When can I get a job?
It depends on the type of job. Federal law makes 14 the minimum age for most paying jobs, but there are exceptions, such as babysitting, farm work, and working for a family business. Some states have child labor laws that set older minimum ages. But you'll be happy to know you can be a star at any age. There's no minimum age for working on TV, in the movies, or in theatrical productions.
If you do get a job, your employer should follow additional federal rules designed to protect kids from working too much, especially during the school year. For instance, 14-year-old teens shouldn't work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on school nights. During the school year, they also shouldn't work more than 18 hours a week, or more than 3 hours a day on a school day. Why? You need time to study, play, and sleep!
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: May 2010