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Work Permits

If you are a minor living in California, you must have a work permit before you can start a job. You get your permit from your school. Minors are restricted to certain types of work, for example, non-hazardous jobs. Work permits are not required for newspaper carriers, babysitting, or yardwork in private homes. To learn more about work permits, consult with your school counselor, school district office, or work experience coordinator.

16- and 17-Year-Old Students

Sixteen and 17-year-olds may work four hours on school days and eight hours on non-school days or days preceding a non-school day.

14- and 15-Year-Old Students

When school is in session, 14- and 15- year-olds may work 3 hours per day, not to exceed 18 hours per week. You may also work 8 hours per day when school is not in session, not to exceed 40 hours per week.

General information about work permits:

  • You must have a work permit from your high school.

  • For assistance with completing the paperwork, talk with your counselor, career technician, work experience coordinator, or administrator.

  • Work permits are renewed annually at the start of school or when a student obtains a new job.

  • Work permits serve as an age certificate and state the maximum hours a minor may work.

  • You must attend school full time (except for summer vacation) and cannot be truant.

  • All minors must be covered by Workers’ Compensation, including minors employed by businesses operating from a private residence. 

  • It is illegal for your employer to fire or punish you for reporting a workplace problem.

For additional information visit the California Department of Education’s Work Permits for Students page.