What is Per Diem Employment?

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What Is Per Diem Employment

If you are in the job market, you may have seen listings for per diem positions. These may sound fancy, due to their use of Latin, but this simply refers to how these jobs are paid, and how much time is required of a candidate. You can find different kinds of per diem employment in all sorts of industries, such as education or healthcare. Per diem employment can be great for those looking to try out an industry or add another stream of income to their bank account. Read on to learn more about per diem work so you can decide if it is a good fit for you!

What Is a Per Diem Job?

A per diem job is a job that is worked or paid per day. The term “per diem” comes from the Latin, meaning per day. This type of work is done on an as needed basis, for example, when somebody is absent or a company is scaling for their busy season. A common example of per diem work is that of a substitute teacher. For this kind of work, the hours typically vary from week to week, as the company requires. Per diem workers do not get benefits, paid time off, or retirement plans because they are not full time employees.

Per Diem vs Part Time

While per diem work may seem comparable to a part time job, what with the reduced amount of hours, there are some key differentiators between the two types of employment.

The first of these is the pay.

With a part time job, you will likely receive more money in the long run because you are also receiving a more consistent amount of hours. However, when it comes to rates themselves, per diem work will probably have a higher daily or hourly rate. This is partially used as an incentive so that employers can get these positions filled faster, and partially to make up for the fact that there are fewer benefits offered to per diem workers than to permanent employees of the same company.

As mentioned above, per diem workers typically do not receive benefits at a company, even if that same company does offer benefits to other employees. This is another difference between per diem and part time employment. Part time workers may not receive the same benefits as permanent or full time employees, either, but are more likely to get certain benefits, such as paid sick time and paid vacation time.

Schedule is another defining difference between these two kinds of employment. With part time work, your company or supervisor will make up a schedule in advance, so that you know what hours and shifts you will need to work. That way, you can plan accordingly. However, with per diem work, you are often filling in for another permanent employee fairly at the last minute– for example, in the event that they are taking a sick day. This means that, not only do you not know your schedule in advance, you also do not have a set number of hours for the week or the month that you will be working.

Part time positions also provide more stability than per diem positions do, overall. If you are working part time, you usually have a set amount of hours that you are working, even if they fluctuate slightly and the timing of the shifts themselves may change. With per diem work, though, these hours can fluctuate greatly. You could easily go from working 30 hours one week to just 10 the next, due to the company’s need– or lack thereof. When it comes to per diem work, companies may even hire these employees seasonally, such as hiring more nurses in a hospital during flu season to help with an expected influx of patients.

Why Work a Per Diem Job?

A per diem job can be a great choice if you are looking for flexibility or additional work experience. Also, it is a way to earn money without having to commit to a position for a long period of time– so it can be perfect for someone who is looking to try out a type of position or industry to see if it is a good fit for them as a career. Those who work a per diem job can hold another job, too– either full time or part time– in conjunction with their per diem job, and can then choose when to work their per diem job based on their schedule. Another benefit of per diem jobs is that they typically offer good pay, since there are no benefits offered.

Advantages of Per Diem Work

Per diem work can bring greater flexibility into a person’s life when it comes to scheduling their weeks or months, as well as allowing them to try out new industries, career paths, or positions. They are able to turn down shifts when they do not want to work, which isn’t the case for full time or even part time employees of the same company. It also helps give employees a better work life balance. This is because per diem workers can work for who they want to and refuse who they do not want to work for, and as mentioned previously, can turn down shifts when they do not want to work– or cannot work, due to another commitment in their personal life. This type of wok pays well, too.

Disadvantages of Per Diem Work

Of course, there are disadvantages when considering per diem employment as well. One big disadvantage is stability. If you are a person who thrives off of stability and does not like change in the workplace, this type of work is probably not for you. Per diem work does not have a stable, consistent schedule or amount of hours. It often comes with times where there is no work or job uncertainty, as per diem workers are only called in when a company has a use for them– and this could easily change from day to day. A lack of benefits can also be a deterrent from this type of work, especially if you are single or not on your partner’s healthcare plan, for example. Healthcare, paid time off, and sick time are not benefits offered to per diem workers, and this does not come without cost. You will have to pay for your own healthcare or health insurance out of pocket. If you go on vacation or need to take time off because of an illness or injury, you will not be compensated for this, either.

Types of Per Diem Workers

There are many different industries and companies that leverage the importance of per diem employment. In times of need, it is important to have a backup plan to help tackle additional workloads, or to have those who can handle tasks that cannot be ignored or delayed when someone is out. As with the differing industries that offer per diem work, there are also different difficulty levels and specialization when it comes to per diem positions, too. Some positions may require a degree, but most do not, and only require some past work experience, in the required role or in something comparable. For example, a substitute teacher may not need to have a teaching degree, but should still have plenty of experience with children and be able to follow a lesson plan. Take a look at the following list to see some of the options there are out there for per diem work.

  • Substitute Teacher
  • Delivery Person or Delivery Driver
  • Warehouse Worker
  • Reporter
  • Construction Worker
  • Nurse

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean if a job is per diem?

A per diem job is a job that is per day, as per diem is the Latin for “per day”. This may be a job that lasts one day or several days– an example is filling in for a hospital when there is a gap in coverage.

How does per diem pay work?

Typically, a worker who is per diem is paid their wages by the day, rather than by the hour. Per diem workers may also be paid by the quantity of the work done. These individuals are usually on part time or short term contracts– they are not full time workers.

Do per diem employees get paid more?

It depends, but usually, per diem employees are paid more than the full time hourly employees of a company. This is, in part, to compensate for the fewer benefits that a per diem employee receives, and is also an incentive because these positions need to be filled quickly.

How many hours is per diem?

Per diem hours can vary, according to what the company needs. For example, if an employee is needed to fill a role for one eight hour day, your contract may be for eight hours. If you are filling a role for more than one day, the hours you are working per diem may be greater.