Panda Express Age Requirement: A Comprehensive Guide

Panda Express, a well-loved fast-food chain known for its Asian-inspired dishes, has various age requirements for its workforce. If you’re keen on joining the energetic atmosphere of this restaurant chain, you’ll need to know the specific Panda Express age requirement for your desired position. This post will provide you with all the details you need, whether you’re a teenager looking for a part-time job or an experienced professional seeking a career in the food industry.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Panda Express?

Panda Express Age Requirement

Working at 13: Is It Possible at Panda Express?

No, Panda Express does not hire 13-year-olds. Regulations and company policies usually set a higher minimum age for employment.

Opportunities for 14-Year-Olds: Where Can They Work?

14-year-olds, unfortunately, also fall below the Panda Express age requirement for hiring. Most locations adhere to a policy that requires employees to be at least 16 years old.

Can 15-Year-Olds Grab a Spot at Panda Express?

15-year-olds are not eligible to work at Panda Express. Similar to the above age groups, company policy generally restricts hiring to those 16 and older.

16-Year-Olds Welcome: Getting Started at Panda Express

16-year-olds meet the Panda Express age requirement for entry-level positions, such as crew members, at many locations. This opens doors for part-time opportunities for those eager to jump into the workforce.

What About 17-Year-Olds Panda Express Age Requirement?

17-year-olds can find opportunities at Panda Express, and may be eligible for roles that demand more responsibility and experience.

Experienced Hands: 50-Year-Olds at Panda Express

Yes, Panda Express hires individuals who are 50 years old. Age is not a barrier, and experience and skills are highly valued.

Opportunities for 60-Year-Olds: Is Age Just a Number?

60-year-olds are welcome to apply at Panda Express. Age does not affect the hiring decision; it’s all about what you can bring to the table.

Job Positions at Panda Express

Panda Express Job Positions

Crew Member

Age Requirement: 16+

Qualification: No specific qualifications required

Typical Pay: $10-$12 per hour

Role: Responsible for customer service, food preparation, and maintaining cleanliness


Age Requirement: 18+

Qualification: Previous kitchen experience preferred but not required

Typical Pay: $11-$14 per hour

Role: Preparing and cooking meals, maintaining kitchen hygiene, following recipes

Assistant Manager

Age: 18+

Qualification: Previous management experience, high school diploma or equivalent

Typical Pay: $15-$18 per hour

Role: Supervising staff, managing inventory, overseeing daily operations

Restaurant Manager

Age: 21+

Qualification: College degree in relevant field or equivalent experience

Typical Pay: $50,000-$60,000 per year

Role: Managing the entire restaurant, hiring and training staff, ensuring quality service and customer satisfaction

Counter Help

Age: 16+

Qualification: No specific qualifications required

Typical Pay: $10-$12 per hour

Role: Taking orders, handling cash, and ensuring customer satisfaction

Kitchen Help

Age: 16+

Qualification: No specific qualifications required

Typical Pay: $10-$12 per hour

Role: Assisting cooks, preparing ingredients, maintaining kitchen cleanliness

Shift Leader

Age: 18+

Qualification: Previous leadership experience preferred

Typical Pay: $13-$16 per hour

Role: Leading shifts, assisting management, overseeing staff performance

Area Coach

Age: 21+

Qualification: College degree or equivalent experience

Typical Pay: $60,000-$70,000 per year

Role: Overseeing multiple restaurant locations, ensuring compliance, supporting managers

Catering Coordinator

Age: 18+

Qualification: Organizational skills, previous catering experience preferred

Typical Pay: $14-$18 per hour

Role: Coordinating catering events, working with clients, overseeing catering staff

Human Resources Specialist

Age: 21+

Qualification: Bachelor’s degree in HR or related field

Typical Pay: $45,000-$60,000 per year

Role: Managing employee relations, overseeing recruitment, supporting HR initiatives

Marketing Specialist

Age: 21+

Qualification: Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or related field

Typical Pay: $50,000-$65,000 per year

Role: Implementing marketing campaigns, analyzing market trends, enhancing brand awareness

IT Support Technician

Age: 18+

Qualification: Relevant IT certification or experience

Typical Pay: $40,000-$55,000 per year

Role: Providing IT support, troubleshooting technical issues, maintaining IT equipment

Financial Analyst

Age: 21+

Qualification: Bachelor’s degree in Finance or related field

Typical Pay: $55,000-$70,000 per year

Role: Analyzing financial data, creating reports, supporting financial decision-making.

