Defining 'full time'


Q. How does the government define full-time employee?

A. For federal employees, “Full-time usually requires an employee to work 40 hours as prescribed by the administrative workweek for that particular employment group or class. Part time requires an employee to work less than full time but for a specific number of hours (usually 16-32 per administrative workweek) on a prearranged scheduled tour of duty. Intermittent describes service performed without a regularly scheduled tour of duty.” Other definitions may apply to employees in the private sector of state and local governments.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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