New Hampshire Child Labor Law

Last update: June 10, 2023

Minimum Hiring Age in New Hampshire

What is the minimum age to be employed in New Hampshire? The legal age to work in New Hampshire is 12, 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 (17 years of age to work as a server in a restaurant that sells alcohol and to sell alcohol 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 New Hampshire:


Work Hours

  • Minors under 16 may not work in/as:
    • Any power driven machinery, except lawn and garden machinery used in domestic service at or around a private residence, provided that, there shall be an agreement between an occupant of the private residence and the child, and by no other person, firm or corporation, other than a parent, legal custodian or guardian of the child, for the performance of such work.
    • The oiling, cleaning, maintenance, or washing of machinery.
    • Any ladders, scaffolding, or their substitute.
    • Any mine or quarry except in offices or at other non hazardous employment.
    • Stone cutting or polishing except those found in jewelry type business.
    • Any plant manufacturing, processing, storing, or transporting Type A and B explosives, ammunition, or like materials, or in an establishment in which sales of Type A and B explosive materials make up fifty percent or more of gross sales.
    • The operation of any motor vehicle.
    • Any blast furnace, rolling mill, foundry, forging shop, or in any establishment where heating of metals is carried on or where cold rolling, stamping, shearing, punching, of metal stock is carried on.
    • Saw mills, cooperage stock mills, or where woodworking machinery is used.
    • The operation of freight elevators, hoisting machines or cranes, or on or about any manlifts.
    • Occupations involving exposure to ionizing or nonionizing radiation or any radioactive substance.
    • Any occupation involving exposure to any toxic or hazardous chemicals.
    • Any capacity in or about a motel, resort, hotel, where sleeping accommodations are furnished except in offices or locations physically separated from the sleeping accommodations.
    • Any place or establishment in which intoxicating alcoholic liquors or beverages are manufactured, bottled, stored, or sold for consumption on or off the premises, except in establishments where at least fifty percent of the gross sales consist of goods, merchandise, or commodities other than alcoholic beverages.
  • No child under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work in any street occupation connected with peddling, begging, door-to-door selling or any activity pursued on or about any public street or public place. This prohibition does not apply to any public school or church or charitable fund-raising activity, or distribution of literature relating to a registered political candidate.
    • Any other occupation or place of employment dangerous to the life, limb, health, or morals of children under the age of sixteen.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
8 on non-school day, 48-hour week during vacation, if enrolled in school. school day/week: 3-23 if enrolled in school.

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
A 48-hour work week, with work up to 6-days per week, is permitted during vacation, if enrolled in school. A 30-hour work week, with work up to 6-days per week, is permitted if enrolled in school.

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
Not regulated

Work Permit

Work certificates are not required for 16- and 17-year-olds. For youth under 16-years-old, their employment certificate may be completed by their parent or the school. The Department of Safety may issue age certificates to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in New Hampshire 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.


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