Panda Express Opportunities for International Applicants and Immigrants

Panda Express is known for its inclusivity and diversity, and this extends to its hiring practices as well. International applicants and immigrants are welcome to apply for various positions. However, it’s essential to have the proper work authorization, and specific eligibility criteria might vary depending on the location and job role. Applicants are encouraged to review the job descriptions and consult with local Panda Express hiring representatives to understand the specific requirements.

Top Cities Where Panda Express Hires Teens

  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Miami

Starting Fresh: Does Panda Express Hire without Experience?

The short answer is yes! Panda Express offers several entry-level positions that don’t require previous experience. Roles such as crew members, counter help, and kitchen help are often available to those just starting in the workforce. Panda Express values traits like enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and alignment with their company culture, often making these attributes more critical than prior experience.

No Diploma? No Problem: Does Panda Express Hire without a High School Diploma?

Again, the answer is yes. While some roles may require educational qualifications, many positions, especially at the entry-level, do not mandate a high school diploma. However, having a diploma or equivalent may open up more opportunities within the company and might be necessary for managerial or specialized roles. Job seekers should carefully read the qualifications for the specific positions they’re interested in to ensure they meet the requirements.

Benefits of Working at Panda Express

Benefits of Working at Panda Express

Certainly! Working at Panda Express comes with various benefits, fostering a positive environment that values personal and professional growth. Below are some of the main benefits of working at this popular restaurant chain:

Competitive Pay

Panda Express offers competitive salaries and hourly wages that are on par with or often above the industry standard. These pay rates can vary based on the position, location, and experience, but the commitment to fair compensation is consistent across the board.

Flexible Schedules

One of the standout features of working at Panda Express is the flexibility in scheduling. Whether you’re a student, a working parent, or someone looking to balance other commitments, Panda Express often accommodates individual scheduling needs, making it easier to maintain a work-life balance.

Opportunities for Growth

Panda Express believes in nurturing its employees and offers various training programs and growth opportunities. Whether you’re starting as a crew member or looking to climb up the managerial ladder, Panda Express provides the tools and support necessary to help you achieve your career goals.

Employee Discounts

Who doesn’t love a discount on their favorite meals? Panda Express offers employee discounts, allowing you to enjoy their delicious menu items at a reduced price. It’s a tasty perk that employees appreciate!

Health and Wellness Benefits

For eligible employees, Panda Express provides health and wellness benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurance. These benefits contribute to the overall well-being of employees and provide support when it’s most needed.

Retirement Plans

Thinking about the future? Panda Express also offers retirement planning options, such as 401(k) plans for eligible employees. This focus on long-term financial stability reflects Panda Express’s commitment to the overall welfare of its team members.

Positive Work Environment

Panda Express prides itself on fostering a friendly and positive work environment. Employees often mention the supportive management and camaraderie with fellow team members as significant benefits of working at Panda Express.

Community and Philanthropy

As part of its corporate culture, Panda Express is involved in various community service and philanthropic activities. Employees are encouraged to participate, adding a sense of purpose and connection to the broader community.

How to Apply for a Job at Panda Express

Applying for a job at Panda Express is a streamlined process designed to be user-friendly. Here’s how you can take the first step towards a career with this popular restaurant chain:

  • Visit the Panda Express Careers Page: Start by going to the official Panda Express careers page on their website.
  • Search for Opportunities: Use the search filters to find opportunities by location, position, or other preferences.
  • Read the Job Description: Click on the positions that interest you to read about the responsibilities, qualifications, and Panda Express age requirements.
  • Create an Account or Log In: To apply, you’ll need to create an account or log in if you already have one.
  • Complete the Application: Fill out the application form, upload your resume if applicable, and provide any other requested information.
  • Submit Your Application: Review everything to make sure it’s accurate and then click submit.

