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Exactly How Many Hours Is Considered Part-Time?

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What is a part-time job?How many hours is part-time?What are the benefits of part-time hours?Do part-time employees get benefits?

Guide Overview

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

If you're evaluating jobs, wondering how many hours you'll be expected to work is likely one of your primary considerations. Part-time jobs can be a great option for candidates who want greater flexibility with their time, as they leave more time for other activities and pursuits. However, you may be wondering how many hours is part-time. In this article, we discuss how many hours a week is part-time, along with some of the major benefits of working full-time hours.

Learn more: How to Find a Part-Time Job

What is a part-time job?

A part-time job is one where the employee works fewer hours per week than their employer considers full-time employment. That said, how an employee defines part-time can vary depending on the company policy. For example, a company could consider an employee part-time if they work fewer than 35 hours per week.

There are no legal definitions for what constitutes a full- or part-time employee. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics considers 35 hours per week full-time employment. However, that definition is only used for statistical purposes. The Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets the requirements for when employees are due overtime pay, doesn’t specify how many hours per week an employee has to work to be considered full-time, either. Ultimately, it comes down to how the employer defines full-time.

Learn more: 20 Companies Hiring Part-Time Jobs Now

How many hours is part-time?

The number of hours that an employee works to be considered part-time can vary. However, as a general rule, employees who work between 20 and 29 hours per week are considered part-time employees. That said, the hours can vary depending on the position, company, and agreement.

What are the benefits of part-time hours?

Now that you better understand how many hours is considered part-time, you may be wondering what the primary benefits are for working part-time. There are a number of reasons why part-time hours might be beneficial for you, including:

Better flexibility and reduced stress

Working full-time hours can be tiring for employees. If your position exposes you to continuous stress, it can have a big impact on your overall performance and even cause your health to suffer. Working part-time hours can greatly reduce the amount of stress you deal with in the workplace, as you may not be given the same amount of responsibility.

You’ll also be better able to create a work/life balance by having more time off. Because you’ll be working fewer hours, you’ll have more time for your family, friends, and hobbies, which can increase the personal fulfillment you feel. You’ll also be in the office enough that you’ll still be able to develop a professional presence in the workplace.

Improve your time-management skills

When you work a part-time job, you have fewer hours during the day to accomplish your responsibilities, which is why part-time hours lend to stronger time management skills. You need to be able to manage your time properly, make smart decisions, and come up with effective solutions to problems to make the most of the time that you have.

New opportunities and new skills

When you work part-time hours, you have the opportunity to gain experience and training in a variety of different fields. Some employers may be reluctant to take on a new employee for full-time hours if they’re less experienced. However, they may be more willing to hire a less experienced candidate on a part-time basis if they’re enthusiastic and eager to learn.

Working part-time also makes it possible to work for more than one company at a time, allowing you to gain new experiences and develop new skills that you might not otherwise have had. If you want to move back to full-time hours at a later time, these new skills could make it possible for you to qualify for other types of positions.

More money

If you are capable of balancing more than one part-time job, you may be able to make more in your combined income than you would make if you were just working for one company full-time. Additionally, since many salaried employees work 50 or more hours per week, you may still work fewer hours by working multiple part-time jobs.

Time to pursue other activities and projects

One of the greatest advantages of part-time work is the ability to spend your free time pursuing other activities. A part-time job could be ideal, for example, if you’re pursuing a degree. The position could give you experience and still allowing you time to complete your degree. The combination of education and experience could lead to other, more advanced opportunities.

Part-time jobs could also make it possible to pursue professional advancements. For example, a part-time job could help you develop skills that could qualify you for other roles, or simply make it possible to obtain employment at a company you really want to work for, as you wait for a full-time opportunity to open up. Finally, a part-time job also gives you the flexibility to dedicate time to projects like writing, art, or civic outreach.

Do part-time employees get benefits?

The Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t say whether part-time employees are entitled to the same benefits as those who work full-time. In many cases, it’s up to the employer to determine whether they will offer retirement plans, paid time off, and health insurance to part-time employees. It’s also up to the employer to set their own requirements for qualifying for benefits as a part-time employee. For example, the employer could require employees to be with the company for a certain length of time to qualify, regardless of whether they’re part- or full-time.

Employers who have 50 or more full-time employees are required to offer those individuals health insurance. However, they aren’t required to do so for part-time employees. Additionally, employers typically aren’t required by law to give paid time off to any of their employees. Even holiday pay isn’t mandatory. If employers decide to offer holiday pay to employees, they can choose to extend the offer of paid holidays to their part-time employees as well. However, the choice is ultimately up to the employer.

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