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How old do I have to be to work in Alberta?

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Answer

The simple answer is: 12. But there are some conditions.

From age 12 to 14, Alberta defines you as an “adolescent” for work purposes. As an adolescent, you can have a job, but there are some restrictions on what kind. You can work as

There are also some restaurant jobs you can do. You can work as a host or hostess, cashier, dishwasher, food server or cleaner, but you can’t serve alcohol or do anything in the kitchen that could be dangerous, such as slicing food or working with a deep-fryer.

At this age, there are also some restrictions on when you can work: you can’t work more than 2 hours on a school day, more than 8 hours on a non-school day, or between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

From age 15 to 17, Alberta defines you as a “young person.” As a young person, you can work at any job, though for some types of work, an adult must be present. That restriction applies for work after 9 p.m., as well as for work in hotels and restaurants and retail businesses.

School Rules

Keep in mind that both adolescents and young persons—all Albertans under 16—are expected to attend school. That means you can’t work during school hours.

Looking for Work

Many employers hire youth. Knowing where to look will help you find the job you want. Start by thinking about the kind of work you want to do, as well as the kind of work you are qualified for. You can search the Government of Canada Job Bank and limit your search to Alberta student and youth jobs.