Each employer reserves the right to define how many weekly work hours constitute full-time employment. In many cases, full-time employment consists of a 40-hour workweek in the U.S. However, certain employers may require a lower time commitment, such as 32 hours per workweek, for an employee to be classified as full time. Additionally, an employer reserves the right to require a probationary period, often consisting of 90 days, before offering full-time benefit incentives, or considering a pay raise for newly hired, full-time or part-time employees.
If you have been lucky enough to receive multiple job offers for both full- and part-time positions, you may need to weigh the benefits of working fewer hours with the difference in pay when it comes to wages. Depending on your field of expertise, you may actually make more money by working at a part-time job and have more leisure time than if you clocked in five days a week.
A full-time employee who works over 40 hours during the workweek must legally receive monetary compensation equal to one-and-a-half times his normal rate of pay, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In some professions, overtime is expected, and allows a full-time employee to earn more than his counterpart who works part time, even if both receive the same hourly wage. However, in professions where employees must work holidays, full-time and part-time workers typically receive the same proportional hourly compensation for hours worked during the holiday, typically one-and-a-half times the normal hourly wage.
Your employer may offer benefits like health insurance, a retirement savings account, paid vacation time or full wage compensation when the office closes during national holidays if you work full time. Part-time employees typically do not receive a benefit package. No federal law exists at the time of publication that requires employers to offer any benefits to either full- or part-time employees. Employers may factor in the cost savings of not offering benefits to part-time employees when deciding on hourly compensation.
Full-time and part-time hourly wage earnings vary based on qualifications, required skills and industry. In the majority of professions, full-time workers receive higher hourly compensation than part-time employees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some examples of professions in which part-time workers earn more include physical therapy, dental hygiene, nursing, construction and computer systems analysis, according to BLS estimates.
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