A List of Jobs That Allow You to Work at 15

by Emily Weller; Updated September 26, 2017

The Fair Labor Standards Act in the United States has established child labor laws that strictly govern the number of hours a teenager under age 16 can work and what sort of jobs he can perform. In the United States, 15-year-olds cannot work past 7 p.m. during the school year on both weekdays and weekends. They are limited to three-hour shifts on weekdays and eight hour shifts on weekends, for a maximum of 18 hours a week during the school year. A 15-year-old may still find a job at a number establishments, including restaurants, stores and movie theaters.

Grocery Store Employee

You can work in a grocery at age 15, provided you do not perform any duties that the Department of Labor considers hazardous. For instance, a 15-year-old can bag a customer's groceries and carry them out to her car, but cannot use a meat slicer in the deli. A 15-year-old cannot bake at a grocery store or work in its deep freezer. She can go into the freezer briefly to retrieve items for stocking, though. Fifteen-year-olds are permitted to work as cashiers at grocery stores and perform cleanup duties, such as vacuuming and wiping down surfaces.

Lifeguard

If a 15-year-old receives certification from the Red Cross, he can work as a lifeguard. As a lifeguard, his primary task is to keep an eye on a swimming area to prevent accidents and save any swimmers from drowning. He may also teach swimming lessons if he is properly trained and certified by the Red Cross. Other common lifeguard duties that a 15-year-old can perform include cleaning the pool, testing the water's temperature and pH and conducting swimming meets.

Dishwasher/Busser

A 15-year-old can operate the dishwasher at a restaurant and can be employed as a busser, or the person who clears the tables after people have finished dining. As a dishwasher or busser, she can also perform duties such as sweeping and mopping the floor and wiping down surfaces. She can only clean kitchen surfaces and equipment that is less than 100 degrees in temperature, though. Additionally, a 15-year-old employed in a restaurant setting may use certain appliances as needed, such as a toaster, microwave and a blender.

Usher

A 15-year-old who's into movies may want to get a job at a movie theater as an usher or cashier. An usher takes people's tickets, directs them to the right theater and helps them find seats in crowded theaters. He may also help guests by adjusting the sound of the picture or lowering the temperature in the theater. He'll have to provide customer service and be able to enforce the theater's rules, such as not allowing minors to see restricted films.

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.