How many hours is considered part-time a week? It is an essential question to ask if you currently work multiple jobs or a full-time job while trying to earn some extra cash on the side.
Understandably, you want to know how much time you need to be spending each week if you want this side hustle to pay off. Because, let’s face it, your priority is to make sure your dreams of financial freedom and early retirement come true. And we don’t blame you for that!
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A part-time job is where you work fewer hours than a full-time job. So, to answer the question – How many hours is part-time a week? The answer is less than 35 hours per week.
No specific number of hours makes someone full or part-time, but anything less than 35 hours is considered part-time. Part-time jobs are sometimes offered permanent positions and sometimes temporary or seasonal positions.
Part-time work has both advantages and disadvantages to consider. Here are 11 benefits of part-time work.
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While the salary for a full-time job can be more than the hourly pay for a part-time job, you’ll know what your take-home pay will be each week when you’re on an hourly wage. There’s no need to wait for your next paycheck to learn how much you’ve earned.
This is a great perk for part-timers. You get paid by the hour instead of the day or week. That’s perfect for someone who can’t commit to working a certain number of days each week but might be able to pick up a 10-hour shift now and then.
Consider this scenario: You work four hours one day and then take time off the next day because your kid gets sick. You get paid for those four hours on hourly pay, even if you didn’t work 8 or 10 hours that week. Your part-time job can easily become a side gig when you need it most!
One of the biggest benefits for part-timers is that they work fewer hours than full-time employees, which means they can devote more time to personal and family activities.
Some people want to work part-time because they want to reduce their total working hours — for example, parents who want to spend more time with their children or older workers who want extra time for hobbies or travel.
Others may choose part-time work to balance two jobs or meet other commitments such as caregiving responsibilities or pursuing a university degree.
If you’re thinking about working part-time, you must evaluate the pros and cons of the decision before committing yourself.
Part-time work provides greater flexibility in managing your personal life and responsibilities, so you can make plans during evenings and weekends without worrying about the impact on your employment arrangements.
It’s an important benefit for many people, especially if they are the sole breadwinner in their household. For example, parents can pick up their kids from school without leaving work early or rushing. They also have more time for hobbies and downtime, essential for health and well-being.
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Working shorter hours gives you more time to exercise and eat nutritious meals, helping you stay fit and healthy in the short and long term.
Working less means less stress and more time for physical activity. According to the Center for American Progress, people who work fewer than 35 hours a week are four times more likely to report excellent health than people who work full-time or longer hours each week.
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Part-time work can help you avoid the stress of financial hardship by providing sufficient income to meet basic living costs while allowing some financial leeway.
For the individual, part-time work offers lower costs for commuting and childcare. Part-time workers are usually paid less than full-time employees, providing cost savings in salary expenses for an employer.
If your living expenses are high, you may not be able to reduce your working hours without significantly reducing your income dramatically. However, it may be possible to cut back somewhat and maintain a stable financial situation. In addition, if you have family members who make more than you do, their increased income may make up for some reduction in yours.
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One of the most popular benefits of part-time work is the amount of time off. Even if you’re only working a few hours per week, you might have every other Friday or Monday off or be able to work around a school or family schedule. This is an especially useful benefit for single parents who need to arrange care for their children.
If you’re working part-time just to make some extra cash, having a regular schedule that doesn’t require as much time off as a full-time job may be preferable.
You may not have as many paid vacation days as your counterparts who work full-time, but you’ll still get plenty of days off! You’ll also have more flexibility when scheduling your vacations, taking advantage of holiday pricing, and avoiding the peak travel season.
If you have kids, elderly parents, or other responsibilities that make a 40-hour week impossible, part-time work may be your solution. Part-time jobs can allow you to set your schedule, including evenings, weekends, or even just a few hours a day.
It’s also possible to split your time between multiple employers to have enough hours without any employer having to provide them. And if you choose to freelance or contract work, you can even decide how many weeks per month and months per year you will be available.
Part-time employment may also be less stressful than full-time work because there is more time away from work to pursue other activities that bring pleasure and reduce stress levels. The work itself may also be less demanding due to a smaller workload.
You don’t have as much time to focus on your job when working part-time, which allows you more time to relax and enjoy life outside of work. You can also reduce your stress levels and feel less pressured by deadlines at work and other projects by working less. You’ll also feel less pressure to perform well at work if you work fewer hours each week.
Many employers offer health benefits only for working full-time hours (30+). If your employer doesn’t offer this benefit, consider your healthcare needs and whether short-term insurance would save you money.
Most companies require a minimum number of hours worked weekly to be eligible for health insurance benefits. This number varies from company to company but often ranges between 30 and 35 hours per week.
Because most companies only offer health insurance benefits to full-time employees, many part-timers must seek alternative health coverage options. However, some companies make this benefit available for part-timers, which can be ideal for those who work less than 40 hours per week on average but still need health insurance coverage.
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Many people work long hours because they have no choice. However, others work overtime simply to earn more money than they need. If you fall into the latter category, cutting back on your paid hours may be an excellent way to spend more time with your loved ones.
The overall quality of life is likely to suffer if you don’t spend enough time with those who matter most to you. Whether it’s your spouse and children or siblings and parents, finding ways to spend more time together is important for maintaining healthy relationships.
Working fewer hours per week can increase your productivity levels. Because you’re working less, you’ll want to maximize the time spent on each project or assignment and make the best use of your time in the office.
