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

McDonald’s is the biggest operating fast-food chain in the world. Its popularity is credited for two reasons. One is the delicious food it provides to its customers with quick service. Secondly, the enriching working environment for its employees.


Working at McDonald’s has always been an attractive opportunity for people of all ages. McDonald’s rich history has been a testament to the benefits that the company provides to its employees besides paychecks. You will learn more about it in the sections below. 

This article will give you an insight into the work opportunities at McDonald’s, the perks and drawbacks, and most importantly, the answer to how old you have to be to work at McDonald’s.

Come, let’s check out the answers to all these most searched queries that can help you decide what life you can have as a McDonald’s employee.

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

While applying for a job, the foremost caveats include the candidate’s experience and qualifications which help to determine the position that can be offered. However, at McDonald’s, you can start young. 

McDonald’s hires crew members aged 14 and above. 14 years old can work at McDonald’s full time or part-time (after school hours). The responsibilities will include work off the grill. To work as a cashier, the candidate must be aleast 16 years old. To work as a shift manager, the candidate must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma.

But according to the McDonald’s official website, “there are two types of McDonald’s restaurants: company-owned restaurants and restaurants independently owned and operated by franchisees.” Thus, “the hiring policies and procedures regarding age may vary between these businesses.” 

So, if you are a teenager looking to start earning extra pocket money, then McDonald’s can be a good start. But you will need written consent from your parents to get started. Moreover, in some states, you will also need a work permit.

While McDonald’s allows young candidates to apply for a job, you will be surprised to know that in the early days, McDonald’s didn’t hire female employees because of a firm no-women policy.

However, the rule changed later on. You can find out more about how this rule was turned down and 85 crazy facts about McDonald’s here

Entry-Level Jobs That You Can At McDonald’s

McDonald's Work

At McDonald’s, you can apply for jobs broadly categorized under crew member, maintenance, and management departments. However, most stores don’t have set positions, and one needs to take whatever work that needs to be done.

McDonald’s typically pays an average salary of $12.1 per hour or $25,163 per year. At the bottom of the hierarchy, McDonald’s pays 10 percent over $17,000 yearly, and those at the top 10 percent over $35,000. 

McDonald’s employees working in manufacturing/plant and facilities jobs tend to earn the highest salaries at McDonald’s. If we go by location, the highest salaries are paid to people working in Newton, ME, MA, Portland, and Essex, VT. 

Employees involved in the food preparation department have to undertake the responsibility of making all the items on McDonald’s menu once the order is taken at the counter. The average salary of a food preparation worker is $11.80 per hour.

Let’s look at the average salary structure at McDonald’s according to the various positions below.

Popular Roles

Crew Member$12.41 per hour
HVAC Technician$17.68 per hour
Shift Manager$14.05 per hour


Manager$14.62 per hour
General Manager$19.33 per hour
Assistant Manager$15.22 per hour

Food Preparation and Service

Team Trainer$10.44 per hour
Cook$12.95 per hour
Grill Cook$11.80 per hour

To find the exact salaries, depending on your location, you can visit the official McDonald’s job application website here

Will McDonald’s Hire Me At 14?


McDonald’s hires crew members at 14 years of age who can make around $10 an hour. But this decision is at the manager’s discretion that depends on the location. One important point that you must remember as a 14-year-old, or as a parent of a 14-year-old, is that the role at this age will be limited.

McDonald’s offers just one entry-level position: a ‘Crew Member.’ As a crew member, the responsibilities include hygiene and cleanliness, customer service, and food preparation.

These roles will expect you to maintain McDonald’s strict standards of cleanliness and hygiene along with customer service, which is of the utmost importance to the brand. Each guest must have a wonderful experience on every visit. 

Gradually, as you work hard and prove your abilities, you can help with food prep, counter, and drive-thru services. As a 14 yr old, you won’t be able to do a job that can potentially put you in danger. So, cooking on the grill would not be a responsibility.

Jobs That You Will Learn And Will Be Expected To Do As A Crew Member


While on duty at McDonald’s as a crew member there are some basic responsibilities expected of you. You are expected to greet every customer that walks into the restaurant, maintain a friendly relationship, and help them with any query related to the food items on the menu at your location.

To maintain cleanliness and hygiene, you will be expected to maintain high-quality bathroom standards. The responsibilities would include sweeping and mopping floors, sanitizing sinks and toilets in the bathroom, replacing toilet tissue, sanitizer, hand towels, emptying bins, etc.

The same goes for the dining area. You will be expected to sweep and mop the floors, sanitize and clear away tables after each customer leaves, empty the bins, etc.

You will also be responsible for replacing expired food items like condiments, broken straws, napkins, and other serve ware.

In the kitchen, your responsibilities include preparing food items, drinks, and customer orders.

Lastly, you will have to take on the tasks your shift lead or supervisor asked for.

How Many Hours Do I Need To Put If I Get A Job At McDonald’s?


You know all the roles that can get you a job at McDonald’s. But before you apply for a job at McDonald’s, it would be wise to know the number of hours you would be expected to put in at work.

