In a part-time job, the number of working hours can vary since there are no set rules for how many hours a part-time work week is. Part-time or full-time depends on how many hours you’re expected to and also how many hours you want to work per week in addition to how your employer identifies your employment status.
This article will show how many hours constitute part-time work, what shorter work hours mean, some examples of part-time schedules you can adopt, and the advantages of part-time work. But first, let’s look at what a part-time job is.
What is a part-time job?
“A part-time job generally requires working fewer hours per week than an employee regarded as a full-time employee. According to The International Labour Organization Part-Time Convention, 1994, part-time work is typically defined as working less than 35-30 hours per week.”
One question that comes to everyone who is hunting for a part-time job is, ‘how many hours a week is part-time?’ Typically, part-time work involves fewer than 30-35 hours per week. However, this can vary greatly depending on the company’s policies, your position, and employment contract terms.
First, we need to understand what a full-time job is to understand a part-time job better. The main difference in part-time vs full-time hours is that a full-time employee often works more than 40 hours a week for the same employer as you and usually on a set schedule.
How many hours a week is part-time?
If you're a part-time worker, you can set up a part-time schedule where you will work fewer hours per week than a full-time employee in the same role. The number of part-time hours you must put in your part-time job largely depends on your role in the company and employer you work for.
For instance, if you're a student working part-time hours on the weekends in a store, you might put in between 12 and 16 hours each week. In the meantime, if you work part-time hours as a nurse in a hospital, you might put in more days and hours per week.
For example, Amazon separates its workforce into three groups based on the number of hours they put in each week:
- Part-time employees work 20–29 hours,
- Reduced-time employees work 30–39 hours,
- Full-time employees work 40 or more hours.
Work Schedules for Part-Time Jobs
Many types of part-time hours schedules are available depending on the industry or company you work in. You might work fewer days a week than full-time employees, or your company might split your hours into shorter workdays. Here are some common part-time work schedules that can be beneficial to you:
1. Freelance schedule
You may be hired temporarily or as a freelancer by an employer, wherein;
- You will work on particular tasks at particular times.
- Working from home may be possible depending on the type of work you do and what your employer wants from you.
- You might also need to work on-site or in an office.
Although freelancers never get the same perks as full-time employees, they can choose their work schedule and may experience greater job autonomy.
In “Freelance Forward Economist Report, 2021” by Upwork, it is reported that 78% of skilled remote freelance workers cite ‘schedule flexibility’ as an important factor in choosing to freelance.
2. Alternate schedule
An alternative schedule differs significantly from the regular working hours of other workers in the workplace. For example, you may be required to adjust your work hours or work slots as per the availability of space in your office. Or, you may work on alternate days based on your work-life balance.
This can mean scheduling fewer hours of work as compared to regular work hours per week. This kind of schedule allows for flexibility depending on the situation.
3. Split schedule
One alternative to full-time work is to work in "split shifts." This schedule may look something like this: working a shift from 9 AM to 12 PM followed by another from 4 PM to 7 PM on the same day. Employees who cannot work extensive shifts for any reason may be more suited for this type of work. All in all, you end up completing 5-7 hours of shift per day, which calculates to 35 hours per week.
4. On-call schedule
An on-call schedule requires you to be available to your employer anytime they need you to work for a short period. There isn't often a fixed schedule for the on-call employees, so the management can ask you to report for duty anytime. If you have other ongoing things, it can be challenging to manage this. An on-call schedule typically rotates among employees to prevent the same person from repeatedly being assigned the same task.
Here's how to find out how many hours you'll be working each week
Before committing to part-time work, it is crucial to understand the job's demands, how many hours is part-time, and if you are a good fit for it. Here are some ways to figure out how many hours a week is part-time work you will be working:
1. Analyze the job description
It is important to read the job description carefully before you apply for a position. By doing so, you can find out if the job is flexible and how many hours a week is part-time and what days a week you will have to work.
2. Keep your availability in mind
On a job application, you might be asked how many days and hours you can work in a week, so be mindful of your availability beforehand. Many employers understand and will work with the schedules of retirees, parents, students, and those with other commitments outside work.
3. Inquire during the job interview
In a job interview, if the interviewer doesn't ask about your availability first, you can inquire about the schedule if it hasn't been mentioned in advance. Take note of your availability (and absences) to share with the employer. The employer will be able to schedule coverage more easily if the employee is flexible.
Advantages of working part-time hours
Now that you know how many hours a week is part-time work, you may wonder what the advantages of working part-time hours are. Part-time work, whether it is part-time work from home or anywhere else, may be advantageous for you for a variety of reasons, including:
1. More flexibility and less stress
In part-time vs full-time hours, you may get exhausted from working full-time hours. Your entire performance may suffer, and your health may even deteriorate if your job exposes you to constant stress. Working part-time hours can significantly lower your stress levels because you may not be given as many responsibilities.
Having extra free time will also help you maintain a work-life balance. You can also do part-time work from home. You'll have more time for your family, friends, and personal interests because you'll work fewer hours, which can boost your personal satisfaction. Additionally, you'll spend enough time in the office to maintain a professional presence there.
2. Time-management skills
In part-time vs full-time hours, working part-time means having to work fewer hours during the day to accomplish your daily targets. Working part-time teaches you the art of producing optimum results within the defined timeline. It sharpens your skills while simultaneously helping you master the science of effective time management.
When you start working part-time, you sometimes work overtime instead. But as you gain more experience working part-time, you get to know ideally how many hours is part-time and how to finish your work within that time frame.
3. Getting new opportunities and developing new skills
In part-time vs full-time hours, working part-time allows you to get expertise and training in various fields.
- Some companies may be hesitant to hire a new employee with less experience for full-time hours. However, if a less experienced candidate is passionate and eager to learn, they may be more willing to recruit them on a part-time basis.
- Additionally, part-time work allows you to work for more than one company simultaneously, gaining new experience and developing new skills.
- If you choose to return to full-time hours later, these new abilities may help you qualify for different positions.
4. Extra income
In part-time vs full-time hours, you are highly likely to earn more money by working multiple part-time jobs than by working full-time at a single company. Also, where on one hand many full-time workers work 50 or more hours per week, doing multiple part-time jobs may allow you to work fewer hours. Additionally, you can earn extra income by doing part-time work from home.
5. Getting time to focus on your interests
Being able to pursue your personal development and other interests in your free time is one of the greatest advantages of working part-time.
- If you’re a person who prefers to stay indoors then you can do part-time work from home.
- Having a part-time job can be ideal if you're pursuing a degree. You'll gain new skills and experience while still completing your degree.
- The combination of education and experience can lead to other advanced opportunities in the future.
- Furthermore, working part-time allows you to devote time to writing, painting, or socialization activities.