How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At Starbucks? 14 Or 15?

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Securing a job at Starbucks is a golden chance to polish your professional and people skills. Plus, you don’t usually need a degree or heaps of experience to get in the door; basic know-how should do. 

Starbucks Hiring age

But here’s what slipped some people’s minds: Starbucks age requirement must also be factored in. Many rumors have been circulating about this issue so far, so let me set the record straight!

What Is The Minimum Age To Work At Starbucks?

You must be 16 years old (at least) to jump on the board if you’re eyeing an open position at Starbucks in the US. 

That is not just an unreasonable or random rule they came up with; in fact, it has a tight connection to the state laws, which put lots of restrictions on how many hours a minor can clock in at work.

And I know this might sound discouraging, but remember that if you’re 16 or 17, barista positions are basically the only jobs available in most areas. Higher supervisor roles usually call for full-time availability, which requires more experience and obviously does not comply with the limited hours minors are allowed to work legally.

While it’s not set in stone, in certain cases, Starbucks might consider hiring someone who is just 14. But note that this is not a one-size-fits-all situation; they will look at it case by case, depending on the store’s current needs and the applicant’s maturity and skillset. 

Do They Hire 50+ Years Old? 

How about applicants who are a bit older (50 years old and more?) Great news: Starbucks does not pay much attention to your age if that’s the case. There is no upper age limit that holds you back! 

Starbucks has always been an active advocate of diversity, including age diversity. The brand understands that people of different ages can bring unique blends of experiences, skills, and insights to the table. Hence, their support of diversity is not just all talk or a marketing strategy; they actively seek out people of all ages to join the team. 

Long story short, it doesn’t matter whether you only have a few years of experience under your belt or have already been in the middle of your career journey. Starbucks will have open arms for you and ensure everyone feels supported and respected, regardless of their current stage of life. 

Why Should You Join Starbucks?

Company Culture and Values

Right from the start, Starbucks was clear about its vision to be more than an average coffee joint: the brand strives to build a community beyond simple java brewing. That’s why they do not call their staff “employees” – they are Starbucks’ partners, working together for success. 

Hence, slinging the best coffee beans in town is not the only long-term goal. Starbucks views everything it does through a human lens to ensure a positive impact, whether serving a perfect cup of joe or engaging with customers and local communities. 

Furthermore, as mentioned, Starbucks welcomes inclusion and diversity; everyone should be respected and supported, no matter who they are or where they come from. Even people with disabilities receive all the support they need to shine at work, such as through assistive technology or personalized accommodations. And that is not a common sight to see, especially for expensive brands or global coffee giants like Starbucks.

Perks and Benefits

Whether you are clocking in full-time or part-time at Starbucks, there are some amazing benefit packages lined up for you:

Health Coverage

You’ve got options here, from dental to medical and vision plans. And do not forget reimbursement accounts for:

  • Life insurance
  • Dependent care
  • Health care
  • Coverage for disabilities and accidents

Financial Benefits

Starbucks fully supports your 401(k) retirement plans and even matches your contributions with theirs. You can also take a look at:

  • Discounted company stocks
  • Loan management benefits
  • A chance to join Bean Stock, the company’s equity reward program
  • My Starbucks Savings (which gives you cash incentives when you hit a certain saving goal)
  • Siren Card (a Visa card just for Starbucks partners. However, it is only available in the U.S. so far) 

Starbucks offers both their non-retail and retail partners sick time, paid vacation days, and 2 personal days. And on holidays (Starbucks celebrates seven), they will pay their hourly partners 1.5x for every hour they work.

Parental Leave

Are you welcoming a new member to your family? You can take some time off while still getting paid through Starbucks’ parental leave program. Furthermore, with the Family Expansion Reimbursement, eligible partners can receive $10,000 (maximum) to help cover surrogacy, adoption, or any Intrauterine Insemination expense.


Education is highly valued at Starbucks, so if you are eligible, they will offer a support program where you can earn your esteemed bachelor’s degree with full tuition coverage. You can also get counseling and coaching through the Arizona State University’s (ASU) online programs. 

