Income Artist

How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At McDonald’s?

Author: jack
Published:February 15, 2024
7 mins 21 secs

If you’re considering a job at McDonald’s, one of the first questions you might have is how old do you have to be to work at McDonald’s?

Globally, McDonald’s is known for being a go-to first job for many teenagers, and its policies on hiring age reflect that.

The minimum age to work at a McDonald’s restaurant does vary by the country and the local laws.

In the United States, the typical minimum age is 14 or 15 years old for entry-level positions.

However, for certain positions, especially those involving equipment operation or managerial responsibilities, there might be higher age requirements due to safety or legal considerations.

It’s important to note that age requirements can also differ between company-owned stores and franchised locations, as franchisees may set their own hiring policies within the framework of local laws.

To get the most accurate information, it’s best to reach out directly to the McDonald’s location where you’re interested in working.

That way, you can find out the specific age requirements, any need for work permits if you’re under a certain age, and how the hiring process works.

It’s also an opportunity to inquire about the types of roles available for young workers and the potential for growth and educational opportunities within the company.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At McDonald’s?

When considering a job at McDonald’s, it’s important to know the minimum age requirement which varies by country and sometimes even within different states or regions within a country.

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Age Variance By Country

  • United States: Generally, you can start working at McDonald’s at 14 years old.
  • Other Countries: The minimum age can be different, typically starting at 14 or 15 years old, but it’s always best to check the specific laws in your country.

Age Variance By State Or Region

  • Within the U.S.: Some states may have specific regulations that can alter the minimum age for employment.
  • Franchise vs. Company-Owned: Age requirements may also differ between company-owned restaurants and franchises, so directly contacting your local McDonald’s is advised.

Application Process

To start your journey towards working at McDonald’s, you’ll want to explore available positions at your local restaurant.

Your first step is to visit the McDonald’s Careers website.

Here’s a simple guide to help you through:

  • Select your job category: Choose from crew member positions, management, or support roles according to your interest and experience.
  • Find a location: Input your zip code to locate nearby McDonald’s restaurants.
  • Review job details: Each job listing provides specifics on duties, requirements, and the hiring age, which can vary by location.
  • Prepare your application: If you’re between 14-15 years old, double-check the age requirement for the specific restaurant, as some places may require you to be 16.
  • Submit your application: Fill out the form with your personal details, educational background, and any previous work experience.
  • Privacy rights: For residents of California, note that you can exercise your privacy rights regarding your application.
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Remember, for any queries during the application process, feel free to contact the store directly or utilize the McDonald’s Restaurant Locator for assistance.

McDonald’s typically responds to applications through the contact information you provide, so ensure your email and phone number are accurate. Good luck!

Work Permits And Legal Considerations

When you’re looking to work at McDonald’s, it’s essential to understand the legalities that govern employment, particularly if you’re underage.

Here’s what you need to know about work permits and the legal considerations you might face.

Parental Consent

If you’re under 18, you’ll often need parental consent to work at McDonald’s.

This involves your parents signing a permission form that allows you to be employed.

It’s a standard requirement for minors and serves to ensure that your guardians are on board with your decision to work.

Working Hour Restrictions

For your well-being and to comply with labor laws, there are specific working hour restrictions in place for minors.

These restrictions are often strict for 14 and 15-year-olds, limiting work hours to after school and not during school hours.


As a 16 or 17-year-old, you may find the restrictions slightly less stringent, but you’ll still have limitations compared to adult workers.

  • 14 and 15 years old:
    • Work is typically restricted to:
      • 3 hours on a school day
      • 18 hours in a school week
      • 8 hours on a non-school day
      • 40 hours in a non-school week
  • 16 and 17 years old:
    • May have more flexible work hours but are still prohibited from working during school hours.

Documentation Needed

To work at McDonald’s, the documentation you need might include:

  • A work permit or employment certificate issued by your school or state department of labor.
  • Proof of age, such as a birth certificate or school record.
  • Social Security card for tax processing purposes.

