So Your Teen Wants To Get A Job

If you have a teenager in your home, chances are they are anxious to get a job so they can start making their own money. Teens long to be free of relying on an allowance or begging mom and dad for spending cash. This is also a great time for kids to learn how to handle greater responsibility as well as money management.

Can my homeschooler work anytime he or she wants?

Many of us assume that, since our kids are not in traditional schools, they will be able to work during times that their peers are unable to. According to the United States Department of Labor website, with a few exceptions, this is not the case. Unless your child wants to deliver newspapers, make evergreen wreaths at home, babysit, or become a voice, screen or theatrical actor, they will likely be restricted to working non-school hours.

The younger the teen, the more limits there are on where they can work and how many hours they are allowed to work. Generally speaking, 14 years, is the minimum age that a teen is allowed to get a job. The USDOL site says:

“Permissible work hours for 14- and 15-year-olds are:3 hours on a school day;18 hours in a school week;8 hours on a non-school day;40 hours in a non-school week;and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when nighttime work hours are extended to 9 p.m.”

These regulations do vary from state to state. You will need to check with your state to find out what the laws are regarding child labor. Another item to check is whether your state requires a teen to have a permit to get a job. US child labor laws do not require this, however certain states do.

What Will They Make?

Your teen also needs to be aware that they will most likely not start out making as much as an adult would in the same job. Employers are allowed to give workers, under the age of 20, a special minimum wage of $4.25 per hour during their first 90 days of employment.

Once you have sorted through all these stipulations, you may find that certain employers are eager to hire homeschool teens. Homeschool teens have a reputation for having a better work ethic than their peers. They also are better able to relate to and work with adults, due to not having spent all their impressionable years cooped up with kids who are all the same age. You might even say that they’ve been better “socialized” in that respect than their traditionally schooled counterparts. But that’s a conversation for another article!

Resource for quote:

June 26, 2012


  1. Dee says:
    Posted February 27, 2013 1:59 am

    What a great way to work out a difficult situation! Way to go, MOM!

  2. Kat says:
    Posted September 4, 2012 1:31 pm

    My daughters got a summer job at age 15 with a local small business. At the beginning of the school year, their boss did not want them to quit, but the work hours were during "school" hours. So I sat down with the owner (boss) of the business and created a homeschool class that involved their job. We included money and time management as well a job skills. At the end of the semester she evaluated their job skills and I evaluated them on their money/time management skills.
    I also ran this idea past a friend of mine who teaches at our county's alternative HS and she said it sounded just like several of their classes. We never ran into any labor or school problems. At the end of the semester, my daughters turned 16 and so the age limit problem didn't exist anymore. They still have their jobs and have learned a lot.

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