The majority of your adult life will be spent in the work setting. Employment brings with it financial independence and self-esteem for the accomplishments made. The decisions that you make during your time of transition from high school to the adult world will have an impact on your life for years to come. We have tried to provide you some information about education and types of employment that are available to you in Montana.


Labor Laws for Workers under Age 18

The United States Department of Labor has created some very helpful fact sheets that explain the guidelines for younger workers. Click here for the fact sheets for workers in each category under age 18.

The categories defined by child labor laws are as follows:

For laws specific to Montana, click here for the Montana Department of Labor child labor law reference guide.  It mirrors much of the information found at the Federal DOL site but has information and contact information specific to Montana.


Internships are a valuable tool for developing work history, references and employment networks. Internships whether paid or unpaid have certain requirements that must be met.  This web address helps define the various aspects of internships.  The main focus here is the benefit to the student and how the internship needs to be linked to educational and vocational goals.


Volunteering is another great way to develop work history and build a personal network of references and employment skills.

As a general rule volunteering may not occur at for-profit private sector companies.  Volunteering may take place at non-profit groups, community organizations, clubs, service programs and public entities.


  • Work without expectation of compensation
  • Work less than full time
  • Do not displace paid workers
  • Perform services of the kind typically associated with volunteer work (ie charitable purposes, helping others, short term projects, bring comfort to the sick, elderly, disadvantage persons, etc)

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines volunteering as it relates to an employment relationship.  Some of the information regarding internships is similar as it describes what is or is not employment when a person is working without compensation. Click here for the link to the FSLA site about volunteering.