Data Pandas Logo

Minimum Working Age By State

Minimum Working Age By State
Title
This is some text inside of a div block.

Introduction

In the United States, work regulations that pertain to minors are critical to protecting their health, rights, and education opportunities. Established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), these rules provide strict guidelines on the minimum age of employment, hours of work for those under 16, and the nature of jobs that can be assigned to minors to safeguard them from hazardous occupations. However, it is important to note that these federal regulations form a baseline, and specific rules can vary significantly on a state-by-state basis.

  • The vast majority of the states establish 16 years of age as the minimum working age. This group includes states like Missouri, Alaska, and South Carolina, among others. 
  • Several states, including New Hampshire, California, Washington, and Hawaii, have set their minimum working age at 18.
  • On the lower end of the spectrum, we find states like North Dakota and Nevada allowing employment from the age of 14. The most remarkable outlier is Illinois, where the minimum working age is as low as 12 years old.

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology