Just because full-time employment works for your neighbor does not mean it is right for you. But when the time comes for you to assess your situation, you will have to determine if full-time or part-time employment is the best option. You'll have to weigh work-life balance, which typically means considering factors such as benefits, daycare, scheduling and family time.
Benefits and Compensation
Full-timers receive numerous benefits as part of their compensation for working 40 or more hours per week. One of the biggest benefits is healthcare. This is typically offered for the worker and her family at a discounted rate. In addition to healthcare, full-time employees can receive retirement benefits, for which part-time workers do not qualify. In a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time workers were paid an average of 10 to 30 percent more per hour than part-time workers for the same position.
There are costs associated with working out of the home, especially if you have children. Parents with older children can typically avoid daycare costs by working part-time during school hours. Full-time parents, however, overlap typical school hours, which means they have to pay the additional money for daycare. Parents of younger children have daycare costs regardless of their schedule, but part-time parents pay less on a monthly basis than their full-time counterparts.
Full-time jobs require an employee to work at least 40 hours per week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though full-time employees are scheduled for 40 hours, they may be required to work overtime. Part-time employees work anywhere from a few hours up to 39 hours per week. While part-timers may not be required to put in 40 hours each week, they may have to work weekends or holidays, depending on the industry.
Part-time work has more flexibility than full-time. When you work a full-time schedule, you may have to take off work to attend activities for your children, visit your doctor, or tend to other matters. Nevertheless, full-time work schedules are consistent and predictable. Since part-time workers are often considered “fillers” for the company, their schedules can vary. Part-time workers, however, have more flexibility when it comes to finding the time to schedule appointments or take care of personal matters.
While you may think part-time work allows you to spend more time with your kids, a post by "USA Today" stated that parents who work part-time jobs only spend 10 minutes more per day with their children than those who work full-time jobs. This is because older children have school, activities and play, which leaves a large portion of the day where parents and children do not actually interact.
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Compensation in Part-Time Jobs versus Full-Time Jobs: What if the Job is the Same?
- USA Today: Moms, part-time work is overrated
- Texas Workforce Commission: Part-Time / Full-Time Status
- United States Department of Labor: Fact Sheet #68 – What Constitutes a Full-Time Employee Under H-1B Visa Program?
Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.