When can I start working?

For free and confidential legal advice about this topic, please contact us here.

Generally, you can start casual or part-time work at any age in Tasmania. However, if you are under 18, there are some restrictions on the type of work you can do. There are also restrictions on the number of hours you can work if you are still at school, or doing another form of education and training and you are under 18.

Navigate this page

How old do I need to be to start work in Tasmania?

Generally, there is no minimum age to start casual or part-time work in Tasmania.  

However, there are exceptions. For example:

  • If you are under 11, it is against the law for someone to allow or require you to sell things in a public place (such as street markets).
  • If you are under 14, it is against the law for someone to allow or require you to sell things in a public place (such as street markets) between 9 pm and before 5 am the next day.

There are also a range of offences for child abuse and child exploitation. For example, it is a crime for someone to let a young person who is under 18 provide sexual services for a business. It can be a crime for an adult to do a sexual act with a child or young person under 17, to allow a person under 17 to be on a premises to have unlawful sexual intercourse, or to involve a person under 18 in producing child pornography (or child exploitation material).

Some jobs have certain requirements, which will require you to be a particular age. For example, you have to be at least 18 to hold a security agents licence. There are also limits on when a person who is under 18 can serve alcohol, and in general a person who is under 16 can’t serve alcohol at work. You can find out more about age restrictions for certain kinds of work by contacting WorkSafe Tasmania.

Some workplaces will also have their own policies on how old you have to be before you can start work.

What hours can I work?

If you are under 18 or haven’t finished Year 12 or a Certificate III qualification, and don’t have an exemption from attending school or another learning program, then there are limits on when you can work.

It is against the law for an employer to employ you during the hours you are required to go to school or another learning program without permission from the Department of Education. To get permission, you need to apply to go to school part-time, or get an exemption from school. You can find out more about these applications here.

When can I work full-time?

The earliest that you can start working full-time is after you complete Year 10. 

In Tasmania, the law says that you have to participate in education or training until you complete Year 12, turn 18 years of age or obtain a Certificate III (whichever happens first). For more information about your options after Year 10, see our page on leaving school.

However, if you can prove that you are employed full-time (35 hours a week), then you (or your parents) can apply to the Minister for an exemption from  further education and training. You can find out more about how to apply for an exemption here.

A young person can also work full time during school holidays.

For more information

If you are interested in starting work, or want to find out about how to apply for a job or what your rights at work are, you can have a look at these online resources. You can also try talking to a career counsellor at your school.

  • For information about what you can do after leaving school, and for useful tips on building a resume (or CV), check out the Australian Government’s Job Jumpstart website.
  • For information and advice about your rights, entitlements and obligations as an employee, check out the Fair Work Ombudsman website or call the Fair Work information line on 13 13 94 between 8am – 5:30pm (Monday to Friday).
  • You can also check out our pages on employment.

If you are under 25 and you are unsure about your rights or responsibilities at work or what to do next, you can get free, confidential legal advice here.

Find information about starting work in other states

Got a question you can't get answered?

If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.

Get help now

Select Your State or Territory

The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.