What to Expect During the Interview?

Once your application catches the eye of the hiring team, you might be invited for an interview. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Interview Format: Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing, depending on the role and location.
  • Questions: Be prepared to answer questions about your previous experience, availability, motivation to work at Panda Express, and how you align with their values.
  • Dress Appropriately: While a full suit might not be necessary, dress professionally and appropriately for the role you’re applying for.
  • Be On Time: Arrive a little early for in-person interviews or be ready ahead of time for virtual interviews.
  • Ask Questions: The interview is also a chance for you to learn more about Panda Express and the specific role. Feel free to ask questions!

How to Get a Job at Panda Express?

Getting a job at Panda Express requires preparation and understanding what they are looking for. Here are some tips to increase your chances:

  1. Meet the Requirements: Make sure you meet the Panda Express age requirements and other qualifications for the specific position.
  2. Tailor Your Application: Customize your application to highlight relevant skills and experiences that align with the role.
  3. Prepare for the Interview: Research common interview questions, understand Panda Express’s values, and practice your responses.
  4. Follow Up: After the interview, consider sending a thank-you email to express gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest.
  5. Be Patient: Hiring processes can take time. If you haven’t heard back, it’s appropriate to follow up, but give it some time.

What Are the Working Hours at Panda Express?

The working hours at Panda Express can vary widely depending on the role, location, and specific needs of the restaurant. Here’s an overview:

Standard Operating Hours: Most Panda Express locations operate from late morning to late evening. Typical hours might be 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, but this can vary.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time: Full-time employees may work around 40 hours per week, while part-time employees might work anywhere from 15 to 30 hours.

Flexible Scheduling: Many employees appreciate the flexibility in scheduling, especially those balancing school or other commitments.

Weekends and Holidays: As a restaurant, Panda Express may require employees to work weekends and holidays, particularly during busy times.

It’s essential to discuss your availability and expected working hours with your manager or during the interview process to ensure a good fit with your schedule.

Thinking Ahead: Retirement Age at Panda Express

Panda Express, like many other employers, does not enforce a specific retirement age for its employees. Retirement is often a personal decision based on factors such as financial readiness, health, personal preferences, and more.

Retirement Plans: Panda Express offers retirement planning options like 401(k) plans for eligible employees, aiding in long-term financial planning.

Age Discrimination Laws: In many jurisdictions, employers cannot force retirement based on age alone, and Panda Express adheres to such legal requirements.

Continued Opportunities: Some employees may choose to continue working past traditional retirement age, whether for financial reasons or personal fulfillment. Panda Express may provide opportunities for continued employment, depending on the role and individual circumstances.


Certainly! Here’s a selection of FAQs that provide additional insights into working at Panda Express:

  1. Does Panda Express Offer Paid Training?

Yes, Panda Express often offers paid training for new employees, ensuring they have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties effectively.


  1. Can I Apply for Multiple Positions at Once?

It’s usually possible to apply for multiple positions that match your qualifications and interests. Just be sure to tailor each application to the specific role.

  1. What’s the Uniform Requirement at Panda Express?

Employees are generally required to wear a company-provided uniform. It helps maintain a consistent and professional appearance across all locations.

  1. Does Panda Express Provide Meals for Employees?

Some locations may offer free or discounted meals for employees during their shifts, but this can vary by location.

  1. Can I Transfer to Another Panda Express Location?

Transfers might be possible depending on availability and management approval. It’s best to discuss this with your supervisor.

  1. Is There a Referral Program for Employees?

Some Panda Express locations may have employee referral programs, rewarding current employees for referring successful new hires.

  1. How Often are Performance Reviews and Raises Given?

Performance reviews and potential raises can vary but typically occur on an annual basis. It may differ depending on your role and location.

  1. What’s Panda Express’s Policy on Tattoos and Piercings?

Policies on tattoos and piercings may vary by location, but generally, they should be in line with the company’s appearance standards.

  1. Are There Opportunities for Education Assistance?

Some positions at Panda Express may come with education assistance or scholarship opportunities. Check with human resources for specific details.

