Part-time jobs with full-time perks

Part-time jobs used to be a way to make a few extra bucks, and that was about it. But now, that's all changed.

Part-time jobs used to be a way to make a few extra bucks, and that was about it. If you needed health insurance and didn’t have a spouse with a plan, you were on your own.

And forget about savings plans like a 401(k), paid vacation or flex spending accounts. In many cases, working part time just wasn’t worth it.

But now that’s all changed. With so many businesses competing for talent, more and more companies are offering perks to part-time workers, after working just 20 hours in a week in many cases.

So with the help of recent reports in NextAvenue.com and BusinessNewsDaily.com, we found nine part-time jobs with full-time benefits -- and some really cool perks, too.

REI

If you love the outdoors, you would love working here. Where else can you help people choose bicycles, kayaks, climbing equipment and get a 50-percent discount on all that great merchandise for your next adventure?

We chatted with employees at the REI store, and they were genuinely interested in talking about the outdoors and all the cool stuff they have to help you enjoy it. Perks include training in things like how to make a proper slip knot or how to handle rapids while white water rafting.

Now add to that the fact that part timers who work 20 hours a week get health insurance, as well as dental and vision care, and you have a great part-time job with great perks.

Craft breweries

Local craft breweries have exploded in popularity -- and they need people.

The marketing director of one brewery, Mike Stuart, said he wants everyone to feel like they are a part owner.

Employees who work at least 30 hours a week get health benefits, plus beer and food as perks as soon as you are off the clock.

“It’s a fun, relaxed environment,” Stuart said. “You get to make beer. So if you have a stressful week, at the end of the day you have a beer, and your day gets a little better.”

Hospitals

Want the best health care plan in America? Work at a hospital.

No, you don’t need to be a doctor or nurse.

Kim Hull, Talent Acquisition Director of one major hospital, says just 20 hours a week qualifies you for the same benefits as full-time employees, including a pension plan, which are very hard to find these days.

Among those who work part time is nurse Sarah Carlton, who works two 12-hour shifts, for a total of just over 20 hours each week.

That part-time flex schedule allows her to spend time with her children.

“I can be home with them but still contributing to the family’s income and helping others in need,” she said. “It’s a great balance."

Chantel Weaver, meantime, says another great perk is tuition assistance, if you want to pursue that nursing (or another) degree. "We have a great tuition program, and our part-time employees can take care of that as well," she said.

Costco

If you are going to work at a wholesale store, Costco should be one of the first you apply to, because it tops many lists for employee benefits.

Once you have worked part time for six months, you are eligible for health, dental and vision insurance, plus their 401(k) plan.

A great extra perk: You also get an even bigger discount on their already low prescription and eye care prices. (And all of those yummy free food samples in the aisles every day.)

Nike

If you have a Nike Store or Nike Outlet nearby, part-time employees who work 20 hours a week get health and dental insurance along with stock purchasing discount after one year of work.

And everyone who works there gets a super perk: discounts on Nike merchandise.

Starbucks

Working in any coffee shop part time can be fun, but at Starbucks, part-time “partners” have to work just three months to get health, dental, vision and life insurance, plus a 401(k).

And if you love coffee, what better perk is there than being surrounded by coffee all day? Oh, and you get to call yourself a barista, which has a certain European flair to it.

UPS

Want physical activity instead of just sitting all day? Then look at UPS, with part-time packing and warehousing jobs in every city in America, thanks to all the Amazon packages they move.

Hourly part-time employees still get access to almost all the benefits enjoyed by their full-time workers. And you get great arm and leg muscles as a perk at no extra charge.

Whole Foods

Part-time workers at Whole Foods get paid time off, health insurance and opportunities to buy discount stock.

Plus, if you are a foodie, just imagine what life will be like getting a 20-percent discount on all of that organic produce, steak and fish.

Lowe’s

Lowe's is another big box store that scores high; part-time workers can access most benefits from the day they start, instead of three to six months down the road.

In addition to health insurance, Lowe’s offers another great perk: free training in dozens of areas of home improvement, so you know how to best help customers.

That will make you a neighborhood celebrity of sorts, such as when Jimmy down the street offers you a burger on the grill if you stop over and tell him how much attic insulation he needs. Oh, and you can give him advice on his next grill, too.

And that way, you don't waste your money.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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