The Minimum Legal Age to Work in Hawaii

Marina, Waikiki

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If you're a Hawaiian and you want to start your first job, you should find out the minimum legal working age in your state before launching your job search. If you are eligible to work, then congratulations. You're about to begin earning money for a car, clothing, college or the latest digital device. If you need to work to support yourself (or your family), you still need to know how many hours you can legally work, and other job restrictions.

Age Requirements for Working in Hawaii

The minimum age one can work in Hawaii is 14. That's the same age that federal child labor laws generally set as the minimum working age. Sometimes state child labor laws conflict with the federal law's minimum age to work but not in this case. If there were a conflict, the more stringent law would be enforced.

In certain circumstances, children younger than 14 are allowed to work. Hawaii allows minors under age 14 to work as models, dancers, singers, musicians, entertainers or as performers in motion pictures, on television or radio or in theaters under conditions determined by the Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

If you're not a performer but you're under age 14, you're not out of luck because Child labor laws generally don't prohibit children from doing household chores, babysitting or delivering newspapers. The same holds true for those working in their family's business or on the family farm.

Before youth enter the workforce, they should consult the rules surrounding the child labor laws.

Certificates Required For Work

Hawaii state law requires child employment certificates for youth under age 16. Certificates can be obtained online and returned in person or by mail along with proof of age (e.g., birth certificate, driver's license or permit, court record, State of Hawaii ID, etc.) and signatures from a parent and the employer.

What Hours Teens Can Work

Although teens ages 14 to 15 can work in a wide range of jobs (including in grocery stores, offices, restaurants, and hospitals) their hours are limited. Hawaiian youth this age can't work more than three hours during a school day, 18 hours during a school week, eight hours during a non-school day or 40 hours during a non-school week.

Additionally, teens must work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except on non-school days when working hours extend from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Teens ages 16 to 17 do not have restrictions on hours except when they are supposed to be in school. They also need a Certificate of Age, which they can obtain online.


Teens of all ages are not allowed to work in jobs that expose them to hazards that might cause injuries, death or adverse health effects.

For more information on the minimum age to work in Hawaii and how to obtain employment certificates visit the Hawaii State Labor Website.