Contract Work vs Full Time: Advantages of Employment Types

Hopefully, by clearly defining and determining your wants and needs, you’ll be able to choose the preferred career path more easily. Both contract work and full-time employment offer this possibility – each in its unique way. Although we can’t give you a clear answer regarding which one of these is a better option for you personally, we can provide some insight into a couple of factors you need to consider that may help you decide. The best part of being eligible for a fixed income is that it allows you to plan since you’ll know exactly when and how much you are being paid. Since full-time employees are guaranteed work, they’re also guaranteed compensation for the work they perform. Once you get hired as a full-time employee, you can rest assured that you are guaranteed work.

Contract vs. Full-time Employment Comparison

Additionally, employers provide full-time staff with 401(k) and life insurance options. It’s fairly common, especially in tech, for full-time employees to moonlight as freelancers and contractors in their off-hours. W-2 contractors are employees of the agency that placed them, but they continue to function in something more like a client relationship with the company they’re working with. I am a big fan of understanding what’s going on with your money and taxes but it can get very complicated. For help around how to pay taxes as an independent contractor and saving for retirement, I do recommend speaking with an accountant/financial advisor. It may cost you a little extra, but it well worth handing the headache off to a person who specifically focuses on that skill.

Contract Employees vs. Full-time Workers

Many companies offer paid time off, healthcare, insurance, retirement plans, and similar perks. Additionally, you will also have the freedom to choose your own projects. Initially, contractors that are still trying to “get their name out there” and grow their business won’t really have this commodity. For instance, software development companies from NY may get hired only to create a specific software solution for their client. Or they may also be hired to maintain the software solution and provide constant updates.

Contract vs. Full-time Employment Comparison

You can set your own working hours, place where you perform the work, and determine a specific pay rate for it. The type of employment where you’re not on the company’s payroll but rather work on a contract basis (such as short-term projects that clients assign to you from time to time) is called contract work. Full-time employees (often referred to as W-2 employees) are hired directly by a company and are on its payroll. They usually work 40 hours a week and complete tasks for the company on a daily basis.


The contract is in force for a specified period of time, perhaps 18 months, and the company pays the contractor at regular intervals. If that contractor has come through an agency, she does not need to manage her own tax withholding. If she has not, she’ll shoulder the responsibility of that task, just as a freelancer would. Completely independent contractors (so called 1099 workers) do not receive employee benefits. Agency-placed contractors (W-2 contractors) often have access to a limited menu of benefits, such as a non-matching 401K or an FSA. These are more often offered in a type of contract employee role where you’re expected to show up at set hours and do virtually the same type of thing as regular employees.

While both of these employment types indeed promise significant advantages, the fact of the matter is that they do differ quite a bit. That’s why some people find it rather challenging to choose between the two and identify the employment type that will serve them best. What’s more, even if they identify that the company lacks the necessary tools or equipment, full-time employees can rest assured that they will most likely provide them sooner rather than later. To many people, particularly those either planning or already having a family, this is one of the most vital advantages of being hired full-time.