Seasonal employment is best for people who want to make extra money. Students seek seasonal employment during summers and semester breaks to earn some pocket money. On the other hand, adults who work part-time look for seasonal work to earn additional income. in this article, we will discuss seasonal employment, its benefits to the employer and employees, and ways to obtain it.

Employee Productivity

What Is Seasonal Employment?

Seasonal employment is temporary work that provides employers with workers during busy times of the year. These temporary helpers complement permanent employees in generating more business and meeting the increasing demands of the customers.

What Are Seasonal Employees?

Seasonal employees are temporary or part-time employees that are hired to meet the increasing demand of certain industries.

How Many Hours Do Seasonal Employees Work?

Seasonal workers mostly work for 35 or fewer hours a week for a period of six months although there is no law stating the time limit. It is up to the discretion of employers and employees to set time limits.

Times and Types of Seasonal Employment

Seasonal employment calls for a wide variety of skills. Employees who are good at one or another can avail the opportunity of working seasonally. Seasonal employment peaks at some point in a year and are specific to certain industries. Here is a list of industries that are common to seasonal work:


Resorts, beaches, and places with beautiful scenery get the most tourists during Summer. This is because the temperature is warm and children are on their Summer break. Summer is an ideal time for families to take some time off and spend some time together.

Naturally, more tourists mean more business. Hotels and restaurants need seasonal employees to work as kitchen helpers, chefs, receptionists, bell boys, and in many other roles.

People enjoy several outdoor activities in summers such as hiking, camping, and other adventurous activities. If you are someone who likes to stay outdoors, you can temporarily work as a tour guide, a summer camp counselor, or even lead hikes and other adventures.

Tourism is not just limited to Summers. Certain places attract a great number of tourists in Winters for their cozy cottages, ski slopes, and Christmas festivities. Winters are also famous for certain sports like skiing and ice skating. This opens several opportunities for seasonal employment. You can teach these sports and have a great time all while earning some extra income.


Construction is a seasonal industry. The busiest seasons are spring and fall for areas that have hot and rainy Summers. People living in such areas get most of the work such as building a new house or installing an air conditioner in the fall. Therefore the demand for seasonal employees increases at this time of the year.

Areas that are cold require heating contractors in the fall. Eventually, the demand for seasonal workers increases.

Seasonal Employment Image


Winters and Summers open up several seasonal employment opportunities. For instance, Winter is a peak shopping season because people shop for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This means that retailers need additional sales associates. Other occasions include Black Friday which marks the busiest shopping period in the year.

Seasonal employment opportunities in these times include working as a cashier, salesperson, manager, or someone who wraps gifts or stocks shelves. There are some interesting seasonal roles as well such as working as a character in a haunted house or playing Santa.

Food Delivery

Summer is that time of the month in which people are on holiday and like to spend time with friends and family. People tend to order food at home because they would rather be home and binge-watch Netflix. Also, people like to go shopping during holidays rather than spend time in the kitchen.

The holiday season also means people order gifts online for their friends and family. As a consequence, restaurants and online retailers face an influx of orders. This opens up seasonal positions in package distribution centers and restaurants for delivery riders.

Seasonal Employment


Demand for accountants increases from the end of January until April. This is because tax season in the US starts by the end of January as people have to file their tax returns by April 15. Firms hire additional employees during this time to respond to customer queries, answer phone calls, help people in filing taxes and create marketing campaigns.

How to Attract Seasonal Employees?

If you run a business that requires seasonal workers, you first have to determine how many extra workers you need. Once that is done, you have to create job posts and advertise them as you normally do for regular employees.

You also have the option of using the service of temporary employment agencies. Although the agencies charge a fee they are a lot more convenient. Employers do not have to go through the process of recruiting, hiring, and interviewing on their own.

Seasonal Employment Law

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers seasonal employees and has certain laws and regulations that employers must abide by.

  • Seasonal employees must receive the Federal minimum wage or minimum wage set by their state or local jurisdiction.
  • Seasonal workers can either work full-time or part-time.
  • According to Federal law, seasonal workers who are 16 years and above can work as many hours and as many shifts in a day.
  • If seasonal employees work more than 40 hours a week, they must receive overtime pay which is 1.5 times their regular pay.
  • Employees who are less than 18 years old can take up seasonal employment but cannot be placed in positions that are dangerous.

According to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), full-time employees are those who work for 30 hours or more a week for 120 consecutive days. Naturally, full-time employees are entitled to receive healthcare benefits.

