What Age Does McDonald’s Hire? Can You Work At 14 or 15?

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Joining the fast-food industry, especially Mcdonald’s, does not usually demand a ton of schooling or work history compared to other jobs.


However, McDonald’s is far from your average burger joint. This company is selective when hiring, even for entry-level roles, and it also has rules for the minimum working age! Let’s discuss its age requirement in more detail.

How Old Do You Have To Work At McDonald’s?

If you’re considering applying for McDonald’s, you must be 14 or older. At that age, you can perform basic tasks like helping out in the kitchen or working at the counter.

However, applicants must be 16 for positions like cashiers. If you’re seeking a higher role (such as shift manager), then 18 is the minimum age.

Note that McDonald’s restaurants fall into two categories: owned by the company and owned by franchisees. As a result, the policies regarding working age might differ between these businesses. So, if you want to know more about their hiring policies, just contact the McDonald’s store you’re currently interested in.

Pros And Cons Of Working At McDonald

McDonald’s employee

1. The Pros

Hands-on Training

Even without a prior job history, you can start working immediately at McDonald’s with some hands-on training. You will be earning money while picking up essential skills along the way, such as increasing sales, taking orders, or keeping everything stocked up and clean. 

College courses (especially in business) can be helpful; however, they’re usually unnecessary for most entry-level job positions at this fast-food chain. Not to mention, not all roles at McDonald’s involve direct interaction with customers!

Once your probation period (usually 30 to 90 days) ends, you can work in the maintenance department or receive further training for a management position. 

Better yet, you can even learn to cook without formal schooling. Who knows? Working the grill at McDonald’s might motivate you to pursue a professional chef career someday! 

Flexible Scheduling

Want to change your working hours? You usually only need to give the store’s manager a heads-up a few weeks in advance!

Let’s say you’re in college. In that case, you might have to adjust your schedule all semesters since your classes might not always be at the same time or on the same days. You can work with your manager to set up your shifts around times you want to study, do voluntary work, or pursue other hobbies! 

Many working parents find McDonald’s jobs appealing for the same reason. The adjustable working hours allow them to make more time for the kids’ activities, such as school concerts, baseball practice, or parent-teacher conferences.

Advancement Opportunities

Once you start working at McDonald’s, be sure not to skip any shifts and grab every opportunity to learn and grow. You might get to step up as a regular shift supervisor or help out with important tasks like monthly/quarterly inventory counts.

And if you can work well with others and manage tasks beyond expectations, mark my words: the day you climb up to become a store manager may arrive sooner than you think!

Employee Benefits

You can expect to enjoy some employment benefits at McDonald’s, whether as a part-time or full-time partner. 

For instance, all employees receive amazing meal discounts. Some McDonald’s locations also offer fully paid vacations to part-time associates after they’ve worked a certain amount of hours! 

Meanwhile, full-timers can start their paid vacations from the first workday or after a specific period set by the corporation. They are also backed by health insurance coverage and may even have the option to enroll in life, vision, and dental insurance plans.

2. The Cons

Noisy and Crowded Environment

McDonald’s can get extremely loud and hectic, especially at peak hours. Believe it or not, all the noise and hustle will wear on you after some time. Many employees do not even feel like talking to their family members once they get home! 

It might get twice as bad if you are a parent. After spending the entire day surrounded by other people’s noisy kids, hearing your own children’s screams can be very exhausting – even unbearable.

Potentially Stressful

Apart from physical exhaustion, you might also experience mental stress from excessive workload, time constraints, and dealing with rude customers on a daily basis. This usually leads to migraines and even nervous breakdowns, which can seriously disrupt the quality of your everyday life if not managed properly.

So, it’s important not to take more shifts than your body and mind can handle – whether at a McDonald’s store or any similar restaurant. Your mental well-being should always be the top priority! 

Threats of Closure

McDonald’s restaurants are less likely to close down than some low-rated local eateries many may not even have heard of. Still, that is not really an unlikely threat, especially if the store is in an area with barely any foot traffic or at the heart of downtown! 

If you are from a small city and want to avoid such disasters, applying at a McDonald’s on a bustling street or near a highway is a good idea. Such locations tend to have a more consistent customer flow, allowing the restaurants to stay open for as long as possible! 

Valuable Skills Required To Work At A McDonald’s

Work at McDonald’s

A qualified candidate must demonstrate a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. Let’s get onto some of the most important aspects: 

1. Technical Job Skills 

  • Cash register: Taking orders, handling payments, and operating the cash register efficiently
  • Food preparation: Following recipes, using kitchen equipment like grills and fryers, assembling food accurately and quickly
  • Cleaning and hygiene: Keeping everything clean and following company guidelines for maintaining a hygienic environment, including surfaces, equipment, and restrooms
  • Basic computer skills: Knowing your way around a computer can be quite useful when you access training materials or internal systems, although it’s not always a must-have qualification. 

2. Soft Skills

  • Customer service: Being friendly, helpful, and efficient when dealing with customers
  • Communication: Conveying clear information to colleagues and managers (whether through words or gestures) to keep things running smoothly.
  • Time management: Working efficiently under pressure to meet deadlines, especially during busy times.
  • Problem-solving: Identifying and fixing issues that arise unexpectedly during work, such as mistakes in orders or malfunctioning equipment

3. Personal Qualities

  • Reliability: Showing up for scheduled shifts on time and consistently demonstrating a strong work ethic
  • Adaptability: Adjusting to changing demands and learning new skills quickly
  • Positive attitude: Maintaining a professional yet positive demeanor, even when dealing with difficult customers.

What Is The Application Process?

First, go to McD’s careers site to search for available positions (either by location or job title). 

Click “Apply Now” on the chosen job, fill out the application form, and then upload your resume. Keep in mind that McDonald’s might run criminal and credit background checks on your profile as part of their Employee Verification Check process! 

Once you apply, the company will review your job application thoroughly; if you have not heard any news from them within 30 days, chances are you will not be selected.

Another option is to visit a McDonald’s store in person to ask about job openings and how to apply. Since McDonald’s is basically a household name, there’s likely a store near where you live!

See more: Top 6 McDonald’s Interview Questions And Answers

Available McDonald’s Jobs for Teens

1. Team Member


  • Crafting menu (e.g., sandwiches, french fries, burgers) 
  • Managing cash registers
  • Handling transactions
  • Delivering exceptional customer service
  • Assisting with stock and inventory management
  • Maintaining workplace sanitation and hygiene


  • Minimum age: 14
  • Good communication skills
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Can stand for hours and lift 25 pounds
  • Basic math
  • (Optional) Previous retail experience

2. Cashier


  • Greeting customers and taking their food orders
  • Working the cash register
  • Handling transactions


  • High school diplomas or equivalent (for some locations)
  • Decent communication skills
  • Great organizational skills
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Can multitask
  • Great customer service

3. Cook


  • Crafting food products
  • Complying with the store’s safety standards


  • Teamwork
  • Decent time management skills
  • Great communication skills
  • A keen eye for detail


Most of the time, you must be 16 or 18 to apply for a job at McDonald’s. But if you are excited to work early, they do hire 14-year-olds for some basic kitchen or counter tasks!

Still, working at McDonald’s (or any fast food joint, for that matter) can take a toll on even an experienced adult. So, before starting your career at such a young age, take a few moments to consider whether that’s the right move for you.

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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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