What Are Part-Time Hours? Explanation, Calculation (2022)

What are part-time hours? There are a few significant distinctions between full-time and part-time employment. Part-time jobs, for example, may not be eligible for the same perks and benefits as full-time jobs, depending on the company. 

On the other hand, fewer hours per week usually means greater flexibility, allowing you to work other jobs or further your education.

what are part time hours

What are part-time hours? What is a part-time position?

There are no formal government rules for determining whether a worker is part-time or full-time. While the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) outlines legally enforceable rules for hours, overtime, and salaries that U.S. businesses must follow, it does not specify how many hours per week an employee must work to be deemed full-time.

Individuals who work at least 35 hours per week are classified as full-time employees by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

However, this quantity is purely statistical and has no legal significance. 

On the other hand, many employers utilize this figure as a benchmark when formulating policy.

Part-time hours have both advantages and disadvantages.

Before deciding on a part-time job, consider a variety of variables. While the company, role, commute, and income are all significant factors to consider, part-time jobs also have their own set of benefits and drawbacks.

what are part time hours

Advantages of working part-time

Part-time jobs are an excellent option for people who need a steady income but don't want to commit to a full-time schedule. Here are a few advantages of working part-time:

Greater adaptability 

Part-time work is usually more flexible than full-time jobs, and you may be able to choose your own hours. This is advantageous if you have other responsibilities, such as caring for a loved one, doing another job, or going to school.

Additional revenue. 

Part-time employment provides a regular stream of income that may augment other full- or part-time work. You might also get a part-time job to supplement your income while pursuing other objectives such as starting your own business or attending school.

Possibility of pursuing other interests. 

A part-time job might allow you to explore other hobbies or career options outside of work.

The disadvantages of working part-time hours

While part-time jobs might be advantageous for certain people, there are a few things to consider before deciding on this career path:

To get benefits, you must be eligible. 

While some firms provide benefits to part-time employees, the majority do not. During the interview, inquire about any perks you desire, like health insurance or paid time off.

what are part time hours

There's a chance you'll make less money. 

Part-time jobs often pay less than full-time jobs, regardless of whether you're paid by the hour or fixed income.

There are fewer prospects for promotion. 

Many managerial jobs need a full-time commitment. Specific promotions may be unavailable if you are unable to work full-time.

Do you get benefits if you work part-time?

When applying for a part-time job, make sure to inquire about the perks available to part-time employees. 

While part-time employees do not often receive the same benefits as full-time employees, this does not imply you will be without benefits.

According to the Affordable Care Act, any business with more than 50 workers must provide health insurance to at least 95 percent of its employees who work an average of 30 hours per week. 

Because of these criteria, you may be eligible for health insurance if you work part-time for an average of 30 hours each week.

Part-time employees may also be eligible for paid time off (PTO), which includes vacation and sick days, as well as additional benefits such as remote work. 

You may not need this sort of job perk if you have health insurance from a parent or spouse. However, if you require health insurance, you must first determine whether you are eligible before accepting a job offer.

Part-time employment schedules come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

what are part time hours

Part-time employees can work shorter workdays or fewer days per week than full-time employees. 

Professionals interested in part-time jobs might choose from various work schedules.

Here are a few examples of common part-time job arrangements:

Schedule for freelancers

Freelancers are almost often engaged on a contract basis. They may work remotely or on-site, depending on the role and the demands of the business. While freelancers usually do not have access to benefits, they may have more freedom and control than regular workers.

Alternate timetable

An alternative schedule differs from any other schedule type already in use by a company. Alternate scheduling can be utilized to meet particular or temporary employee demands such as pregnancy, family obligations, or medical needs.

A schedule that is split

A split schedule is when an employee gets many hours off between shifts. For example, an employee may work from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and then again from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., for example. This schedule is an ideal option for persons who cannot work lengthy shifts due to extraneous responsibilities.

Timetable for being on call

When an employee is on-call, they must be available to work for the company anytime it's required. Employees' on-call schedules are usually rotated among them, so no one is needed to be on call at all times. On-call schedules are frequently necessary for occupations involving emergency services, such as physicians, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, and social services.

Examples of part-time jobs

Employers who provide part-time hours typically want adaptable employees and are willing to pitch in wherever needed. While part-time jobs in the hospitality and retail industries are always available, you can usually find part-time work in any profession for which you have gotten trained.

Here are a few instances of high-paying part-time positions:


Accountants are responsible for the analysis and upkeep of a company's finances, including recording costs and calculating taxes, in addition to the day-to-day monitoring and management of a business's financial operations. Accounting firms, organizations, and individuals may hire part-time accountants during tax season.


Computer programmers use coding languages like C++ or Java to create computer software. Programmers must explore the back end of computer software while improving the user experience on the front end. Many businesses recruit part-time computer programmers to help with special projects or cover work that their full-time staff can't do.

Graphic Designer

Logos, email templates, websites, and marketing materials like banners, advertising, and postcards are all created by graphic designers. Graphic designers frequently work as freelancers for several clients simultaneously or in-house for a single company.

Business Consultant

If you've worked as a director or manager for a long time, you could be qualified to work as a management consultant. Management consultants look at a company's procedures to see where they can improve and maximize efficiency. Management analysts often increase an organization's profitability by lowering expenses and raising revenue.


