How Many Hours is a Part-Time Job?

  • Posted by Nicole Adams

Employees who work fewer hours per week than an employee who is considered full-time (generally between 20-29 hours) are considered part-time, but those hours can vary depending on the position, company and agreement. Part-time work can be a great option for folks who want or need greater flexibility with their job, leaving more time for other activities and pursuits. 

What is a Part Time Job?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks participation in the U.S. workforce, counts part-time work as fewer than 35 hours worked per week, but that definition is only used for statistical purposes. The IRS only offers guidelines to help employers determine the line between part-time and full-time hours, with part-time employees averaging fewer than 30 hours per week for a calendar month.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is the major employment law in the U.S. that mandates issues like a national minimum wage, overtime pay and child labor doesn’t provide a clear definition for part-time or full-time jobs. Instead, the FLSA considers this a matter to be determined by an employer. It’s also up to the employer to set their own requirements for qualifying for benefits as a part-time employee. 

A part-time job is one where an employee works fewer hours per week than their employer considers full-time employment. Because there are no legal definitions for what constitutes a full or part-time employee it will vary. When applying for a part-time job, it’s important to ask what benefits they offer part-time employees and to clearly understand what the company considers full vs part time. 

What Are the Benefits of a Part-Time Job?

Part-time jobs are known for having a lot of flexibility, such as the option to work during the weekday, weekend or night shifts and even remotely and from home. This is why many students and parents choose to work part-time jobs, so they can still focus on things like their studies or their families. Part-time jobs are often also available short-term seasonally, especially during peak periods like summer vacation or the holidays. 

When you work part-time hours you often have the opportunity to gain experience and training in a variety of different fields. Working part-time also makes it possible to work for more than one company, allowing you to gain new experiences and develop skills that you might not otherwise have had. If you wanted to move to full-time hours at a later time, these new skills could make it possible for you to qualify for other types of positions.

Part-time work may improve your time management skills as you need to be able to make smart decisions and come up with effective solutions to make the most of the time that you have. If you are capable of balancing more than one part-time job, you may also be able to make more in your combined income than you would working for one company full-time. 

Now that you know more about part-time work, you can start searching for a role that fits perfectly with the rest of your life. Use our advanced search option to find the perfect part-time job for you.