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Part-Time and Full-Time Hours

part time and full time hours

Have you ever wondered about the difference between full-time and part-time hours?

This can be important if you are planning to apply for a new job. Many job descriptions for part-time or full-time don’t actually specify the exact required working hours.

Employers also need to make sure they have a good understanding of part-time and full-time positions. There are legal restrictions on the amount of hours employees can work as well as the breaks they are entitled to.

So, let’s take a closer look at what companies usually mean when they state part-time and full-time hours.

part time and full time hours

The Definition of Part-Time Work

In this guide, we’ll start with part-time of course. The only real legal definition of these hours is that they are less than full-time hours. This definition is very vague and provides employers with a lot of flexibility when assigning working hours. For example, a part-time employee may work just ten hours one week and twenty hours another week as needed.

The Definition of Full-Time Work

The definition of full-time hours is slightly varied between different regulating bodies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time employees work at least 35 hours per week. The Affordable Care Act states that it is around 30 hours per week, Fair Labor Standards Act limits it to 40 hours per week.

However, none of these definitions are strictly legally binding, and employers can set their own definitions. Depending on the company, full-time employees could be required to work 30, 32, 35, or 40 hours per week. Although employees are permitted to work more than 40 hours per week, they are legally entitled to receive overtime pay.

Part-Time Vs. Full-Time Work Schedules

There are several key differences between full-time and part-time work. In addition to the number of hours, there are also differences in pay, scheduling, and associated benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the main differences and similarities between part-time and full-time schedules.

The Hours

Full-time employees usually work the same number of hours every week as specified by their contract. However, the working hours for part-time employees can vary from week to week and even day to day. They may work a series of long shifts followed by several days off.

The Schedule

Full-time employees usually work set hours, which are specified in their contracts. From time to time, employers may need full-time employees to work additional hours or change their schedules. However, they have to provide overtime pay and special incentives like meals and rewards.

The schedules for part-time employees are much more flexible and can change regularly if the employer needs them to. Part-time employees may work the same hours for several weeks at a time. However, the employer has the right to change the hours as needed and provide little notice of schedule changes.

The Pay

This is one of the main differences between part-time and full-time employees. While part-time employees typically make less than full-time employees, this is not always the case. However, how the pay is calculated and provided can make a big difference.

Part-time employees usually receive an hourly wage and receive a salary for each hour they work. However, full-time employees usually receive a flat monthly salary, regardless of how many hours they work.

The Job Benefits

Generally speaking, part-time employees do not receive benefits like paid time off, sick pay, and retirement plans. However, full-time professionals usually receive an attractive benefits package in addition to their salary. This can cost the company a lot of money if the employee needs to take extended sick leave or has high medical costs.

The Pros of Hiring Part-Time Employees

The main advantage of hiring part-time employees is that salaries are typically lower. Part-time employees also receive fewer benefits and other types of expenses. There are also a couple of other benefits that hiring part-time employees can offer.

Help When You Need It

Part-time employees can be called on to work when full-time employees become sick and are unable to work. Many companies have a few part-time employees on standby at all times. This helps to ensure that all roles in the company are fully covered at all times.

the part time and full time hours


Creating staff rosters is easier for managers who have several part-time employees to schedule. Part-time employees can be scheduled to fill gaps in the roster. This also helps to ensure that no excess employees are working at any time.

The Cons of Hiring Part-Time Employees

The main downside of hiring part-time employees is that they may not be as committed to the company. Part-time employees are unlikely to work extra time to make sure their work is complete at the end of their shift. There are also a couple of other disadvantages that employers are likely to encounter.

Knowledge Gaps

Because they work less than full-time employees, part-time employees have less knowledge and experience. In some cases, they may have big gaps in their knowledge. This may be due to missing important training programs.

Inconsistent Work

Lack of experience and knowledge gaps can lead to inconsistent work. Two different part-time employees may do the same job in very different ways. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and cost the company business.

The Pros of Hiring Full-Time Employees

One of the main benefits of hiring full-time employees is loyalty. The job security and additional benefits that full-time employees receive create enhanced satisfaction. Full-time employees can focus the majority of their time on their work and are willing to work hard.


Full-time employees do not suffer from knowledge gaps and can gain experience quickly. They are more likely to focus on their tasks to advance in the company.

Enhanced Productivity

Generally speaking, full-time employees are much more productive than part-time employees. If a task still needs to be completed at the end of the day, full-time employees are more likely to finish it. Because they are solely responsible for their work, there is more pressure for them to do it correctly.

the part time and full time hour

The Cons of Hiring Full-Time Employees

The main disadvantage of hiring full-time employees is the cost involved. In addition to the salary, full-time employees also receive a range of benefits, all of which cost the company money. There are also certain other disadvantages that employers need to take into account.

Employee Burnout

Full-time employees are more likely to get burned out and need to take a vacation or a more extended break. Common signs of burnout are feeling dissatisfied at work, which can escalate to conflicts with other employees. If not kept in check, employee burnout can create a toxic working environment and lead to decreased productivity.

Work/Life Balance Issues

Many employees struggle to balance their work with their private life, especially when they start a new job. Not taking enough time to relax and take care of personal tasks can quickly lead to employee burnout. Conversely, employees who are too focused on side projects or personal issues may have difficulty concentrating at work.

Which is Best?

There are several benefits of choosing part-time employment rather than full-time employment. This type of work is ideal for students, young mothers, and other people who have busy schedules. Taking on one or more part-time roles also allows employees to test different careers and see if they are the right fit.

However, there are also disadvantages to part-time work. Part-time employees often do not have the same access to benefits such as medical coverage and holiday pay. They may not have the opportunity to choose their shifts, which can lead to scheduling issues.

Full-time equals attractive benefits…

Full-time employees are often treated to an attractive benefits package in addition to their salary. They are often provided with special paid training and the chance to be promoted within the company. They may also receive a higher salary than a part-time employee if they excel at their job.

However, full-time employees have less flexibility in terms of working options and usually work in a single role. This can be challenging if there are other teammates that they do not get along with well. Full-time work can also be draining for some people and be tricky if they have a lot of personal commitments.

Looking For Online Application Opportunities?

Not sure what work you’d like to do, then you’ll want to first read up on the 20 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 20 Per Hour, 15 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 40 Per Hour, the Best Jobs For College Students or even the Best Times Of Year To Apply For Jobs.

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Furthermore, for your full-time applications, we’ve put together some exciting Aviation positions if you are feeling brave enough to take to the sky! Take a look at our Alaska Airlines Application, Ethiad Airways Application, US Airways Application, Hawaiin Airlines Application, Qatar Airways Application, and also why not our Emirates Application.

If you have a criminal record, I can still help with my Best Part Time Jobs For Felons to help plan your future.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have an understanding of part-time as well as full-time hours, it is easy to choose the best option for you. If you are searching for work, you will be able to select the type that suits your lifestyle and personal commitments. Many part-time employees also have the option of choosing full-time hours later if their personal commitments change.

For employers, it is important to understand the obligations they have to both their part-time and full-time employees. Due to various needs and availability, many large companies employ both part-time and full-time employees. It is important to always be aware of your staffing needs and make scheduling changes as the needs change.

All the best in finding that perfect job!

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