Industry research analysts detect market trends by analyzing the purchasing habits of a target population. Companies may use this information to better target and sell to their consumers by sharing it with them. Market research analysts might be hired full-time, part-time, seasonal, or on a contract basis.

Material Transporter

Items movers, sometimes known as "hand laborers," transfer materials from one area to another. They usually work in manufacturing or warehouses. They are frequently in charge of moving freight around a storage facility and packing and unloading stuff. This is a physically demanding profession.

Network Administrator

If you have a Bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology, a career as a network and computer systems administrator can be a good fit for you. Network administrators are in charge of creating and maintaining an organization's internal network systems. They're in charge of keeping networks running smoothly and securely. When problems develop, many organizations engage part-time IT consultants on an as-needed basis.


Part-time writers can work on various projects, including writing for blogs, websites, magazines, ads, novels, music, and films. Some writers work in-house for a corporation or organization, while others work for several clients on a contract or freelance basis.


Editors are in charge of creating, coordinating, evaluating, and modifying material for newspapers, books, emails, websites, and magazines. Editors can also consider subject suggestions and guide the editorial team.

The number of hours you'll get asked to work in a part-time job varies per company because there are no legal rules to follow. Depending on your agreement, you may perform the same amount of hours each week, or you may work fewer hours some days or weeks than others.

It's also helpful to know that some jobs allow you to ramp up to full-time hours if your needs alter or another opportunity arises. If your professional aim is to work full-time hours for a firm, accepting part-time hours and letting the employer know you're interested in doing extra work as needed may be helpful.

Working part-time offers various advantages, and there are numerous options available if you want to work fewer hours than a full-time job requires.

What is considered part-time in California?

In California, an employer can categorize a person as a full-time employee if they work at least 32 hours per week. On the other hand, some companies will classify employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week as part-time. In California, the employer has discretion in these situations.

What is considered part-time hours per week?

A temp work might be full-time or part-time, and it may or may not affect your unemployment benefits. A part-time job is one that requires you to work fewer than 40 hours each week. You are entitled to earn up to 50% of your weekly benefits amount from any part-time employment, whether permanent or temporary.

What's considered part-time in Illinois?

Anything less than 30 hours per week is considered part-time work (a part-time employee) in Illinois. The line between full-time and part-time work can be drawn in whatever way the employer wants in organizations that provide benefits that aren't mandated by law.

Do part-time workers receive overtime pay?

Part-time employees are still entitled to a minimum salary, and if they work more than 40 hours in a single week during a busy time of year, they may be eligible for overtime compensation.

What are ALE's?

ALE is an Applicable Large Employer (ALE). They are companies with less than 50 employees.

What's the difference between working full-time and working part-time?

Employers choose how many hours a week are considered full-time and part-time, as well as the distinctions between the two. Benefits and health care are frequently limited to part-time employment. A part-time employee, for example, may not be eligible for paid time off, health insurance, or paid sick leave.

What is the minimum number of hours a full-time employee must work?

The US Department of Labor does not define a full-time employee, but the IRS and the Affordable Care Act (often known as Obamacare) describe it as working 30 hours or more per week or 130 hours or more per month.

If your organization is not classified as an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) by the IRS, these definitions may not apply to you. Companies with less than 50 employees are generally not deemed ALEs; however, this might vary depending on various factors.

State regulations may also define full-time to get certain benefits, and rules such as COBRA may have an impact.

What kinds of occupations are appropriate for part-time work?

Part-time jobs have traditionally been the realm of retail, fast food, and hospitality workers, as they require flexible hours to suit fluctuating demand. However, more professionals are increasingly working part-time to allow greater freedom for both the individual and the business.

Is working 32 hours a week considered part-time?

While most businesses define full-time employment as between 32 and 40 hours per week, the Affordable Care Act stipulates that a part-time worker works on average less than 30 hours per week. A 32-hour workweek is considered full-time under the Affordable Care Act.

Is it possible for a part-time employee to advance to a full-time position?

A temporary adjustment may turn into a long-term one, and a part-time employee may get forced to work full-time hours for a lengthy period. You'll want to have a policy in place that specifies when a part-time employee becomes a full-time employee so that you can give benefits uniformly across your business and avoid any potential IRS and ERISA breaches.

Will I receive overtime pay if I'm a part-time employee?

The FLSA restrictions on exempt and non-exempt employees apply to part-time workers' overtime. Part-time employees may be required to work overtime or more than 40 hours a week occasionally. This may occur during a company's peak season, when a full-time employee cannot work, or when other circumstances change. Most likely, you'll have to pay a part-time employee overtime, but make sure you read the guidelines beforehand.

Is there a right to vacation for part-time employees?

Employers are not required to provide vacation time to part-time employees. On the other hand, part-time workers are frequently given time off by their employers. Typically, this is done on a pro-rata basis.

What rights do part-time workers have?

Part-time workers often do not have access to the same health and retirement benefits as full-time employees. They are entitled to a minimum pay and meal and rest intervals that are proportional to the length of their shift.

Part-time employees are entitled to how many sick days?

Mandatory sick leave laws are only in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. While there are no federal rules requiring sick leave, states vary in their policies, ranging from five to fourteen days.

Additional resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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