How Many Hours Can a 16-Year-Old Work in the Summer?

School is over, and you may be thinking about getting some work in the summer and spending your time wisely. Bravo if that’s the case, but before you go and find the perfect job you like, you should know how many hours you can spend per day or week on the job. 

Also, don’t be surprised if your favorite job is not permitted by FLSA as there are specific regulations regarding the safety and well-being of teens under 18. 

So, let’s jump right into the topic and see what FLSA and its teen criteria for labor are as well as how many hours a 16-year-old (or less) can work in the summer

What is FLSA?

The FLSA stands for The Fair Labor Standards Act (1938). It is federal legislation that defines wage rates, eligibility for overtime work records management, and child labor rules applicable to full-time and part-time employees in the private sector and federal, state, and municipal administrations.

The students finding a job after school is over should know that FLSA does not permit youngsters or teens under 14 to work. However, the standard doesn’t apply if the teen is doing any of the following jobs:

  • Working an actor for entertainment purposes
  • Carrying newspapers 
  • Working for any non-dangerous jobs under the observance of parents
  • Engaging in an unharmful agriculture work
  • Becoming a homeworker crafting wreaths of organic substances

How many hours can a teenager work in the summer?

The children aged 14 or 15 are allowed to work but only for specific jobs, and as for 16 or 17-year kids, they can only apply to jobs which the Department of Labor doesn’t consider dangerous for them. It includes working in meat processing machines, mining, roof work, using bandsaws, wood chippings, and more. 

Now, let’s see how many hours as a teenager you can work in the summer after school is over:

Age: 14 or 15 

According to FLSA, if the children aged 14 or 15 are in school, their working hours for part-time jobs are limited to three hours per day. As for the week, children cannot work for more than 18 hours per week while their daily job should not begin before 7 AM and end after 7 PM.

When the schools are closed, the working time for 14 or 15 years kids exceeds 8 hours per day between 7 AM to 9 PM. It takes 40 hours per week while keeping in mind the working title fits the criteria of safe jobs outlined by the Department of Labor. 

➡LEARN MORE: Are you required to go to work during a state of emergency?

Age: 16 or 17 

Kids aged 16 or 17 are not discouraged from doing any part-time job in summer unless it contains any fire, explosions, exposure to sharp objects, or any work atmosphere that puts the health and well-being of older teenagers in danger. 

However, they too have limited time slots for jobs which range between 7 AM to 7 PM with work only 3 hours per day and 18 hours per week. 

And when the school is off, 16 and 17 years old can work between 7 AM to 9 PM for 8 hours per day and no more than 40 hours per week. 


The teens under 14 are typically discouraged from working by The Fair Labor Standards Act. However, the law does put forth specific criteria for children aged 14,15, 16, and 17 doing part-time jobs to protect them from being exploited. 

As for how many hours a 16-year-old (or less) can work in the summer, according to the FLSA, kids should work 3 hours per day, 18 hours per week (7 AM to 7 PM) when school is in session, and 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week (7 AM to 9 AM) in summer after the school is off.