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Finding a job and earning money

At what age can you start working in the UK? What is the minimum wage? How many hours can I work? You might be old enough to start earning money and it's important you know your rights in the workplace.

Age to work


How old do you have to be to work?

You can work and earn money from the age of 13, but there are very strict rules about when young people aged under 16 can work.

If you are aged 13-16, you are not allowed to work during school hours. You can work for a maximum of two hours on a school day or a Sunday. Total for the week must be no more than 12 hours during term time.

During school holidays you can work for a maximum of 25 hours a week if you are aged 13-14, and 35 hours if you are aged 15-16. However, you can't work more than eight hours a day during holidays or Saturdays.

How many hours can I work?

If you are aged 16-18, you cannot legally work for longer than eight hours in a 24-hour period, or for more than 40 hours a week. You are entitled to a 30 minute break when you work for more than four and a half hours.

money savers

What's the minimum wage?

The minimum wage you are entitled to receive depends on how old you are. If you are under 16 you are not entitled to a minimum wage. For up-to-date information see the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website.  

Piggy bank

How do I find a job?

Applying for jobs and going to interviews may seem scary but there is a lot of help out there. First, have a think about what you would like from your job. Is it just to make some money while studying, or are you looking for a future career? How much money do you ideally need to earn? Once you have an idea about the sort of work you would like it is easier to begin the search.

Prospects has a quiz to help you find your ideal career, detailed job descriptions, vacancies and information about graduate training schemes. It also gives lots of advice about completing application forms, interviews and skills tests.

Job vacancies are listed on lots of different websites including Universal Jobmatch, The Guardian and Indeed.