HomeLocal NewsHow Old Do You Have To Be To Work In Michigan? Explained

How Old Do You Have To Be To Work In Michigan? Explained

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Do you want to start earning your own money but want to know how old you must be to work in Michigan? Or, you’re an employer seeking information about Michigan child labor laws? This post is for you!

Minors (under 18-years-olds) may face some restrictions when seeking employment or working in Michigan. They may face restrictions on the hours or jobs they can do. The Michigan labor laws are very strict. However, they help protect minors from exploitation and ensure their safety.

Our focus here is to explain the age limit allowed to work in Michigan and other things you need to know about the Wolverine State’s child labor laws. Let’s get started right away!

How Old Do You Have To Be To Work In Michigan?

The minimum age at which minors can secure employment and work in Michigan is 14 years. However, some jobs are open to kids who are much younger. 

For instance, 11-year-olds can work as an athletic referee at sports matches involving children younger than them. They can also work as golf and bridge caddies. 

A minor who’s 13 years old can secure employment to set up traps for informal clay shooting games. They can even work for their parents in the farm, shop, or restaurant. 

When you check the federal child labor laws, you’ll discover that minors can start working at 14, though this privilege comes with some exceptions. 

Furthermore, child labor laws in states can supersede the federal law. And states have the privilege to decide the jobs minors can do and required work permits.

Is Employment Certification In Michigan Mandatory For Minors To Work? 

Yes, employment certificates (work permits) are compulsory for minors (kids under 18) to work in Michigan. It will be a huge risk for anyone to employ a child without a work permit.  

Minors have to present their certificates to the employer to enable proper consultation and verification to ascertain their ability to do the job before hiring.

There are also some scenarios in which work permits won’t be compulsory for minors to work in Michigan. For instance, if you’re 16 years old, have completed the requirements for high school graduation, or boast a high school equivalency certificate, you don’t need a work permit. 

Does a 17-year-old require a work permit to work in Michigan? You’re still a minor if you’re 17 years old, but the good part is that you can work in Michigan without a permit. 

For this to happen, you must have passed your general education development (GED) test. Give the employer a copy of your certification. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) now issues a certificate. 

Michigan has made obtaining an “Employment Certificate” easier for minors who want to work. They can get it via their schools by contacting a school administrator or guidance counselor. 

On the other hand, Employment Certificates aren’t just issued to anyone. The minor requesting it must meet the state’s criteria for employment. 

Is Age Certification In Michigan Mandatory For Minors To Work?

Age certification is another crucial process when hiring minors. Michigan’s child labor laws are pretty strict. In addition, the law varies from one age group to another. 

Minors seeking employment have to provide proof of their age to employers. The reason for this is simple. When employers know the minors’ age, they’ll ensure they follow the state’s child labor law appropriately. 

Therefore, if you’re under 18 years old, age certification is compulsory for you. You must present proof-of-age documentation to your employers.   

With proof-of-age, employers can conduct thorough investigations to ascertain the minors’ age and ensure the state’s child labor laws are obeyed. 

What Is The Minimum Wage For Minors In Michigan?  

The minimum wage minors (under 18 years old) receive in Michigan is around $7.87 per hour for some jobs. Note that retail establishments and recreational or amusement jobs have slightly lower rates. 

It is worth stating also that minors working in their parents’ businesses, working over 25 hours, and meeting school attendance requirements aren’t subject to the state’s $7.87 hourly minimum wage for minors.   

How Old Should You Be To Get A Job At McDonald’s In Michigan? 

When it comes to hiring minors, employers are always cautious. The penalties for employing a minor and not following labor laws are severe. In addition, it can damage a brand’s reputation.

The legal age to work in Michigan is 14. It’s also the minimum age under federal child labor laws. But the minimum age to secure a job at McDonald’s in Michigan is 16.  

The fast food chain brand won’t consider hiring minors below 16 years. So, you’re better off with other jobs if you’re below 16. Furthermore, note that you’ll need a work permit if you’re less than 18 years old. 

Therefore, if you’re a minor looking for a job at McDonald’s, ensure your work permit is ready. Your local government office or school authorities are tasked with signing the license.  

A Handy Tip: Michigan has a Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarette Sales Act, which every employee under 21 must comply with. It forbids individuals under the age of 21 from the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco.    

Can Minors Work Late In Michigan During School?   

The Michigan child labor laws are clear on when children can work. Minors can’t work when school is in session or during school hours. However, some exceptions exist where a minor can be allowed to work. But everything is subject to the child’s age and job.   

In Michigan, minors aged 14-15 can only work 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. In addition, they can only work 3 hours daily during school days. On weekends or non-school days, they can work up to 8 hours daily. 

Furthermore, the summer is when minors can work more extended periods. During these periods, they can work up to 9 p.m. They can even work up to 8 hours per day.  

The work hours are slightly higher for minors between 16-17. They can work 4 hours daily during school and up to 8 hours daily on non-school days, including during summer.    

Workday for minors in this age group can also be extended to 9 p.m. 

 A Handy Tip: It is worth noting that minors aren’t allowed to do hazardous jobs or work without supervision. Employers should always request work permits and age certifications to verify minors’ ages and ensure they employ them in the proper position. 

What Are The Restricted Jobs In Michigan For 16 And 17 Year Olds? 

Not all jobs are open to minors. And hiring minors for these restricted jobs is a gross violation of the Michigan child labor laws. 

The offense is a serious one, and so are the penalties. So, if you plan to hire minors to work for you, ensure you aren’t hiring them to do the following jobs. 

  • Motor vehicle jobs
  • Garbage cart jobs
  • Laminator jobs
  • Tire changing jobs
  • Tanning (animal hides)
  • Work involving knives
  • Sawmill and logging jobs
  • Handling silica or clay products
  • Work with hot oils or grease
  • Dispensing propane gas
  • Jobs involving boats or other watercrafts 
  • Jobs that include using power drills (over 3/8 inch)
  • Work with explosives or loaded firearms
  • Slaughtering, meat packing, and rendering
  • Jobs that involve working in a hoisting apparatus
  • Jobs in mines and quarries   
  • Construction jobs (excluding specific cleanup tasks)
  • Jobs involving respiratory equipment
  • Work with power-driving machines
  • Exposure to blood-borne pathogens
  • Pharmacies and prescription drug delivery
  • Handling of radioactive materials or self-luminous compounds  

Note that even with supervision, employing minors for these jobs is illegal. 

What Are The Restricted Jobs In Michigan For 14 And 15 Year Olds? 

You cannot hire minors 14 to 15 years to do the following jobs. It’s against the state laws and could land you in trouble. Check out the positions below. 

  • Jobs involving the use of sewing machines in the manufacturing process
  • Welding jobs or involving the use of welding machines  
  • Jobs involving the use of scaffolds or even ladders
  • Extinguishment of fires
  • Jobs that involve working in a confined space. 
  • Construction jobs (cleanup inclusive)
  • Work with snow blowers
  • Work on or close to conveyor belts
  • Peddling or door-to-door sales for profit. 
  • Operation or maintenance of rides in amusement parks. 


How old do you have to be to work in Michigan? The legal age to work in Michigan is 14. You can also work in Michigan under 14, but the jobs are minimal.

As a minor, you’ll require certain documents to work in Michigan. These include employment and age certification. The employment certification confirms that you meet the state’s requirement to work as a minor. 

The age certification helps employers verify the minors’ age and ensure they follow the state’s labor laws.  

There are specific jobs minors cannot do. You can see the list of restricted jobs in this post.  

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.


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