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How to Get a Work Permit in Ohio?

how to get a work permit in ohio

Are you living in Ohio and looking to jump into the world of work but are a minor?

Don’t worry; there are several possibilities for you! Obtaining an Ohio work permit may sound complicated or not even worth the hassle, but don’t worry, it’s not as challenging as you may think.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at How to Get a Work Permit in Ohio and find out exactly what you will need to do.

how to get a work permit in ohio

What Is A Work Permit?

In most states throughout the USA, a work permit is essential for anyone under 18 who wishes to be employed. The document confirms to a possible employer that you are fit to work, are not underage, and supplies an age and employment certificate to prove you are eligible to work.

Read more: How to Get a Work Permit in Virginia / Teen Labor

Where Can You Get A Work Permit?

The best place to start is at school! Yes, that’s right, speak to your school guidance officer about the rules and how you can obtain one. Of course, find out first if you need one. You can do this easily online by yourself through a simple Google search. However, in the state of Ohio, you most certainly need to obtain a work permit if you are under 18.

how to get work permit in ohio

Working In Ohio

Ohio is famous for being the home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Along with other claims to fame, such as having America’s first traffic light and the birthplace of eight of the US’s very own presidents. Although you may be striving towards a career as a rock star, Ohio has other opportunities to make some extra cash.

As of 14-years of age, you can apply for a work permit in Ohio. You need to do so until you reach the fine age of 18. Then you are eligible for employment without a work permit.

How To Apply?

Minors can begin work from the age of 14; however, that work is very dependent on the role. For example, a 14-year-old in Ohio can work on a farm, babysit and deliver newspapers. They cannot operate hazardous machinery or work behind a bar. You must research roles that fit your age group before you apply for any jobs. But first, how to get your work permit…

Step 1

Gather together all the information you have. For example, if you have a possible employment opportunity, make sure to get a letter from the employer. The employer must describe the job role in the letter and include the number of work hours per day. Ensure the potential employer is aware of the Fair Labor Standards Act and understands the rules when employing minors.

Step 2

You will need to fill out an application form for Minor Work Permit. You need to have approval from your parent or guardian. Once you have discussed the job and prospect of you working, your parents or guardian should write a letter of approval and understand the job role and rules to partake in employing a minor.

how to get the work permit in ohio

Step 3

As a minor, you must partake in a physical exam with a nurse or doctor who will complete the Physician’s Certificate for Minor Work. This is just a process to deem you fit for work. If you have already completed a sports physical at school, they will accept this as your certificate.

Step 4

Once you have all the paperwork completed, you must take the paperwork to the school. You should also take your passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate to prove your age. Make copies of these to hand over. The assigned person at school will review your documents and check over school records, and then they will decide.

Step 5

You must sign the documents in front of the issuing officer. It should only take around 48 hours which is excellent news if you are in a rush to start work.

Step 6

You must then provide your possible employer with your work permit. Make sure you don’t give the original copy. Once you have your papers, take several copies that you can use for the future.

Companies That Hire Minors In Ohio

Once you have obtained a work permit and don’t have a potential job lined up, you may be thinking, what opportunities are there for me? Well, don’t fret; there are several potential opportunities for work. We’ll touch on them in a moment…

First of all, don’t disregard online work! There are many opportunities to make money online. These include selling on Etsy or eBay, blogging, transcription, content writing, or taking surveys. However, if you don’t fancy going down the online route, check out these companies that hire minors.


McDonald’s advertises job roles in Ohio for minors between 15 and 17 years old. This is an excellent opportunity to work in a customer-facing role and gain experience in a fast-paced environment. You will also earn money hourly, so it’s nice to know exactly how much you’ll have at the end of every month.

Remember, though, and you will be limited to the number of hours you can work. You can find job roles on the McDonald’s website or through work search sites. Team members can earn between $10 and $12 per hour. Not bad for a first job!

Bruegger’s Bagels

Fancy working for a well-known bagel chain? Unfortunately, they don’t employ 14-year-olds, but they hire 16-year-olds who have work permits. This is an excellent job if you are interested in the food service industry or just want to gain experience and earn extra money. Team members can expect to earn around $10 per hour.

Big Lot

As a sales associate at Big Lots, you can expect to work on the shop floor and work as a cashier. You must be friendly and have excellent communication skills. To apply for a job at Big Lots, you must be at least 16-years-old. You can expect to earn between $8 and $12 per hour.


As a sales reservation agent at U-Haul, you can earn up to $17 per hour. Not bad for a weekend job at 16. This role is also customer focussed, and you must have excellent communication skills. For this type of role, you must go through basic training in sales.

Trying To Figure Out What Career Path To Take?

Don’t worry; you don’t have to have it all figured out yourself! These excellent teen guides can help, such as my favorite, What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, or even the Teens’ Guide to College & Career Planning.

We also recommend Who Am I?: An A-Z Career Guide for Teens, Life Skills and Career Coaching for Teens, or how about The Careers Handbook: The ultimate guide to planning your future for better insight, along with the Soft Skills Training: How to Develop Skills for Employment all available online in 2023.

Lastly, you’ll need to know the regulations for whatever state you choose to work in. So, check out my in-depth guides on How to Get a Work Permit in California, How to Get a Work Permit in Arizona, or what about How to Get a Work Permit in Maryland, as well as How to Get a Work Permit in Illinois, and finally How to Get a Work Permit in Massachusetts.

Final Thoughts

Obtaining a work permit isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Following these steps, your application could be complete by the end of the week. Remember, to get any form of employment under 18, you must obtain a work permit.

If a potential employer isn’t asking you for a work permit and knows you are a minor, that would be a red flag. Once you have your work permit, employment is legal as long as you are working the right amount of hours and still attending school.

Good luck with your Work Permit and starting your first job!

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