Growing up in rural Maine in the 1990s, it seemed like there were three types of teens - the teens who could not wait to get their work papers so that they could start earning money for things they really wanted to buy, the teens who were lucky enough to not have to work (and could enjoy their last few years of being without responsibilities), and the kids who were forced to work at their family businesses.

Most of us, it seemed, fell into this first category.  We wanted nothing more than to earn cash so that we could stop begging our parents for money to buy the stuff we really wanted.  That video game, that CD (that's what we listened to music on back then), those pants, or that car.

Even though a lot of things have changed since then, kids still want to earn cash.

If you are the parent of a pre-teen or young teen who really wants to earn their own money, you may have been wondering when they can legally start working.

Not a big surprise, but that answer depends on a few factors.  Mainly, what type of job they are going to be working.

According to the State of Maine website, teens as young as 14 can work, as long as the jobs are not hazardous.

The site says, in part:

14 and 15 year olds may work in most businesses, except in occupations declared hazardous and jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities. 16 and 17 year olds may work in most businesses, however not in hazardous jobs. These provisions also provide limited exemptions. Contact the Bureau of Labor Standards for details.

Additionally, there are regulations regarding when, and for how many hours, a teen can work.  For example, teens aged 14 and 15 cannot work more than three hours on a school day and cannot work more than eight hours on a weekend or vacation day.  They also cannot work more than six days in a row.  They also cannot work before 7 AM or after 7 PM (during the school year).  During summer vacation they can't work after 9 PM.

And, of course, teens under 16 need to have a work permit that is approved by superintendent of schools.

The rules for 16 and 17 year olds are similar, but less strict.

Get all the details HERE

What was your first job?  How old were you when you worked there?  Let us know by sending us a message inside our app.

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