Help for Students Seeking Summer Jobs

Students can hear a lot about getting a job, whether it’s their parents telling them to get a job to keep occupied or being influenced by other students getting a job to make money. Finding a job can be overwhelming, though. Age itself can create confusion, as there are many different requirements depending on age. Navigating these requirements can be difficult, but this article is here to help walk students through the process of getting a summer job.

The first step in pursuing a job as a teenager is understanding Virginia’s child labor laws. Minors aged 14 and 15 are not allowed to work before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. during the school year. In the summer, minors are allowed to work until 9 p.m., but may not start work before 7 a.m. During the school year, minors aged 14 and 15 can work no more than 18 hours in a school week, with a maximum of three hours of work each school day. They are allowed to work 8 hours on a day with no school, and 40 hours on weeks with no school. A 30 minute break must be taken after five consecutive hours of work. There are no hour restrictions for minors aged 16 and older.

A work permit is required in order to work at ages 14 or 15. Work permits can be obtained from a school counselor. There are two kinds, an intention to employ and a permission to employ. An intention to employ is completed by the employer and clearly states the work that will be done. A permission to employ is completed by the parent or guardian and allows the minor to be employed. Three copies of the work permit are needed: one to be kept at work, one to be kept at school, and one to be sent to the Department of Labour and Industry. A new work permit is needed for each job.

All of these requirements beg the question, where can minors work? A list outlining various categories grouped by age is below:

Ages 12+

  • Newspaper delivery
  • Farm work

Ages 14+

  • Restaurants
  • Offices
  • Gas stations
  • Skating rinks
  • Lifeguard
  • Yard work (grass cutting)
  • Kitchen work, tray service, hall cleaning
  • Retail stores
  • TV and radio stations
  • Bowling alleys
  • Kennels
  • Real estate

Ages 16+

  • Manufacturing
  • Dry cleaners
  • Printing/publishing firms
  • School bus driver
  • Hotels and motels
  • Theaters
  • Garages/auto repair shops
  • Radio/TV repair
  • Fairs/Carnivals
  • Hospitals and Nursing homes
  • Processing

There are also several categories that minors of any age are not allowed to work. This includes any job that operates heavy machinery, any job around explosive or radioactive material, mining, meat-packing, roofing, fire fighting, excavation, and serving alcoholic beverages.

Several employment options are available at University Mall and in the surrounding area, with links included below.


Dunkin’ Donuts

Tropical Smoothie Cafe




Taco Bamba

Oh George