Full Time Job V Freelance – Surprising Benefits of Both!

A full-time job is the most sought-after type of employment. But full-time roles may not suit everyone. Which begs the question, what is the difference between full time job v freelance? Which is more secure and which type of work offers you the most flexibility? Understanding these key differences will help you to make a smart, informed choice to suit your needs and desires.

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Full Time Job V Freelance

The below table highlights the key differences between a full-time job v freelance work.

 Full-Time WorkFreelance Work
Number of hoursMore than 30 hours a weekVaried depending on work taken on
Working hours flexibilityUsually fixed hours and set times/daysMore flexible based on demand and preference
Work locationWorkplace, office, remoteUsually remote
Pay levelsFixed salaryVariable, no fixed or capped salary
Income stabilityStableUnstable
Holiday entitlementsPaid holidays and leaveUnpaid holidays and leave
Job benefitsEntitled to full benefitsNo benefits
Job securityHigher, termination requires paid notice periodNo guarantee of constant work

Full time work and freelance work are like chalk and cheese! The above table demonstrates just how different both types of work are. But that only scratches the surface. Let’s answer some of your burning questions, such as which pays better? How much are company benefits really worth? And can you be a freelancer and work a full-time job?  Read on to find out more!

The majority of people working as freelancers are women (73.38%) which can allow a greater work life balance. Source

Full Time Job V Freelance - Surprising Benefits of Both!

Full Time Job V Freelance

Number of hours

With a full time job, you are contractually bound to work a set number of hours.

This is often based on working over 30 hours a week. The hours that the worker is required to complete also usually has a set structure, e.g., 8am – 12pm, 5 days a week.

More and more companies are adopting policies such as annualized hours which allows an employee work up the total hours within a year as opposed to within a week.

Compressed work weeks, such as a 4 day work week, allow full time staff to complete their work in a shorter week, which could equate to less hours.

Freelance workers tend to have no fixed hours and the hours can vary depending on how much work they have taken on. It is often less structured than a full-time role.

Generally, they have a choice of when they complete this work. Often, their client will be satisfied once they meet the deadline.

Since their work is based on accepting various contracts, freelancers have to be prepared for quiet and busy periods.

The fact that freelancers can pick and choose if they want to work tends to grant them greater freedom than someone with set full-time hours.  

Related: Casual Work v Part Time – 6 Remarkable Differences!

Working hours flexibility

Full-time work is usually fixed hours with set days, start and finish times. You are expected to work these hours, whether you have work to complete or not.

Many companies have core working hours where staff must be present.

If you work for a company with a flexible working policy, such as the 4-day work week, flexi-time or compressed hours, there will be more freedom to select the hours that you work.

One of the most flexible work models is an annualized hours contract!

More flexibility tends to exist in freelance work, especially since that worker has the option to accept or decline the work presented to them.

Freelancers can choose the hours they work, provided it aligns with the deadlines and requirements of the client.

That means you could work evenings and weekends if you wanted to complete freelance work as a side hustle outside your full-time job.

Pay levels

The average hourly rate for a full-time worker in an average job is around $29.81 – $33.77. An average annual salary equates to $44,888.

Full time employees are given a fixed salary for the year and know how exactly much they are going to be paid. This salary is guaranteed and typically capped.

This means that how well you perform or how hard you work won’t have a huge impact on your salary.

The average hourly rate for a freelancer is between $22 – $32.96 with an annual salary of approximately $68,549.

Freelancers are paid based on rates they choose to charge their client. Plus, they don’t have to wait till the end of the month to get paid.

They don’t have a guaranteed income every year as it depends on how much work they take on.

Their income is not fixed or capped like the salary of a full-time worker. Freelancers can potentially earn more money for completing the same amount of work as a full-time worker.

Freelancers take home all the profits, whereas an employee only takes home their wage.

That said, pay is only one side of the coin though.

This could equate to less when the value of holidays and benefits are added up.

In the next sections, discover what entitlements you will be losing out on with freelance work.

Related: Casual Work v Full Time – A Guide & Which Pays You More?

Holiday entitlements

Full-time workers are granted paid annual leave which is in the range of 10 – 30 days a year. Workers are usually entitled to other types of leave too, such as sick leave, maternity leave or paternity leave.

If you work on unlimited holidays, you work out even better as you get to pick how many paid holidays you take in the year!

With holiday entitlements and leave, staff can plan for paid time off without taking a hit on their wages. That is, provided they don’t surpass their annual leave.

Freelance work offers no holiday entitlements which means there is less structure to when a worker can take their holidays. They can choose to take holidays whenever and for as long as they wish.

If they are aware of quiet periods in the year, a freelancer can choose to take time off then. However, if there are no quiet seasons, you may end up having to sacrifice work to take unpaid time off.

Freelancers don’t get paid to take sick leave or bereavement leave; this is a cost they bear themselves.

Consequently, they may feel hesitant about taking time off as it’s at their own expense and they may lose out on work.

Related: How Unlimited Holidays Work – An Insider Guide + FAQs!

Job benefits

Employees receive all the benefits of the company that they work for. This means that they avail of health insurance, pension, car allowances, bonuses etc.

Benefits packages on average have a value of up to 30% of the employee’s wage. So, if you’re on a $60,000 salary, benefits could add up to $30,000, giving you an annual compensation of $90,000.

Don’t forget the value of the different types of leave that were mentioned in the previous section! This can equate to months of paid leave off in a year if it was all used!

Since freelancers work for themselves, they are not entitled to any of these perks.

Instead, they are rewarded with the full profits of their work, which can work out to be higher than the value of a wage and benefits of an employee.

Depending on how robust the benefits package is for a company, a freelancer could lose out thousands each year.

However, if a company doesn’t offer a great package, you may be far better off working on contract as you can typically charge more. Especially since you can charge whatever you wish.

Tip: Before setting your fees, consider what other similar contract workers are charging.

Job security

Job security in full-time roles is much higher than in freelance work. This assurance of work is higher again if a person has a permanent full-time job as opposed to a fixed-term contract.

In either situation, you have the peace of mind knowing that your job is secure, and work is regular. If your employment needs to be terminated, you’ll receive a paid notice period.

You will also often benefit from a redundancy package.

Having this job security eases stress levels, guarantees an annual salary, and makes it much easier to secure a loan and pay bills.

Freelance work offers no promise of work. There is no guarantee of how long your contract with a client will continue for or how often you will be offered work.

Contracts are often short and tend to end once the necessary work or project is executed.

If you have built up a reputation of being a good worker, then you may have more than enough work and workflow could be constant.

Often this will take time to build up and can be a daunting period for anyone starting out.

Lack of job security and a guaranteed wage often won’t suit people who are risk averse. Additionally, it can be stressful for those who have recurring bills, loans or have dependents who rely on them.

Tip: General liability insurance will be required by freelancers to safeguard their work from claims.


The safe choice of work will always be a full-time role. However, for those who have the skills, want a side income and can handle the risks of working for themselves, a freelance job is often a great choice.

Using the above comparison table and tips, you can decide which is the best fit for you!

If you would like to further enhance your knowledge on work setup and organization, I have written some articles that are without a doubt worth a look.

Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:

  1. Casual Work v Full Time – A Guide & Which Pays You More?
  2. Is Part Time Work Easy? Surprising Must Know Factors!
  3. 4 Day Work Week V 5 Day – Full Of Surprising Facts & Results
  4. Annualized Hours Explained – Helpful Tips & How It Works!
  5. How Unlimited Holidays Work – An Insider Guide + FAQs!

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  3. CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair  (link on OfficeFurniture2Go)


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