And what if you’re dealing with student loans? Starbucks also has your back there. Through the company’s Student Loan Management (via, you can access a wider range of resources, tools, and coaches that help you navigate your current financing situations.


Starbucks makes it easy for partners to handle work-related transportation expenses. With transit passes fully funded by payroll deductions, your daily commute is never easier.

CUP (Caring Unites Partners) Fund

Last but not least, if you ever find yourself in a tough patch, such as facing financial crises due to natural disasters, family loss, or natural disasters, Starbucks will be more than willing to lend a helping hand.

Other Requirements to Work At Starbucks

Working at Starbucks

As I said earlier, education is not really a requirement at Starbucks. However, there are indeed some interpersonal skills and qualities that can make you stand out better:


Have you ever stepped foot in a Starbucks? Then you know how important it is for the staff to be friendly and welcoming. 

As you are one of the company’s representatives now, your job is to ensure every customer feels like they’re walking into a warm hug. That means greeting them with a smile, helping them pick out their perfect drink, and leaving a positive overall experience.

Working Under Pressure

You should be able to handle the heat – literally. Starbucks can get pretty hectic, especially during morning rushes or after-work peaks, so make sure you can keep your calm when things start moving at lightning speed. 

Let’s say you’ve got a line of customers out the door, all impatient for their morning pick-me-up. Can you survive the time pressure and still deliver top-notch service? That’s what Starbucks is looking for.


Last but not least, Starbucks values trustworthiness above all else.

When you’re part of the Starbucks team, you might find yourself handling cash or keeping an eye on the goods when nobody else is watching. Everyone should be able to trust you like how they trust their favorite barista with their morning latte; once you lose that accountability, working with the team long-term is impossible. 

Some Strict Rules That You Must Follow If You Are Hired

No Temporary Hair Dyes

You might wonder why they are okay with colored hair, but draw the line at temporary dyes. The reason is food safety: temporary dyes can be washed out very quickly and get on anything they touch. No customers want colorful streaks on their drinks!

No Switching Station

Next, Starbucks partners cannot just switch stations whenever they feel like it. 

Let’s say one station is in its peak hours, and another does not have to handle that many customers at the moment; you might think it makes sense for someone from the latter to lend a hand. 

But that is not the case here; such decisions must come from the higher-ups. Though some people have complained that the rule is too strict, Starbucks does not change its mind.

No More Than 3 Drinks All At Once

Finally, there’s a limit on how many beverages a barista can make simultaneously: just three at a time, even during the busiest rushes. 

There’s a good reason behind this: if you juggle too many drinks, you might mess up their multi-stage processes and end up with unhappy customers. Thus, by keeping things manageable, Starbucks ensures every drink comes out just how it should and further promotes the brand’s long-standing consistency. 

Some Job Positions For Teens At Starbucks

Now that we have addressed how old to work at Starbucks, let’s have a look at some available options if you are 18 or under: 

Barista Roles

Age Requirement: 16+ (14+ if you live in Montana)

Average Pay: $15 an hour


  • Greeting customers
  • Preparing coffee and other drinks
  • Handling cash transactions
  • Basic cleaning tasks

Shift Supervisor

Age Requirement: 18+ (17-year-olds might be exceptions if qualified)

Average Pay: $17 an hour

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Assisting the manager with everyday operations
  • Delegating tasks to other baristas
  • Maintaining cleanliness

Assistant Manager

Age Requirement: 18+

Average Pay: $28 an hour


  • At least 2 years of retail experience


  • Supporting the store manager
  • Setting schedules
  • Working with vendors
  • Improving store performance

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Starbucks hiring age is 16 (14 in some places, but that’s not too common). 

However, if you’re eyeing full-time positions, you must wait until you are 18. And while it does not pay much attention to your school diplomas or degrees, Starbucks does expect you to perform at your best in the people skills department, so make sure you’re up for the challenge before applying.

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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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