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How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at McDonald’s

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Whether you’re looking for a full-time job or extra income through a side hustle, working at McDonald’s might be the way to go.

With more than 13,515 locations in the United States, competitive salaries, and flexible working schedules, McDonald’s has a lot to offer for teenagers seeking entry-level jobs.

You might ask: how old do you have to be to work at McDonald’s? What kind of experience or education do you need?

In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at McDonald’s?

To be eligible for work at McDonald’s, you should be at least 14 years old. At this age, you can apply for entry-level jobs such as a counter crew or kitchen assistant. 

For some roles, such as cashier, you need to be at least 16. If you want to work as a shift manager, you should be at least 18.

Many McDonald’s employees are underage, so they don’t necessarily need a high school diploma or equivalent, especially for entry-level jobs.

  • Does McDonald’s Hire 14-Year-Olds? In some locations, yes. McDonald’s hires 14-year-old employees for entry-level jobs as counter crews or kitchen assistants, as long as the applicant has a work permit. Note that not all locations hire 14-year-olds, since the age requirements may vary depending on the specific franchise.
  • Does McDonald’s Hire 15-Year-Olds? Yes, they do. Even though some state and federal laws prohibit hiring minors under the age of 15, many McDonald’s locations offer jobs for 15 -year-olds.
  • Does McDonald’s Hire 16-Year-Olds? Yes, McDonald’s hires 16-year-old employees for various entry-level positions. If you’re a 16-year-old applying for your first job at McDonald’s, check out our articles on interview questions related to fast food and getting a job at 16.
  • Does McDonald’s Hire 50-Year-Olds? Yes, they do. McDonald’s has recently launched an initiative with the AARP Foundation to hire lower-income people aged 50 or over.

Other McDonald’s Hiring Requirements

If you’re a student looking for your first job, working at McDonald’s might be on your mind. The franchise offers various entry-level positions that require little to no experience.

To be able to fill these positions, you should be at least 14. Some advanced roles are only available for people over 16 or 18, depending on the job location and description.

So what about the required experience and educational background?

Does McDonald’s Hire Without Experience?

Yes, they do. Most entry-level positions at McDonald’s don’t require prior experience in the food industry. These positions are filled by students and young adults.

It’s worth noting that having prior experience at cafes or restaurants might be a huge plus to stand out among other applicants, but it’s not necessary.

If you’re applying for an entry-level job at McDonald’s, you’ll get paid training to learn more about the job and the skills required to carry out the tasks efficiently.

Does McDonald’s Hire Without a High School Diploma?

Yes, they do. Most entry-level jobs at McDonald’s as crew members or maintenance specialists don’t require prior work experience.

Teen Jobs at McDonald’s

It’s no secret that McDonald’s is one of the biggest and most reputable restaurant chains worldwide. With over 200,000 employees in the USA and an average annual salary of $34,412 for crew members, McDonald’s offers endless job opportunities for youngsters.

Most entry job positions at McDonald’s don’t demand previous work experience, you only need to be over 14 years old. That’s what makes McDonald’s one of the top places for teenage job seekers.

Let’s check out the best teen jobs at McDonald’s.

1. Crew Member

Crew members at McDonald’s are classified into the counter crew, maintenance crew, and kitchen crew.

Your responsibility as a crew member will vary depending on your role, experience, and location. But in general, you’ll be responsible for the following:

  • Craft menu items like burgers, french fries, and sandwiches while adhering to the company’s guidelines
  • Manage cash registers and handle transactions precisely
  • Deliver outstanding customer service while maintaining a friendly professional attitude
  • Help with inventory and stock management
  • Maintain a clean and sanitized workplace by mopping, sweeping, and replenishing supplies

To excel at this position, there are some skills and requirements you need to have:

  • Be at least 14 years old. Previous experience is a plus but not required
  • Excellent customer service skills, which include greeting customers and clearly understanding their orders
  • Decent communication skills, as you’ll be interacting with different customers and team members
  • Strong attention to detail to meet the customers’ expectations and the brand’s standards
  • Physical ability to stand for long periods and lift objects up to 25 pounds
  • Basic math skills to handle cash registers and money transactions

2. Cashier

Working as a cashier at McDonald’s, you’re responsible for greeting customers, taking their orders precisely, managing cash registers, and handling transactions. To be eligible for this job, you have to be at least 16 years old.

