How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Starbucks

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A common question, especially for teens looking for a job, is how old do you have to be to work at Starbucks?

According to the Starbucks website, employees must be at least 16 years old to work at Starbucks, or 14 if you live in the state of Montana.

Therefore, as a blanket company rule, you will most likely not be working at Starbucks if you’re under 16 and not in Montana. But it’s never too soon to start researching the company to get prepared.

Also, remember that this is the minimum age requirement and that each store may have additional rules or hiring restrictions. For example, some Starbucks hire only people 18 years old or older.

The best way to determine the age requirements for a specific store is to call the store directly or go in person and speak with a manager.

girl handing cup of coffee to a customer for post how old do you have to be to work at starbucks

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Why Do I Need to be 16 to Work at Starbucks?

This blanket rule is because child labor laws are complicated and strictly enforced.

In some states, you may need to stop working at 9 pm if you are still in school.

If you offer to stay later because the store is short-staffed and an inspector walks in, or a customer notices and alerts the child labor board in your state, the store may be fined even though you were trying to help.

Hiring young teenagers is a severe potential liability for the company.

And due to the child labor laws and working permit requirements being utterly different from state to state, keeping track on a national level of employees becomes far more complicated.

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What are the Requirements for Working at Starbucks?

Starbucks has created a wonderful place of employment for its staff. However, they have expectations in place to be able to maintain a positive work environment.

They expect a lot from their employees regarding culture and mission, taking the time to get to know each applicant and their unique qualities.

The fundamental abilities required to be a successful Starbucks employee:

  • Strong interpersonal communication abilities
  • Excellent customer service skills with the ability to communicate clearly when taking customer orders
  • Work well under pressure
  • Adhere to strict ethical guidelines.

The reputation of the company is stellar. Therefore, they take pride in maintaining this top-notch reputation by hiring people that represent the company with pride.

Is Working at Starbucks a Good First Job?

Yes, it’s a great first job. Even if the store you work at is busy, the atmosphere is cheerful and friendly.

Your co-workers will help you get better at your job, and you’ll meet many interesting people.

As you get older, you’ll have opportunities for advancement that lead to salary increases.

And as you’ll learn later, you can get a degree at Arizona State University for FREE when you work at Starbucks.

You’ll also learn everything there is to know about coffee and tea.

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The Starbucks Company

Although Starbucks was established in 1971, it wasn’t until 1987 that it started its path to becoming the Goliath it is today.

Starbucks is now the largest coffee retailer in the world, with revenues of over $29 billion for 2021.

The company employed 349,000 people around the globe in 2020, although it experienced a decrease in 2021 when that number dropped to 138,000 due to Covid and restructuring, showing a dramatic 60% decline.

But with 33,800 stores worldwide in 80 different countries, they are still a significant employer both stateside and abroad.

Interestingly, Starbucks only buys around 3% of the world’s coffee supply.

What’s it Like to Work at Starbucks

The whole Starbucks concept is based on great coffee, great people, and a pleasant environment.

For the coffee lover, it’s a perfect trifecta and what draws many employees to work there.

The self-contained stores are often clean and calm and have soothing music drifting throughout the store.

Co-workers and customers are often friendly and relaxed, and the whole vibe differs from working at a fast food joint or convenience store.

Most of your customers are there to relax, take a break and just read or do light work on their computers. They see their time there as a pleasurable restaurant experience, so they relate to you similarly.

The mall outlets, however, are a bit different due to their locations.

There are several factors Starbucks can’t control, which seems difficult for the Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz, to overlook.

Malls can be hectic and noisy. So, if you are looking for an overly busy position as a barista, an active mall outlet is probably more your style.

But be aware that your skills will be tested on a busy day like Black Friday.

Find relaxing tunes like these playing through the speakers at your favorite local Starbucks.

What Jobs Are Available?

There are numerous levels of positions available for job seekers of all ages.


This is typically where you will start your Starbucks journey.

To advance to a higher position, you must work as a barista for a minimum of one year before getting any promotion.

The barista is the workhorse of the store. Your responsibilities include:

  • Taking the customer’s order.
  • Creating the drinks or preparing the food order.
  • Delivering the order to the customer.
  • Using the cash register to take final payment.

You’ll also be required to stock the necessary supplies before and after a shift and keep your area clean.

But above all, you must do all this with a friendly demeanor. Starbucks takes the friendliness of its staff very seriously. And if you ever want to be promoted above a barista, a pleasant personality is a must.

Shift Supervisor

The shift supervisor is responsible for training new employees and bringing them up to speed on the correct “Starbucks” way of doing things.

This includes training new employees on making drinks correctly, understanding how to greet and serve guests, using the cash register properly, and giving encouraging feedback on improving at each step.

You will then need to report the employee’s progress or shortfalls to the store manager.

Assistant Store Manager

Although it is doubtful you will get the position of assistant store manager at 16, it is possible to earn the title while you’re still in your teens if you start early enough.

The only requirements to advance to this position are that you are 18 years of age and have worked at Starbucks for a minimum of 1 year.

