How old do you have to be to run Pizza Ovens in the State of Michigan?

In almost every state I’ve lived, minors are not permitted to operate machinery of any kind, including ovens. Here’s Michigan:

The Fair Labor Standard Act governs the employment of minors under federal law. The Michigan laws governing the employment of youths are found in the Michigan Youth Standards Act at MCLA 409.101 et seq. Federal and state laws differ in certain areas, therefore, employers must be familiar with both laws and abide by the stricter law if they differ.

Prohibited jobs for 14 and 15 year olds include those involving:

  • Manufacturing

  • Operating or tending of any hoisting apparatus or of any power driven machinery other than office machinery

Minors ages 16 and 17 are prohibited from working as:

  • Operating, assisting to operate, setting up, adjusting, repairing, etc. kitchen equipment

  • A motor vehicle driver or outside helper on any public road or highway with limited exceptions (that are addressed below)


Sixteen year olds may not drive on public roads as part of employment. But 17 year olds may drive cars and trucks as work if:

  • The driving is restricted to daylight hours

  • The employee has a valid license, no record of moving violations at the time of hire and has completed a state approved driving course

  • The vehicle has a seat belt and the employer instructs the employee to use it

  • The vehicle weighs 6,000 pounds or less

  • The driving does not involve towing of vehicles, urgent deliveries or route deliveries or sales

  • The driving does not entail a traveling place of employment

  • The driving is occasional and incidental to the teen’s employment which is no more than 1/3 of an employee’s working time in a day and 20 percent of such time in a work week

I wanted to throw that driving part in there in case there was a Michigan pizzeria owner or two who might be interested in those quick facts.


It will vary from state to state. I don’t know about the laws in Michigan specifically, but here in Kansas you can’t operate any type of equipment unless you are 18-years or older. To get the information I would suggest Googling (Michigan Child Labor Laws) or (Michigan Department of Labor)
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor