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Ages 14 to 17

ages 14 to 17

Balancing school and work can be difficult. Below you will find information that will make it easy for you to find out where to go for working papers, safety and health on the job, and filling out job applications and resumes while giving you the time to focus on your studies.

Working Papers: Getting You Closer to the Paycheck

  • Why Do I Need Working Papers?- Working papers serve as your official employment certificate. Working papers were established to make sure businesses do not work you too many hours while you are in school and in the summer as well.
  • How Old Do I Have to Be to Get Working Papers? -You will need working papers if you are under 18 years old. Working papers are divided into two age groups (14-15 and 16-17):
    • 14-15 year olds - Your working papers are blue. If you are 14 and 15 years old, you are issued these working papers because you are not allowed to work in a factory.
    • 16-17 year olds (in school) - Your working papers are green. The difference between 14-15 year old working papers and 16-17 year old working papers is that you are allowed to work in a factory. You cannot work around certain machines, do construction work, help on a motor vehicle, clean, oil, wipe, or adjust belts on machinery.
    • 16-17 year olds (out of school) - Your working papers are peach. If you are 16 to 17 years old and are not in school or are leaving school for full time employment, you will need these working papers. You are allowed to work in a factory, cannot work around certain machines, do construction work, help on a motor vehicle, or clean, oil, wipe, or adjust belts on machinery.
  • Where Do I Get My Working Papers and What Do I Need to Get Them? - You will have to take the steps described below to get your working papers
    • If you are in school, go to your guidance office and ask for a working papers application. If you are not in school, go to the nearest school by where you live because they are required to give you the application.
    • Fill out the application and have your parent or guardian sign the application.
    • When you have filled out the working papers application and had your parent or guardian sign it, you have to take it back to the school's guidance office.
    • Obtain proof of age, such as your birth certificate, a state-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport.
    • You will also need to have had a doctor's exam within the last 12 months saying you are physically fit. A physical given at a school for sports will count for your physical exam. If you are not sure where you can get a physical, ask your guidance office or call your doctor.
  • Working Papers Tips - Below is helpful information once you have your working papers and are on the job:
    • When you turn 16, you will need to go from your 14-15 year old working papers (blue) and get your 16-17 year old working papers (green). Go to your guidance office of your school or nearest school to update your working papers.
    • Before you start work at a new job, you must give your employer the blue, green or peach employment certificate. Employers are not allowed to accept photocopies of your working papers. If you lose your working papers, you will have to go back to the school and ask for a duplicate (copy) to be issued to you.
    • At the end of a job, the employer must give your working papers back to you. You can use them on your next job (if you are still the right age for the certificate). If the employer does not return your working papers, you can ask the school to issue you a duplicate (copy). You can also complain to Labor Standards
    • Labor Laws help protect you as a worker and outline your rights. Check out some videos and workplace safety tips from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration Working Teen & Videos
    • Find out more about about what you can and cannot do on the job under the age of 18.

Identification You Need to Get that Job

Job Application Tips: Cross your T's and Dot your I's

  • First Time Filling Out a Job Application? – If you are having a hard time applying for a job or don’t have work history, Your Winning Edge - Resumes, Cover Letters, Job Applications provides tips about what information you should include on your job application. It also explains how to create an organized, well-thought out job application.

Resume and Cover Letters: Stand Up and Stand Out!

  • Why Do I Need a Resume? - A resume and cover letter give you the chance to highlight yourself! Life skills can transfer to the job, like babysitting, helping out at summer camp and even carrying groceries for a neighbor. Get help writing your resume and/or cover letter using the resources below.

Additional Services

  • Need extra help applying for a job? – If you have a disability or have gotten into trouble in the past, the resources below can help you take advantage of resources when applying for jobs.
    • The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) – DEI is available in some of the New York State Department of Labor Career Centers and helps people with disabilities search for jobs, develop resumes and complete job applications.
    • The 411 on Disability Disclosure - A workbook that helps youth make informed decisions about whether or not to disclose their disability and understand how that decision may impact their education, employment, and social lives.
    • If you have gotten into some trouble in the past, make sure you know if you were a youthful offender and that you know the difference between being arrested and being convicted. There are many programs that can help you get a job, like the Work Opportunity Tax Credit or the Federal Bonding Program

Labor Laws/Safety and Health: Keeping You Safe in the Workplace

  • I'm Young...Why should I Care About Labor Laws? - Have you thought about what happens if you are hurt on the job or wondered if you had the right amount of training before beginning a job? Labor laws help protect you as a worker and your rights. The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) and the United States Department of Labor do not allow certain jobs to be taken by people of certain ages because of the hazards that may come along with that job. So your age affects the jobs that you may be able to take! Check out some videos and workplace safety tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( Working Teens and Videos ).

    Please note that states may have different labor laws than the Federal government. Many New York State and Federal labor laws are the same. However, there are some labor laws that are different between New York State and the Federal government. Remember that even if the Federal and New York State Labor Laws cover a similar topic, the more strict labor law is what should be followed.

What Jobs Duties Can't I Do?
What Hours Can I Work?

You are ready to work, but not sure what hours you can work. Below is some information with the number of hours you can work based on your age and whether you are in or out of school.

When you are in school
Age Maximum Daily Work Hours Maximum Weekly Work Hours Maximum Number of Days Worked Per Week Work Times
  • 3 hours on school days
  • 8 hours on non-school days (most likely Saturday and Sunday)
18 hours 6 days 7am to 7pm
  • 4 hours on Monday-Thursday
  • 8 hours on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
28 hours 6 days 6am to 10pm
When school is not in session
Age Maximum Daily Work Hours Maximum Weekly Work Hours Maximum Number of Days Worked Per Week Work Times
14-15 8 hours 40 hours 6 days 7am to 9pm (June 21 to Labor Day)
16-17 8 hours 48 hours 6 days 6am to Midnight
When you are not attending school
Age Maximum Daily Work Hours Maximum Weekly Work Hours Maximum Number of Days Worked Per Week Work Times
16-17 8 hours 48 hours 6 days 6am to Midnight

Health and Wellness for Life Success

  • Trying to balance school, homework, work? - Since there are many things going on in your life, it is important to keep yourself healthy and maintain a daily balanced routine. Below is information that provides tips on dealing with stress, staying healthy, and balancing your life now and in the future.
    • Stress Management - Are you feeling bogged down with homework, sports, applications? This link provides you with relaxation techniques, recognizing stressful situations, how to teach your body to react in a calm manner, and keeping your mind clear in order to concentrate.
    • Food for Thought - Tired in the AM? Can't make it through that next class? Find out how a balanced diet can help you stay alert and energized throughout your day to keep your mind and body focused.

Dress for Success: Learn How to Leave a Lasting Impression

  • Not sure what to wear to your interview? – The way you dress for an interview can leave a lasting impression with a business/organization. Below are some helpful resources to help you prepare for your big day.

Interview Tips: Know What to Say Before They Ask!

  • Need help preparing for your interview? - Interview questions can be stressful if you’re not prepared. The resources below provide suggestions while on an interview to help you get the job.

Your Digital Identity Matters

What is Social Networking? - Whether it is sending an email or driving on a highway, linking people and places is an everyday occurrence. Social networks are how people connect with each other whether it's through text messaging, Facebook, or the lunch table. Social networks connect you to people who could help you find jobs, provide you with resources to find a job or direct you to their social network. Check out this YouTube video on social networking at . Below are other resources to help you understand social networking and the importance of your digital identity.

Keep Your Digital-Self Professional - Remember that your social networks connect you to hundreds and thousands of people across the country and world. Here are some tips on how to make your social networks work for you:

  • Use a formal email address on your resume. It is recommended that you use some form of your name so that a business will remember who you are. Virginia Tech has more information .
  • Ringback and voicemail messages on your cell phone may sound good to you and your friends, but employers may not call you back because of it. Just have a simple voicemail message with your name and phone number. This website gives tips as to what businesses may not like .
  • Have you ever "Googled" yourself? After a business enters your name into a search engine, they evaluate you based on your Social Network profile (e.g. facebook, Twitter)

So Why Should I Belong to Social Networks? - Social networks can still be fun, but use them to your advantage. Many companies and organizations use social networks to find or attract candidates. Below are a few tips about your social network online accounts:

  • Create two different accounts: one that's private for friends and family, then a professional account searchable by employers.
  • Learn how to change your privacy settings, and who can and cannot view your profile.
  • Seek out and join professional organizations and online social networking groups. Ask your contacts who you should meet and get introduced.
  • Be friendly, respectful and brief. Also be very clear about what you are looking for. Be realistic. A new contact is unlikely to provide a job offer. Your goal is to gather valuable information in your field or occupation of interest.
  • Follow-up. It's your responsibility to keep the communication lines open. Touch base every so often updating your contact on your progress.

Showing Off Your Skills

Are you a good leader? Are you a team player and dependable? Employers are looking for these kinds of qualities in their employees. Find out more below on how to stand out to a potential employer.

