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How Many Hours Is Considered Full-Time?

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

How many hours is full time?What are the common benefits of full-time hours?Full-time hours vs. part-time hours

Guide Overview

Everything you need to know about how many hours is full time

When searching for a new job, you'll likely come across job listings for both full-time and part-time positions. While the jobs may look the same, there are some differences between both the actual hours you'll work and the benefits you'll receive with a full-time job versus a part-time job. Here we explore how many hours a week a full-time job requires, the most common benefits associated with a full-time position, and the differences between part-time and full-time hours.

How many hours is full time?

If you’re on the job hunt or you’ve never worked in a full-time position before, you may be curious to know how many hours qualifies as a full-time job. In general, a full-time job is one in which you work between 30 and 50 hours a week, with the most common workweek being 40 hours for most full-time positions.

Each full-time job will typically set hours on a case-by-case basis. So, for example, if you’re working for a startup company, you may be asked to work much more than the standard 40-hour workweek in order to accomplish everything on your plate. But, if you work for a more traditional and established company, you’ll likely only be required to work 40 hours a week at eight hours each day Monday through Friday.

Most companies will include information on what is expected of employees in terms of work hours in their employee handbook. For example, a company may specify that employees are required to work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while another may allow employees to work flexible hours throughout the week as long as they add up to 40 hours at the end of each week.

If you’re still in the interview process with a company and the hours are unclear to you, be sure to ask the interviewer or hiring manager to clarify how many hours you’ll be expected to work on a daily and weekly basis. Knowing how many hours you’ll need to put in each week is an important component of work-life balance and will ensure you know what to expect going into the position.

What are the common benefits of full-time hours?

There are several benefits that often come with being a full-time employee. Benefits will vary from company to company, but many companies offer their full-time employees the following:

  • Sick leave: Many companies offer full-time employees a set number of sick days per year. These days are to be used in the instance that you fall sick or are injured. Sick days may be paid or unpaid.
  • Paid time off (PTO): Nearly all companies provide full-time employees with PTO days each year. The standard number of PTO days is 10 days each year, but each company will vary in how many days off it allots its employees. Some organizations allow employees to accrue PTO and even let employees roll over their PTO to the next year if they don’t use their days off.
  • Health benefits: There are several different health benefits an organization may offer its full-time employees. Common health benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, and paid medical leave.
  • Retirement plan options: Retirement options like 401(k) plans are typically only available to full-time employees. Companies who offer these options sometimes choose to contribute to the retirement accounts via a matching program.
  • Maternity leave: If you become pregnant while working full-time for an organization, you may be eligible for paid or unpaid maternity leave. This program allows employees to take time off of work for a set period of time that usually ranges from two weeks to 12 weeks following the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): Flexible spending accounts allow you to contribute to a savings account that can be used towards medical expenses each year. These accounts are usually tax free, so any money you put towards them won’t be taxable.
  • Paid holidays: Some companies give employees paid holidays, or paid time off on certain holidays, in addition to PTO. For example, an organization may give its employees Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off and still provide pay for those days.
  • Childcare: Childcare can be costly, and some companies help their employees offset this cost by offering discounted or free childcare benefits. This may be through onsite childcare services or through a reimbursement plan.
  • Flexible schedules: Many companies are beginning to allow their full-time employees to have flexible schedules. Flexible schedules allow employees to choose when and sometimes where they work their hours each week. For example, you could choose to work 10-hour days Monday through Thursday and have Friday off each week.
  • Education assistance: Some organizations offer education assistance programs to full-time employees wishing to pursue a degree or a certification.
  • Pension: A pension is a retirement plan that promises to pay an employee a set amount of income each year after retirement. Pensions are usually based on how long an employee works for a company and the amount they contributed to that organization. Pensions are a great way to plan for financial security once you retire.

Full-time hours vs. part-time hours

The following are the primary differences between full-time employees and employees that work part-time for a company:

  • Companies are only required to offer full-time employees benefits like health insurance, so if you’re a part-time employee, you’ll likely need to seek health insurance on your own.
  • Most organizations don’t offer part-time employees other benefits like PTO and paid holidays.
  • Part-time employees may have more flexibility in when and where they work compared to full-time employees.
  • Part-time employees typically work 32 hours or fewer each week, while most full-time employees work at least 40 hours each week.
  • Part-time employees are usually paid by the hour by companies, while full-time employees can be paid both hourly or salary.
  • Full-time employees are typically considered to have more job security with a company than part-time employees.

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