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What is a Part Time Job?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A part time job is a job in which an employee does not work full hours. Employment in a part-time job has advantages and disadvantages which need to be carefully weighed when one is considering employment options. Typically, an employment announcement or job vacancy listing will indicate whether a position is full or part time, as the number of hours offered is important to many people. Part time jobs may also be referred to as part time employment, or PTE.

A part time job often has the advantage of more flexible hours. Sometimes employees can at least partially dictate their own schedules, thereby setting up a job which is in alignment with life and other needs. Part-time jobs may also offer benefits such as discounts to employees, and in some regions of the world, as long as employee works at least half time, he or she is eligible for other employee benefits as well. These benefits may include sick pay, insurance, payments into pension funds, or vacation time. In other cases, these benefits are not offered; this is one of the biggest disadvantages of a part time job.

In some cases, a part time job may be seasonal in addition to having less available hours. Many companies, for example, hire extra employees during the holiday season to ensure that the needs of their customers are met. Seasonal employment can be a convenient way to make some extra cash; some people, for example, take a part time seasonal job in addition to a regular job. However, people should not become accustomed to relying on seasonal employment, as it is vulnerable to economic fluctuations.

The training offered at a part time job varies. In some cases, part time employees will be limited to basic positions, since the company many not want to invest in extensive training. In other cases, employers offer more options and flexibility, sometimes in the hopes of attracting long-term full time employees. As is the case with a full time job, when another position opens up in a company, current employees may be encouraged to apply, thus moving up through the ranks.

Many students work part time jobs to supply themselves with additional funds. Working part time is ideal for students, since it allows them to balance their academic needs with their school needs. Often, a school will provide a list of available part time jobs for the benefit of students, and many college towns deliberately tailor their openings for students.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By cafe41 — On Jul 13, 2010

Moldova- I didn’t know that about Publix. But I agree that many companies do offer significant benefits for part time workers.

For example, Southwest Airlines offers its part time workers free travel benefits from day one and Carnival Cruise lines offers discounted cruise rates for its part time workforce.

It is often referred to as the friends and family rate. The only drawback is that the cruise usually needs to be booked within a month of sailing and not earlier. I know many people that work for Carnival part time and they absolutely love it.

By Moldova — On Jul 13, 2010

Great article- I agree that many part time jobs offer its workforce a variety of perks. For example, part time workers at Publix supermarkets receive health care benefits and profit sharing.

They also allow these workers the chance to participate in an employee stock purchase plan that vests completely in five years. While Publix does not offer its part time workforce discounts, the other benefits more than make up for it.

I know because I worked their during my last year of high school and all through college. It was a great part time job to have.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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