Minimum Working Age by State

Although there is a Federal minimum working age set through the Fair Labor and Standards Act, the minimum age required to work varies by state and is laden with exceptions which usually relate to parental consent. However, exceptions are also made for the minimum working age regarding whether or not the child or adolescent is working during or after school hours. 

For instance, to work during school hours people have to be 16 years of age in most states. However, in Illinois, you only have to be 12 years of age, and in Nevada and South Dakota, you only have to be 14. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Washington and Wisconsin have some of the highest age requirements for working during school hours, at 18 years of age.

Child Labor Laws were first introduced within the United States in 1938, which essentially determine the minimum working age of a citizen of that state. The age requirement, then, is intended to protect children from being wrongfully taken advantage of. The minimum age requirement laws can only be superseded by a parent under extremely limited circumstances.

Among the states, 9 years of age is the youngest that a person can work outside of school hours. This occurs exclusively in Oregon, and a 9 year old can work, but only if picking berries or beans for intrastate use with parental permission.

Scroll the charts to learn more about the minimum working age by state.

Minimun Working Age by State

Alaska

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#6 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

14

#43 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#10 in the US

Arizona

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#7 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15.5

#11 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#11 in the US

Arkansas

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#8 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

14

#44 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

17

#4 in the US

California

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

18

#1 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15.5

#12 in the US

Colorado

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#9 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#13 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#12 in the US

THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN BE LEFT ALONEhelp

12

#2 in the US

Connecticut

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#10 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

16

#1 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#13 in the US

Hawaii

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

18

#2 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15.5

#16 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

15

#45 in the US

Idaho

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#11 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

14.5

#45 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#17 in the US

Illinois

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

12

#26 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#17 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#18 in the US

THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN BE LEFT ALONEhelp

14

#1 in the US

Maine

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#12 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#20 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#21 in the US

Minnesota

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#13 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#22 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#24 in the US

Missouri

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#14 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#24 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

15

#46 in the US

Nevada

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

14

#24 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15.5

#26 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#26 in the US

New Hampshire

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

18

#3 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15.5

#27 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

14

#48 in the US

New Jersey

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#15 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

16

#6 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#27 in the US

New Mexico

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#16 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#28 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#28 in the US

THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN BE LEFT ALONEhelp

10

#6 in the US

New York

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#17 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

16

#7 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#29 in the US

North Dakota

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

14

#25 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

14

#50 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#31 in the US

THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN BE LEFT ALONEhelp

9

#10 in the US

Ohio

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#18 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15.5

#30 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#32 in the US

Oregon

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#19 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#32 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

17

#7 in the US

THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN BE LEFT ALONEhelp

10

#7 in the US

South Carolina

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#20 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#33 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#36 in the US

Utah

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#21 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#36 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#40 in the US

Vermont

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#22 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#37 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#41 in the US

Virginia

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

16

#23 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15.5

#38 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#42 in the US

Washington

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

18

#4 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#39 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

17

#8 in the US

THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN BE LEFT ALONEhelp

10

#9 in the US

Wisconsin

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MINIMUN WORKING AGEhelp

18

#5 in the US

MINIMUM DRIVING AGEhelp

15

#41 in the US

MINIMUM MARRIAGE AGEhelp

16

#43 in the US