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How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At McDonald's?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At McDonald’s?

As a minor, you would be considering McDonald’s as your first job but you are not sure if you meet the minimum age requirement.

At what age McDonald’s takes the youngest employees? A frequently asked question related to teenagers who would like to work at McDonald’s.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at McDonald’s?

First, one has to be at least 14 years old to work for McDonald’s. But the jobs that you can do at this stage are very few.

With age, you can get access to more roles within McDonalds.

For example, at 16 years old you can be a cashier; and with a high school diploma at 18, work as a shift manager is a possibility.

You should consider the fact that workers under 18 have a limited number of jobs to do, as they are legally prohibited from working with cash or from managing other workers due to labor laws.

Can You Work at McDonald’s at 15?

Yes, 15 is also an age at which you can start to work at McDonald’s, but within certain boundaries what kind of work is given to minors at that age. The available positions are typically more supportive, including kitchen crew and cleaning staff, because of the restrictions on working hours and the tasks that can be performed.

Can You Work at McDonald’s at 16?

Yes, at 16 McDonald’s starts to offer a wide range of opportunities. You can become a cashier and in this position you will work with customers directly, taking orders and accepting payments.

It is an improvement on positions sought by 14-15 years old teenagers as it allows practice in customer service skills.

Can You Work at McDonald’s at 17?

By 17, the job roles in McDonald’s becomes extended further, reflecting the duties that are allotted to the adult workers. You can not only work as a cashier or a kitchen hand, but you can also start training for supervisory positions, which are likely to come your way when you are an adult.

The Hiring Age May Be Different in McDonald’s Restaurants Independently Owned and Operated by Franchisees

The minimum age to work at McDonald’s might be 14, but the hiring practices are not the same across the locations.

Variability arises due to the two types of McDonald’s outlets: company-owned restaurants and franchisee-owned and operated ones.

McDonald’s Owned Restaurants

In company-owned restaurants, McDonald’s USA sets the hiring policies, including minimum age requirements. Most of these policies usually closely follow the federal and state labor laws.

Owned and Operated by an Independent Franchisee and Not McDonald’s USA

Restaurants that are independently owned and operated by franchisees might adopt varying recruitment decisions, characterized by the discretion of the franchisee within legal limits.

Even though they bear the same McDonald’s brand and product offerings, these restaurants are treated as distinct bodies when it comes to issues of employment.

Staffing, scheduling, hiring and firing are all controlled by the franchisee, not by McDonald’s USA.

Therefore, applying to a franchise restaurant will legally amount to applying to a different organization, only under the McDonald’s image.

Therefore, we advise you to reach the McDonald’s store you are interested in, to verify if the store is independently owned by franchisee. Inquire about the age requirement and other hiring policies.

McDonald’s Entry Level Positions For Minors

All entry-level posts offered by McDonald’s are mostly on part-time basis, thus making them ideal for students or people seeking for flexible working hours. 

1. Cleaning Staff

Age Requirement: Usually, 14 years and more.

Job Responsibility: The clean staff are the ones who keep the restaurant clean and hygienic. The duties are to sweep and mop the floor, clean the restrooms, wipe the counters and tables and making sure that the dining area is clean and welcoming to customers.

Skills Needed: Attention to details, ability to adhere to directions, and the zeal to sustain high standards of cleanliness.

2. Crew Member

A crew member at McDonald’s may be in one of the following categories: the counter crew, the maintenance crew, or the kitchen crew.

Age Requirement: 14 as the age of entry for some positions such as kitchen and maintenance crew, while counter crew positions often start at 16.

Job Responsibility: Crew members perform different roles depending on their particular position, either preparing food, taking orders and doing payment at the counter, or maintaining the restaurant’s equipment and facilities.

Skills Needed: Effective communication skills for customer service, quick learning ability for kitchen personnel, and problem-solving skills for maintenance crew members.

3. Cashier

Age Requirement: Minimum 16 years old.

Job Responsibility: McDonald’s cashiers are the face of the company, as they interact with customers directly, take orders, process cash and card payments, and facilitate a pleasant customer service experience.

Skills Needed: Good client service skills, a command of money and operation of registers, and ability to work in a fast paced environment are the helm of a cashier.

4. Cook

Age Requirement: Usually begins at 16 years of age, in accordance with the state’s labor laws.

Job Responsibility: The cooks in McDonald’s are a significant part of the food preparation where they stick to set recipes and processes creating the menu items like burgers, fries, and other signature dishes. They guarantee kitchen safety and food hygiene levels.

Skills Needed: Cook usually has to be a sort of a master of time, follow precise and specific instructions and to maintain a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene in the kitchen.

How Many Hours Can a 14-17 Year-Old Work at McDonald’s in California?

The work hours of minors are controlled to prevent work from interfering with education. 

14-16 Years Old

Many jobs require individuals under the age of 16 to have a work permit or a letter from a parent before they begin working.

When School is In Session: When they go to school, they can work up to 3 hours. They are given 8 hours for work on school free days. Within a week, they should not exceed 18 hours.

When School is Not in Session: They are permitted to work eight hours a day and a maximum of 40 hours per week.

17 Years Old

When School is In Session: If 17, you can work 4 hours on school days (Monday-Thursday). When you are off school, say, from Friday to Sunday, you can work for up to 8 hours. However, see to it not to work over 28 hours a week.

When School is Not in Session: maximum of 8 hours and 48 hours per week.

These restrictions highlight the need of a fine balance between work and academic duties.

How Much Does A 14-17 Year Old Can Make at McDonald’s?

The wage will vary from $7.25 on the low end to $9.25 per hour for the 14-15 year olds and $9.25 on the low end to $11 per hour for the 16-17 year olds.

The full amount a 14-17 year old can earn working at McDonald’s is mostly determined by a few aspects, such as minimum wage law of the state, the individual McDonald’s store, franchise owner and through the position that they are working at (crew member, cashier, etc.).

Entry-level positions in the United States mostly begin at or around the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour on average.

However, most states and some cities have enacted their own minimum wages, often above the federal level. For example, in high cost of living states such as California or New York starting wages could be much more than in states that follow the federal minimum wage.

Does McDonald’s Hire Without GED or Diploma?

Yes, McDonald’s is known for its inclusive hiring policies, even hiring those without GED or high school diploma, especially for entry-level occupations.

It is one of McDonald’s initiatives to provide first-time job seekers and entry-level employees a chance to get a lot of experience. Nevertheless, for management positions, for example, a high school diploma or an equivalent might be required.

How to Apply for a Job at McDonald’s for Minors

The process of applying for a job at McDonald’s is simple, applicants mainly start with an online application.

Research: First, decide at which McDonald’s you want to work. You will find the stores near you by visiting McDonald’s Restaurant Locator page

Job Listing: Visit the McDonald’s career website to view available job listings at your selected location. Note the age requirements and job duties included in each listing to locate a position that suits your qualifications and preferences.

Application: Fill out the online application form in detail. Furnish the correct details of your particulars, qualifications, and any working background. Even if you do not possess formal work experience you should enumerate the relevant volunteer work, the extracurricular activities, or the skills which can show your match with the job.

Follow-Up: Coming into the store or calling the store where you applied is a great practice to do after you submit your application. This signifies your enthusiasm and desire for the job.

Interview Preparation: Should you be invited for an interview, make an effort to review common interview questions and practice your answers. Preparation will make you comfortable during the process.

Interview: In the interview occasion, be punctual, dress in the appropriate manner, and portray a positive and respectful behavior. You may be aware that first impressions are critical.

Is McDonald’s a Good First Job?

Without a doubt, McDonald’s is usually deemed as a good initial job for a lot of teenagers and young people. 

Skill Development

At McDonald’s, you learn skills that are useful in any field. The skills learnt in the area include communication and teamwork, time management and customer service, making it a strong base for what is to come.


McDonald’s provides flexible hours to balance your time among work, study, and personal life. Flexibility is especially advantageous for students and others who have other commitments, they are able to work without sacrificing their studies and personal time.

Growth Opportunities

Internal promotion is the main strategy of McDonald’s and it provides many chances of development. Most of the company’s present managers and senior officials started their careers as crew members. Employees who are ambitious have a good line where they can progress into leadership positions.

Community and Culture

McDonald’s is all about the community. The work culture is participative and supportive which develops a bond of team spirit. A culture of respect, equality, and diversity being the company’s core values creates a comfortable environment for all.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the paycheck, McDonald’s gives its workers different benefits. Such benefits sometimes embrace the following: meal discounts, uniforms, flexible hours, tuition aid, offered by the programs like Archways to Opportunity, and even scholarships for continuing education.

For minors and young workers, these benefits are a substantial step in achieving long-term goals whether in education or career.

Learning Professionalism

For most people, getting employment at McDonald’s is the entrance to the professional life. It is a setting where young employees would be taught the importance of punctuality, the proper way to dress, obeying instructions, and hard work. These are very important professional traits that will be useful to them in almost every career.

Safety and Training

Training for the employees of McDonald’s is very comprehensive, which ensures that all the employees perform their tasks safely and effectively. This emphasis on the right type of training avoids workplace accidents and helps minors to take up their roles confidently.

Safety levels, particularly in the kitchen and with the equipment, are strictly maintained and taught from the beginning.

Community Engagement

The unique chance to interact with the local community and local environment is also given to the employees of McDonald’s. Most McDonald’s restaurants participate in various charitable activities and support for local events, which enable workers to be on the positive side of their communities.


To work at McDonald’s, you must be 14 years of age or older. The age requirement may be different in its franchisees independently own and operate restaurants, so it is better to check with the store you’re interested in.

Not only McDonald’s in general is a perfect place for minors to become familiar with the world of work but also is a nurturing environment for them to grow, learn and explore potential career paths.

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