If you are currently job hunting, you may be wondering where you can work at 16. There are so many rules and regulations about teen employment that it gets confusing at times.
Once a teen reaches 16 years of age, they face fewer federal and state employment restrictions. This makes them more employable than younger teens so, as a result, there are many places that will hire a 16 year old.
According to the United States Department of Labor, a youth between 16 and 17 years old can work any non-hazardous job. A hazardous job is a job that is considered dangerous, such as mining, working with explosives, construction and manufacturing.
The majority of 16 year olds work in retail, restaurants, on farms and in the service industry doing customer service. According to the book Protecting Youth at Work, about 51 percent of working teens aged 15 to 17 years old work in retail, about 28 percent work in restaurants, more than 25 percent work in the service industry and around 8 percent work in agriculture.
With that in mind, I researched establishments in these specific industries that hire young workers. The following is a list of restaurants, fast food places and retail stores that hire 16 year olds:
Restaurants that Hire 16 Year Olds:
Ben & Jerry’s
Buffalo Wild Wings
Cold Stone Creamery
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Jack in the Box
Joe’s Crab Shack
Long John Silver’s
Retail Stores that Hire 16 Year Olds:
Babies R Us
Barnes and Noble
Bed, Bath and Beyond
Bj’s Wholesale Club
Toys R Us
Can a 16 Year Old Cook in a Restaurant?
Teens under 18 years of age are not allowed to cook with a broiler, pressure cooker, rotisserie or fryer, fryolator or a grill that uses an open flame. Teens under 18 are also not allowed to use commercial mixers, power-driven bakery machines, power-driven meat processing machines like meat slicers, grinders or choppers and are not allowed to use a knife.
Teens under 18 years of age are allowed to do most other types of kitchen work such as performing limited cooking duties on a electric or gas grill that does not involve cooking over an open flame.
Yet another place a 16 year old can work is online. There are many different types of online jobs available to 16 year olds. Online jobs are perfect for teens because they provide flexible schedules, which is great for busy teens juggling school and extracurricular activities, and they can be done from almost anywhere, so you don’t need to worry about transportation.
Online jobs are a great option for teens who don’t have a car or teens who live in rural areas without a lot of stores or restaurants to work in. All you need to work online is a computer or device that connects to the internet and you are good to go.
The types of online jobs available to teens include online surveys, micro jobs, tutoring, writing, typing, photography and etc. When trying to decide which job you should do, pick something that you think would interest you. It’s hard to focus on work sometimes without a boss standing over your shoulder, so if you do something you enjoy, you’ll have a greater chance of success. It’s okay to try out a few different jobs until you find one you enjoy and are good at.
United States Department of Labor: Prohibited Occupations for Non-Agricultural Employees: http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/flsa/docs/haznonag.asp
Osha: Young Worker Safety in Restaurants: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/youth/restaurant/cooking.html
Labor Occupational Health Program: Employing 14-17 Year Olds in Restaurants: http://lohp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/rest_employ_youth.pdf
Protecting Youth at Work: Health, Safety, and Development of Working Children and Adolescents by Committee on the Health and Safety Implications of Child Labor, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine