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Top 3 Summer Job Tips for Texas Teens

Texas teens can make some much needed scratch by working during their summer vacations, and state and federal laws exist to support them.

If you're under 18 and you want to work in the Lone Star State, make sure to remember these three tips:

1. For Certain Jobs, You Must Be 16.

Federal law generally allows teenagers 14 years and older to work most jobs, as long as they aren't considered hazardous.

However, Texas law specifically prohibits teens under 16 from working in the following areas:

  • Cooking and baking. If you work in a fast-food joint, your manager cannot assign you to work with deep fryers or open flame grills.
  • Driving. Even if you have your learner's permit, you can't drive to deliver pizzas.
  • Heavy machinery. Cranes, construction equipment and even powered food slicers are a no-go for those 15 and below.

2. Keep Track of Your Hours.

Both state and federal laws place caps on how many hours a teenager can work in a day and a week. That number can vary depending on if you're in school.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, children under 16 are capped at 48 hours a week if they're on summer vacation, but federal law limits them to 40 hours per week.

If you don't know what law your employer is subject to, apply the more restrictive law -- the one which allows fewer hours.

3. Some Great and Unusual Summer Jobs.

Texas teens might feel depressed about their lack of options, but here are a few legally permitted jobs they may want to consider, such as:

  • Lifeguarding. You can work as a lifeguard if you are at least 15 and certified for lifeguarding and CPR.
  • Acting. Child actors can really pull down a salary, and they can start working before they're 14.
  • Babysitting. This can be done at practically any age with the permission of a parent.
  • Delivering newspapers. Paper boys and girls an start work at age 11. Plus, you can really build some muscles by hurling the Sunday Chronicle.

By applying plenty of SPF 30, avoiding fire ants and mosquitoes, and being aware of child labor laws, Texas teens should be able to end a hot summer with a cool wad of cash.

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