You may be an ambitious teen who’s ready and willing to work (or you simply want money), but it can be difficult to find places that hire 15-year-olds. But all is not lost! There are a number of retail stores that hire at 15.
Entry-level jobs in retail establishments are a good place to start in the workforce. They can give you experience and help you earn some cash while you navigate your way through the rest of high school. But there are a few things you should know, so read on to learn more about the rules of working as a minor, and which retailers will hire you at 15.
Do All States Allow You to Work at 15?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal minimum employment age at 14 years old. However, there are many limits that coincide with working as minor, and each state sets its own rules for hours, times, and days you are able to work. Most states will only allow you to work outside of school hours at age 15. The U.S. Department of Labor maintains a chart on specific state laws.
Are There Any Limitations to Working at 15?
While you may be ready, willing, and able to work at age 15, you are still a minor. That means there are some limitations to the days, hours, and times you can work, the jobs you can perform, and even the wages you can earn. Below are some of the limitations of working as a 15-year-old.
Hours You Can Work at 15
At age 15, you cannot work during school hours — that is, any day or week when the public school in your area is in session. Specific limitations are as follows.
You may not work:
- More than 3 hours a day on a school day (including Friday)
- More than 18 hours a week during the school year
- More than 8 hours a day on non-school days (weekends, summer, holidays)
- More than 40 hours a week during summer (or other weeks school is not in session)
- Earlier than 7 a.m. or later than 7 p.m., except between June 1 and Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.
The Department of Labor fact sheet details the work limitations for 15-year-olds.
Types of Jobs You’re Allowed to Work at 15
In addition to the hour limitations at age 15, there are also only certain jobs you may perform. It’s important to note that if it’s not listed as permitted, then it is prohibited.
At 15, you may work the following types of jobs:
- Retail jobs, including bagging, stocking, and cashiering
- Intellectual/creative positions like teaching, tutoring, acting, performing, singing
- Most office and clerical jobs
- Some food service jobs, including preparation of food and beverages, limited cooking positions, and cleaning, when performed in areas physically separate from a freezer or meat cooler
- Lifeguard positions and swimming instructor jobs, if properly certified
- Errand and delivery jobs by foot, bicycle, or public transportation
- Cleaning and yard work not including the use power-driven mowers, cutters, trimmers, edgers, or similar equipment
- Loading or unloading objects for use at a work site including rakes, hand-held clippers, and shovels;
- Limited tasks in sawmills and wood shops, with proper requirements
Learn more about specific jobs that 15 years old may perform through the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations §570.34.
Minimum Wage and Child Labor Laws
Some exceptions may apply, but in most circumstances, you must be paid at least $7.25 per hour — the federal minimum wage. Many states also have their own state minimum wage laws, so you may be paid higher depending on where you live. However, as a 15-year-old, your employer may pay you the youth minimum wage, as little as $4.25 per hour, for the first 90 days of your employment. This is not limited to your first employer, either. Anytime you change jobs under the age of 20, your new employer can pay you the youth minimum wage for the first 90 days.
Depending on where you live, you will probably also need to obtain working papers — employment certification and age certification. Review the Department of Labor chart to see if working papers are necessary for your state. If you do need working papers, you can obtain them through your school guidance office or through your state department of labor.
Retail Stores That Hire at 15
When we say retail stores, we’re talking about stores that sell goods for personal consumption rather than resale. While the first thing that comes to mind when you hear retail might be clothing stores or some other specific subgroup, you’ll find that our retail list here only has grocery stores. That’s because most retail stores that sell things other than groceries don’t start hiring until age 16 or 18.
You’ll find many of those stores, places like Gap, American Eagle, and Aeropostale, in our article about retail stores that hire at 14, 15, 16 and 17. If you’re 15 and are looking for something other than a grocery store, take a look at our list of restaurants, amusement parks, and theaters that hire at 15.
1. Giant Eagle
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Cashier, parking lot attendant, customer service, courtesy clerk, stock clerk, fuel station attendant
- Other information: While some locations hire 15-year-olds (as shown by the online applications), each Giant Eagle location has its own minimum age requirement. Be sure to call your local store for verification.
- Find a Giant Eagle near you
- Apply online at Giant Eagle
2. Giant Food
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Courtesy clerk, bagger, cashier, hourly team member
- Other information: The minimum age to work at all Giant Food locations is 14 years old, as verified by their company FAQ page. You can learn more about jobs on the Giant Food’s career page.
- Find a Giant Food near you
- Apply online at Giant Food
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Bagger, cashier associate, grocery associate
- Other information: The minimum age to work at Harveys was verified by contacting corporate customer service. Check with your local store for specific positions available to 15-year-olds, as they vary by location.
- Find a Harveys near you
- Apply online at Harveys
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Positions vary by location
- Other information: The minimum age to work at Hy-Vee is 16 at the majority of stores. However, corporate customer service verified that since stores are independently operated, they are able to set their own policy. Some may hire as young as 14, but you will need to inquire with your local store.
- Find a Hy-Vee near you
- Apply online at Hy-Vee
5. King Soopers
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Courtesy clerk
- Other information: The minimum age to work at King Soopers was verified by contacting corporate customer service.
- Find a King Soopers near you
- Apply online at King Soopers
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: (At some locations) cashier, bagger, grocery clerk, produce clerk, meat clerk, deli clerk, and bakery clerk
- Other information: The minimum age to work at Kroger is 14 at some locations, as verified by corporate customer service. Contact the store nearest you to verify the minimum hiring age at that location. Learn more about jobs at Kroger.
- Find a Kroger near you
- Apply online at Kroger
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Front service clerk, floral clerk, cashier
- Other information: Publix maintains a list of minimum age requirements to work specific positions. You can learn about the application process on their website, but you must apply in person.
- Find a Publix near you
- Apply in-person at a Publix near you
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Courtesy clerk, stocker, production clerk
- Other information: Safeway has a corporate policy regarding the minimum age requirement to work specific positions. Simply enter your age and location and the positions you qualify for will appear in a list on the following page.
- Find a Safeway near you
- Apply online at Safeway
9. Stop & Shop
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Grocery clerk, floral clerk, bakery clerk, courtesy clerk, cashier
- Other information: Only some locations will hire 15-year-olds (specifically in Rhode Island and Massachusetts), as verified on their career FAQ page. Be sure to call your local Stop & Shop for more information on hiring age for certain positions.
- Find a Stop & Shop near you
- Apply online at Stop & Shop
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Customer service associate, cashier, parking lot attendant
- Other information: While some locations hire 15-year-olds (as shown by the job descriptions), each Wegmans location has its own minimum age requirement. Be sure to call your local store for verification.
- Find a Wegmans near you
- Apply online at Wegmans
- Positions available for 15-year-olds: Bagger
- Other information: The minimum age to work at Winn-Dixie was verified by contacting corporate customer service. Check with your local store for specific positions available to 15-year-olds, as they may vary by location.
- Find a Winn-Dixie near you
- Apply online at Winn-Dixie
Retail Store that Don’t Hire at 15
The following stores do not hire 15-year-olds for any positions in their stores. Most of these stores have a minimum hiring age of 16 or 18 years old.
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Banana Republic
- Barnes & Noble
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Charlotte Russe
- Food Lion
- Forever 21
- Harris Teeter
- Hot Topic
- Old Navy
- Trader Joe’s
While you are able to work at age 15 in most states, there are limitations to be aware of. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s rules and regulations for working as a minor before you start applying.
Want to wait until 16? Here’s the list of stores that hire at 16.