What's the Minimum Legal Working Age in Maryland?

Start Your Job Search on the Right Foot

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If you're a Maryland resident contemplating starting your first job, it's crucial that you find out what the minimum legal working age there is. Are you old enough to start working? If so, congratulations! Now, you can set out on the path to becoming financially independent. Gone are the days when you'll have to ask your parents for money to buy a new outfit or go to a movie.

If you want to work because you have serious goals, such as paying for college or buying a car, it's important to find out how many hours you'll be able to work to make your dreams come true.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Maryland?

Both federal child labor laws and Maryland state law are in accordance that the minimum age to work is 14 (with some exceptions). Sometimes state law and federal law vary on the minimum age to work and which permits are needed. When that's the case, the more strict law will apply.

Children younger than 14 may work in some capacities, however. The minimum age to work does not include door-to-door sales, working in the agricultural field and the child entertainment industry. All of those employment categories have different minimum age requirements.

Once you determine that you meet the minimum age to work in your state, you can begin to look for jobs for kids. Job ideas include a paper route, babysitting and gardening work (sans the power tools).

Certificates for Work

Maryland state law requires child employment certificates for youth under age 18.

They can get a work permit by doing the following, according to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation:

  • The minor applies for a permit online and prints permit.
  • The minor signs the permit.
  • The minor's parent or guardian signs the permit.
  • The employer signs the permit.

What Hours Can Teens Work?

Although teens ages 14-15 can work in a variety of jobs, including in retail, offices and restaurants, the hours they work are restricted.

Teens in this age range can't work more than four hours on any day or more than 23 hours in any week when school is in session. When school is out, they can't work more than eight hours on any day or more than 40 hours in any week.

Youth this age must only work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. (but they may work until 9 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day). Teens of all ages may not work more than five consecutive hours without a non-working period of at least 30 minutes.

Teens ages 16-17 may not work more than 12 hours in a combination of school hours and work hours daily. Also, they must be allowed at least eight consecutive hours of non-work, non-school time daily.

Teens of any age are forbidden to work in hazardous jobs likely to cause bodily harm, death or adverse health effects.

For more information on the minimum age to work in Maryland and how to obtain employment certificates, visit the Maryland State Labor Website.