  1. Does Panda Express Hire Seasonal Workers?

Yes, Panda Express may hire seasonal workers, especially during peak times like holidays.

  1. How Long Does the Hiring Process Typically Take?

The hiring process can vary, typically taking anywhere from a week to a month, depending on the position and location.

  1. What’s the Policy for Requesting Time Off?

Time off requests should be made in accordance with the company’s policies, usually involving advance notice and manager approval.

  1. Is There a Minimum Hourly Requirement for Part-Time Roles?

Part-time hours can vary widely, and there may not be a strict minimum, but generally, part-time roles range from 15 to 30 hours per week.

  1. How Does Panda Express Support Employee Well-being?

In addition to health benefits, Panda Express may offer wellness programs and support to promote overall employee well-being.

  1. What Opportunities Exist for Community Involvement?

Panda Express is known for community engagement, and employees may have opportunities to participate in various community service activities.

  1. Can I Work at Panda Express If I Have Dietary Restrictions?

Yes, having dietary restrictions does not generally affect your ability to work at Panda Express.

  1. What Is the Employee Turnover Rate Like at Panda Express?

The turnover rate can vary by location and role, and it may be best to inquire directly with the local management.

  1. Does Panda Express Have a Policy for Military Leave?

Panda Express often complies with legal requirements for military leave and may have specific policies in place to support service members.

  1. What Is Panda Express’s Sustainability Policy?

Panda Express is involved in various sustainability efforts, and specifics can be found on their official website or by inquiring with company representatives.

  1. How Can I Provide Feedback on My Experience Working at Panda Express?

Many locations welcome employee feedback through various channels, including direct communication with management or designated feedback mechanisms within the company.

Alternative Companies to Consider

If you’re interested in exploring opportunities similar to Panda Express, there are many alternative companies that might align with your career goals and interests. Here’s a list of some alternative companies to consider:

Chick-fil-A: Known for its chicken sandwiches and strong focus on customer service, Chick-fil-A offers various roles from entry-level to management.

Chipotle Mexican Grill: With a commitment to fresh ingredients and sustainable practices, Chipotle is a popular choice for those passionate about quality fast-casual dining.

Subway: If you’re interested in working with sandwiches and salads, Subway offers numerous opportunities worldwide with a flexible approach to staffing.

KFC: Famous for its fried chicken, KFC provides diverse job opportunities, including customer service, cooking, and management roles.

Taco Bell: Offering a wide range of Mexican-inspired fast food, Taco Bell is known for its dynamic work environment and growth opportunities.

McDonald’s: As one of the largest fast-food chains in the world, McDonald’s offers various positions, extensive training programs, and opportunities for career advancement.

Starbucks: If coffee is your passion, Starbucks provides a unique environment focusing on community connection, ethical sourcing, and employee development.

Wendy’s: Specializing in hamburgers and fresh ingredients, Wendy’s offers a range of employment opportunities with a focus on quality and customer satisfaction.

Domino’s Pizza: For those interested in pizza and delivery services, Domino’s provides a fast-paced working environment with various part-time and full-time roles.

Dunkin’: Known for its coffee and donuts, Dunkin’ offers opportunities for those looking for flexible hours and a cheerful work environment.

Panera Bread: With a focus on fresh bakery products and healthy options, Panera Bread is a good choice for those interested in fast-casual dining with a health-conscious twist.

Burger King: Offering various positions in customer service and food preparation, Burger King is a global fast-food chain known for its signature burgers.

These companies provide a range of opportunities that vary in focus, company culture, benefits, and growth potential. Depending on your interests, skills, and career goals, you may find a great fit with one of these alternative options to Panda Express. Whether you’re looking for a part-time gig or a lifelong career, these companies offer diverse paths in the exciting and fast-paced world of fast food and fast-casual dining.

What it’s Like to Work at Panda Express


Whether you’re a young teen looking for a start or an experienced professional, understanding the Panda Express age requirement and what they offer helps in making an informed decision. With its diverse opportunities and welcoming atmosphere, Panda Express could be the ideal place for your next career move.



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