How to Obtain a Work Permit in Pennsylvania

by Charles Morin; Updated September 26, 2017
Students can work in Pennsylvania as long as they have a work permit.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires work permits for students ages 14 to 17 years old. Work permits are obtained from the student's school and local school district and come in two variations — a Vacation Work Certificate (ages 14 and 15) permits students to work when school is not in session, and a Transferable Work Certificate (ages 16 and 17) permits students to work at any time. Employers retaining students with Transferable Work Certificates are required, within 5 days, to notify the student's school of the student's hiring or termination. Work Permits are no longer required when the student turns 18 years old, even if the student is still in high school.

Items you will need

  • Government issued identification
  • Appointment with a medical provider
  • An hour of your parent's time
Step 1
Government issued identification is required.

Obtain copies of the student's birth certificate, baptismal certificate, passport, driver's license or other acceptable form of government issued identification for presentation to the issuing officer at the school's main office.

Step 2
The application is quick and easy but necessary.

Complete and sign the Application for Employment Certificate or Transferable Work Permit (Form PDE-4565 (10/91)) in the presence of the issuing official. The issuing official will verify the student's identity, endorse the work permit and issue a work permit number.

Step 3
Schedule a physical exam early so you can begin work without delay.

Schedule and undergo a physical examination with your family physician or other qualified medical provider, who should endorse the Application for Employment Certificate or Transferable Work Permit. The medical provider must certify that the student is qualified for the type of employment sought by the student.

Step 4
A job gives students a glimpse into the working world.

Ask the prospective employer to endorse Section C of the Application for Employment Certificate or Transferable Work Permit with the type of work along with the expected hours of employment. The hours the student works must be within the permitted hours for the age of the student.

Step 5
Avoid potential hassles by ensuring everyone has copies.

Make copies of the completed Application for Employment Certificate or Transferable Work Permit and send copies to both the employer and the issuing official.

Warnings

  • If your employer asks you to exceed your work hours, tell your parents or school officials. It is incumbent on the parties to the Application for Employment Certificate or Transferable Work Permit that the student not be permitted to exceed the number of hours authorized by Pennsylvania law. The Child Labor Laws are in place to protect the student.

About the Author

Charles Morin began writing professionally in 2011, offering expertise in small businesses, entrepreneurial financing and advising large complex organizations. Morin holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Temple University and a law degree from the Widener University School of Law.

Photo Credits

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