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Get Your Teen a Florida Job! – Wages and Restrictions

Are you a teen looking for a summer job? There are a few legal limitations that you need to be aware of before applying. The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law controlling child labor. The FLSA sets a baseline standard for age minimums and hours worked by minors; states cannot go below this baseline. A business must comply with both state and federal child labor law and regulations, they must follow the stricter of the two standards.

Mowing lawns make great first jobs for hardworking teens.

Youth Minimum Age and Wage

According to the Department of Labor, 14 is the minimum age to work at most non-agricultural jobs, although there are some exceptions. These include:

  • Delivering newspapers
  • Acting in movies or TV
  • Working at a parent-owned business (unless your business is mining coal)
  • Babysitting
  • Minor chores around a private home

Under federal law, a 12-year-old can legally start mowing lawns or babysitting the neighbors’ kids for some summer money.

The federal youth minimum wage is $4.25 per hour, and teens can be paid this wage for the first 90 calendar days of their employment. After the 90-day period, a working teen is legally entitled to earn a summer paycheck at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, in Florida, the current (2019) state minimum wage is $8.45 per hour. Since the Florida rate is higher, you are entitled to earn this rate.

Job Restrictions

Teens between the ages of 14 and 17 are not allowed to work in jobs that the government has deemed hazardous.  Hazardous jobs include: manufacturing plants; with hazardous chemicals or substances; in construction; where they need to drive a motorized vehicle; or with power tools. Teens, however, are generally free to work in retail, food establishments, offices, and gas stations.

Hourly limits

Florida law restricts child labor for minors 14 to 17 years of age and prohibits employment of children under 14, with some limited exceptions. Both the FLSA and Florida law restrict when and how many hours minors under 16 years old may work.

Minors 16 – 17 may work up to 30 hrs/wk.  Not before 6:30 am or later than 11 pm and for no more than 8 hours a day when school is scheduled the following day. On days when school does not follow, there are no hour restrictions.  When school is not in session, there are no limitations. Employers are limited to no more than 6 consecutive days in any one week.

Florida teens aged 14 – 15 can work up to 15 hrs/wk.  Not before 7 am or after 8 pm and for no more than 3 hrs a day on school days, when a school day follows.  They may work up to 8 hrs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and on non-school days, when school days do not follow until 9 pm.  When school is not in session, they may work up to 8 hrs per day and up to 40 hrs per week. See the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for additional limitations on times and dates.

If you work in agriculture, on a farm, (not your parent’s farm), you are restricted as in other jobs. The exception occurs with 12 and 13 year-olds. They may be employed with written parental consent or on a farm where the minor’s parent is also employed; minors under 12 may be employed with written parental consent on farms where employees are exempt from the Federal minimum wage provisions.


You are required by law to verify that your age is above 14 years prior to working. The employer may request birth certificates, social security card, school photo ID with a birthdate and issue date, passport, or a driver’s license/ learner’s permit. So before you start the summer job hunt, double check with the Florida Department of Labor and find out just what you’ll need.


2 Comments on “Get Your Teen a Florida Job! – Wages and Restrictions

  1. Am having trouble with biting grats(no see ums) In our house.Tried many ways the natural way of getting rid of them. To no aval. So have gone to sprays thru many professions and much spent money.Still have the gnats. Have many items that have blue lights. not to mention other things attached ,CO2, fans ets..
    .Have gone to the many Drs. for the bites that have caused some health problems. Have treated the out side, no.standing water in our yard. Would like to know howto get rid of the bitting gnats once in for all. Going on to 4 months with this problem.Please Shirley and Jack Hook

    • Hi Shirley-
      I’m so sorry to hear of your problems with the pest. One thing that needs to be established is a positive ID on the insect. You mention no-see’ums and biting gnats, yet these are different pests. What you’ll need to do is to collect these insects and take them to your nearest extension office or to the UF Insect ID laboratory on Campus in Gainesville, FL. Here is an educational document explaining how to collect and send it in. There will be a minimal cost but when it comes to your health, you need the facts and can’t guess at the pest.
      Fungal gnats (Bradysia spp. (Insecta: Diptera: Sciaridae) feed on fungi and decaying organic matter and are not considered economic problems. Keep soil moisture levels low and dry soil out if needed.
      •Store potting soil dry, and in sealed containers.
      •Hydrated lime can be added to some soils to eliminate fungal food sources
      •Yellow sticky cards can be used to trap adults.
      Biting Midges, No-See’ums, Culicoides spp. (Insecta: diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are associated with air movement. They are sensitive to temperature and animals with a high body temperature. Increase air movement, burning repellent candles, coils, and torches containing citronella can reduce fly activity but may not provide complete protection. Because most biting flies often rest in vegetation, pruning shrubs and mowing weedy areas may promote localized environmental air flow reducing numbers of biting flies entering the area.Burning repellent candles, coils, and torches containing
      citronella or other biting fly deterrents will sometimes help. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to apply a space spray. Be sure to remove all people and pets from the dwelling, turn off air handling systems, and keep the room vacant and follow the label directions as indicated by the manufacturer. Crack-and-crevice treatments can be used to treat areas around doors and windows where biting flies can enter the house. For more information, copy and paste this link in your browser.
      Good Luck! Karen

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