Ten Types of Part-Time Job Options
There Are Many Opportunities Out There
A part-time job is generally considered to be one where a person works less than the standard 35–40 hour week and usually, but not always, does not get benefits.
A part-time job can be an extra job in addition to a person's regular work. It can also be used as a source of spending money or extra income for a high school or college student who is still supported by the parents, for a homemaker looking to bring in some additional income by working during the times the children are in school or a retiree looking for a way to keep active and augment a pension.
From an employer's perspective, part-time workers are a source of labor that can fill in odd time slots, help during peak production times, and generally augment the work force. Since part-time workers generally do not receive benefits, and the cost of providing benefits is increasing, it is often less expensive to hire part-time workers than full-time.
An additional reason for hiring part-time help is a a shortage of full-time help. Unemployment in some regions it is approaching zero which means that there isn't any pool from which to hire. In these cases employers are forced to target students, retired people, homemakers and others who would like some additional income but do not or cannot work full time.
As with full-time career positions, the more education and experience one has, the greater the options for part-time work. For practically any full-time job position there is probably a part-time counterpart. However, let's take a look at the more common part-time jobs that the average person can expect to find.
1. Retail Position
Examples: Cashier, Stocker, Sales Clerk
Retail establishments are open twelve to eighteen hours per day with many being open round the clock. Different times of the day are busier than others so it makes sense to use part-time people to augment the full-time people during these times especially when these times don't come in eight-hour blocks.
Business also fluctuates by season, time of week, and month. Grocery stores have more business on weekends than during the week. Stores in areas with large numbers of people receiving Social Security or welfare benefits will see more business at the beginning of the month when Social Security and welfare checks are mailed than during other parts of the month.
Because of these fluctuation in business traffic having part-time workers whose schedules can be changed weekly helps with scheduling to accommodate periods of fluctuating demand.
2. Fast Food and Restaurant Industry Position
Examples: Cashiers, Waiter/Waitress, Busboy, Dishwasher, Frycook, etc.
Business for companies in this industry fluctuates according to time of day, day of week, and month. Restaurants are very busy during meal times but tend to be slow between meals so there is no need to be fully staffed all day.
Also, especially in the fast-food industry, people looking to work in these establishments generally want part-time work as they are going to school, care for children when school is out, or generally don't want full-time work. This makes this industry another good one for part-time work.
3. Bank Teller
Here again, there are certain times of the day and certain days of the week that are busier than other so staffing fluctuates.
Some banks and credit unions do hire full-time tellers and have them work a split shift say 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for early morning and lunch hour business. Then leave and return to work from say, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the after-work crowd. Many people don't like such a schedule, thereby making this type of work a logical candidate for part-time workers.
4. Car Washer
This is basically pure physical labor with no future in terms of a career. The hours are attractive for young people in high school or college looking to make some money but not work full-time.
5. College Work-Study Program
These are generally make-work type positions funded by the Federal Department of Education as a type of college financial aid.
The student has to qualify for financial aid but the criteria is more liberal than for Pell Grants (free money from the taxpayers) or Federally subsidized student loans.
The work hours are limited to 19.5 hours per week maximum and are scheduled to accommodate student's class schedules. Work varies but is usually light office work in college departments.
6. Temporary Staffing Work
These are companies who provide workers (usually office clerical work or labor positions) to companies on a short-term basis (anywhere from one day to several months). The companies need people to cover for workers who are on vacation or sick leave or to fill a vacant position until a permanent replacement can be found.
This is part-time work in the sense that the worker can usually specify times they are not available and can turn down assignments that don't fit their schedules. However, the workday itself is usually a normal 8 hour day.
7. Bookkeeper for Small Businesses
This is moving up the education/skill ladder somewhat and the job sometimes requires being in business for yourself.
The possibilities here are 1) to work part-time for an accounting firm keeping the books of small business clients; 2) be hired as a part-time employee of one or more small businesses to work a couple of days a month or so balancing their books; or, 3) start your own business as a freelance bookkeeper and limit the number of clients you take on to fit the part-time hours you want.
8. Substitute School Teacher
Licensing and education requirements for regular public school teachers tend to be very restrictive. However, for substitute teachers, one only needs a four-year college degree (in some states the requirement may only be a two-year degree).
Experience and continuing education are generally not required, although fingerprinting and a criminal background check are often mandatory (and can delay your being hired by as much as a semester).
Most school districts give teachers a set number of paid personal days to use as sick days or anything else which means that first, the schools will often call and schedule you two or three days in advance and, second, since the teachers usually have to take the days or lose them, there is a high demand for substitute teachers.
The workday is usually four to seven hours and the pay, depending upon the state and district, can be as high as $100 or more per day. You can also usually decline specific assignments without being penalized.
9. College Adjunct Faculty
These are part-time college or technical school positions involving the teaching of a course for the term.
For academic subjects, an advanced (Masters or Ph.D.) degree is usually required. For technical and vocational a degree programs a bachelor or lower degree may be required or the school may only require verifiable experience in the field being taught (usually five or more years).
These positions are usually for the current term with no guarantees for the next term (continued work usually depends upon enrollment in the course). With the increasing demand for online education, we can probably expect an increase in adjunct instructor positions.
10 Military Reserves and National Guard
This can be a part-time job once you complete training, which is about 6 months or more full-time duty in your branch of service, unless you have previous military service in which case this is usually waived.
After training the duty is normally one evening a week or one weekend a month and two weeks of active duty sometime during the year. Of course, in time of war, your unit can be activated by the President and you will find yourself engaged full-time overseas.
Reserve and National Guard units can also be called to duty by the President for national emergencies (such as the current use of National Guard along the border to stem the tide of illegal immigration) or by the Governor for state emergencies (hurricanes, floods, and riots).
When called to active duty you receive regular pay and benefits according to your rank.
For part-time reserve duty (the one evening a week or one weekend a month and the two weeks per year active duty training) you generally receive pay and benefits according to your rank for the two-week duty and one day's pay according to rank for each four-hour block of reserve duty.
You also receive points toward a military pension.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
© 2006 Chuck Nugent