Starting high school is a stressful time. With a new school workload and expanded responsibilities, it might seem like too much for a 15-year-old to take on a job, too. However, many teens are eager to start working.
Having your own money can be extremely rewarding and it can help teens save for college, too.
Other reasons teens seek out employment is to develop a greater sense of responsibility and to gain independence.
It can serve as a fantastic way to build money management skills and can provide on-the-job training for commonly required skills like customer service, using a cash register, and working with others.
Working at 15 also helps teens prepare their resumes for gaining full-time employment post-high school and post-college.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, children are allowed to work at the age of 14 in many jobs (but not all) and are protected by several laws that relate to those under 16 years old. Kids can work in film, TV, theater, and radio at any age, however.
The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA protects employees from any unfair labor practices, including unfair wages, unfair hours and scheduling, and safety issues.
Though laws regarding employment for minors varies between the states, there are still overarching federal rules that must be followed:
You can reference the full charge of laws that relate to the employment of minors on the U.S. Department of Labor website. Just know that if there is disagreement between the state and federal laws, the law that better protects kids is what will apply in your state.
Additionally, the Fair Labor Standards Act also dictates how many hours a teenager can work each day. Let’s pause a moment and break down what that actually looks like:
People under the age of 16:
- Can only work during non-school hours on school days, for a maximum of 3 hours per day and 18 hours per week.
- Can work a maximum of 8 hours on a non-school day.
- Can work a maximum of 40 hours on a non-school week (spring break, winter break, summer break, etc).
- Work hours are only allowed between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
Even if you attend a private school or are homeschooled, these rules will still apply. School days are determined by the school session of the district in which you live.
How Much Do 15-Year-Olds Get Paid?
The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25/hour. This is the minimum all states must pay.
However, if you are under 20 years old, the Fair Labor Standards Act says you can be paid $4.25/hour for the first 90 days of employment. This is the current youth minimum wage. The federal minimum wage then kicks in on day 91.
The unfortunate thing here is that this rule applies any time you move to a different job when you’re 15.
You will have to go through the same 90-day period again before the federal minimum wage applies. Some states do provide a higher minimum wage, however – for both youth and everybody else.
But all of that leads us to the real topic of today’s article: answering teens’ most pressing question, “where can I work at 15?” Let’s get to it.
Places That Hire at 15
What jobs hire at 15, you’re probably wondering? That’s what we aim to answer here today.
There are actually several different types of companies that hire 15-year-olds including restaurants, grocery stores, amusement parks, indoor entertainment venues, and movie theaters.
Let’s get down to our list of 43 places that hire 15-year-olds.
Many restaurants hire at 15, especially chain restaurants and franchises. What follows is a list of several popular establishments that hire people who are 15 years old, presented in alphabetical order. The links to their pages go straight to the restaurant’s career page.
Arby’s is a fast-food restaurant chain that provides numerous sandwiches and other menu items centered around their Angus roast beef.
The company currently has over 3,300 branches in every state and offers a variety of positions for those who are at least 15 years old.
Tasks you can expect to complete in this job include cooking, cleaning, and taking to-go food orders, either at a walk-up counter or drive-thru.
2. Baskin Robbins
Baskin Robbins is another franchise restaurant business that employs teenagers. Actually, they hire those as young as 14 for various positions, especially over the summer break.
The company has 3,000 branches in nearly every state.
Working here means you’d be responsible for serving a wide variety of ice creams and frozen yogurt, taking cake orders, and assisting with the cash register.
3. Ben & Jerry’s
Another ice cream shop that hires young teens is Ben & Jerry’s. They hire teens as young as 14 and working here would mean serving ice cream, performing cleaning tasks, and assisting with the cash register.
4. Boston Market
In a role here, you can expect to prepare food, serve food to customers, take orders, and use the cash register.
5. Burger King
Burger King is a chain of fast-food restaurants that specializes in hamburgers and fries.
They usually have an age cut-off of 16 years old but do consider hiring 14 and 15-year-olds in special circumstances, especially when they have increased job availability.
6. California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen is another location worth considering for employment. The company specializes in off-the-wall pizzas as well as sandwiches and pastas.
They currently have 250 locations in over half the states and have locations in other countries as well.
They hire teens as young as 15 for host and hostess positions. Your role would be to greet guests as they enter the restaurant and help them to their seat once a table becomes available.
Or, you could always consider working at Chick-Fil-A, which is a popular chicken sandwich fast-food chain with over 2,000 branches in nearly every state.
They offer teens as young as 15 positions on the kitchen staff and as dishwashers.
Though not as popular as some of the other restaurants featured on this list, Culver’s is another fast food restaurant worth checking out for employment.
They have 600 different locations in the U.S., with most of them located in the Midwest.
They hire people as young as 14 years old for a variety of positions including customer service and food prep.
9. Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen is another popular ice cream establishment, with over 4,000 branches currently located across the entirety of the U.S.
The minimum age requirement here is typically 14 and you can expect to complete tasks like cleaning, food service, and running the cash register.
Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC for short, is a well-known fried chicken restaurant with over 4,200 locations across the United States.
It’s actually only second to McDonald’s in the number of franchises it has. Two positions are available here for young teens: customer service and cook.
As mentioned above, McDonald’s is the most popular franchise restaurant with over 14,000 branches and counting in the United States alone.
They regularly employ those as young as 14 years old. Common job positions for teenagers here include cooking, cleaning, and customer service.
12. Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is a popular restaurant chain that offers pizzas, pastas, salads, breadsticks, and more. You can get a job here as young as 15 and you can expect to work as a greeter or a server.
13. Rita’s Italian Ice
Here’s another restaurant that is a bit on the smaller side but still presents a great job opportunity for teens. Rita’s Italian Ice serves ice cream and other iced desserts and currently has over 500 locations in the U.S. and will regularly employ people who are 14 and 15 years old.
Teens can expect to find open positions for both servers and cashiers at this establishment.
Subway is a popular sandwich shop that specializes in sub sandwiches. They currently have over 22,000 locations in the United States alone and employ those who are at least 15 years old regularly.
This doesn’t apply in every state, as some states have a minimum age requirement of 16 so check your local laws. The job available for teens regularly here is that of sandwich artist.
15. Taco Bell
Another fast-food restaurant that hires at 15 is Taco Bell.
This restaurant has 6,000 locations in the United States and often hires those as young as 14. You can expect to be responsible for taking orders, preparing food, and serving customers here.
Grocery Stores & General Stores That Hire at 15 for Service Desk Clerks and More
To continue our discussion of what places hire at 15, let’s now turn our attention to grocery stores.
Locations across the entire country regularly hire teenagers to fill vital roles at their companies. Again, I have tried to link straight to the store’s career page if they have one.
Fareway is a popular grocery store in the Midwest and frequently hires teens as young as 14 for a variety of positions in-store.
Most often, you’ll find teens stocking shelves or working at the cashier at this grocery store.
17. Giant Food
If you live on the east coast, your local Giant Food store might be of interest.
They regularly hire those under 16 and offer a wider variety of positions to this age group than what is typical, including stockers, baggers, clerks, cashiers, and bakery associates.
There are currently 150 Giant Food locations in the eastern U.S.
18. Giant Eagle
Another option is the Giant Eagle grocery store chain.
They currently have over 400 locations across five different states including Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. They often hire 14-year-olds for positions like bakery clerk and cart attendant.
Check your state’s laws and your local Giant Eagle branch to confirm they hire those under 16, however.
Harvey’s is a much smaller grocery store chain but if you have one in your area, it could serve as a great place to work while you’re still under 16.
They have 46 locations across the United States, the majority of which are located in Georgia.
Typical job positions for teens here include cashiers, associates, and baggers. Check your local laws and local store to see if they hire 15-year-olds.
Another grocery chain that regularly hires young teens is Hy-Vee. There are currently 260 locations across eight states in the Midwest.
While most stores in this chain only hire those who are 16 already, some do hire people as young as 14 since they are franchises with independent rules.
