North Dakota Child Labor Law

Last update: June 10, 2023

Minimum Hiring Age in North Dakota

What is the minimum age to be employed in North Dakota? The legal age to work in North Dakota 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

  • Under 16: No child under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work in, as or about, or in connection with:
    • Employment involving the use of any power driven machinery.
    • Construction work other than cleaning, errandrunning, moving, stacking, loading, or unloading materials by hand.
    • Lumbering or logging operations and Sawmills or planing mills.
    • Manufacture, disposition, or use of explosives.
    • Operation of any steam boiler, steam machinery, or steam generating apparatus, operation or assisting in the operation of laundry machinery and operating or assisting in the operation of passenger or freight elevators
    • Preparing any composition in which dangerous or poisonous acids are used
    • Work in a mine or quarry.
    • Manufacture of goods for immoral purposes.
    • Any other employment not herein specifically enumerated that may be considered dangerous to life or limb or in which health may be injured or morals depraved.
    • Occupations which involve working on an elevated surface, with or without the use of safety equipment, including ladders and scaffolds in which the work is performed higher than six feet off of the ground.
    • Security positions or occupations that require the use of a firearm or other weapon.
    • Door-to-door sales of any kind.
    • Occupations involving the loading, handling, mixing, applying, or working around or near any fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides, or any other chemicals, toxins, or heavy metals.
    • Occupations in or in connection with medical or other dangerous wastes.
    • Occupations which involve the handling or storage of blood, blood products, body fluids, and body tissues.
    • Cooking, baking, grilling, or frying.
    • Warehouse or storage work.
    • Trucking or commercial driving.
    • Additionally, any employment which would compel the person to remain standing constantly is prohibited.
  • Over 16: Unrestricted.
21 to work as a bartender or to sell alcohol in a liquor store; 19 to serve alcohol in a restaurant if supervised by someone 21 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 North Dakota:


Work Hours

  • Under 16: Minors under the age of 16 may maximum work:
    • 3 hours on a school day.
    • 18 hours in a school week.
    • 8 hours on a non-school day.
    • 40 hours in a non-school week.
    • Labor Days: May 31 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; June 1 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Over 16: Unrestricted.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
8-40-6 school day/week: 3-18 if not exempted from school attendance.

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
Not regulated

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
Not regulated

Work Permit

Teens ages 14 and 15 must file an Employment and Age Certificate with the Department of Labor and Human Rights. Age certification is not required, but an age certificate is required by law to be provided on request for 16 years old and older.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in North Dakota 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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