What is a full time job?

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What is a full time job

So, you were just hired for a job and now you’re wondering, “What is a full time job?” Full-time jobs and the hours they require can vary among companies and industries. Today, we will walk you through the process of determining how many hours a week is typically considered full-time. 

How many hours a week is full time?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, there are no legal guidelines that dictate whether or not a worker is a full-time employee, so it can vary based on your company or industry. Be sure to ask your employer or future employer to define your status. 

Affordable Care Act definition of full time

The definition of a full-time employee is outlined under the Affordable Care Act. The ACA considers any employee who works more than 30 hours a week to be full-time status. There are two methods for classifying full-time employees. These methods are: 

  • Monthly measurement method: Full-time employee status is examined at the end of each month. A full-time employee is considered full-time when they work over 130 hours. 
  • Look-back measurement method: Employers can look back at the range of hours an employee works to determine full-time status. Full-time status is considered 30 hours a week. This method works best for industries with more variability in hours. 

Employment law regulated work hours

Beyond the Affordable Care Act requirement, individual employers are free to set standards for their workplace. 

When does overtime kick in?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, overtime pay is anything over 40 hours in a work week. Overtime kicks in when you exceed forty hours in a given work week. 

Full time vs part time

Beyond just looking at the classification of the job, there are a few ways that full time is different from part-time jobs. 

  • Differences in pay: Full-time employees earn more. Usually, this has to do with full-time employees working more hours than part-time employees. They can also earn overtime hours if they exceed their 40-hour work week. 
  • Schedules: Full-time employees have a more set schedule compared to part-time workers. This is because full-time employees must maintain their status by working 40 hours per week. This set schedule can bring a lot of consistency to your life, but a part-time employee has more flexibility. 
  • Shifts: Shifts tend to be longer when you are classified as full-time. Employers bring in part-time workers to fill in the gaps. So they may work more nights, weekends, and shorter shifts overall. 
  • Benefits: As a full-time employee, you tend to receive more benefits than your part-time counterparts. This will vary from company to company. But full-time employees can gain access to health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, and more. 

Advantages of working full time

There are many advantages to working full-time. Here are few benefits of working full time in your job:

  • Stability: There’s a lot of stability in working full-time. You typically get fixed pay because you have consistent hours. Your schedule becomes much more normal with set hours. Your job is consistent and brings you financial security, and you can better budget for your future.
  • Job security: Nothing is certain in life. So there is no guarantee that any job will be there tomorrow. But compared to part time work, full time employees do tend to have greater job security. 
  • Standard working hours: Full-time employees benefit from a more standard and consistent schedule. This brings you a higher quality of life by helping you establish routines and make social plans. 
  • Insurance and other benefits: Full-time employees often receive benefits such as sick time, paid time off, and insurance. These benefits are not a given to all full-time employees. But many companies want to incentivize keeping high-quality employees. 
  • Advancement opportunities: You’re unlikely to be promoted as a part-time employee. Many manager and upper positions require you to be a full-time employee. So you may have to trade in your flexibility as a full-time work to advance in your career as a full-time employee. 

Check company policy

So, you’re all ready to level up from part-time to full-time employment. That’s great. But beware that not all full-time work and all employers are the same. Employers can set their own regulations. 

You should check your company’s policy in your employee handbook, reach out to HR, or check job postings to find out your company’s definition of full-time employment. Not all companies offer the same benefits or classify full-time employees the same way. Be sure to know all the benefits of your employment so you can use them to the fullest. 

Level-up to a full-time employee

There’s a lot that goes into your career. When you are climbing the career ladder, going full-time is a big step. Be sure you are aware of all the benefits that you receive as an employee. Not all jobs are created the same. It’s not just about full-time hours, but building a better life for yourself overall. 


What is considered full-time employment?

According to the ACA, full-time employment is anyone who works at least 30 hours a week or 130 hours per month.

Is 32 hours a week considered full-time?

Thirty-two hours a week is considered full-time under the Affordable Care Act.

How many hours is full-time?

Working a complete work week which is typically 30 or more hours.

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