💼 How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Petco?

Welcome to our detailed guide on the age requirements for employment at Petco. Whether you’re a young job seeker or a parent guiding your teen, understanding the age criteria for working at Petco is crucial. Let’s dive in!

1. General Age Requirement Across the United States

Minimum Age: 18 years old

Reasoning: This requirement ensures that employees are legally adults, and capable of handling various responsibilities within a retail environment​.

2. Specific Roles and Their Age Requirements

Roles such as Guest Experience Specialist, Grooming Apprentice, or Vetco Customer Service Representative: Minimum age of 18 required​.

Educational Requirement: In addition to the age criteria, Petco generally prefers candidates to hold a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

3. Exception to the Rule: Alaska

Alaska’s Unique Policy: In Alaska, the minimum age is lowered to 16 years. This exception allows younger individuals in Alaska to seek employment at Petco locations within the state​.

Restrictions: It’s important to note that in no location, including Alaska, can individuals below 15 years of age be employed.


Petco maintains a standard age requirement of 18 years across most of its locations in the United States, aligning with common retail practices. This ensures that employees are adequately mature and responsible for the roles they undertake. However, the unique policy in Alaska offers opportunities for 16-year-olds, broadening the employment scope for younger individuals in that region.

Whether you’re aiming to start your career in pet care retail or simply seeking part-time employment, understanding these requirements is the first step towards your journey with Petco.

Petco Age Requirement

Location Minimum Age Educational Preference Additional Notes
United States 18 years High School/GED Standard requirement across most states
Alaska 16 years High School/GED Exception to the general rule
All Locations No employment below 15 years of age

Key Takeaways

The standard minimum age for employment at Petco is 18 years.

Educational requirements such as a high school diploma or GED are generally preferred.

Alaska presents an exception, allowing 16-year-olds to work at Petco.

Petco’s age policy aligns with typical retail practices, emphasizing maturity and responsibility in its workforce.

This comprehensive overview should assist job seekers and parents in understanding the employment landscape at Petco, setting clear expectations for young individuals aspiring to join the pet care retail sector.

FAQs: Petco Age Requirement

Q1: Can I work at Petco if I’m 17 and about to turn 18?

A: Petco strictly adheres to its minimum age requirement of 18. Even if you are close to turning 18, Petco policies dictate that all employees must have reached the age of 18 before beginning their employment. This ensures compliance with labor laws and company policies geared towards maturity and legal responsibility in the workplace.

Q2: Does Petco offer any work opportunities for high school students?

A: While Petco’s standard policy requires employees to be at least 18 years old, high school students aged 16 and above can find opportunities in Alaska due to the state-specific age exception. However, in other states, high school students below 18 are generally not eligible for employment at Petco.

Q3: Are there any exceptions to the 18-year age requirement for specific roles?

A: Petco maintains a consistent age requirement of 18 years for all its roles, including guest experience specialists, grooming apprentices, and Vetco customer service representatives. This uniformity in age requirement across different roles ensures a standard level of maturity and capability, which is deemed necessary for the diverse responsibilities at Petco.

Q4: What are the implications of hiring underaged individuals at Petco?

A: Hiring individuals under the age of 18 at Petco locations outside of Alaska can lead to serious legal implications. This includes potential violations of child labor laws and non-compliance with company policies. Petco takes these regulations seriously to maintain a responsible and legally compliant work environment.

Q5: How does Petco’s age requirement compare to other pet retail chains?

A: Petco’s age requirement is in line with industry standards for pet retail chains, where the minimum age of 18 is commonly observed. This parallels the practices of other retail environments, ensuring that employees are legally adults and capable of handling the varied responsibilities and customer interactions that come with working in a retail setting.

Q6: Does Petco offer any training programs for young individuals interested in pet care careers?

A: While Petco’s employment age requirement is 18, they do not specifically offer training programs targeted at younger individuals under this age. However, for those eligible to work, Petco provides comprehensive training in various aspects of pet care and customer service, equipping new hires with the necessary skills and knowledge for their roles.

Q7: Can volunteering or internships at Petco lead to employment before the age of 18?

A: Petco does not typically offer volunteer positions or internships that lead directly to employment for individuals under 18. The company’s policy of hiring only those who are 18 or older is strictly maintained, regardless of prior volunteer experience or internship roles within the company.

Q8: Are there any state-specific variations in Petco’s hiring policies besides Alaska?

A: Apart from the exception in Alaska, where 16-year-olds can be employed, Petco’s hiring policies, including the age requirement, remain consistent across other states. This uniformity ensures a standardized approach to hiring and employee management throughout its retail locations.

Q9: What are the legal implications for Petco in hiring under the age of 18?

A: Hiring individuals under 18, except in specific locations like Alaska, could expose Petco to legal challenges, including violations of federal and state labor laws. These laws regulate work hours, conditions, and types of employment for minors. Non-compliance can result in fines and legal sanctions, impacting Petco’s operational integrity and reputation.

Q10: How does Petco’s age policy impact its workforce diversity?

A: The age requirement of 18 at Petco shapes its workforce by limiting the age range of its employees, focusing on adult workers. This policy, while restrictive for younger job seekers, allows Petco to maintain a workforce with a certain level of maturity and life experience, potentially leading to a more consistent and professional customer service experience.

Q11: Is there flexibility in Petco’s age requirement for part-time positions?

A: Petco’s age requirement of 18 applies uniformly to all employment types, including part-time positions. This uniformity ensures compliance with labor laws and aligns with the company’s standards for employee maturity and capability across all roles, regardless of the hours worked.

Q12: Can exceptional academic or vocational qualifications offset the age requirement at Petco?

A: Despite academic or vocational achievements, Petco does not waive its age requirement of 18. This policy upholds legal compliance and workplace standards. Exceptional qualifications, while valuable, do not substitute for the company’s age-based criteria for employment eligibility.

Q13: How does Petco verify the age of its applicants?

A: During the hiring process, Petco employs standard verification methods to confirm applicants’ ages, typically requiring government-issued identification. This process is a crucial step to ensure compliance with age-related employment policies and labor laws.

Q14: Are there opportunities for career advancement at Petco starting from the minimum age of employment?

A: Once employed at Petco, individuals who start at the minimum age of 18 have opportunities for career growth and development. Petco offers various pathways for advancement within the company, encouraging skill development and professional growth from the outset of employment.

Q15: What is Petco’s stance on age discrimination in its hiring process?

A: Petco adheres to fair employment practices, which include compliance with laws against age discrimination. The age requirement of 18 is a legal compliance measure rather than a discriminatory practice. Petco’s hiring process is designed to be inclusive and equitable, focusing on candidates’ qualifications and suitability for the role rather than discriminatory factors.

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