A McDonald’s employee is expected to put in 9-10 hours of work every day. However, employee well-being is taken care of at McDonald’s therefore the management if often flexible with the working hours. Thus, as a general rule, McDonald’s limits the number of hours an employee can work to only 40 hours per week. 

Being a fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s remains busy throughout the day. The chain, all over the world, is committed to serving meals from breakfast to dinner. Therefore, it requires a hard-working team willing to serve the customers with a smile on their faces. 

Let’s take a look at the table below showing the number of working hours at McDonald’s expected from an employee, depending on different departments.

Crew Member (14 years old)3 – 4 hours (on school days)
8 hours (on non-school day)
Crew Member 8 to 10 hours 
Management 8 to 10 hours 
Food Preparation and Service8 to 10 hours 

McDonald’s Job Perks & Drawbacks

Every job has perks and drawbacks that one must be aware of to judge whether it will suit them or not. Some jobs are flexible, with specific working hours and workloads that provide job satisfaction to the employees. 

However, the conditions may not suit everybody if we look at the workload and working hours in the food industry. Therefore, before applying for a job anywhere, knowing the good and bad beforehand is good. 

So, if you are considering working at McDonald’s, it would be wise to know the job perks and drawbacks that come along with it. Check out the sections below to know all about them in order to assess if you are the right fit to be a part of McDonald’s team.

Job Perks 

At McDonald’s, you can benefit from some attractive job perks entitled to employees. These benefits cover a lot of aspects of employees’ lives. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Free Meals – Being an employee at a fast-food chain comes with free lunches and snacks. If you are a full-time or hourly staff member at McDonald’s, you can be entitled to free food. All employees also get a 50% discount on McDonald’s menu.
  • Performance Bonus – If you are an efficient and hard-working McDonald’s employee, you can benefit from performance bonuses. Bonuses and compensation offerings will vary by location and restaurant.
  • Professional Support – Employees can benefit from job training, diversity program, tuition assistance, professional development, and apprenticeship program.
  • Insurance – McDonald’s employees are also entitled to health insurance and wellness benefits, including mental health care, life, vision, dental, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability insurance. Other benefits include gym insurance, gym services, sabbatical, paternity leave, maternity leave, family medical leave, vacation, and sick day holidays.
  • Financial & Retirement – Retirement benefits include employee stock purchase plans, retirement plans, 401K plans, and equity incentive plans.

Job Drawbacks

While working at McDonald’s provides some important perks to its employees, there are some drawbacks to being a McDonald’s employee too. Let’s take a look at them. 

  • Long Working Hours – While working at McDonald’s seems attractive, employees applying for the job must note that the Internal Revenue Service defines full-time as working 30 or more hours per week. Therefore, you will have to accept a full-time position to put in at least 30-40 hours weekly. Working at McDonald’s means working your ass off.
  • Low Wages – While working hours are long, many employees also complain of low wages in proportion to their work hours.
  • The Threat of Closure – If you are getting employed on the outskirts of a city, there is always a chance of the store shutting down due to low customer demand compared to a busy suburban area.
  • Extra Burnout – If a co-worker is on leave, you feel obligated to work every shift someone else misses.
  • Stressful Work Situation – Fast food restaurants attract a lot of crowds for their quick meal services. Thus, you may be prone to physical burnout and mental stress.

Most Common McDonald’s Interview Job Questions


Anyone who applies for a job does so with the aim of acing the interview. One of the common google searches at that time look like – common interview questions at *_____*.

So, check out the questionnaire below to make your life easy and prepare you to answer all the questions that can come your way during an interview at McDonald’s. You will also find the ideal answers to those questions. 

Being a fast-food service company, you should expect McDonald’s interviews to relate to customer service, communication skills, and personal qualities.

The questions mentioned below apply to any job role at a fast-food restaurant. Honest and concise answers with a positive attitude can earn you a job at McDonald’s.

Q: Tell me about yourself.

One question you will come across in every interview, irrespective of the industry, is to tell me about yourself. When you are asked this question, your potential employer wants to know about your personality and past experiences. 

This is the golden question that can earn you a lot of points. Remember not to fumble, answer them confidently, and let your personality shine through. While answering these questions, put forward all your positive qualities. 

Answer: “I am a highly-motivated and diligent worker. I thrive in environments that present new and exciting challenges. I’m also a multitasker with the skills to deal with fast-paced work. Moreover, I love interacting with people.”

If you are new to this industry, you can add, “While this would be my first restaurant post, my past experience in retail or customer services has helped me understand that I am well-suited for similar roles where I can help people have great experiences at any establishment.”

Q: Why do you want to work here?

Whichever interview you may go for, this is one of the most common questions asked worldwide. 

Employers ask this question from potential employees because they want to hire someone who is a good fit for the company’s culture, message, and brand. Thus, your answer should reflect your passion for the role you’re interviewing for.

The best response to this question is a well-practiced polished answer that shows you’ve researched the position and the company. 

