Many young teens these days are looking for work, and luckily, there are plenty of great places that will hire them. By starting work at a younger age, kids can work towards their savings goals, whether that’s a new car or college tuition. Picking up a part-time job is also a great way for kids to learn important real-world skills and build their resume.
To start work as a 14- or 15-year-old, you’ll need to be motivated, willing to learn, and easy to get along with. If you or your child is looking for a job, here are plenty of amazing places that hire youngsters, as well as what you need to know about starting work.
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Places That Hire 14 and 15 Year Olds
There are plenty of large American chains that hire workers under the age of 16. Of course, this is dependent on your work ethic and skills – workers need to be mature enough to handle the responsibilities of the job. Here are some of the top national chains that hire 14 and 15 year old employees.
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It’s very common for fast food chains to hire young workers for both front and back of house staff positions. McDonald’s is no exception, and with over 14,000 locations throughout the United States, chances are there’s a McDonald’s in your town that’s hiring. Many McDonald’s locations will hire 14-year-olds as servers, bussers, and even kitchen staff. McDonald’s is known for their classic burgers and french fries, and workers may enjoy free meals and drinks as a perk of the job. In some states, McDonald’s may require a work permit or permission from a parent to start work.
2. Burger King
Burger King is another fast food chain that will hire 14- and 15-year-olds in select states. There are over 7,000 Burger King locations throughout the US in both large cities and small towns. Young workers at Burger King will contribute to the crew by helping with basic cleaning and customer service. Burger King does limit the job duties of workers under 16 to ensure that they are not exposed to potential hazards. They also may limit the number of hours that young employees can work each week.
3. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is one of the largest Mexican food chains in the United States, with over 7,000 locations. They’re known for their tacos and burritos as well as their creative novelty items. Since Taco Bell is franchised, each store has a different hiring process. While the minimum age to work at Taco Bell is usually 16, there are some locations that start hiring at 14. Like many fast food restaurants, you’ll enjoy the perk of free food during your shift.
Chick-Fil-A is known for their classic chicken sandwiches and friendly service. Out of all the American fast food chains, they’re one of the most likely to hire 14- and 15-year-old team members. They have 2,000 locations throughout the United States, and they’ll hire teenagers to work as in-store and drive-through servers, as well as dishwashers and kitchen staff. Some of their perks are a nice employee discount, free food and drinks, and Sundays off.
Starbucks is one of the world’s leading coffee chains, with over 13,000 locations in the United States and even more around the globe. Most Starbucks locations require workers to be 16, but there are some locations that will hire workers as young as 14. Most of these locations are in Montana, where child labor laws differ from most other states. Starbucks offers excellent perks for their employees, including discounts, free food and drinks, and even free tuition for an online bachelor’s degree. Teens will start as baristas, helping to make drinks and handle customer transactions.
6. Boston Market
Boston Market is a small chain with over 400 locations throughout the US. They are known for their rotisserie chicken, and have a full menu of meat products including meatloaf, turkey, ribs, and more. This is one chain of places that hire at 15. Employees under 18 can work as dishwashers, servers, and even cooks. However, you will need to be older to work as a delivery driver or shift lead. Like most fast food restaurants, they offer discounts on their products for employee as well as free food during your shift. They also offer discounts on select cell phone services, and even provide help with tuition for some employees.
7. Rita’s Italian Ice
Most ice cream and dessert stores throughout the US will hire workers under the age of 16. Working at an ice cream shop is a fun and relatively easy way to get started in food service, making it ideal for your first job. Rita’s is a very popular ice cream chain, with more than 600 locations in the eastern United States. In addition to their signature Italian ice, they also sell other sweet treats like gelato, frozen custard, and more. Most Rita’s stores hire starting at 14. Young employees will work to keep the store clean, process customer transactions, and help make treats.
8. Baskin Robbins
Baskin Robbins is another popular ice cream chain that will hire 14- and 15-year-olds. They’re one of the largest ice cream chains in the US, with over 3,000 locations. Their minimum age to hire is 14 years old at most locations. Teens will help to prepare desserts, keep the store clean, and process transactions. They can also work their way up to become shift leads and cake decorators. Perks include free ice cream on the job as well as flexible scheduling.
9. Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s is known for having some of the most innovative ice cream flavors on the market. They’re based in Vermont and have over 5,000 stores throughout the US. In addition to their classic ice cream flavors, they also serve sorbet and frozen custard, and frequently introduce innovative new products to their line. Some Ben & Jerry’s locations will hire 14 and 15-year-olds as ice cream scoopers and cashiers. In addition to competitive pay, Ben & Jerry’s offers plenty of free ice cream for their employees.
10. AMC Theaters
AMC is one of the largest movie theater chains in the country, and they are always in need of employees to help take tickets, serve snacks, and clean the theaters. Many AMC locations will hire employees as young as 14 years of age. When hiring workers under the age of 18, AMC coordinates with their school schedule to ensure that they have plenty of time to focus on their education. Many positions available at AMC pay slightly higher than minimum wage, and they also offer free movie tickets and discounted snacks as a perk.
11. Six Flags
Six Flags is one of the largest and most popular amusement park chains in the world, with 14 iconic parks throughout the United States. Six Flags hires 14- and 15-year-olds at many of their locations, although minimum age requirements vary depending on the park and its unique requirements. 14-year-olds can start as parking lot attendants or game attendants. 15-year-olds can work as ticket takers and hosts, food service team members, and merchandise salespeople. Many advanced positions, including ride operations and security staff, require employees to be over the age of 18. If you love theme parks, there are plenty of excellent perks to working at Six Flags, including free park admission, discounts on food and drink throughout the park, and reward programs.
Grocery stores are some of the most popular places to work for 14- and 15-year-olds. They need a large staff and have many positions that are ideal for a first job. Kroger is one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, with more than 2,700 stores. They also own many other popular grocery store brands, including Fry’s, Smith’s, and King Soopers. Young employees can work as baggers and cashiers, and they can also help with stocking shelves. There are some positions at Kroger that require you to be over the age of 18 for safety reasons. Like many grocery stores, Kroger offers employees discounts on their products, and they also have a scholarship program to help fund their employees’ education.
Safeway is another popular grocery store chain, with over 1,700 stores throughout the US. Safeway allows employees as young as 14 to work as long as they have the appropriate work permits from their school. 14-year-olds can start as courtesy clerks, which involves bagging groceries, greeting customers, and helping keep carts clean and organized. Safeway also offers employee discounts on select products.
Publix is a grocery store chain with locations throughout the southern United States. They have over 1,000 stores in seven states. Publix hires 14- and 15-year-olds for some service positions throughout the store. Some of the positions available for 14-year-olds at Publix include being a bagger, a cashier, or a floral clerk. Stockroom, butcher, and bakery positions are reserved for older employees.
Hy-Vee is a smaller grocery store chain that primarily has stores in the midwestern region of the US. They have over 200 locations, many of which are in the Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Unlike many of the other grocery store chains on this list, each Hy-Vee location is independently owned and operated. This means that they each have their own unique hiring processes. If you have a Hy-Vee in your town, contact them to see what their regulations are for hiring young employees.
16. Giant Food
Giant is another small grocery store chain, with locations in the mid-Atlantic area of the East Coast. Although they only have 150 stores, there’s a good chance you have one nearby if you live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC. Like other grocery store chains, they hire 14- and 15-year-old employees at some locations for positions like bagging and cashier work.
17. Winn Dixie
Winn Dixie is a southern grocery store chain with approximately 500 locations across five states in the southeastern US. Like many other grocery store chains, they have several locations that hire 14- and 15-year-olds. Younger employees typically start out as baggers and courtesy clerks. As teens get older, they can work up to positions in the bakery, deli, and other specialty departments.
18. Local Restaurants, Entertainment Venues, and More
While there are plenty of chains that hire 14- and 15-year-olds, it’s also worth looking at local businesses to see what their hiring policies are. It’s very likely that there are restaurants in your city or town that are willing to hire young teenagers. The advantage of working at a local business instead of a chain is that they are often more willing to work around your schedule and make changes to comply with local labor restrictions. Many local businesses also offer excellent perks to their employees.
Some of the most common local opportunities for 14- and 15-year-old employees are local restaurants and movie theaters as well as water parks, arcades, bowling alleys, trampoline/gymnastics centers, and more. Most businesses that cater to kids will want to hire younger employees, as they have a lot of energy and can help create a family-friendly atmosphere.
19. Starting Your Own Business
If you prefer to work independently, you might consider starting your own business to make money. While it can feel daunting to start your own business at such as young age, it can be very rewarding and teach you entrepreneurial skills that you can carry through your entire life. One of the easiest businesses to start is a dog walking or pet sitting business. If you’re responsible and love animals, this can be an easy way to make money when friends and neighbors go on vacation.
Another popular option is babysitting. If you enjoy spending time with kids and have plenty of families in your neighborhood, this can be a fun and easy way to make money. Taking a babysitting certification course can help you stand out from other babysitters in your area.
If you’re more comfortable doing housework, you can turn that into a business as well. Many families need someone to help with yard work, indoor cleaning, and car washes. This is also a great business option to start with your friends. You can advertise any of these businesses using social media as well as by talking to your friends and neighbors. Word of mouth can be a very powerful way to let people know about your business.
Labor Laws You Need To Know
The government has special labor laws for workers that are under the age of 16, and it’s important to be aware of these before you start searching for a new job. These labor laws are in place to protect young workers and prevent them from being exploited or missing out on their education. When choosing a job under the age of 16, you should always check and make sure that your employer has practices in place to protect you from being exploited. Check here for more about these laws.
Child labor laws can vary slightly depending on what state you’re in, so be sure to check your local regulations. There are a few states that do require young teens to have a work permit before starting a job. If you live in one of these states, contact your school or local government office for assistance applying.
In general, 14- and 15-year-olds are allowed to work for up to 3 hours on a school day, 18 hours total in a school week, 8 hours on a non-school day, and 40 hours on a non-school week. They are also only allowed to work between 7 AM and 7 PM, except for the summer period between June 1st and Labor Day, when they can work until 9 PM.
There are some exceptions to these labor laws to be aware of. For example, there are a few jobs where children of any age can start work. This includes newspaper delivery, babysitting, acting, and modeling. Children can also work for their parent’s businesses in most industries.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25/hour, and in most cases teenage employees will still be paid at this rate .Starting pay will vary depending on your location.
Starting work at a young age can help you learn valuable real-life skills that you’ll carry with you as you get older. It’s also the best way to get a head start on your finances and start saving for large purchases. With so many chains, local businesses and places that hire at 15, you have plenty of choices when it comes to your first job.