Youth Employment

Youth Employment

Labor laws

Workplace laws are in place to protect teens because they lack experience and this can lead to accidents.  In addition, employers lack experience employing youth and may inadvertently ask you to do things that could be illegal for your age.  

Through the YouthRules! initiative the U.S. Department of Labor and its partners promote positive and safe work experiences that help prepare young workers in the 21st-century workforce by providing teens, parents, employers, and educators information.

As a young worker, you are limited in the types of jobs and the number of hours that you can work. The rules vary by age, and the requirements may be different if you work in agriculture. Before starting your new job, learn what your employer can and cannot require of you.
  See what jobs youth can hold at different ages.  

In addition, the Young Worker Toolkit has detailed information and videos to help you navigate employment.

Finding a job

Look for "HELP WANTED" signs in storefronts and inquire in person.  Make sure you look presentable.  Find out if there is a job description so you know what they are hiring for and make sure you know how they want you to apply. 

Google's search engine has a nice tool for finding jobs.  Type in "jobs near me", expand the results where it says 100+ more jobs and it will open a webpage where you can filter results by date, part-time/full-time, industry, employer, and more.  You can even set up job alerts based on the criteria that you indicate. 
The most common jobs teens tend to hold are fast food, retail, and agriculture. 

Look for connections.  Start by talking to your family, friends, and mentors about your goals.  There is a good chance someone in your network can make an introduction to a person in your target career.  You might be surprised to learn that your little brother's soccer coach works for your dream company or your best friend's neighbor works in the job you want to learn more about.  Learn more at Khan Academy, Navigating Your Career.

Next, prepare your resume.

And then, get ready for a great interview.

Explore future careers.