A Guide On Part Time vs. Full Time Work Schedules

HR Management
Rachel Cohen November 7, 2021 10 min read

Learn how to properly classify your employees and understand the difference between part time and full time employees. Whether you’re a manager or an employee, this guide covers both schedules in full.

Part time full time schedule

Quick Guide

    As a manager when you’re looking to hire new staff or are revamping your scheduling needs, there are so many questions running through your mind. Most of which are centered around the difference between part time and full time employment.

    For example, you’re probably asking yourself how many hours is full-time? What is the difference between part time and full time? If you think it’s just the hours filled out on their timesheets, think again! There is so much more to it than that. 

    This guide is set to provide you with all the information that you need to create efficient schedules for your part time and full time staff. Whether it’s the basics of understanding the difference between part time and full time or answering what is full time work, we have you covered! 

    What is the Definition of a Full Time Employee?

    We’ve all heard of the nine to five job, and most consider that to be full-time work. The question here is how many hours is full time? The traditional nine to five equates to a 40 hour week. However, you’ll be surprised to learn that different state and federal bodies consider full time work lower than 40 hours per week.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics sets full-time work to be at least 35 hours a week

    You can check with your local government and state laws to check you are complying with the rules.

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), states that the employer should determine how many hours they choose to set as part time and full time. However, you should ensure it abides by federal and state laws. The application made to the FLSA remains the same even if the applicant is a full time employee or works part time hours.

    In addition, if you wish to check how many hours is full time according to the FLSA, they will not limit the number of hours employees aged 16 and over can work. However, once they reach above 40 hours per week, it’s deemed as overtime. The overtime pay should not be less than time and a half. 

    However, the Affordable Care Act considers full time work to be 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month. Furthermore, it’s the employer’s responsibility to use the two methods of calculating how many hours is full time:

    • Hours measured per month
    • Look-back method

    If an employer chooses to determine full time work according to the measure per month method, the employer can look at each month to ensure the employee has completed at least 130 hours per month. 

    Honoring the look-back method means that the employer can decide on full-time work during the stability period. Therefore, to calculate the hours, you need to do so by the preceding period. This is known as the measurement period. It should be noted that the Average Large Employer status cannot be determined using the look-back method.

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    What Are Part Time Hours?

    When contemplating what part time hours mean, you already know it’s fewer hours than full-time work. As an employer, you have the flexibility to choose their hours according to the needs of your business. It’s essential to grasp the difference between part time and full time hours, as it reflects the benefits given and other perks. 

    What is the Difference Between Part Time and Full Time? 

    Weekly Schedule, Including Hours 

    The first main difference between part time and full time work is the schedule. So, if you’re looking to hire staff for full time work, you are wondering how many hours is full time? Your employee will most likely work a 40 hour week. These employees should receive certain benefits as they will be spending many hours working. The benefits include:

    • Health insurance
    • Pension plans
    • Vacation days
    • Sick days 
    • and more.

    Depending on your line of work, this will also reflect how you schedule your employees. For example, if you’re in the retail business, the hours and days look very different from that of an office worker. This is because office hours rarely change. Yes, sometimes those workers might require some overtime. However, in the retail trade, during peak seasons such as Christmas, you may need your current staff to work overtime, or you may need to employ extra help. 

    When a non-exempt worker works over 40 hours, they begin to receive overtime pay. Overtime is usually time and a half. Check with your state to find out the rules that apply to you. 

    When comparing the difference between part time vs full time, part time hours consist of a schedule with more flexibility that allows the worker to take on other responsibilities outside of work. Often employees are parents or students and opt for this type of work. 

    When you set out your schedule for the week, an employee working full time will have to work all the hours you set for them. If that’s a 40 hour week, your staff are expected to complete a 40 hour week. Whereas part time employees can work the full 40 hours or less, there is no obligation to work any amount of time. 

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    When it comes to paying your workers, there is a difference between part time vs full time. Your full-time employee will receive a standard salary, so if you set that they will earn $2000 a month, that will be their salary. 

    For part time employees, their salary reflects the hours worked. If the rate is $10/hour and they worked 40 hours that week, you will pay them $400. Keep in mind that full-time employees can also be paid by the hour. However, they will receive a total sum at the end of the month that doesn’t usually change. The only change could be that you offered a bonus for that month or they completed overtime. 

    Taxes for Part Time vs Full Time Employees

    Whether your employee is part time or full time, it doesn’t matter how many hours is full time, they will be taxed according to the Federal Contributions Insurance Act (FICA). This act is for the tax that is deducted from every paycheck. You need to check with your state to ensure that you are taxing every employee according to the state laws.  

    Job Security for Part Time vs Full Time Employees

    Some workers will be reluctant to take on part time hours because they consider it to be less secure. A lot of employees fear that they won’t be treated the same way as full-time workers. Their trepidation comes from worries about not receiving the same benefits or that they are replaceable. However, this isn’t always the case when it comes to part time hours. 

    Onboarding for Part time vs full time

    Whether you onboard your employees for full time work or part time hours, it won’t matter how many hours is full time, because the onboarding process is the same. This includes:

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    Digitizing Processes 

    We can see that the main difference between part time and full time hours comes down to the hours. To keep up with all your employees digitizing your scheduling can make a huge difference. This is because it gives you the flexibility to make changes should you need. Apps such as Connecteam allow you to schedule all your employees even while on the go. Scheduling on Connecteam includes:

    • Manage multiple sites
    • Drag and drop shifts
    • Approve sick and vacation days
    • Attach images, videos, files, notes, maps and shift-tasks

    Easy Payroll

    When it comes to paying for hours, you won’t question how many hours is full time? Because digitizing your clocking in can prevent discrepancies. Apps such as Connecteam allow your users to clock in from the exact location on time every time. With its built-in GPS locking in timestamps per geo-location, you will be able to know that your employee clocked in from the location set for them. The app offers you:

    • Ability to lock timesheets
    • Export timesheets to your preferred format
    • Add job-related information such as pictures, videos, notes, etc
    • Overtime settings
    • Push notifications to clock in and out
    • A fully-integrated Quickbooks Online and Gusto payroll integration. All you need to do is make sure your employees clock in and out; we’ll handle the rest.
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    Connecteam – Employee Time Tracking App

    With built-in GPS employees clock-in when they reach the set location. With automated clock out and ability to lock time sheets at the end of each day, and a seamless integration with Quickbooks online and Gusto, payroll has never been easier!


    Onboarding for a new employee can be nerve-wracking. With all the studies showing that onboarding is a crucial part of your employee succeeding in your company, you want to get it right the first time. With apps such as Connecteam, you can make your employees feel welcome from day one. With Connecteam, you can do the following:

    • Send an update with the new hire’s photo company-wide where other employees can like and comment just like social apps they are already using
    • Provide all the materials on an app that employees can access from anywhere at any time. 

    Frequently Asked Questions about Part Time vs Full time

    What Are the Advantages of Part Time vs Full Time Employees?

    The advantage of a full time employee is that they are usually very committed to your business. Other benefits include:

    • Ready for their role faster than part-time employees as they spend more time in your business.
    • Higher productivity than part-time hours because they don’t start a task and then have to leave it in the middle because their shift ended.  

    This is because part-time employees may be working in another business as well as yours. Full time employees, therefore, give you 100% of their capacity and are focused on their roles. However, on the other hand, hiring part-time hours can provide you:

    • Assists your bottom line as they are only employed when you require them
    • Fewer salaries to pay out of pocket
    • Fewer benefits to offer which cost money
    • More money to expand your business
    • Offer extra hours especially useful during peak seasons

    What Are the Disadvantages of Part Time vs Full Time Employment?

    When you have part-time workers, they can be useful during busy times. However, there are a couple of disadvantages which include:

    However, when you look at full-time employees, you have a different set of disadvantages, which entail:

    • More expensive salaries than part-time employees
    • You may need to pay benefits, insurance, or overtime
    • Full-time employees can suffer from burnout
    • Work/life balance can be difficult.

    The Bottom Line on Part Time vs Full Time Employees

    Whether your business requires part-time hours or full-time employees, make sure you’ve checked with your state for all the rules and regulations. Now you have all the pros and cons and you understand more about what each type of job involves, you can make an educated choice. If you add technology to your business, you can become more productive, more effective, and in turn, keep your employees for the long haul. 

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