  • Everyone has Skills - Visit the CareerZone Portfolio Job Readiness Skills Module to find out which skills you can add to your resume from your previous work, volunteer, or extracurricular experiences. Make sure to create a Portfolio account or sign into your Portfolio account if you’ve already created one to access the Job Readiness Skills Module.
  • Get the Competitive Edge with Soft Skills - Businesses are looking for people with soft skills (good communication, a strong work ethic, and many other skills). Find out how you can gain soft skills today!

Find a Job

Not sure where to find the job you want now? The links below are just some job search websites that can help with finding a job that's a match for you!

Volunteering and Internships

Volunteering and internships help you stand out to a business, while making you and someone else feel good. These experiences can help you add to your resume.

Start Your Plan - Explore your strengths, skills and talents with a no-cost, career plan portfolio account at CareerZone . Learn more about what you may be interested with the following CareerZone features:

Budgeting - Whether you earn an allowance from your parent/guardian or a paycheck from a job, creating a budget can help you plan for the future. Below are some tools to help you create and keep a budget.

  • Dollars and Sense Budgeting Tool - This tool in CareerZone can help you create a budget around an occupation or based on life choices
  • On the Money - Provides information on opening a bank account, credit card and a savings calculator
  • How to Write a Check - Includes information for writing a check and setting up a checking account
  • Five Budgeting Tips - Not sure how to budget or what makes up a budget? Here is a link with tips to help when making a budget

Preparation for College - If college is going to be a part of your career planning process, there are many steps you can take while you are researching and deciding which college you would like. Below is information on preparation for college exams, as well as financial aid.

  • Making My Way Through College – This guide is for youth interested in going to college and provides information on topics such as preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work. Much of the information provided is for all youth, but the primary focus of the guide is on navigating the college experience for youth with disabilities or those who think they may have a disability.
  • Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – Many colleges require you take the SAT as an entrance exam in order to attend. The PSAT is a practice exam that helps you prepare for the SAT. The links above provide information on what the SAT and PSAT are and how you can prepare and sign up for the exams.
  • Financial Aid – It is important to know what financial aid you qualify for to help pay for college. A lot of people end up taking out more loans than they can afford and don’t realize how debt can impact the rest of their lives. It is also important to get financial aid information from trusted resources and websites. Below are some of these trusted websites to help you navigate through the financial aid process:
    • Student Checklist This link provides a checklist of activities to look into during middle school and high school. Information ranges from where to find scholarships to exploring careers.
    • Federal Student Aid Portal – Contains information on different types of financial aid (including scholarships ), how to apply for financial aid, and managing student loans. Go to the diagram of the financial aid process. for more information.
    • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – This is a form that is prepared annually by current and potential college students ( undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid (including the Pell Grant, Federal student loans and Federal Work-Study).
      • FAFSA4caster - Walks you through different questions about your income, the cost of the colleges you are interested in attending, and other financial questions that lead to an estimate of the federal financial aid you would receive.
      • Start a New FAFSA – This link will direct you to complete a new FAFSA if you are a new college student. If you are a returning college student, you can login to submit a new FAFSA you must resubmit for every school year that you attend and desire financial aid.
  • Check with your School’s Financial Aid/Bursar’s Office – Some colleges and universities may require additional paperwork for you to qualify for financial aid. To make sure you all of the paperwork submitted, contact your school’s Financial Aid/Bursar’s Office.

Paths to Success - Below are resources to help you explore education and training opportunities and figure out your next steps toward reaching your dreams.

  • SUNY College Exploration - Want to find out what the State University of New York (SUNY) campus network can offer you as a potential student? Explore community colleges and universities across New York State and make SUNY.
  • CUNY College Exploration - Did you know that New York City has a network of community colleges and four year colleges called The City University of New York (CUNY)? This website will provide you with information on the 23 campuses throughout New York City and help you decide which college suits your interests and career goals.
  • Apprenticeship: Earn it While You Learn it! - Find out how apprenticeships can help you gain new skills and earn money while learning.
  • Today's Military - Information on what a military career is all about and how to prepare for one.
  • College Match Maker - Helps match a college with what you want to go to school for.
  • College Navigator - Search for colleges based on location, type of degree, public, private, two or four year schools, and other factors that may be important to you on your quest for college.
  • Career and Technical Education - Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities are out there for you! This video takes a look at training opportunities that lead to careers in auto mechanics, nursing, carpentry, and many other in-demand occupations.

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