What age can I start work?

The age you can start work generally depends on the state or territory that you work in.

The minimum age you can start work applies to all workers, including those starting an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Check what age you can start work by selecting your state from the list below:

Australian Capital Territory

There’s no set age for when you can start work. But if you’re under 15 there are limits to the type of work you can do and how many hours you can work.

For further information, visit the ACT Office for Children, Youth and Family Support external-icon.png or call 13 22 81.

New South Wales

There’s no age set for when you can start work.

For further information, contact the NSW Office of Industrial Relations external-icon.png or call 13 16 28.

Northern Territory

There’s no age set for when you can start work. But if you’re under 15, you can’t work between 10pm and 6am.

For further information, see Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 external-icon.png or contact the NT Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment external-icon.png on (08) 8999 5511.

Queensland

If you’re 13 or older you can start work.

If you’re under 13, you may work in some circumstances including:

  • if you work in a family business
  • if you work in the entertainment industry
  • some forms of supervised employment are allowed such as deliveries and charitable collections.

For more information, visit the the Queensland Government's Obligations for parents and employers of working children page external-icon.png .

South Australia

There’s no age set for when you can start work. But there are limits on the type of work you can do.

For further information, download the Young Workers guide from Safe Work SA external-icon.png .

Tasmania

There’s no age set for when you can start work. But there are limits to the type of work you can do when performing in public and selling things in public places.

For further information, see Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997 external-icon.png or contact Worksafe Tasmania external-icon.png on 1300 366 322 (within Tasmania) or (03) 6166 4600 (outside Tasmania).

Victoria

If you’re 15 or older you can start work.

If you’re under 15 years of age, you may work in limited circumstances including:

  • if you’re employed in the family business
  • if you work in the entertainment industry.

If you’re under 15 but older than 13, you may work with your parent’s permission where you have been granted a child employment permit. You can apply for a child employment permit at the Business Victoria website external-icon.png .

For further information, visit Youth Central external-icon.png or contact Business Victoria on 1800 287 287 or (03) 9651 9200.

Western Australia

If you’re 15 or older you can start work. But if you’re under 15, you can only work some jobs with restricted hours.

For further information, visit Work4Youth external-icon.png or call Wageline on 1300 655 266 (within Western Australia) or (08) 9222 7700 (outside Western Australia).

Working during school times

If you wish to work during school times, you must be of the minimum school leaving age.

Each state and territory has their own minimum school leaving age.

State Age
ACT 15
NSW 15
NT 15
SA 15
TAS 16
QLD 15
VIC 16
WA 15

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