifteen is 7:00 am. You can only work until 7:00 pm on school days and until 9:00 pm during the school holidays. Be aware that you cannot work more than six days a week or eight hours a day and the weekly limit is forty hours.

You can start work at 6:00 am if you are sixteen or seventeen. The latest you can work is 10:00 pm on school days and midnight during the school holidays. You cannot work more than six days a week or nine hours a day, and the weekly limit is forty-eight hours. After 8:00 pm, you have to be supervised by an adult while working.

how to get work permit in the massachusetts


It is not permitted to work for more than six hours without a break. Your employer has to provide you with a thirty-minute meal break after you have worked six hours. Your employer does not have to pay you for this break.


You are not allowed to drive a car, truck, or any other vehicle as part of your work duties. Even if you have a driver’s license, you are not allowed to make money from driving until you are eighteen.


You have to be at least eighteen to work in a bar and handle alcohol. You cannot sell, mix, or serve alcoholic drinks. If you work as a waiter or waitress, you cannot bring alcohol to tables for customers.

Loading and Unloading Trucks

The loading dock can be a dangerous place, and it is important to understand safety rules. If you are not careful, you could end up with a crushed limb or a bad back. Even if your employer asks you to help unload a delivery from a truck, you are not allowed to do it.

Working on a Construction Site

Construction sites can be dangerous places, and workers need to be fully insured. This is not possible if you are under eighteen and you need to stay away from demolition and excavation work. In the same vein, you are not allowed to do roofing work of any type.

Pool Halls, Amusement Arcades, and Bowling Alleys

It’s not all fun and games in the entertainment industry, and these venues can be dangerous. If you are under the age of sixteen, you cannot work in these places because customers can get wild and rowdy.

Power-Driven Meat Slicers

You are not allowed to operate or clean this type of equipment. If you work in the deli department of a supermarket, you have to stay away from the meat slicer. For the same kind of reason, you are not allowed to work in a barbershop.

Meat Coolers and Freezers

You cannot do any work involving freezers or meat coolers if you are under sixteen. This is intended to reduce the risk of minors getting trapped in walk-in freezers.


You have to be at least sixteen years old to do any work that involves climbing a ladder. This includes cleaning windows and cutting hedges. However, sixteen and seventeen-year-olds can work on ladders that are less than 30 feet off the ground.

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Final Thoughts

Before you start your first job, make sure you know exactly what you need to do and when you can work. Make sure your employer gives you a contract and read it carefully before signing. It should outline the hours you will be working, your main duties, and when you get paid.

It is a good idea to ask a parent, teacher, or guardian to read the contract to make sure it is fair. If there is anything in your contract that looks strange, raise the issue with your future employer. You should only sign if you agree with all the details and your duties are clearly stated.

All the very best getting your Massachusetts Work Permit!

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