Remember, specific requirements can vary by state, so check with your local McDonald’s and state labor department for exact details.

Job Opportunities For Minors

When considering a job at McDonald’s as a minor, you have various options that cater to your age and the legal working requirements.

These jobs can be a great way to gain work experience and start building a career path.

Entry-Level Positions

For your first foray into the workforce, McDonald’s offers entry-level positions that typically require you to be at least 14 or 15 years old.

Position availability can vary based on local laws and the specific policies of the franchise, but here are common roles you might step into:

  • Crew Member: As a crew member, you’ll learn valuable skills like customer service, teamwork, and time management.
  • Cashier: Working the register will help you develop money-handling skills and interact with a diverse clientele.
  • Kitchen Staff: Gain experience in food preparation and learn about kitchen safety and hygiene protocols.
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Remember, working hours for 14 to 15-year-olds are usually limited to non-school hours, 3 hours on school days, and 18 hours in a school week.

Career Advancement

While starting in an entry-level position, you’re not limited to that job forever.

McDonald’s is known for promoting from within, so you have the opportunity for career advancement, even as a minor:

  • Shift Manager: After gaining experience and demonstrating strong performance, you could become a shift manager, where you’ll oversee other employees and manage store operations during your shift.
  • Crew Trainer: If you excel at your job, you could also become a crew trainer, where you’ll help new employees learn the ropes.

These roles not only pay more but also help you develop leadership skills that could benefit your long-term career aspirations, whether they’re with McDonald’s or elsewhere.

Employee Benefits And Learning Opportunities

Working at McDonald’s comes with various employee benefits that you should be aware of.

fast food kitchen staff

These benefits enhance your work experience and support your personal growth within the company. Here’s a concise list of what you could expect:

Health & Insurance Benefits:

  • Medical Insurance: Essential health coverage is provided.
  • Dental & Vision Insurance: Eye care and dental work are covered.

Career Advancement:

  • Archways to Opportunity: Gain access to educational opportunities including earning a high school diploma, tuition assistance for college credits, and English as a second language courses.

Financial Benefits:

  • Competitive Pay: You’ll receive a paycheck that is competitive in the fast-food industry.
  • 401(k) Plans: Future planning is made easier with McDonald’s matching contributions.

Work-Life Balance:

  • Paid Time Off: Enjoy vacation or personal time to relax and rejuvenate.
  • Flexible Hours: McDonald’s accommodates varying schedules which can help you balance work with personal life or education.

Additional Perks:

  • Employee Discounts: Enjoy discounts on meals and potentially other retail partners.
  • Uniforms: Often provided by the restaurant, reducing your work attire expenses.

Remember, specific benefit offerings can vary depending on the location and whether the restaurant is company-owned or franchised.

Your experience at McDonald’s not only provides financial compensation but also offers a path for professional and personal advancement.

Key Takeaways

Minimum Age Requirements

  • Generally: You must be at least 14 years old to work at McDonald’s.
  • Varies by Location: Some restaurants might hire you at 16 or even require you to be 18, depending on the job role and local laws.

Working Conditions for Minors

  • Restrictions: If you’re 14 or 15, your working hours are limited. For example, you can only work 3 hours per day on school days.

Hiring Policies

  • Differ Between Restaurants: Company-owned and franchised stores may have different hiring practices, so it’s important to check with the specific McDonald’s you are interested in.

How to Apply

  • Application Process: It’s quite straightforward.
  • Visit the McDonald’s Restaurant Locator page to find out which locations are hiring.

Job Opportunities

  • Roles Available: Options range from crew members to management positions.
  • Minors typically can hold positions like cashier, cleaning, and kitchen staff.
AgePositions AvailableHour RestrictionsNote
14-15Cashier, Cleaning, Kitchen StaffLimited hours on school daysCheck specific location for exact policies
16+Wider availability of positionsLikely have fewer hourly restrictions
18+Potential for roles with more responsibilitySome locations might prefer this age for certain roles

Remember to contact individual McDonald’s restaurants to confirm their hiring requirements.