The Minimum Legal Age to Work in New Mexico

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If you live in New Mexico and are pondering getting your first job, you need to find out what the minimum legal working age in your state is. Are you old enough to work in New Mexico? If so, you can start saving for nights out on the town, the latest video games, new clothing, and school expenses.

But if you need to work because you're a teen on your own or your family members don't make enough money to support everyone in the household, you'll need to find out how many hours you can work to stay afloat.

How Old Teens Must Be to Work in New Mexico

Both federal child labor laws and New Mexico state law agree that the minimum age to work is 14 (with some exceptions). However, child labor laws in each state may also indicate the minimum age to work and which permits are needed. When there is a conflict between federal and state laws, the more restrictive law will apply.

That said, children younger than 14 do have options. Child labor laws do not restrict them from performing household chores for pay or yard work (without power-driven tools), acting, modeling, babysitting or delivering newspapers. So, these odd jobs can help tweens and children earn some extra cash as well.

Before children begin working jobs for kids, it is important to review the rules and restrictions surrounding minor labor laws, especially if they want to work regularly as they get older. Here is an overview of the requirements for juveniles to work in New Mexico. 

Certificates for Work

New Mexico state law requires child employment certificates for youth under age 16. Employment certificates are provided by the school or the Labor Department. Ask about the certificates at your school's administrative office.

Also, children ages 16 and 17 will be provided with an age certificate by request, however, it is not required under New Mexico state law. Teens can obtain an age certificate provided by the school or the Labor Department.

What Hours Teens Can Work

Although teens ages 14-15 can work in a variety of jobs, including as clerical workers, busboys/girls or grocery baggers, the hours they work are limited. Youth this age are restricted to working no more than three hours on a school day, no more than 18 hours in a school week, and no more than eight hours on a non-school day or 40 hours during a non-school week. 

Additionally, these teens are limited to working hours that fall between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except from June 1 through Labor Day, when they may work until 9 p.m.) Older teens have more flexibility in the number of hours they work and when they work.

Teens under 18 are prohibited from working in hazardous occupations that might result in serious bodily harm, death or adverse health effects. For more information on the minimum age to work in New Mexico and how to obtain employment certificates visit the New Mexico State Labor Website.