The job doesn’t require having prior experience in the food industry, but you need to master the following skills and requirements:

  • Having a high school diploma or equivalent is a must in some locations
  • Basic communication skills to interact with customers and team members in a friendly and professional manner
  • Be organized, as you need to keep track of money transactions and change
  • Strong attention to detail to ensure customers receive their specific orders and correct change
  • Be able to multitask as you’ll handle multiple transactions and take new orders simultaneously
  • Excellent customer service skills, you should be able to professionally deal with customers regardless of their age, gender, background, or mood

3. Cook

McDonald’s cook job duties involve crafting various menu items such as sandwiches, french fries, and hamburgers while adhering to the company’s standards and guidelines.

In most cases, this position doesn’t require a specific educational background or experience. But some states require employees working in food services to obtain a Food Handler’s Card. Note that you should also be at least 16 to be eligible for this job.

To land a job as a cook at McDonald’s, you need to have the following skills and requirements:

  • Decent time management skills as you’ll be preparing food items, washing supplies, and taking orders simultaneously
  • Teamwork, as working in a fast-paced work environment demands working well with other team members
  • Communication skills are a must to communicate with customers and team members
  • Attention to detail as you need to notice the minor changes in each order or recipe to ensure customers receive the correct orders
  • Be able to follow food safety and sanitation guidelines such as proper sanitization and cleaning methods

Is McDonald’s a Good First Job?

Working at McDonald’s can be a great first job for teenagers as it teaches them various skills such as communication, teamwork, multitasking, and discipline.

Since getting a job at McDonald’s doesn’t require prior experience or education, it’s an ideal choice for teens who’re still in high school.

Entry-level jobs are also available as full-time or part-time, providing flexible working schedules for youngsters who’re still studying.

Frequently Asked Questions

So you’ve decided to apply for a job at McDonald’s? You might have some inquiries about the job.

  • What is the dress code for McDonald’s? The dress code for McDonald’s is a company-issued uniform, that includes a gray shirt, apron, hat, and a name tag. Managers are provided with a shirt and tie instead of the regular uniform.
  • What is the best-paying job at McDonald’s? The best-paying McDonald’s jobs are at the management level or above. The shift manager role is the highest-paying job at McDonald’s with an average salary of $27,926. Other positions that pay well are team leader, shift supervisor, swing manager, and crew trainer.

Alternative Companies to Consider

Working at McDonald’s is an excellent opportunity for teenagers, there are various entry-level jobs available with no required experience and with flexible working schedules.

If you’re applying to multiple jobs, we have a few other alternative companies to consider.

  • Chick-fil-a Age Requirements: According to Chick-fil-a age requirements, you need to be at least 14 to become an eligible employee. You also don’t need previous experience or education as you’ll get paid training before starting your job.
  • Taco Bell Age Requirements: The minimum Taco Bell age requirement is 16 years old. But many locations allow hiring teens starting from 14 years old as long as they have a work permit.
  • Burger King Age Requirements: According to Burger King age requirements, you need to be at least 16 to be eligible for work. Federal law allows teens to work in restaurants as young as 14, while child labor restrictions don’t let them participate in all food service tasks. That’s why in some states Burger King might hire workers who are 14 years old or above to perform non-hazardous tasks.

Wrapping Up

How old do you have to be to work at McDonald’s? The minimum age requirement to work at McDonald’s is 14 years old. At this young age, you can land a job as a counter crew or kitchen assistant.

Note that age requirements might vary depending on your location and job description. For instance, in some roles, you can’t get hired if you’re below 18. Some states might also restrict your working hours if you’re still underage.

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