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How to Get a Work Permit in Michigan?

Michigan’s Youth Employment Standards Act 90 of 1978 has protected minors for decades from unethical child labor. However, it also enables minors to take on roles within a certain capacity which allows them to learn valuable skills and earn some money.

The key lies with the work permits issued. Minors have to apply for a Michigan work permit for most jobs. This helps the government keep track of underage employees. They can check up on them and make sure that they are not forced to work under unethical or illegal conditions.

Saying that, if you’d like to know How to Get a Work Permit in Michigan, then simply keep reading…

how to get a work permit in michigan

What Type Of Jobs Can I Do As A Minor?

The most important point to note is that as a minor, you will not under any circumstances be allowed to perform duties that are considered hazardous or cause injuries.

A partial list published includes but is not limited to working with hazardous substances and materials, working on certain heavy machinery or with power tools, or working in dangerous areas such as construction sites. You will also not be allowed to work at any premises where alcohol is sold. For a full list, you may need to refer to your local labor department office.

Although, once you reach 16 years…

Some of the duties may be allowed once you reach the age of 16, but not all. For example, once you reach the age of 16, you may work at establishments where alcohol sales are 50% or less of the total sales, but you are under no circumstances allowed to serve the alcohol.

how to get the work permit in michigan

What Are The Working Restrictions?

Let’s take a look at what you can do and what you can’t do, and at what age.

Teens aged 14-15 years

  • When school is in session, you may not work more than three hours per weekday, 10 hours on a Saturday or Sunday, or 18 hours per week.
  • Your collective school and work hours may not exceed 48 hours per week.
  • When school is not in session, you may work no more than 10 hours per day, or an average of eight hours per day, and only 40 hours per week.
  • May only work six days per week.
  • Are not allowed to start work before 07:00 am or continue work past 09:00 pm when school is in session. However, when school is not in session, you are not allowed to work past 07:00 pm, with the exemption of the period between June 1st to Labor Day.
  • Should be allowed an uninterrupted break of no less than 30 minutes for every five hours of work.
  • Have to be supervised by a person aged 18 or older for all work; immediate assistance in an emergency has to be made available.

Teens aged 16-17 years

  • When school is in session, you may not work more than 10 hours on a day or a weekly average of eight hours per day, or 24 hours per week.
  • When school is not in session, you may work no more than 10 hours per day, or an average of eight hours per day, and or 48 hours per week.
  • May only work six days per week.
  • Are not allowed to start work before 06:00 am or continue work past 10:30 pm (Sunday to Thursday) or 11:30 pm (Friday and Saturday).
  • May work before or after the stipulated times when you are on a school break of more than seven days or have a flexible school schedule with parental consent.
  • Should be allowed an uninterrupted break of no less than 30 minutes for every five hours of work.
  • If you work in agriculture processing, your parent or guardian may consent to specialized work hours. This will allow you to work up to 11 hours in a day and allow you to start at 05:30 am and work until 02:00 am. You will also be allowed to work 62 hours per week, but you must consent to any work past 48 hours – without fear of retribution if you refuse.
  • You have to be supervised by a person aged 18 or older for all work; immediate assistance in an emergency has to be made available.

how to get the work permit in the michigan

Minors In The Performing Arts

  • Generally, the same rules will apply as they would for any other job for minors in Michigan; however, special allowances are made for age groups ranging from 15 days to 17 years of age.
  • For more info, contact your local labor department.

Other Exceptions

Some jobs are exempt from permits or have other requirements that may allow you to work:

  • You may work as a golf/bridge caddy or athletic referee from the age of 11.
  • From age 13, you may work in corn detasseling, or at trap shooting events.
  • Farm work is also exempt from the act if the work is not in violation of a Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity standard – however, some proof of age may be needed.
  • If you are at least 16 and you have proof of a high school diploma, or 17 and have proof of a GED on file at your place of work.
  • If you are an emancipated minor, with proof thereof, kept on file at your place of work.
  • Domestic chores for an allowance, or if the place of work is owned by your parent or guardian.

How To Get A Work Permit In Michigan?

It is always best to assume you need one rather than to assume you don’t. There used to be yellow and pink work permits for the different age groups; however, this rule was amended in 2021. You may also now apply for a permit in person, remotely, or with electronic methods. The following rules are important to abide by:

You need to submit your work permit application to the following: A state of Michigan school district, intermediate school district, public school academy, or nonpublic school official designated as an issuing officer. This must include one of these documents to verify your age:

  • Certified copy of birth certificate or your driver’s license.
  • School or census record.
  • Sworn statement of your parent/guardian and a statement from your physician.
  • If you intend on working in Michigan from any other state, you will have to bring a certified birth certificate and an unofficial transcript from the out-of-state school attended, which includes the school’s complete name, address, city, state, zip code, county, and telephone number.

how to get your work permit in the michigan

For additional resources, follow these links

Additional Job Info And Advice For Teens!

You might be interested in reading How to Get a Work Permit in California, How to Get a Work Permit in Massachusetts, or perhaps How to Get a Work Permit in Maryland, How to Get a Work Permit in Illinois, and How to Get a Work Permit in Arizona if you’re not sure which state you’ll be working in yet.

If you’re not quite sure which direction your career will be going in yet, then check out Life Skills and Career Coaching for Teens, or The Careers Handbook: The ultimate guide to planning your future which we highly recommend, as well as the Road Map to Your Job all available online in 2022.

Although you might be looking for guidance in other areas, for that we have the Life Skills for Teens: How to Cook, Clean, Manage Money, Fix Your Car, Perform First Aid, and Just About Everything in Between, or how about the Life Skills Activity Workbook, and of course the Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned for a deeper insight into life lessons.

Final Thoughts

It may seem like a tedious exercise, especially when you don’t plan on working for very long.

However, your employer may face serious consequences if they are caught employing minors without a permit. Ultimately it is there to protect everyone involved.

Good luck with your Permit and bright future ahead!

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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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