Maryland Child Labor Law

Last update: June 10, 2023

Minimum Hiring Age in Maryland

What is the minimum age to be employed in Maryland? The legal age to work in Maryland 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 work as a server in a restaurant that sells alcohol and to sell wine and beer in retail stores)

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 Maryland:

Beer Wine Spirits
Serve 18 18 18
Bartend 18 18 21

Work Hours

  • 14: Not before 7:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m.; Minors may work until 9:00 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
    • When School is not in Session: Not more than 8 hours a day; work more than 40 hours in any week.
    • When School is in Session: Not more than 4 hours a day; work more than 23 hours in any week.
  • 16: May spend no more than 12 hours in a combination of school hours and work hours each day; Must be allowed at least 8 consecutive hours of non-work, non-school time in each 24 hour period.
  • 18: Unrestricted

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
8-40 school day/week: 4-23

Eight hours are permitted on both Saturday and Sunday if minor does not work outside school hours more than 6 consecutive days in a week and total hours worked outside school does not exceed 24

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
8 p.m. (9 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
12 (Combined hours of work and school)

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
8 consecutive hours of non-work, non-school day time required in each 24-hour day.

Work Permit

Work permits are required for all minors under the age of 18 to work in the State of Maryland. Age certificate is not provided.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in Maryland is $13.25. 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 Maryland