The purpose of a work permit in Illinois is to protect the safety of teenagers and to make sure that they don't neglect their education while they work. Teenagers may work at the age of 14 or 15, but there are restrictions on the hours and duties that teens can perform, and they first must obtain an Employment Certificate from their school administration office. Here's how to get a work permit in the state of Illinois.

Obtain a "Letter of Intent to Hire" from your new employer. The letter should list the hours you will be working and what duties you will be performing.

Take the letter to your school. Bring a parent or a guardian along with you. You will request to see the school administrator (issuing officer) responsible for issuing Employment Certificates. Remember to be nice to this person and say please and thank you--they're helping you, so be respectful!

Receive the certificate. The administrator will review your letter to ensure that you won't be doing any dangerous jobs. He will also check to see if your new job hours conflict with your school schedule. If everything is fine, you will be issued an employment certificate. Give this certificate to your new employer.

Enjoy your new job!


  • Employers who hire 14- or 15-year-olds without having a work permit on file are subject to fines.


  • Children under 14 years old may not work, except jobs like yard work or babysitting in private homes.