What Is the Minimum Legal Age to Work in Texas?

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In Texas, the minimum age to work is 14, in keeping with federal child labor laws. Unlike some states, Texas does not require juvenile workers to obtain a child employment certificate or an age certificate to work, but minor workers may be provided with one if they request it via the state labor department.

Minor Workers' Hours

In Texas, older minors—meaning 16- or 17-year-olds—may work as many hours as they'd like. But for youths 14 to 15 years old, the state sets some restrictions. 

These children may not work more than eight hours per day or more than 48 hours in one week. They're also prohibited from going to work before 5 a.m. or after 10 p.m. on a day that is followed by a school day. This includes summer school sessions. In addition, juveniles in this age bracket may not work past midnight on a day followed by a non-school day.

The work practices for minors in this age group are also subject to federal law. Federal law prohibits them from working during school hours, more than eight hours per day or more than 18 hours per week. They may not work more than three hours in a day during parts of the year when school is in session.

Moreover, these teens may only work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year. Federal law allows these young people to work extended hours, up to 9 p.m., from June 1 to Labor Day. Children in special circumstances or in severe need of earning money—because they are supporting their families, for example—may request exemptions from these rules.

Additional Resources

If you'd like more information about working in the Lone Star State, visit the Texas State Labor website. If you'd like to know more about the requirements for other states, consult this minimum age to work by state list. It is especially helpful if you live close to the state border and can easily work out of state, or plan to spend your summers working in a different part of the country.