Available jobs usually involve bagging groceries, working the cashier, greeting customers, or stocking shelves.
21. King Soopers
King Soopers is another really popular grocery store chain but is limited only to the state of Colorado.
It’s actually a Kroger brand and regularly employs those who are 15 years old.
There are currently 117 King Soopers locations in the U.S. Fifteen-year-olds are regularly hired as clerks in these stores.
Speaking of Kroger, it is one of the largest chain grocers in the United States, with over 2,700 locations.
Besides King Soopers, Kroger also owns Smith’s and Fry’s. In states with local laws that permit it, Kroger hires those as young as 14 to bag groceries or stock grocery store shelves.
There’s also Publix, an extremely popular grocery brand with a presence in seven different states across the southern United States.
They have over 1,100 locations and regularly post job offerings for those under the age of 16.
These positions include a variety of roles including clerks, cashiers, service workers, and baggers.
Safeway (scroll down to their footer for a link to their most recent career postings) is another grocery store chain that hires 15-year-olds.
They currently have 894 locations across the U.S. and offer positions for teens like grocery bagger, store greeter, cart associate, and shelf stocker.
25. Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop is a well-known grocery store chain located on the east coast of the United States with over 400 stores currently in operation.
Though not every location will hire those under 16, stores in states that allow for the employment of 14 and 15-year-olds like Massachusetts and Rhode Island offer positions for the bakery, floral area, and cashiers.
Wegman’s is a large grocery chain located in the eastern United States with 104 stores currently in operation.
They hire 15-year-olds regularly and offer positions like grocery clerk and bagger.
Check your local store for their hiring practices, however, as not every store hires this young.
27. Winn Dixie
Lastly, there’s Winn Dixie, which is a super popular grocery store chain located in just Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana.
They currently have over 500 locations so if you live in one of these three states, you definitely have a Winn Dixie near you. Most stores hire 15-year-olds.
Some General Questions About the Minimum Age for Working At Stores
Before we move onto our list of other places that hire 15-year-olds, let’s pause a moment to answer a couple of questions about the hiring practices at other popular stores.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Dollar Tree?
The Dollar Tree only hires those who are at least 16 years of age. The application process is easy and can be completed on their website, however, they do not hire 15-year-olds.
Can You Work at Walmart at 15?
Walmart is another store that requires workers to be at least 16 years old to work there, so, unfortunately, no, you can’t be 15 and work at Walmart.
Other Local Businesses and Places That Hire 15-Year-Olds
Other entertainment venues like local bowling alleys, indoor rocking climbing centers, bounce house venues, and arcades will hire teenagers as well.
Let’s explore some of these options now.
28. AMC Theaters
Many movie theaters will hire teens but AMC Theaters is notable for doing so. The company has over 600 locations across the United States and will hire those as young as 14 in some states.
Available jobs for teens include the concession stand, usher, and cashier positions.
Hersheypark is an amusement park located in Hershey, Pennsylvania and it regularly hires 14 and 15-year-olds for specific roles.
These jobs include positions in serving food, retail, and lifeguard. Employees receive perks, too, like free admission to the park, free tickets for family, discounts on merchandise, and more.
30. Six Flags
Six Flags is another popular amusement park that hires those younger than 16 on occasion.
They have 25 locations across the U.S. and hire teens for positions in food service, hosting, lifeguards, retail, and game attendants.
Be sure to check out the specific hiring practices of your local Six Flags to ensure they hire 15-year-olds before applying.
Gig Economy Ideas
Another thing to consider when mulling over your work options as a 15-year-old is the gig economy.
Gig-based work has exploded over the past decade, providing numerous opportunities for teenagers to gain work experience without having to commit to even a part-time job.
Here are several gig ideas that routinely make use of 15-year-old labor.
31. Babysitting at Care.com
Babysitting has been a staple teen job for decades now, but your efforts can actually go beyond that of watching your younger siblings or the neighbor kid down the street.
You can actually get hired for babysitting gigs on a website like Care.com.
This site allows you to create a parent-monitored account where you can view available jobs in your general vicinity.
