Indiana Child Labor Law

Last update: June 10, 2023

Minimum Hiring Age in Indiana

What is the minimum age to be employed in Indiana? The legal age to work in Indiana is 14, but governed by state and federal child labor laws and varies based on:

  • The type of work (e.g., agricultural or non-agricultural)
  • Whether the job is considered hazardous or has prohibited duties.
  • Whether school is in session.
  • The legal status of the minor (e.g., emancipated minors).
  • Whether the job is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

According to Federal Law (FLSA), a minor must be at least 14 years old to work for an employer (e.g. retail stores, food service establishments and gasoline service stations), with an exception for minors working for a parent or legal guardian who owns the business. This is the reason why you will never see job postings for children under the age of 14.

Age Restrictions

None (18 years of age to sell tobacco products; 19 years of age can "ring-up" the sale of alcoholic beverages in the course of their employment at a drug or grocery store if there is at least one other employee on the licensed premise who is 21 years of age or older)

Minimum age to drive motor vehicles (cars and small trucks) on public roads as part of jobs is basically 17 years old, with certain requirements.

Minimum age to serve and bartend alcohol in Indiana:

Beer Wine Spirits
Serve 19 19 19
Bartend 21 21 21

Work Hours

  • 14: Restricted to: 3 hours per school day; 8 hours per non-school day; 18 hours per school week; 40 hours per non-school week; No work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. (except 9:00 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day)
  • 16: Restricted to: 8 hours per school day; 9 hours per day not followed by a school day; 30 hours per week; 40 hours per school week; 48 hours per non-school week; No more than 6 working days per week; No work before 6:00 a.m.; Work until 10:00 p.m. on nights followed by a school day; Work until 12:00 a.m. on nights not followed by a school day.
  • 17: 16's Restrictions apply but working: Until 10:00 p.m. on nights followed by a school day; Until 11:30 p.m. on nights followed by a school day; Until 1:00 a.m. on nights followed by a school day, but not on consecutive nights and not more than two school nights per week is permitted.
  • 18: Unrestricted

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
3 hours per school day
8 hours per non-school day
18 hours per school week
40 hours per non-school week
There is no days per week restriction.

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
- May not begin work before 7:00 a.m. or end after 7:00 p.m., but may work until 9:00 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, except on a night followed by a school day.
- May not work during school hours on a school day, except for certain entertainment related activities as set forth in IC 22-2-18.1-14.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
16 and 17-year-old minors enrolled in school may not work for more than nine hours in any one day, 40 hours in a school week, 48 hours in a non-school week, and six days in any one week.

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
- May work until 10:00 p.m. on nights followed by a school day, but not in an occupation determined by the commissioner of labor to be dangerous or injurious to health or morals.
- May work until 11:00 p.m. on nights followed by a school day with written parental permission on file in the employer's office.
- No end of work restrictions, other than maximum daily or weekly hours, on nights not followed by a school day.
- May not work in an establishment open to the public between 10:00 p.m. & 6:00 a.m. unless another employee at least 18 years of age also works during the same hours as the minor.
- May be employed at the same daily and weekly hours and at the same times of day as adults if the minor, 1) is a high school graduate, 2) has completed an approved career and technical education program or special education program, or 3) is not enrolled in a regular school term.

Work Permit

Employers are only required to register in YES if they employ 5 or more minors. Employers may voluntarily register on YES if they employ 4 or less minors. https://er.dol.in.gov/ Age certification is not issued.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in Indiana is $7.25. FLSA allow employers to pay a youth minimum wage of not less than $4.25 an hour to employees who are under 20 years of age during the first 90 consecutive calendar days after initial employment.


Next reading: Find jobs for teens in Indiana

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