Work Permits

Proof of Age & Required Age for Legal Employment

Generally, youths must be at least 14 years of age to be employed in non-farm work. Limited exceptions exist. Proof of age includes a birth certificate, driver's license or learner's permit, school, insurance or bible records, or other documents approved by the Department of Social Services and/or the N C. Department of Labor.
 Youth Employment Certificate

Prohibited Hazardous & Detrimental Occupations

State and/or federal regulations prohibit the employment of youths under 18 in these occupations:
  • Any process where quartz or any form of silicon dioxide or asbestos silicate is present in powdered form *
  • Any work involving exposure to benzol or any benzol compound, which is volatile or can penetrate the skin *
  • Any work involving exposure to lead or any of its compounds in any form. *
  • Excavation operations *
  • Exposure to radioactive substances
  • Handling of unsterilized hides or animal or human hair *
  • Logging and saw-milling
  • Manufacturing and storing explosives
  • Manufacturing brick and tile
  • Mining
  • Motor-vehicle driving and outside helper (Limited exemption for driving under state law only)
  • Power-driven bakery machines
  • Power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears *
  • Power-driven hoisting apparatus
  • Power-driven metal forming, punching and shearing machines *
  • Power-driven paper products machines *
  • Power-driven woodworking machines *
  • Roofing operations *
  • Slaughtering or meat-packing, processing or rendering *
  • Spray painting *
  • Welding *
  • Wrecking, demolition and ship breaking operations
* Limited exceptions exist for 16 and 17 year old apprentices and student learners in these occupations. Contact N C. Wage and our office for details.

Permitted/Prohibited Occupations for 14 & 15-year-olds

Generally, these youths can only work in office and clerical work, and retail sales and service, including food service and gasoline service stations, but cannot work in manufacturing, construction or occupations involving the use of power-driven machinery, including lawn mowers.

Work Restrictions at Businesses with an ABC On-premises License

No youth under 16 years of age may be employed in any job on the premises of the establishment holding an ABC license for the on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages. A limited exception exists for children of the sole owner of the establishment. 16 and 17 year old youths may be employed at such establishments, so long as they do not prepare, serve, dispense or sell any alcoholic beverage.

Hours/Time Restrictions for 14 & 15-year-olds

Youths, 14 and 15 years old, may not be employed:
  • During school hours (except as provided for in Work Experience and Career Exploration Programs).
  • Before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. except during the summer when school is not in session than it extends to after 9 p.m.
  • More than 3 hours per day on school days.
  • More than 18 hours per week during the school week.
  • More than 8 hours per day on non-school days.
  • More than 40 hours per week during non-school weeks.
Note: No youth under 16 years of age shall be employed for more than five consecutive hours without an interval of at least 30 minutes for rest. No period of less than 30 minutes shall be deemed to interrupt a continuous period of work. This restriction applies to employers who are only subject to state youth employment laws and not to employers who are subject to federal child labor laws.

Hours/Time Restrictions for 16 & 17-year-olds

During the regular school term, no youth under 18 years of age who is enrolled in grade 12 or lower may be employed between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. when there is school for the youth the next day. This restriction does not apply to youths 16 and 17 if the employer receives written approval for the youth to work beyond the stated hours from the youth's parent or guardian and from the youth's principal or the principal's designee, nor does it apply to any youth who has dropped out of school and who is only enrolled in a GED program or a community or technical college.