If you have some skills in writing or data entry already, you can put them to work by freelancing for online businesses.
While you shouldn’t expect to make a lot of money straight away, this is a fantastic way to build a portfolio of work that can be used to impress college recruiters and future employers.
A few places to look for freelance work include:
33. Graphic Design
If you’re experienced with the computer, then pursuing freelance work as a graphic designer is a logical choice.
It’s just one of many high-paying work-from-home jobs you can pursue at just about any age.
To get started, you can offer your services to friends and family or local, trusted businesses.
From there, you can create a website to showcase your work and use that to apply to open positions.
34. Paper Route
A tried and true first job is over the illustrious paper route. Many kids and teens aim to make some extra money by taking on a paper route.
Though there aren’t as many newspapers as there used to be, it’s still a decent way to make some money and build your work experience.
35. Dog Walking at Rover
Walking people’s dogs is another great way to earn extra money as a 15-year-old.
You can ask neighbors or family friends if they need this service or set up an account on a website like Rover.com and promote your services that way.
If you do a good job, you’ll gain a positive reputation on the site and that can help you net new work.
36. Pet Sitting
Pet sitting is always an option, too. Care.com often has job ads for pet sitters but you can find opportunities by asking around, looking in the classifieds, or even just letting those you know that you’re available for this service when they go on vacation.
37. Sell Arts and Crafts
If you like to make things, then you can monetize that effort by selling your arts and crafts online.
You can do this in any way you’d like. Some people set up Etsy shops to sell their goods there.
Or, if you wish to do business in person, you can set up shop at Christmas markets, local craft fairs, and boutiques. Whatever you make, there is certain to be a market for it.
38. Lawn Mowing
If you enjoy spending time outdoors, you could always offer to mow your neighbor’s lawns.
This is a popular job for kids over the summer and it’s a great way to make some extra money.
Just make sure your state doesn’t have restrictions against those under 16 using powered equipment – like a lawnmower – before you get invested and start seeking out clients.
You could also offer your services as a housekeeper or cleaner. Many people would be grateful at the offer to have their homes cleaned.
And if you’re good at maintaining or cleaning specific things, state that when offering your services.
For instance, many would pay a bit extra to have their electronics properly cleaned.
40. Mother’s Helper
New mothers are overwhelmed and offering your services as a mother’s helper or assistant can take some of the pressure off of her.
You’d be responsible for tidying up areas in the house and completing simple chores like cleaning baby bottles and preparing the kids’ meals.
Sometimes you may be tasked with running simple errands, too.
Online Survey Sites You Could Consider
If you want a way to make money that’s a bit less structured, you could always take online surveys. These are not very time-consuming and they can just be explored on the side of a normal job.
The following three options accept 15-year-olds.
41. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is a popular survey website on which you can earn points that can be redeemed for cash.
Once you accumulate 1,000 points ($10) you can cash out via PayPal.
Another option is Swagbucks, which lets you earn cashback for completing specific activities like taking surveys and polls or watching videos.
You earn points for your tasks completed and can cash out via PayPal or gift card.
And another option is InboxDollars, which rewards you for taking surveys and watching videos.
You can earn cash back on shopping and for playing games, too. Then just cash out via PayPal when you’re ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we go, here are a few answers to your frequently asked questions about the places that hire 15-year-olds.
Can a 15-year-old get a job in the US?
Yes, many states permit 15-year-olds to get jobs in the United States.
What’s the best place to work at 15?
Restaurants and grocery stores are the places that most typically hire 15-year-olds.
What jobs hire at 15?
Many jobs hire at 15, including restaurants, grocery stores, general stores, amusement parks, indoor entertainment venues, and movie theaters. Gig economy work makes use of 15-year-old labor, too.
What jobs pay the most at 15?
Restaurants and grocery stores often start with 15-year-olds at minimum wage. Gig work means you can set your own rates, but your tax obligation will be higher.
Wrapping Up This List of Places That Hire at 15
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of who hires at 15 so you can start getting your applications out there.
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