Juvenile Law Center

Education, Employment, and Finances

Jobs and Job Training in Pennsylvania

Who needs a work permit?

If you are between 14 and 17 and have not graduated from high school or obtained a GED, you must have a work permit to be legally employed in Pennsylvania. If you are under 14, you cannot work legally in most jobs in Pennsylvania.

How do I get a work permit?

Contact your school’s guidance counselor for an application for a work permit. You will need a parent or guardian to come to school and sign the application. If they cannot come, a caseworker may be able to sign it instead. If you are under 16 you will also need to have your place of employment fill out a section on the application.

What programs can help prepare me to get a job?

Below are some of the training programs you may want to check out. Also, remember that colleges and community colleges can help you prepare for a job.

  • Careerlink helps individuals train for and find employment. To find your local Careerlink Office check their website at www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us.
  • Job Corps provides youth age 16-24 with the opportunity for educational advancement and vocational training. Job Corps provides a monthly living allowance and often provides housing. For more information, check out the Job Corps website at http://www.jobcorps.gov/home.aspx or call (800) 733-JOBS.
  • Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) offers services to help people with disabilities prepare for, start and maintain employment. You can find contact information for your local OVR office at www.independentlivingpa.org.
  • Union apprentice programs are a combination of job training and classroom instruction preparing workers for highly skilled professions (which pay well!). Program requirements vary, but all programs require that the applicant is of working age and has a GED or high school diploma. See www.apprentice.org for more information.
  • Armed Forces: The armed forces provide vocational training. They also provide help with paying for college or training. If you are interested in joining, contact the local recruiting stations in your county. To find recruiters in your area, check out the following websites: www.goarmy.com/FindARecruiterContact.do (Army) http://go.mappoint.net/airforce/PrxInput.aspx (Airforce) www.navy.com/findarecruiter/ (navy) http://www.marines.com/rmi (Marines)

If you are in substitute care, your IL (Independent Living) Program may also provide help with job training and placement. Your IL coordinator will also be able to refer you to the programs listed above. A list of IL coordinators can be found here: http://www.independentlivingpa.org/ilDirectory.htm


Last updated: December 2011


Juvenile Law Center's fact sheets are sponsored by The Alex Benjamin Norris Memorial Fund.

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