What's the Minimum Legal Working Age in Delaware?

Working Can Teach Young People to Save Money

12 year old boy doing yard work
Getty Images/Donald Higgs

If you live in Delaware and are pondering entering the workforce for the first time, you need to find out what the minimum legal working age in your state is. Are you able to work there? If so, you can start saving for college expenses, a car, a trip or anything else you've been planning.

If you'll be working to help your family make ends meet, you'll certainly need to find out how many hours you can work at your age.

How Old Do You Have to Be?

Both federal child labor laws and Delaware state law agree that the minimum age to work is 14 (with some exceptions). That said, child labor laws in each state may also indicate the minimum age to work and which permits are needed. When there is a conflict between federal and state laws, the more restrictive law will apply.

Children younger than 14 may work in some capacities. ​Child labor laws generally do not restrict them from working on a family farm or in a family business under the direct supervision of their parents. Minors may also complete household chores or yard work for pay, work in the entertainment industry, or as babysitters or on paper routes. That should be good news for kids hoping to earn some money.

Before youth begin their jobs, it is important to review the rules and restrictions surrounding child labor laws, especially if they want to work in more formal capacities as they age.

Certificates for Work

Delaware state law requires child employment certificates for youth under age 18. Employment certificates are provided by the school or by the labor department. An age certificate is not required under Delaware state law.

When Can Teens Work?

Although teens ages 14-15 can work in a variety of jobs, including in retail stores, food service, janitorial service or corporate offices, the hours they work are limited.

Youth this age can't work more than four hours in a school day, 18 hours in a school week, eight hours on a non-school day or 40 hours during a non-school week. Lastly, this group of teens may not work more than six days in a row.

Additionally, these teens must work hours that fall between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except from June 1 through Labor Day, when working hours extend to 9 p.m.) Teens ages 16-17 have different regulations. According to the state of Delaware, they:

  • May not work more than 12 hours in a combination of school and work hours per day.
  • Must have at least eight consecutive hours of non-work, non-school time in each 24-hour period.
  • May not work more than five hours continuously without a non-work period of at least 30 consecutive minutes.