In the past, you typically had to put in a 40-hour workweek to get benefits like medical insurance, employer-sponsored retirement accounts, and disability insurance.
Today, the landscape has changed. Many companies pay part-time and gig workers benefits, meaning you could obtain quality coverage without committing to a binding full-time schedule.
Keep reading for a quick primer on part-time jobs with benefits.
First Up: What are Part-time Benefits?
For starters, part-time benefits are very similar to full-time benefits. In short, they are incentives and perks that companies issue to workers to attract and retain them.
The quality of the program depends entirely on the company and how profitable and generous the organization is. Some companies offer very generous part-time benefits packages that are similar or the same to what full-time employees receive.
Other times, companies provide limited packages for part-time workers and give full-time employees more perks.
Examples of Common Part-time Benefits
Health insurance generally covers visits to the doctor, prescription drugs, surgeries, and overnight hospital stays.
It’s critical to pay attention to the deductible (or the amount that you have to pay out of pocket before health insurance pays) when selecting a healthcare plan. Some programs can be very high, in the $6,000 to $7,000 range. In some cases, it’s better to buy your own health coverage than to take a high deductible plan with limited coverage.
Vision insurance typically costs a lot less than health insurance, with most companies offering low-cost plans through leading providers VSP or EyeMed. Vision plans usually cover doctor’s visits and contact lens or glasses fittings. You may also be able to get prescription discounts for frames and lenses.
Dental work is expensive, so it’s not a bad idea to get coverage, especially from your employer. Often, employers offer discounted dental insurance at a much lower rate than you can find independently.
Paying for daycare isn’t easy when working part-time, or even full-time for that matter. Many companies offer childcare services to ease the financial burden on caregivers and nurturers.
Mental Health Support
Companies increasingly offer mental health services for part-time workers, including personal and family therapy.
Companies tend to either offer sick time and vacation time or paid time off (PTO) policies that bundle together multiple types of leave. It’s a good idea to dig into the employer’s policy to see how they classify time off, so there are no surprises once you start working.
Some companies encourage workers to take a lot of time off to keep employees happy and avoid burnout. It’s possible to get several weeks off per year.
This is a relatively new concept in the United States, but it’s very common in other countries. Certain organizations now offer extended parental leave, enabling parents to spend months at home following childbirth.
Next, let’s dive into the best places to find solid part-time benefits.
29 Jobs That Offer Benefits for Part-time Employees
Chipotle’s benefits program is even tastier than its guacamole—and that’s saying a lot. Part-time workers receive comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage, 401(k) contribution matches, and educational assistance. The company even provides one free meal per shift, which can lead to lunch and dinner savings over time.
One of Chipotle’s best offerings is a quarterly bonus, with an extra payment equal to a whopping one week’s compensation if your restaurant does well.
Leading outdoor retailer REI offers a comprehensive benefits program called REI Flex for part-time employees averaging 20 hours or more per week. REI Flex comes with medical coverage for employees and their dependents. The company pays medical plan costs and even the full cost for life and disability care.
On top of that, there’s the option for dental, vision, and long-term care coverage.
Lowe’s specializes in home improvement and they care for their workers with a great benefits plan that includes vision, dental, and medical benefits. In addition, the company provides disability insurance and life insurance as well as learning programs for those interested in advancing beyond part-time positions and exploring leadership opportunities.
Starbucks offers strong roasts and an even stronger rewards program for baristas and maintenance workers. Part-time employees at Starbucks receive health coverage, complete with dental and vision plans, disability and life insurance, and accident coverage.
Looking to invest for retirement? Starbucks has you covered with a competitive 401(k) program and company match, along with discounted company stock and access to the Bean Stock equity rewards program.
Starbucks offers paid time off, parental leave, education benefits, commuter transportation coverage, and even emergency funding when illness occurs.
The benefits keep going! Additional perks include a free pound of coffee or tea every week and a 30% discount on Starbucks beverages, merchandise, and food.
5. Allegis Group
Allegis Group, formerly Aerotek, is a staffing company based in Maryland. The company provides health insurance, a 410(k), and vacation and paid time off for those working at least 20 hours per week.
Instacart Shoppers work as either on-demand independent contractors or part-time at 15 to 20 hours per week. Working part-time with Instacart comes with benefits like health, life, dental, and vision insurance as well as temporary and long-term disability.
You really can’t beat the perk of working on-demand for Instacart and fully controlling your schedule. Having a flexible schedule is the true pathway to financial independence.
7. JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase grants part-time workers benefits for working more than 20 hours per week. Benefits kick in after 60 days and include medical reimbursement, access to flexible spending accounts, and prescription drug discounts.
8. Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s has a solid reputation as a worker-centric company. Part-time workers (“Crew Members”) get affordable dental, medical, and vision coverage. Plus, the company contributes 10% of the employee’s salary to a pre-tax retirement account.
Beyond that, workers receive a 10% discount on food and merchandise, which helps keep your weekly costs down.
Staples provides benefits like dental, vision, accidental death, and short-term disability insurance coverage.
What’s more, the company provides retirement coverage through a 401(k) plan. This is big, as most retailers don’t offer 401(k) coverage for part-timers. So if you love working around office supplies and helping customers, Staples could be worth exploring.
Macy’s has a great reputation for offering premium clothing at reasonable prices. And as it turns out, they outfit staff members with some excellent benefits.
Macy’s offers all workers retirement and healthcare benefits, along with retirement plans and healthcare coverage. In addition, Macy’s offers the Live Healthy Wellness program, offering flu shots, disease management programs, lifestyle coaching, wellness mentorship, and even tobacco cessation.
Of course, the strategy works in Macy’s favor too. Keeping workers happy and healthy ultimately leads to stronger customer service and a positive environment.
Costco has a reputation for quality that extends to its worker benefits. Part-time employees receive affordable healthcare and contributions to company-sponsored retirement plans. Contribution amounts are based on years of service.
In addition, Costco provides twice-yearly bonuses for tenured hourly employees, along with competitive vacation and sick leave policies.
Ikea remains one of the more progressive retailers as far as part-time benefits are concerned, offering generous medical and prescription coverage for workers who put in more than 20 hours per week. The company also offers dental and vision coverage, a 401(k), a retirement program, worker discounts, pet insurance, and tuition assistance.
One of the company’s best policies is a parental leave program for new parents, offering four months of leave for spending time with family. Accessing these benefits requires putting in at least six months of work, but then you’re home free with one of the retail industry’s leading offerings.
13. The Container Store
The Container Store grants part-time employees access to benefits after only 30 days. Major benefits include medical, dental, and vision coverage, as well as 401(k) retirement matching.
Furthermore, the company offers wellness programs like family counseling, gym membership rewards, and family care for domestic partners.
U-Haul ranked #15 on the Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America list for 2020, making them an attractive option for those seeking part-time work with benefits. The key factors on this list include vision, learning, culture and engagement, expertise, metrics, and technology.
Employees have to work 20 hours per week to be eligible. This leads to medical and dental coverage, direct stock options, and 401(k) options.
Amazon offers benefits for part-time employees, which is great considering Whole Foods—which the company purchased back in 2017—no longer does. Amazon’s part-time workers receive fair pay, opportunities to own Amazon stock, and 50% company matches for certain 401(k) retirement plans.
Additional benefits from Amazon include paid life and accident insurance, estate planning services, and financial counseling. Short-term and long-term disability round out Amazon’s part-time worker benefits package.
16. The Home Depot
The Home Depot hires part-time cash register associates, warehouse members, and parking lot supervisors, among others. Unfortunately, the company no longer offers health insurance to part-time workers.
Yet, they still provide vision and dental coverage in addition to critical illness coverage and hospital indemnity to employees who put in at least 30 hours per week.
17. General Mills
General Mills is the brand that brought you Wheaties, so it’s no wonder they want their workers to feel like champions. The company empowers workers with standard medical, vision, and dental coverage, as well as mental healthcare and prescription drug subsidies.
In addition, General Mills offers 15 paid sick days, 18 days of PTO, and even a 12-week unpaid sabbatical after seven years. Sabbaticals are a great chance to recharge, try something different, and come back energized or forge a new path.
Benefits kick in after one year of employment with at least 19 hours per week.
Nike‘s brand is synonymous with teamwork, performance, and dedication. So naturally, Nike makes all their team members feel welcome and supported.
Part-time workers have health insurance, life insurance, and dental and vision coverage. Plus, the Nike Child Development program at their world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon provides daily learning and support services for employees’ children.
Walmart offers just about every product under the sun, making them a go-to for everyday items. On top of that, the company offers an enticing benefits package for part-time workers who put in at least 30 hours per week.
Working for Walmart part-time comes with standard health insurance, as well as education assistance and bonuses based on store performance.
The United Parcel Service (UPS) partners with TeamstersCare, meaning eligible part-time workers receive care after putting in 225 or more hours—but less than 400—for any UPS service. This includes medical care and hospitalization, behavioral health, dental care, vision care, hearing care, and an employee assistance program.
AT&T connects part-time workers to useful benefits like medical and dental coverage, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, and discounts on AT&T services. In addition, part-time workers receive medical and dental coverage and an employer-provided mobile device for staying in touch with contacts and customers.
