What Are Full-Time Hours?

Full-time hours refer to a legal classification of working hours used to set a standard for workers and define the maximum hours per week for hourly employees to receive overtime compensation. In the U.S., full-time employees work on average 32-40 hours per week or 130 hours per month as set by the IRS. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay overtime to workers who exceed 40 working hours per week.

Full-time employment provides eligibility for certain benefits such as healthcare, though this varies based on the employer’s discretion. Employers also have the flexibility to determine minimum hours to classify a job as full-time. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime compensation and work on a salaried basis with no limit to working hours. Long working hours can affect employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention rates.