Permissible Occupations for Youth


The Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act (CYEOA) of 1971 is a state law regulating youth employment in the state of Colorado.  In addition to reviewing the restrictions under the CYEOA, the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should be reviewed.  The FLSA is a federal law and its regulations do not permit the employment of minors in a variety of circumstances.  The Colorado Division of Labor is a state agency and cannot intervene or assist in matters involving the application and interpretation of federal laws.

NOTE: When both federal and state laws apply, the more stringent standard must be observed. For more information about federal law and the FLSA, please contact the U.S. Department of Labor at 720-264-3250 or 866-487-9243.

The following occupations are permissible for minors under the Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act (CYEOA).


  Permissible Employment By Age

 Under Age 9

 No minor under the age of nine years may be employed.

 Age 9 or Older

  • Delivery of handbills, advertising, and advertising samples.
  • Shoeshining.
  • Gardening and care of lawns involving no power-driven lawn equipment.
  • Cleaning of walks involving no power-driven snow-removal equipment.
  • Casual work usual to the home of the employer and not specifically prohibited.
  • Caddying on golf courses.
  • Any occupation similar to those enumerated above and not specifically prohibited.

 Age 12 or Older

  • Occupations listed above.
  • Sale and delivery of periodicals.
  • Door-to-door selling and delivery of merchandise.
  • Baby-sitting.
  • Gardening and care of lawns, including the operation of power-driven lawn equipment if such type of equipment is approved by the division or if the minor has received training conducted or approved by the division in the operation of the equipment.
  • Cleaning of walks, including the operation of power-driven snow-removal equipment.
  • Agricultural work, except for any such work considered hazardous under federal laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Any occupation similar to those enumerated above and not specifically prohibited.

 Age 14 or Older

  • Occupations listed above.
  • Non-hazardous occupations in manufacturing. See Advisory Bulletin # 4 (III) for hazardous occupations for minors.
  • Public messenger service and errands by foot, bicycle, and public transportation.
  • Operation of automatic enclosed freight and passenger elevators.
  • Janitorial and custodial service, including the operation of vacuum cleaners and floor waxers.
  • Office work and clerical work, including the operation of office equipment.
  • Warehousing and storage, including unloading and loading of vehicles.
  • Non-hazardous construction and non-hazardous repair work. See Advisory Bulletin # 4 (III) for hazardous occupations for minors.
  • Occupations in retail food service.
  • Occupations in gasoline service establishments including (but not limited to):
    • Dispensing gasoline, oil, and other consumer items.
    • Courtesy service.
    • Car cleaning, washing, and polishing.
    • The use of hoists (where supervised).
    • Changing tires. Note: No minor may inflate or change any tire mounted on a rim equipped with a removable retaining ring.
  • Occupations in retail stores including:
    • Cashiering.
    • Selling.
    • Modeling.
    • Art work.
    • Work in advertising departments.
    • Window trimming.
    • Price marking by hand or machine.
    • Assembling orders.
    • Packing and shelving.
    • Bagging and carrying out customers' orders.
  • Occupations in restaurants, hotels, motels, or other public accommodations. Note: minors may not operate power food slicers and grinders.
  • Occupations related to parks or recreation including, but not limited to, recreation aides and conservation projects.
  • Any other occupation which is similar to those enumerated above.

 Age 16 or Older

  • The occupations listed above and the operation of a motor vehicle if the minor is licensed to operate the motor vehicle pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes Article 2, Title 42.


The Director may grant exemptions from some provisions of the CYEOA. Any employer, minor, minor' parents or guardian, school official, or youth employment specialist may request an exemption. Exemptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and are granted or denied in accordance with the best interests of the minor. Exemption determinations involve the scrutiny of such factors as the minor' previous training and safety concerns. Note that exemptions provided by the Director of the Colorado Division of Labor do not apply to federal youth laws.



Advisory Bulletin: Youth Employment Permissible Occupations, 2(III)
Colorado Revised Statue 8-12-101 et. seq. (Youth Employment Opportunity Act of 1971)
Colorado Revised Statute Title 42, Article 2 (Driver's Licenses)


Federal Youth and Labor Law

Quick Links

Fact Sheet: Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act
Youth Employment Law