DialAmerica is flipping the script on contact center service providers, which are not typically known for offering great benefits to part-time workers. DialAmerica offers insurance, vision, dental, and retirement coverage through a 401(k) program.
Wegmans is a regional grocery store chain located throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states. The store is similar to Whole Foods in terms of layout, with a massive selection and a robust liquor warehouse. Wegmans is a true gem, with a loyal customer base and high-quality items at reasonable prices.
Best of all, part-time employees receive health coverage, dental coverage, and access to pre-tax spending accounts.
Delta provides part-time workers with medical, vision, and dental insurance. Plus, employees receive travel perks after 30 days, allowing free or low-cost travel to any Delta destination. Workers who put in 30 hours or more in a week receive benefits from Delta.
SunTrust Bank is an excellent choice for people seeking part-time bank work. Workers receive benefits after just one month of employment. The company offers medical insurance and a health savings account (HSA) for medical savings.
26. Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard created the massively popular games World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, making it an attractive option for gaming enthusiasts. The company offers health benefits to employees working at least 30 hours per week.
27. Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble is a book lover’s dream. On top of that, Barnes & Noble has a decent benefits package with life insurance—including coverage for partners and children—and up to two weeks of paid vacation after one year.
28. American Red Cross
The American Red Cross takes care of people, including their valuable part-time workers. Those who put in 20 hours per week can enroll for medical insurance and select from four different plans with different levels of coverage.
Aquent, a top staffing provider, grants health benefits for part-time workers that put in 20 hours per week. Aquent’s package includes health coverage with a choice of three plans for families and individuals. Some perks include specialist doctor visits, hospital stays, and coverage for surgery.
Tips for Maximizing Part-time Benefits
The devil’s in the details
Don’t assume anything when accepting employee benefits. It’s critical to scour the details of your coverage so you know exactly what you’re receiving. Some companies can be misleading with their benefits offerings, using clever wording and legalese to make their benefits packages more appealing than they are.
For example, not all healthcare plans offer the same level of care and support. You may get access to a healthcare plan through work, only to have a sky-high deductible, which defeats the purpose of having coverage in the first place.
Read over the details of your plan carefully, check out online reviews, and speak with other employees and HR reps to understand your coverage and eligibility details.
Use tuition assistance to your advantage
Working part-time can be challenging. Oftentimes, part-time workers have to work multiple jobs to get by. At the same time, job security can be nonexistent in certain companies. And part-time roles can sometimes be thankless and frustrating.
If the company offers resources like tuition assistance or professional development, use these tools to your advantage. Explore the offer to expand your skills and further your career.
Don’t get too caught up on benefits
Some of the above companies, like Starbucks, offer unique and exciting rewards programs. But at the end of the day, a benefits program is just an incentive to attract workers. Oftentimes, benefits programs mask other issues like low pay, toxic work environments, and limited upward mobility.
Countless organizations offer valuable and rewarding benefits packages. You just have to find them. Don’t stay at a company just because they offer great benefits. Chances are, you can do better. If you’re having trouble finding work, consider approaching a job coach or staffing agency to help.
Think about the value you bring to the table. Chances are you have skills and expertise you can use to get higher-paying jobs and potentially even full-time employment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a flexible spending account?
A flexible spending account (FSA) sets aside money from a paycheck before applying taxes. You can use an FSA for qualified medical expenses like doctor’s visits and prescription drugs.
My job doesn’t offer retirement benefits. What should I do?
Not all employers offer retirement benefits. This isn’t the end of the world! If you like the job and it pays well, consider funding your own retirement through an individual retirement account (IRA) or solo 401(k).
As it turns out, people who fund their own retirement often do better than workers who receive steady retirement benefits because they put more time and attention into it. You can still retire and live comfortably even if your company doesn’t offer retirement coverage… but only if you spend, save, and invest wisely.
What is the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) extended healthcare to millions of uninsured Americans and improved coverage access and rights. The ACA requires plans to cover a list of essential health benefits and prevents insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
For many employees, the ACA increased access to health coverage and also increased the cost of insurance.
The Bottom Line
Part-time workers now share many of the same benefits that full-time workers enjoy, with health insurance plans, store discounts, stock purchase plans, and paid time off. A growing number of companies are putting more care into part-time associates because they recognize a simple truth: caring for workers is the right thing to do, and it helps the business, too.
So, during your job search, keep in mind that it’s possible to find insurance benefits and other perks without committing to a full-time schedule. In fact, choosing to work part-time can free up your time to pursue more lucrative opportunities.
You can work part-time at a retail store, collect benefits, and supplement your income by starting your own business on the side.
Keep looking and you’re bound to find a job that offers awesome benefits along with a positive work environment.