People have many reasons for finding a job. Usually, money is number one, but employment can provide other benefits beyond monetary compensation; meaning, discipline, or even just having something to do are all reasons to look for a job. However, sometimes, a full-time job is too much of a commitment or hard to find; therefore, people start to wonder what is a part-time job and how to seek part-time employment.
A part-time job is any form of employment consisting of working one to 34 hours a week. Because there are fewer demands on the employer for hiring part-time employees, there are many part-time jobs available, and it is relatively easy to find them online or in person.
Knowing what constitutes a part-time job is a start, but job seekers are still left wondering: where and how do I get a part-time job? These questions will be answered below, and hopefully, help you find and land a great gig.
What is a Part-Time Job?
The defining factor for part-time work is simply the hours worked per week. As long as it is a legitimate job—and does not include volunteering—any job can be part-time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics deems any employment less than 35 hours/week to be part-time, but the actual determination of full or part-time status is left to the discretion of the business owner.
Historically, below 30-40 hours worked per week is considered part-time, while around 30-40 hours a week is deemed full-time. Anything above 40 hours is considered “overtime.” (Source: The Balance)
However, although any type of work could be part-time, that doesn’t mean that it can always be full-time. There are some categories in which companies cannot offer full-time positions:
- Seasonal: A job listing labeled as “seasonal” means that you would be hired to assist full-time employees or satisfy a predicted increase in workload. Examples of this could be working retail during the holiday season or picking up some hours as a lifeguard in the summer.
- Businesses with Odd Hours: Working at a company that is not open during the regular work-day (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm) often means its employees are part-time, even if they work for every hour of operation. Examples of this are after school programs, sports instruction or coaching, clubs that open late, and breakfast restaurants or bakeries.
- Freelance Work (Gig Worker): This is a broad category and isn’t necessarily part-time, but many musicians, consultants, or other gig-workers are only “working” for a small number of hours per week for various clients.
That is not to say that they aren’t planning to work more hours, but may not find additional jobs that would make up hours equal to a standard full–time work-week. For example, a gig-musician is only paid for the hours he performs (which may usually only be a few hours in the evenings).
Advantages & Disadvantages of Part-Time Jobs
Many benefits come with working part-time. For example, some people find that they prefer to work multiple part-time jobs, rather than one full-time job; this can be more satisfying if you are incredibly passionate about different fields or industries. Also, it can be helpful to have multiple sources of income in times of economic recession or depression.
It is also common for part-time employees to be hired as “independent contractors” and not as employees of a business. (This is relevant when filing taxes, as there will be no withholdings from your paychecks.) Some people find being an independent contractor is quite freeing since they have the flexibility to work on their own schedule.
However, there are some downsides to working part-time too. For one, part-time jobs typically do not come with benefits, such as health insurance, paid leave or sick days, etc., through the employer.
NOTE: The US Affordable Care Act mandates that all employees (of a business with 50 or more employees) working above 30 hours per-week must receive insurance coverage through the company. Because of this, many employers have shifted to hiring more employees as part-time, rather than having them work 30+ hours, to avoid the high costs of insurance.
That all being said, if you’re on the job market and still feel like part-time work is definitely for you, next, we’ll be reviewing some common part-time jobs worth looking into.
Common Remote Part-Time Jobs & How to Find Them
The following are some job options for those wanting to get into part-time work, while remaining at home. This list will focus on positions that require little prior experience or training and are accessible to almost anyone looking for an online part-time job.
Remote Administrative Assistant
Just as an in-person administrative assistant carries out duties in an office, working as an assistant from home is roughly the same—but with most paperwork shifted online. Some responsibilities will include sending invoices, receiving payments, filing and updating contracts, creating schedules, and answering client communications.
How to Find this Job: Work can sometimes be found directly through private companies; when applying, specify that you are looking for a remote position. Alternatively, searching for the keywords “Remote Assistant,” “Virtual Admin,” or “Online Assistant” will render hundreds of results on job-search websites.
Although there are some necessary character traits and experience required for this type of work, online tutoring is still a very in-demand and accessible job. Tutoring is typically done one-on-one over video chat, and the tutor is in control of his or her schedule.
Also, tutors don’t have to be math wizzes or doctors. There are plenty of opportunities to help young children or students struggling in a subject you’re well-versed in.
How to Find this Job: Some schools offer tutoring online, but they typically pick candidates from current staff. Some specific websites that connect tutors to students include:
This is a very broad field of work and can be tailored to the freelancer’s specific skills and talents. Some typical jobs for part-time, remote writers include:
- Social Media Planning
- Content Marketing
Of course, a personal project, like a book or a script, may be lucrative once published.
How to Find this Job: For personal projects, it’s easy enough to start alone. But for hourly writing work, look at websites connecting freelance writers with clients, such as FreelanceWriting. Alternatively, cold pitches to companies that don’t have blogs or an online presence can be fruitful as well (although time-consuming).
Customer Service Representative
This is an excellent job for people still looking to have interpersonal connections but want to stay at home. Responsibilities will vary but can include answering phones, making calls, and emailing.
How to Find this Job: Most often, private companies will post these positions on their own websites and job-search websites. A simple Google search is an excellent way to start.
Other Places to Look for Employment
- Temp agencies are private businesses that can help one find temporary part-time work. Some agencies even offer listings for companies that hire temporarily but can transition to permanent employment.
- The Chamber of Commerce is an association of local businesses. While they typically do not directly connect employers with employees, they can offer great networking opportunities and sometimes list local job openings on their website.
- Unemployment offices can help connect unemployed people with employers. If you are on unemployment, or even if not, visit their website to see what work is available in your area.
- The internet is a great way to find employment both locally and remotely. One can use job search websites, such as Monster and also Indeed, or simply search on Google to find job offerings.
Remote.co specializes in connecting employers and employees online. It is also possible to work remotely as a freelancer for clients on websites like Upwork.
- The US Government offers USA.gov, a website designed to help US residents find work both in the private and public sectors. It also has essential information on apprenticeships, certifications, and the skilled labor field.
You can also ask around your network of friends, family, or former co-workers if they know of any businesses hiring. Some people even find luck finding suitable job prospects through social media!
Final Thoughts on What is a Part-Time Job?
A part-time job can be an excellent solution for busy or new-to-the-workforce individuals, including parents, students, retirees, and teenagers. It allows one to work and to reap the benefits of having a job. However, at the same time, part-time jobs allow for more freedom than a full-time job does and there are plenty legitimate work from home jobs available.
There are many types of online part-time jobs, ranging from the entertainment industry to marketing, and living in the digital age makes it easier than ever to find them. We hope that by now you have a better understanding of the initial question what is a part-time job.