Skip to Content

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at an Ice Cream Shop?

A good number of ice cream shops in the United States tend to hire teens 16 or older; however, it is necessary to state that this will vary depending on your state as well as your local laws.

Nevertheless, if you are seeking employment in an ice cream shop, you should take your time to visit your local businesses and ask.

In the United States, you will have to be at least 16 years old to be employed in an ice cream shop. Most often, a high school diploma or the equivalent is considered adequate for applicants to qualify for any position, including managerial roles at ice cream shops across the U.S.

According to reports, there are over 80,000 people currently employed in the more than 7,600 ice cream companies active in the industry.

In these establishments, basic team member employees scoop ice cream, add toppings, and make available the completed desserts for waiting customers.

They also carry out other sanitation and maintenance duties. Cashiers have to deal with the registers and other monetary transactions.

Management supervisors are the ones tasked with training new employees, overseeing daily operations, and more or less keeping the store running in a profitable and safe manner.

Pros and Cons of Working in an Ice Cream Shop


1. Fun and Relaxed Atmosphere

One thing you will relish about working in these facilities is the fact that ice cream shops are known to possess a cheerful and relaxed ambiance, and this makes it a very alluring place to work.

2. Interacting with Customers

By working in these establishments, you get the opportunity to interact with a vast array of customers, from families to tourists, and this can prove to be quite rewarding.

3. Tips

Ice cream shops just like other confectionary businesses allow workers to receive tips. Depending on your role and location, you can benefit from tips offered to you by satisfied customers, and this can boost your income.

4. Seasonal Employment

A good number of ice cream shops in the United States are seasonal, and this can prove to be a benefit, particularly for students or anyone who would want to work on a temporary basis during the summer.

5. Teamwork and Skills

Working in an ice cream shop also offers you the platform to work as part of a team and build customer service, communication, and multitasking skills.

6. Free or Discounted Ice Cream

In most ice cream shops, workers tend to get free or discounted ice cream, and this can prove to be a wonderful advantage. Even if you don’t want to gulp down the ice cream, at least you get something to take home to the waiting family.


1. Minimum Wage

Entry-level positions in ice cream shops earn less than the minimum wage, and this might prove inadequate especially when considering the ever-rising cost of living.

2. Seasonal Work

Although it might prove to be a perk for those seeking seasonal employment, also note that seasonal employment entails that you might have to make do with reduced hours or be laid off within the off-season, and this will mean an unstable income.

3. Fast-Paced

One thing about these business environments is that they are quite busy and fast-paced, and would most often necessitate you to work quickly and efficiently, and this can prove to be stressful, especially during peak hours.

4. Repetitive Tasks

Another thing most people complain about working in an ice cream shop is the repetitive tasks that will most often include scooping ice cream or cashier duties, and this may become monotonous over time.

5. Long Hours on Your Feet

As a worker in an establishment that sells ice cream, you should expect to spend long hours on your feet, and this can be physically demanding and overly stressful.

6. Customer Service Challenges

In this line of employment, you get to deal with varying kinds of people and personalities. Sometimes you also have to contend with difficult or demanding customers and this can prove to be quite daunting.

7. Lack of Advancement

Another disadvantage of working in an ice cream shop is the lack of advancement. Note that career advancement opportunities within an ice cream shop are limited, particularly in smaller establishments.