Jobs for 16 year old - employment law

There are specific laws governing jobs for 16 year olds. Below you will find details for both the UK and US, plus website addresses where you can find additional information.

Other relevant articles on this website for jobs for a 16 year old include:

Jobs for 16 year olds (part 1)

Part time jobs for 16 year olds

How to find jobs for a 16 year old

Legal hours and wages for 16 year olds

You can only know what is a reasonable offer if you are informed beforehand about salary levels for a job for a 16 year old. So, make sure you ask around about monthly or hourly pay rates.

In the UK

The current minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds is less than that for those aged 18 and over. At this age, the law calls you a 'young worker'. You are allowed to work for 8 hours a day or a total of 40 hours a week, but cannot usually work overnight.

If you are aged 16 but have not yet left school, then this will not apply to you, so you will probably be settling for wages that are lower than the national minimum. You are only allowed to work up to 8 hours on Saturdays or during the holidays.

Apprenticeships will also offer you less than the minimum wage, as you will be receiving training as part of the deal.

You can find more information on the National Minimum Wage.

In the US

If you are a 16 year old, you can work in any non-hazardous job, including agriculture, for any number of hours at any time of day.

Federal law states that a special minimum wage applies to employees under the age of 20 years during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer. After this, the full federal minimum wage should be paid.

Employment law for young people differs in each state. Make sure you know what is permissible in your state by check with the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

Full details of regulations can be found on the Department of Labor website: Youth Rules


It is never too early to start planning a career. Even if it seems impossible to think ahead to later in your working life, you can create as many options as possible for yourself by considering the nature of your work experience when you start aged 16. Always consider work that suits your skills, personality type and ambitions, while taking care over which employer you agree to work with.

Jobs for 16 year olds (part 1)

Part time jobs for 16 year olds

How to find jobs for a 16 year old

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