Many seasonal employees work full time and according to the law must receive health care benefits. However, some employers cut down on the weekly hours of seasonal workers so that they are not covered by health care benefits.

Benefits of Seasonal Employment to Employees

As such as employers benefit from offering seasonal employment, employees do so as well. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

Builds Resume

If you are someone who doesn’t have work experience, then seeking seasonal employment is the option to go for. In case, you do, seasonal work will help you fill gaps in your resume. You can either work temporarily in a new field or your existing field. The choice is yours to make.

Adds to Skills

This is another great way of making valuable additions to your resume. When you take up seasonal work, you acquire new skills. The skills could either be hard or soft. To be able to add skills to your resume strengthens your resume and paves way for future career opportunities.

Creates Job Opportunities

Seasonal work helps you set your foot in an organization. Although working as a seasonal worker in a company doesn’t guarantee permanent employment, it does create some chances.

As a seasonal hire, you get to prove yourself as a promising employee. Moreover, even if the boss is not able to offer you permanent employment, they can refer you to other employers.

Most importantly, seasonal employment is a great way of expanding your network and finding jobs in the same or related industries.

Test Drive a New Career

This is a benefit that is mostly overlooked. Seasonal work helps you choose a career path. For instance, if you work as a counselor for a children’s summer camp, you can analyze if you can become a teacher in the future. If you feel that you get along with kids and have that temperament, you may as well look for a full-time job in this role. In case you don’t, you at least get to know that this career is not meant for you.

Offers Flexible Working Hours

As a seasonal worker, you get to choose the shift you want to work in. For instance, working in retail stores, delivery centers, and restaurants give you the flexibility of working either a morning or night shift.

Adds Extra Bucks to Your Income

Seasonal employment is a great way of earning some extra money in a short span of time. Whether you work before returning to school or are simply supplementing your regular income, you get to bag some extra cash.

Also, employers also offer employee discounts to seasonal workers. so there is a chance that you get discounts on tickets, events, and shopping.

Benefits To Employers of Seasonal Employment

Seasonal employment offers a variety of benefits to employers. some of them are mentioned below:

Reduced Payroll Costs

Payroll is one of the largest expenses of a business. however, seasonal employment can help reduce payroll expenses for a business. As a seasonal employer, you hire employees only when the need arises. this means that instead of paying them all year round, you only pay them for a few months.

Seasonal employers may also hire employees at lower pay as opposed to full-time employees. However, they do ensure that all seasonal workers get the minimum wage set by the law. Also, seasonal employees mostly work part-time so employers do not have to pay them overtime, significantly reducing the payroll expense.

Eliminates Risk and Worry

Seasonal employment is less risky than regular employment. Employers worry less because they know that employees will eventually leave after the peak season is over. Seasonal employers also do not invest much time and energy in the hiring process hence the worry and stress are even less.

Test Employees

Many seasonal employers carry out test employment. If your business operates during peak seasons of the year you can test employees by carefully studying their performance and dedication. And if impressed, you can offer them extended employment for off-seasons.

If your business runs for part of the year, you can observe which employees perform the best and consider rehiring them the next season.

Now, that you are aware of the pros of seasonal employment, let’s now have look at some of the cons.

Cons of Seasonal Employment

Less Motivated Employees

Because seasonal employees work temporarily in a business, they are less motivated and may not take their jobs seriously. Seasonal employment at times results in unreliable and less committed employees.

One way to avoid this is to set expectations earlier during the hiring process, rehire employees from previous seasons and create a fun work environment.

Less Training

Seasonal employees are trained less and at a high pace. Some employees find it difficult to understand the work process and may feel overburdened with work. As a result, seasonal employees tend to quit sooner than expected.

Less Loyal Employees

Many seasonal workers don’t exhibit the same level of loyalty as permanent employees. Seasonal employees tend to switch jobs for better pay, flex schedules, and other benefits.

One way to avoid this is by offering competitive wages and flexible working hours.

Seasonal Employment-Yay or Nay?

Now that you have learned the advantages and disadvantages of seasonal employment, you are in a better position to decide whether you want to take it up or not. As an employer, it is important that you first determine the need and then make a decision. Moreover, keep an eye out for best-performing employees as this is a great way of attracting top talent at a lower cost.

As someone who is looking to pocket some extra cash, seasonal work is the way to go. It will benefit you in several ways as mentioned above. A pro tip to be successful at your seasonal job is to treat it as a permanent job. Grab the opportunity to acquire as many skills as possible.

Always remember, what you sow is what you reap.

Plant a good impression in the employer’s mind and experience its benefits later on.

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