When you have less time to complete a task, it often forces you to produce better results than someone who has more time.
Here are six demerits of working on a part-time basis:
Many big companies don’t offer health insurance or other benefits unless you work at least 30 hours per week. If you’re working part-time at a big company and want health insurance, you’ll probably have to pay for it yourself — at least partially — and it won’t be as affordable as your employer’s plan.
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You might think that working 35 hours per week is plenty. Still, if something unexpected happens, like your car breaking down or an emergency room visit, you could find yourself in a bind very quickly if you don’t have savings or emergency funds set aside.
If your boss decides to cut back on the number of hours he gives you, you could find yourself in a similar situation, even if nothing unexpected occurs.
Doing part-time work can be a great way to supplement your income. You might want to earn a little extra cash for those bills and expenses that you didn’t expect to come up, or maybe you just want a bit of money in your pocket while you complete grade school.
Either way, the chances are good that if you’re working part-time, it’s because you need the money. But with the median wage for part-time workers coming in at just $10 per hour, it doesn’t leave much room for financial security or freedom.
Working part-time can limit your opportunities. Even if you do well in your position, there are likely fewer opportunities for advancement in a part-time position. Additionally, if your company offers training or education, it may not be available to part-time employees.
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Another disadvantage of working part-time is that the flexibility that many people desire is not always available.
In many cases, employers schedule their part-time employees around their full-time staff to do most work during the daytime hours when most customers visit the business. This makes it difficult for parents who need to pick up children from daycare or school at a certain time each day.
In most jobs, if you want to take a day or two off, you just need to put in a formal request, and that’s about it. However, for part-timers, taking leave may not be as easy as it seems. You might have to work double shifts on other days to make up for the loss of pay from the day you took off.
Part-time jobs typically don’t offer the same opportunities for advancement as full-time jobs do. And if you do manage to advance at a part-time job — say, from cashier to assistant manager at a retail store — you may find that all that extra responsibility doesn’t come with more pay or extra benefits like paid time off or health insurance.
Part-time employees may be entitled to some employment benefits. These benefits may vary from company to company and often depend on the number of hours you work per week.
For example, a company may offer health insurance to part-time employees who work more than a certain number of hours per week. Other companies may provide some vacation and sick time to part-time employees who work a minimum number of hours per week.
Some employers offer no benefits at all to part-time employees. They might offer part-time workers the same benefits they provide full-time workers, but only after the employee has worked for a certain amount of time.
If you are considering taking a part-time job, you should ask about health insurance, retirement plans, disability insurance, and other benefits when applying for the job.
Benefits for part-time employees are generally less generous than those provided by full-time workers. For example, you may be offered a 401(k) plan with an employer match but only after working for the company for two years.
Similarly, you may receive two weeks of paid vacation but only if you have worked for the company for five years. It is common for part-time employees to accrue PTO at a slower rate than full-time employees — for example, one hour of PTO per 40 worked vs. one hour per 20 worked.
Part-time work and flexible schedules are important parts of their overall financial plan for many people. The average pay for part-time work varies if you’re a non-exempt employee.
Not all minimum wage jobs pay the same. Depending on where you live and what kind of job you have, your wages can vary.
However, part-time jobs tend to pay less than full-time jobs, especially for younger workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report on teen employment shows that average hourly earnings for 16- to 19-year-olds are about $10.45 per hour for part-time and $13.05 for full-time workers.
It’s also important to note that the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour (some exceptions). But many states have laws that require employers to pay more than the federal minimum wage.
California has the highest state minimum wage at $12 per hour, and Arkansas has the lowest at $8.50 per hour (again, exceptions).
Of course, there’s more to consider than just how much you make — you should also think about benefits like health insurance, paid time off (for sick days), etc.
If you’re looking for a part-time job, you can do many types of work. Many employers offer flexible jobs, including:
Permanent part-time jobs aren’t so much about filling up your work hours as they are about having a job that you can commit to long-term. These jobs can be in any field and industry, but they’re often found in retail, call centers, post offices, or restaurants.
You can receive the same benefits as full-time employees even though your hours may be fewer. This type of work is particularly popular with students who need money to pay off loans and college expenses but don’t want to spend all of their time working.
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A contract job is one of the most popular types of part-time work that offers flexibility. Many companies will hire you as a contractor if you have a particular skill set.
A contract job can be an excellent way to supplement your income while working on your schedule. Contract jobs generally pay hourly and require no commitment, making them ideal for those who want to earn some extra spending money with flexible hours.
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Freelance work is great for people with existing skills and a portfolio of work. You can find opportunities through sites like Upwork.com or directly from clients in your network.
Freelancing can be a lucrative way to make money and boost your bank balance. By setting up your own business on a self-employed basis, you can utilize your skills while enjoying a flexible lifestyle.
You may choose to specialize in one area and become an expert in that field. Or, you could offer more general services, depending on what you are good at.
A temporary job is one where there is no guaranteed length of employment and is often used as either cover for maternity leave or as short-term help during busy periods. Companies can also use it to try out new staff before offering them a permanent role.
Part-time jobs are typically a balance to the hours you spend at another full-time job. On average, part-time jobs require less than 35 hours per week. Because of this, they can be flexible, making it easy to work around other responsibilities. Part-time jobs are great if you’re still in school.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide what fits your life the best. Work less if you can, because spending time with family and friends matters the most. And in our opinion, there’s nothing wrong with working a few hours here and there from home.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.