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December 14, 2021

Job search 101: Age requirements to work in Canada

Working before you are 18 can be a great way to gain experience and start building your future career. However, it can be tricky to know how old you have to be to work in Canada. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities available for those legally entitled to work and those who want to gain experience before they can officially begin working. Let's look at some of the ways you can get started. 

What is the minimum age to work in Canada? 

The answer will vary depending on which province or territory you live in, but generally, the minimum age for employment in Canada is 14 years old (15 years old for hazardous jobs). However, in some provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, this age drops to 12 and 13, respectively, but only under certain restrictive conditions.

It is important to double-check with your local government about the exact rules for your area; for example, if you are 12 or 13 and looking for work, there may be restrictions on certain types of jobs that you may not be able to do until you are older. 

How to gain experience before your first job 

You can gain valuable experience in many ways, even if you still need to be older to work officially. For example, apprenticeship programs are a great way to learn practical skills while earning an income; however, these programs often require that participants be at least 16 years old. If apprenticeships aren't an option, try volunteering! Volunteering is a great way to gain hands-on experience and build your resume before applying for paid positions.

Additionally, many employers will accept volunteer experience as a substitute for paid job experience when considering applications. Finally, consider taking courses related to the type of job or industry that interests you; this will show employers that you're serious about learning and gaining knowledge related to their field.

Starting your job search journey

Once you turn 14 (or 15 if necessary), it's time for real fun! Start by researching what types of jobs interest you, and keep an eye out for any postings from local businesses or organizations looking for help from reliable young workers like yourself.

When applying, ensure your resume includes all relevant information, including any volunteer positions or coursework completed—even if it wasn't paid! Be prepared with references from previous employers or teachers who can speak positively about your work ethic and knowledge base; this will help give potential employers confidence when deciding whether or not to hire you. Most importantly, though - make sure you enjoy what you do! Having enthusiasm and passion goes a long way when starting any new venture - so don't forget that!   

Starting out working before 18 is possible - but it's essential to know how old you must be to work in Canada. Whether it's apprenticeships, volunteering opportunities, or taking courses related to your desired field - these all offer opportunities for young people looking into their first job experiences - no matter where they live in Canada! With these tips in mind, we hope that anyone over 14 (or 15) years old feels empowered with the tools needed to enter their first job search confidently! Good luck, everyone!