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How to Get a Work Permit in Washington?

Are you a teen interested in finding work and wondering how to get started?

It’s easier than you think! This guide can take you through the process, and you’ll be working in no time. But first, let’s take a look at ‘How to Get a Work Permit in Washington’ as a teen before moving forward.

So, here’s what you need to do…

how to get a work permit in washington

What’s The Minimum Age Requirement?

The minimum age you must be to work in Washington is 14. This is the usual age requirement stated by Federal Law in most states. As a minor aged 14-17, your employer must obtain a Minor Work Permit. This will allow you to work in any occupation in Washington.

Firstly, for any employer hiring a minor in Washington, there is a legal process to undergo before the Minor Work Permit can be approved. More on this later…

how to get work permit in washington

What Do Teens Need To Work As A Minor?

As a minor aged 14-17, once you have found a job of interest and an employer that wants to hire you, then it’s the employer’s responsibility to process a Minor Work Permit. But first, you’ll need to organize some documents so your employer can start the application.

Here’s what you’ll need to provide…

A signed letter of authorization

A minor seeking work must get a signed letter of authorization from their parent or legal guardian. The form can be accessed here. The minor will have to provide signed consent from their school representative if they aim to work during the summer holidays. This document must be kept on file at the minor’s workplace for record purposes. More on this later…

Proof of age

You’ll need to provide proof of age so your employer can use this to file for your work permit. Your employer will also need to keep a photocopy on file at your workplace. Acceptable proof of age includes a passport, driver’s license, baptism certificate. Or even a legally notarized letter of consent from your parent or legal guardian.

What Do Employers Need To Hire A Minor?

There are numerous licensing requirements and additional documents that must be provided by your employer. As a teen seeking employment in Washington, it’s important to be familiar with this process too. Here are the steps that your employer must follow…

  • To get permission from Washington State to hire a minor, every business must have approval from the Superior Court Judge where the minor lives. There is a strict procedure to follow, and application fees must also be paid to the court.
  • The employer must first file two documents to the Superior Court, which are: an ‘Employer Petition’ and a ‘Court Form,’ which grants permission for the minor to start work.
  • The employer must post a Minor Work Permit endorsement to the court, and this is completed using a ‘Master of Business License’ application form. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide this endorsement for every minor in any workplace. It’s also a requirement that the Business License must be renewed every year.
  • As the minor seeking work, you’ll need signed permission from your parent or legal guardian, or a school representative if you want to work during the school holidays. Make sure you have completed this form and give it to your employer.
  • Once the Court has filed this request and granted permission, then the Minor’s authorization form and the Court’s consent letter must be sent to the Department of Labour and Industries to be processed.
  • When all of these documents are received by the Department of Labour and Industries in Washington, then the Minor Work Permit can be applied for. Your employer will be in contact to inform you once the process is complete.

Job Options For Minors In Washington

If you’re a minor in Washington, the most common job occupations are in retail, hospitality, and customer services, such as working in shops, restaurants, and commercial stores. Search the latest Teen Jobs in Washington.

Which jobs are prohibited for minors?

For all youth under the age of 18, it is not allowed to work in any occupation that is considered hazardous. Some prohibited duties include driving, cooking, food processing, loading heavy objects or machinery, repairing, and working in construction. For the specific roles and industries that are prohibited, you can search this website on Youth Employment in Washington for more information.

how to get work permit in the washington

What Are The Work Restrictions For Minors?

There are general work restrictions that apply to all youth under the age of 18. For minors seeking work in the non-agricultural sectors, the list of prohibited jobs can be found here. For the agricultural sector, the restricted duties are listed here.

As for minors aged 14-16, there are special restrictions that apply to certain job occupations. To find out more about these restrictions, you can visit this website.

Minors aged 14-15 years old

Teens aged 14-15 are not allowed to work alone past 8:00 pm. They have to then be supervised by an adult in some occupations, such as the hospitality industry.

Minors are also limited to working three hours a day, six days a week. They can only work between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm for no more than 16 hours a week. You are also permitted to have a 30-minute break every four hours and rest breaks every two hours.

Minors aged 16-17 years old

If you’re aged 16-17 in Washington, you do not need a work permit for some jobs. Although, as a minor, you’re still restricted by the number of hours that you can work.

During school hours, you are limited to work four hours daily, or 20 hours per week, for a maximum of six days a week. This is allowed between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm or midnight on weekends. You are also entitled to a 30-minute break for every five hours worked.

What Is The Minimum Wage For Minors?

Most jobs in Washington maintain the state minimum wage for both agricultural and non-agricultural industries. If you’re a minor under 16 years old, you must be paid at least 85% of the state minimum wage, which equates to $8.05 per hour. If you’re a minor aged 16-17, then you are entitled to be paid the same current state minimum wage as adults.

What Are The Child Labour Laws For Minors?

If you’re a minor starting your first job, it’s important to be familiar with the State Child Labour Laws. Your employer must follow these strict labor laws whilst you’re employed. Remember that your rights must be protected, and you’re entitled to work in a safe and legal environment at all times. For more details about your work rights as a minor, visit the Child Labor Laws Washington.

Looking For More Teen Career Info?

Depending on what state you live in or perhaps have to move to for work, I’ve put together additional info on How to Get a Work Permit in California, How to Get a Work Permit in Massachusetts, and How to Get a Work Permit in Illinois, along with How to Get a Work Permit in Arizona, and finally How to Get a Work Permit in Maryland.

For superb teen career guides, we recommend taking a look at the Teens’ Guide to College & Career Planning, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, as well as Who Am I?: An A-Z Career Guide for Teens, for a variety of choices, and What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job.

Lastly, we also found Life Skills and Career Coaching for Teens, as well as Soft Skills Training: How to Develop Skills for Employment to help you prepare for the working world, or how about the Road Map to Your Job, and The Careers Handbook: The ultimate guide to planning your future all available online in 2022.

Final Thoughts

There are various opportunities available for minors seeking employment in Washington. To work as a minor, you must first obtain a work permit. Unlike some states, the process to obtain one is the responsibility of the employer.

As a minor in Washington, you must provide a signed letter of authorization with proof of age. Your employer is then responsible for finalizing the process to obtain your Minor Work Permit.

Good luck getting your Washington Work Permit and your first job!

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About Calvin Miller

Calvin has over 20 years of experience in a leading employment agency in Tucson, Arizona, and is passionate about finding the perfect position for everyone who uses the company’s services.

He lives with his wife, Annette, and their two sons Jake and Joseph.

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