Answer: “Hospitality has been my core strength through the years I have worked in this industry. Or, I love to make delicious food (in case you are interviewing for a job behind the grills) and bring a smile to customers’ faces through my interpersonal skills.

Working for this company will allow me to use my skills best, which I’ve wanted to do since I was young.”

If you have previous experience in the fast-food industry, you could also respond by saying: “Having worked at [ex-restaurant name] as a chef/waitress/manager for a year, I learned that my personality outshines in guest-focused industries like the restaurant industry.

I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and find it stimulating and rewarding to work toward customer satisfaction along with the team.”

Q: How do you handle stressful situations?

At McDonald’s, you should expect a very busy work environment with people flocking all through the day. Thus, this question is valid for an employer to ask to know your management skills.

Answer: “I’m a good multitasker. When work gets chaotic or too many things need to be handled at once, I aim to deal with things that need to be addressed first.

Therefore, prioritizing the most urgent tasks while working at a fast-food chain could help me stay on top of orders and stress during rush hours.”

Q: How would you deal with an angry customer?

One of the most sensitive matters in the food business is dealing with angry customers. Therefore, any employer would like to know how you would deal with such a situation.

The best response to this question would be an example of a successful case of handling such a situation in your previous job if you have ever experienced it. Or else, you could tell the employer how you would de-escalate such a situation. 

Answer: “I would listen to the customer’s concern closely and assure him that it would be taken care of right away, or it would be passed on to my supervisor promptly for a solution. To make my customers happy, I would also offer them a coupon for their next visit as a gesture of apology.”

Q: What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?

By answering this question, you are sharing your core strengths and weaknesses with the interviewer, which would help them determine how they can benefit by having you on board. It’s best to frame your answer in terms most conducive to the restaurant industry.

You may have a sweet and pleasing personality. However, if you are a go-getter, naturally communicative, and outgoing, you will get the job. So, your answer to your biggest strengths.

Answer: “I’ve always been a quick learner and a strong team player. I can easily work through problems to meet the necessary objectives.”

When discussing your weaknesses, you must not say you are shy or soft-spoken. This will give your interviewer the sense that you won’t be a good fit for the job.

A better way to frame this answer would be: “A few weaknesses of mine are that I tend to care too much about my work, to the point of being a bit of a perfectionist. I also tend to overwork myself because I’m very dedicated to my work and often put it above other priorities in my life.”

Q: What hours can you work?

The best chance of getting hired is by telling your interviewer that you are flexible with the working hours (unless there is a time restriction due to health reasons or family responsibilities). You can also mention that you can work on weekends and/or holidays if required.

Q: Why would you like to work at our restaurant?

The reason an interviewer asks you this specific question is to study whether your mission resonated with the company. Or whether you like something specific about their restaurant more than the others. 

Answer: “I’ve eaten at McDonald’s many times, and I love its family-oriented environment, ambiance, and diverse menu selections.”

Q: Why should we hire you?

When an employer asks this question, they are looking for clarity, authenticity, and confidence in the candidate. You should be firm while answering this question and reiterate your strongest personality traits.

Sharing your past experience in such a customer-driven and busy industry can earn you extra marks, making you ideal for the position.

Answer: “With *__* years of restaurant experience already, combined with my love for the hospitality industry and people-oriented personality, I’m a natural candidate for this position.

I’m a fast learner and a hard worker. I tackle challenges gracefully and effectively. I always strive for customer satisfaction as my top priority, which would make your restaurant that much stronger and further serve your goals.”

How To Apply At McDonald’s?


If you have decided to work at McDonald’s, it’s time to apply for a job with them. The company website is the best resource to know about McDonald’s job openings.

You can apply for a job at McDonald’s by visiting the McDonald’s Careers website and navigating to Restaurant Jobs or Corporate Jobs to find available McDonald’s job listings near you. 

You can also look up popular job search websites in the US like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Jobs, CareerBuilder, and Monster. 

Many McDonald’s restaurants offer in-store paper job applications for those who may not have internet access. Those looking to apply in person can request an application at their nearest location.

Upon submitting a McDonald’s application form, candidates can expect to hear back from hiring managers within two weeks. Prospects are contacted via telephone or email if chosen for interviews. To know everything related to jobs at McDonald’s, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can 14-year-olds work at McDonald’s?

McDonald’s employs 14-year-old candidates. However, this decision depends on each outlet’s owner.

What job can a 14-year-old get at McDonald’s?

A 14-year-old is employed as a crew member. The part of the job would include maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, serving customers, taking orders, and doing anything the management asks you to do within working hours.

What are the working hours at McDonald’s?

As a general rule, it limits the number of hours an employee can work to only 40 hours per week.

What are the working hours for a 14-year-old at McDonald’s?

A 14-year-old employee at McDonald’s is expected to work for 3-4 hours on a school day and 8 hours on non-school days.

Does McDonald’s provide employees with perks and other benefits?

Yes, McDonald’s provides its employees with perks and other benefits.

What is the average salary of employees at McDonald’s?

Typically, McDonald’s pays an average salary of $12.1 per hour or $25,163 per year.

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