What Is the Minimum Legal Age to Work in Texas?

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If you're a youth who lives in Texas and plans to get a job there, it's important to know what the minimum legal age is to work in the state. Are you old enough to start working and, if so, for how many hours per week or per day?

Whether you're getting a job to save money for college, buy the car of your dreams or simply to help out your family, you shouldn't make your way into the workforce without getting acquainted with the rules and regulations applicable to young workers.

How Old Must You Be to Work in Texas?

Federal child labor laws state that the minimum age to work is 14 (with some exceptions). However, child labor laws in each state may also indicate the minimum age to work and which permits are needed. When there is a conflict between federal and state laws, the more restrictive law will apply.

In Texas, the legal age to begin working is 14, so there is no dispute between the state and the federal government about this. Unlike some states, Texas does not require juvenile workers to obtain a child employment certificate to work. 

The state also does not require age certificates to work, but minor workers may be provided with one if they request it. They may obtain age certificates through the labor department.

Hours Minor Workers Can Keep

In Texas, older minors (meaning 16 or 17-year-olds) may work as many hours as they'd like. But for youth ages 14 to 15, Texas does have 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.

Minors in this age group are also subject to federal law about their work practices. 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 who need exemptions from these rules, because they are supporting their families, for example, may request one.

Wrapping Up

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. Reviewing the list 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.