Homeschool Teen Employment

For a complete overview of teen employment requirements, refer to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Guide for the Employment of Teenagers.

Who needs a work permit?

In Virginia, every teenager fourteen or fifteen years of age must have an employment certificate in order to work. Exceptions include:

  • On farms, in gardens, and in orchards that are operated by a parent or guardian.
  • Work around the home for parents.
  • Volunteer work.
  • Non-manufacturing jobs where a parent owns the business
  • Page or clerk for either the House of Delegates or Senate of Virginia
  • Occasional work around someone else’s home, such as yard work
  • Work performed for state or local government

With certain limited exceptions, children under the age of fourteen are not permitted to work. Therefore, children under fourteen are not issued work permits.

Where can homeschoolers obtain a work permit?

The Department of Labor and and Industry has transitioned to an automated employment certificate process and work permits are no longer handled through the schools. To obtain a work permit, visit the DOLI website and download the required forms. The form must be signed by the parent before a Notary Public. 

Can homeschoolers work during “school hours?”

No. According to the Guide for the Employment of Teenagers:

According to 16 VAC 15-40-10, “school hours” means those periods when the school attended by the minor is in regular session, and does not include hours before and after school, Saturdays and Sundays, holidays, or school vacations, including summer vacations. If the minor does not attend school, “school hours” shall mean the school hours of the school district in which the minor is currently living.

Additional Information

Department of Labor and Industry Information Guide for the Employment of Teenagers (English)

Guia Para el Empleo de Adolescentes (Spanish)

Employment Certificate Application Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions: Child Labor Law

Regional Department of Labor and Industry Information Field Office Phone Numbers and Other Contact Information

5 Worst Teen Jobs


  • The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. A financial statement is available from the Virginia Division of Consumer Affairs upon request.


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