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Part-time vs. full-time jobs: 5 key differences to consider

The word 'part-time' with an arrow pointing to the right and the word 'full-time' underneath it with an arrow pointing to the left.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

If you’re currently applying for jobs, you may have noticed that some positions are listed as 'full-time' while others are 'part-time.' It's up to you to choose which type of role you want to pursue.  

In this blog, I’ll go over the five biggest differences between the two, starting with a breakdown of part-time versus full-time hours, to give you a better understanding of which job type is the best fit for your lifestyle. 

5 differences between part-time and full-time jobs

1. The number of hours you work.

The biggest difference between part-time and full-time jobs is the number of hours required to work each one. 

The exact number of hours you need to work to be classified as a part-time or full-time employee usually depends on the company you work for, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In general, though, part-time positions require fewer hours than full-time roles. 

At Schneider, for example, associates who work 40 hours or more a week are considered full-time employees. Associates who work 39 hours or less a week are considered part-time employees. 

2. The schedule you are assigned.

Due to their reduced working hours, part-time employees work a different schedule than full-time employees.

The number of days part-time employees work depends on:

  • How many hours they work per week.
  • How many hours each shift is scheduled for.

If a part-time employee works 15 hours per week, for example, they might be scheduled to work five hours per day, three days a week.

Like full-time employees, the days part-time workers are scheduled depends on whether they're assigned to first, second or third shift and if they work on weekends.

3. The way you are compensated.

Part-time employees are usually paid an hourly wage, which means they are paid for each hour they work. Meanwhile, full-time employees can be compensated on an hourly basis or receive a fixed salary. 

Both part-time and full-time employees can usually qualify for shift differential if they work hours outside of first shift. 

4. The job benefits you qualify for.

The job benefits available to part-time and full-time employees depend on the company they work for and the state they live in.

Full-time employees usually have access to a comprehensive benefits package that includes things like:

  • Medical, dental and vision insurance.
  • Paid time off and paid holidays.
  • A 401(k) with company match.

Part-time employees typically do not have the same level of benefits as full-time employees. However, they may qualify for certain benefits depending on the number of hours they work each week.

For example, someone who works 30 hours per week may be eligible for healthcare benefits, while someone who works 20 hours per week may not be.

5. The work-life balance you have.

The reduced hours that come with part-time roles can provide people with greater control over their time and priorities 

Part-time positions can be beneficial for people who need to work fewer hours per week to accommodate personal commitments, like school or caregiving, or for retired individuals who seek continued employment with less time commitment. 

Move your career forward with Schneider.

Schneider has a variety of part-time and full-time positions available in locations across the U.S. Find a role that aligns with your goals and apply today. 
About the author
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Jenny Kennedy began her career at Schneider in 1992 after she graduated from The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.  She started on the customer service team and has held numerous job titles over the years.  Jenny is currently a Corporate Recruiter focused on finding top talent for Schneider's office roles.  When she's not working, Jenny enjoys camping, boating and traveling with her family.
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