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Teen Job Search Tips and Advice

Examine Your Career Options


Consider what you want to do for a living. For example, if you like working with animals, inquire with local doctors to see if they are recruiting. If you prefer working with children, contact your local YMCA (many provide after-school and summer camps) or child care facilities.


Fast food restaurants and retail enterprises depend on inexperienced personnel and are prepared to teach newcomers. Teens are often hired by local libraries to assist with book storage. Amusement parks and summer programs provide a range of summer employment for teenagers over the summer.


Teen Employment Guidelines


There are restrictions that limit when and what you can work. Teens recruited for non-agricultural job (which includes almost anything other than farm work) must be at least fourteen years old.


In certain states, if you are under the age of 18, you may be required to get working papers (technically known as Employment/Age Certificates) in order to legally work. Get them ahead of time so you'll be ready to go when you're employed.


When You Are Able to Work


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for the employment of minors. According to the FLSA, the legal working age in the United States is 14 years old (at least in nonagricultural jobs).


While 14 and 15-year-olds may work, the number of hours they can labor is limited. They are not permitted to work during school hours and are restricted to three hours per school day (18 hours total per school week) or eight hours each non-school day (40 hours per non-school week).


There are additional restrictions on when a 14- or 15-year-old may work. During the academic year (from Labor Day to May 31), they may work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the summer (between June 1 and Labor Day).


Many of these limitations are lifted after you reach the age of 16. You may work as many hours as you like throughout any given week. The only remaining limitation is that you cannot work in a job that the FLSA considers dangerous.


There are no restrictions on how many hours you can work, what weeks you can work, or where you can work until you reach 18 (and are no longer a minor).


Work Opportunities


14 and 15-year-olds are permitted to work in restaurants, retail, and other nonmanufacturing, nonmining, and nonhazardous occupations.


14 and 15-year-olds are not permitted to work in occupations deemed dangerous by the Labor Department. These include (but are not limited to) employment in excavation, explosives manufacture, mining, and positions involving the operation of power-driven equipment.


Where You Are Unable to Work


Even if a youngster reaches the age of 16, he or she cannot work in these dangerous vocations. They must wait until they reach the age of 18 to work in these sectors. As previously stated, there are exceptions to these laws, notably vocations relating to agricultural activity.


Exceptions to Teen Work Limits


These restrictions do not apply to working teenagers. Many states, for example, have stricter limits on the number of hours a kid may work on a farm. Minors hired by their parents, on the other hand, are not subject to the same time and day limits. For further information, see the FLSA.


Obtaining Working Papers


In certain states, if you are under the age of eighteen, you may be required to get working papers (formally known as Employment/Age Certificates) in order to legally work. The form may be available at school. You may also get one through your state's Department of Labor. Check the list of Employment/Age Certification criteria to discover which ones apply to you.


Check with your Guidance Office if it's at school. Check with your state office if it's the Department of Labor. Some states, such as New York, have entire parts of their websites dedicated to youth occupations that will provide you with the necessary information.


Examine Various Job Categories


After you've completed the papers, think about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to work with young children? Consider working in after-school programs, child care facilities, or summer camps. Consider working on the beach or on the ski slopes, in a park, in the mountains, or in another outdoor setting. Consider working in a museum, a hospital, a zoo, or another organization connected to your professional goals.


Your high school occupations will offer you an idea of what you may like to pursue later in life. They may also offer you ideas for tasks you really do not want to perform!

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