You must come with more than just a passion for coffee to do well in this position.

You are the conduit between the store manager and all that is happening throughout the store.

Your responsibilities include giving the entire team of employees direction and feedback so they can do their jobs as professionally as possible.

It’s also your responsibility to see the store is maintained correctly, delegate tasks to the correct team member, ensure no safety issues, and that customers are satisfied with their experience.

Store Manager

If you enjoy being in charge of executing store operations, this might be a good fit.

The leadership position is responsible for staff development. The upkeep of the Starbucks experience for customers and partners is a crucial aspect of this role and contributes to Starbucks’ success. The management of a retail establishment is typically expected to make arbitrary decisions regarding the operation as a whole.

Most of one’s time is devoted to overseeing and guiding the

workforce, deciding on personnel actions (such as hiring, training, appraising, and disciplining), discharge, personnel, and scheduling), guarding contentment of customers and quality of output, controlling the store’s finances, and maintaining a secure environment


In his or her day-to-day activities, the incumbent should serve as a role model for Starbucks’ values and culture.

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How Much Experience Do You Need to Work at Starbucks?

Work history is crucial in today’s job market.

However, you may not need prior work experience to start working at Starbucks. It depends on the position you are applying for and if you can provide their legendary customer service to maintain the Starbucks experience.

Managerial positions will likely require prior management positions or similar prior retail or restaurant experience. Still, in general, working knowledge of the restaurant industry will give you more leverage in entry-level positions.

Paper applications can be sent to any Starbucks location when there is an advertised opening.

One can also apply online as an alternative if it is the applicant’s preferred method.

A formal application and a cover letter should be sent by those interested in the position.

Interview Tips

Smile! The skills needed to succeed at Starbucks can be taught, but a friendly attitude can not. So smile, be nice, and be open during your Starbucks interview.

Look the interviewer in the eyes and listen carefully to what they are saying.

If you have a specific question about something they’ve stated, ask them to clarify. This indicates you’re paying attention and internalizing the information shared.

Dress well. Wear a suitable outfit that looks well taken care of and doesn’t have frays, rips, or wrinkles. You want to look neat and professional, even in your everyday clothes.

Bring a well-written resume and any letters of recommendation you have with you to the job interview.

Be prepared from the start. The person doing the interview will notice.

Perks of Working at Starbucks – Employee Benefits

Starbucks seems to care about its employees.

They have health benefits, employee discounts, free college tuition, maternity leave, and many other programs and benefits.

Which one is most important to you is a matter of personal preference.

If you’re a mom, paid holidays, child care, and maternity leave are all great extras that make working at Starbucks pleasurable.

If you’re a coffee lover, the fact that you get a 30% discount on anything you buy at any Starbucks in the world is a great start.

But how about some free coffee and food?

Free Stuff

When you’re “on-shift,” you can drink up to 4 shift drinks of your choice at no charge.

In addition, you also get one free food item per shift. 

But even better, you can take home a FREE bag of coffee or tea, VIA Ready Brew packets, or a box of 12 K-Cups each week.

I guess they figure that you will be one alert employee with all the free coffee!

Health Benefits

Starbucks offers five different insurance plans to its employees once they have worked for Starbucks for a minimum of 90 days.

These benefits are available to part-time workers who work at least 20 hours per week.

Maternity Leave

Get up to 6 weeks of paid maternity leave when you work for Starbucks for a minimum of 20 hours per week. This is also available if you’re adopting.

When you work for the corporate office, the maternity leave increases to 12 weeks of paid leave.

You are paid your average weekly salary for the time you take off.

Child and Elderly Care Assistance

A huge bonus for working or single parents is Starbucks’s partnership with

As a parent, you can use the platform with your membership cost paid by the company for finding elderly care or daycare for children.

Once you find the care, you pay $1 per hour for the care you choose, and Starbucks pays the rest.

These vast savings allow individuals or families where both parents work to continue their careers without taking on colossal child and elderly care costs.

Free Tuition

Imagine having a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. Now imagine it being free and location independent.

When Starbucks employs you, you become eligible to participate in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

You can choose any degree offered online through this plan, and the company will pay all your tuition costs. They won’t pay for your books or extra fees, but the rest is on Starbucks.

401(k) Savings Plan

Once you’ve worked for Starbucks for 90 continuous days, you’re eligible to be part of their 401k plan, which allows you to save up to $17,000 a year.

In addition, Starbucks will match what you save at a rate of 4% to 6%. That free money adds up over the years, so if you’re thinking of a long-term career at Starbucks, this is one must-apply program.

Final Thoughts on How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Starbucks

According to the company’s website, you need to be 16 years of age to work at Starbucks in the USA unless you live in Montana, where the age is 14.

Working at the world’s largest coffee chain has many perks, not just free coffee.

Starbucks takes care of its employees through various benefits and programs ranging from health care to free education.

It’s a great first job for any teen and a great atmosphere to be a part of.

If you want to get specific information on how much you would make yearly if you were making $20 an hour, we got you covered in this article, which may be close to where you would be working at Starbucks.

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