What Age Does Taco Bell Hire?

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Taco Bell offers some of the best Mexican-inspired dishes around, and surprisingly, that’s one reason why it’s such a popular choice among job seekers.

Taco Bell Restaurant Sign on side of building

But before you consider applying, don’t forget to check the Taco Bell hiring age to confirm you qualify! Let my team fill you in on all the details.

How Old Do You Have To Work At Taco Bell?

You must be 16 or older to work here, although the company sometimes hires younger applicants (e.g., 14 or 15) with a legal work permit. 

Taco Bell is often considered an excellent first part-time gig for students (provided it fits their school schedule). The brand is also quite inclusive and even welcomes applicants with temporary or permanent disabilities! 

Note: Although Taco Bell often hires young employees, people of any age can apply, actually. So, there’s still a chance for you at Taco Bell even if you’re 50, as long as you meet their requirements! 

How Much Does Taco Bell Pay?

According to ZipRecruiter, as of March 11, 2024, Taco Bell employees in the U.S. earn an average hourly wage of $13.44, most making between $12.5 and $13.46 nationwide. The pay range varies very little (less than $0.96), indicating limited advancement opportunities even with years of working experience.

Based On Locations

My team has also identified ten cities where Taco Bell workers earn above the country’s average. San Joe easily tops the list, followed closely by Oakland and Antioch.

San Jose, CA$17.44$697$3,022$36,275
Oakland, CA$17.20$687$2,981$35,774
Antioch, CA$16.86$674$2,922$35,074
Hayward, CA$16.65$666$2,886$34,642
Seattle, WA$16.63$665$2,883$34,599
Santa Cruz, CA$16.33$653$2,830$33,963
Concord, CA$16.26$650$2,818$33,826
Seaside, CA$16.05$642$2,782$33,391
Sunnyvale, CA$16.00$639$2,772$33,270
Livermore, CA$15.81$632$2,739$32,876

The best-paying roles include shift manager ($30,196 a year), customer service rep ($29,921), and line cook ($29.515). On the other hand, food prep roles and crew members are among the lowest-paid, with the latter earning an average of $24,013 per year.

Based On Job Titles

RankJob TitleYearlyHourly
1Shift Manager$30,196$14.52
2Customer Service Rep$29,921$14.39
3Line Cook$29,515$14.19
4Assistant Manager$29,242$14.06
5Crew Trainer$28,728$13.81
6Team Leader$28,277$13.59
7Shift Leader$28,229$13.57
8Team Trainer$26,461$12.72
9Food Service Worker$26,286$12.64
12Line Up Worker$24,386$11.72
13Food Prep$24,068$11.57
14Crew Member$24,013$11.54

Pros And Cons Of Working At Taco Bell

Taco Bell employee

The Pros

Flexible Schedules

Taco Bell stores stay open late to accommodate different schedules. That’s extremely convenient, especially for parents or students who can’t work standard 9-to-5 jobs. 

Everyone can pick shifts that suit them best and adjust job hours as needed. Even better, Taco Bell offers Flex-Day Fridays all year round, when you get to decide how to spend your Fridays! 

Paid Holidays

As a Taco Bell employee, you will get paid for 9 holidays (maximum) a year, plus an extra floating holiday! 

You can spend those holidays with your family or friends or travel anywhere you like. The company also offers 2 volunteer days (of course, 100% paid) and the chance to earn some time off for special occasions, such as anniversaries. 

Great Employee Benefits

Once you start working here, you’ll receive dental, vision, and medical benefits immediately on day 1 – not to mention a flexible spending account for dependent care and health care expenses! 

There’s also a standard package for life insurance coverage, and you can always choose to buy more if necessary. 

Tuition Reimbursement

Great news for students and undergraduates: the company’s Guild Program offers amazing tuition price cuts and will reimburse some of your education expenses. 

That means you can go to college or pursue higher degrees without drowning in debt! Feel free to consult the Guild’s academic advisors for useful advice and clarifications. College tuition aside, the company also covers the cost of GED certificate programs as well.

Career Development Program

A Cravable Career Program is designed to help you grow your professional skills and reach all career goals. Participants will receive various work perks, such as childcare or access to the laundry facilities right on-site — a fantastic opportunity if you are looking to develop a solid, long-lasting career here! 

401(k) Program With Reimbursement

Taco Bell’s 401k plan helps you save for retirement by matching 6% of your contributions. Long story short, if you put in some money, Taco Bell will add an extra 6% on top! You’re basically getting free money to prepare for your future and be financially secure.

Free Quality Food/Beverages

At many Taco Bell stores, staff get free food items and drinks during their shifts. What a great way to save money on meals while fueling themselves for the rest of the day! And although policies might vary from place to place, some branches even offer snack discounts when their employees are off the clock. 

The Cons

Low Pay

One major downside to consider is the pay. While it might vary based on factors like your geographical location and job title, Taco Bell wages are still much lower than the global/national average. Worse, there are no annual raises according to my research, meaning even seasoned workers could end up making less than some new hires! 

Stressful Environment

Working here can be quite exhausting, especially during peak hours. It’s a fast-paced environment like most other fast-food chains, after all, and many locations have really long lines! 

Some employees even find themselves working solo during night shifts. Worse, they must stay on their feet the entire day with barely any break, so think twice if that seems too physically demanding for you.

Strict Metrics

At Taco Bell, employees must know how to serve fast, and the company even tracks how long it takes each customer to get their order! 

Most employees find such expectations to be “insane,” especially when there aren’t enough staff members on duty. Just the thought of having to keep up the same pace day by day, week by week, can stress out even the most experienced employees!

Skills Required To Work At Taco Bell

working at Taco Bell
  • Customer Service: Being friendly, patient, and able to communicate effectively with customers is essential 
  • Teamwork: You’ll be working alongside a team to prepare and serve food; that’s why collaboration is non-negotiable
  • Learning Agility: Your willingness to learn new procedures and follow instructions 
  • Basic Literacy: Since you’ll likely need to handle cash registers and follow recipes, Taco Bell prefers applicants with basic math and reading skills 
  • Reliable Work Ethic: You must show up on time and be a dependable team member.
  • Working Under Pressure: We all know how fast food restaurants can get extremely hectic at peak hours. Without the ability to handle extra workload under pressure, you will definitely not last at Taco Bell. 

How To Apply

Head to the Taco Bell careers website, then enter your location to search for open job positions near you and submit a resume. You can also visit a local Taco Bell to ask about any job vacancies; sometimes, they might have a sign advertising they’re hiring.

Available Teen Jobs At Taco Bell

Front Crew Member (Both Part-Time & Full-Time)

Average salary: $12.04 an hour


  • Greeting customers
  • Processing transactions
  • Assisting with customer complaints or questions


  • Minimum age requirement: 16 (14 to 15 for some places)
  • Friendly personality
  • Great communication skills
  • Multitasking skills
  • Basic math

Back Crew Member

Average salary: $16.18 an hour


  • Preparing Mexican-style food 
  • Adhering to safety and sanitary regulations


  • Minimum age requirement: 16
  • Time management & multitasking skills
  • Can work in a Taco Bell team
  • Physical stamina

Shift Leader

Average salary: $15.53 an hour


  • Operating the store
  • Managing and monitoring the staff


  • Minimum age requirement: 18
  • Great leadership skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good math
  • Physical stamina
  • Teamwork spirit


You must be 16 years old to work at Taco Bell, though some locations do make exceptions for younger applicants. It’s best to check with the managers to be sure!

Also, if you don’t consider yourself physically capable, think twice before applying here. Trust me, this job isn’t for anyone seeking a slow-paced, undemanding workday!

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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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