What is a Contract Job? Definition, Overview, and How it Works

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Table of Contents Show
  1. What is a Contract Job?
  2. How Do Contract Jobs Work?
  3. Do Contract Jobs Have Benefits?
  4. What are the benefits of working on contract?
  5. How to List Contract Jobs on a Resume.
  6. How Do You Become a Contract Employee?
  7. Who is a contractor?
  8. What Does a Contractor Do
  9. What Are Different Types of Work From Home Contract Jobs
  10. What Are the Qualifications to Get a Work From Home Contract Job.
  11. What is a Contract to Hire Job
  12. Pros of Contract to Hire
    1. Demonstrate Your Value
    2. Increase Your Qualifications
    3. Determine Compatibility With a Company or Role
    4. Expand Your Professional Network
  13. Cons of contract to hire
    1. Secure temporary work
    2. Have lapses in employment benefits
  14. Questions to ask about a contract-to-hire position
    1. 1. What goals will be set for this role?
    2. 2. How will I be evaluated as a temporary employee?
    3. 3. When do you plan to hire a permanent employee in the role?
    4. 4. What are the expectations of a permanent employee in this role?
  15. What does working on contract mean?
  16. Who works on contract?
  17. How do contract employees get paid?
  18. How do you find contract work?
  19. Why do companies hire contract employees?
  20. What is a Contract Administrator Job Description
    1. Responsibilities for Contract Administrator
    2. Qualifications for Contract Administrator
  21. FAQs
  22. What are the different types of employment contract?
  23. How long is a typical employment contract?
  24. How many hours is a full-time contract?
  25. What happens if I breach my contract?
  26. What should I ask in an employment contract?
  27. How is a contract terminated?
  28. Conclusion
  29. References
  30. Recommendations
    1. Related

“What is a Contract to Hire Job?”, “What is a Contract Administrator Job Description?” These are some of the most frequently asked questions on google. We are here to answer them.

In addition after going through this article you would further learn who a contractor is and what his or her job description is.

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What is a Contract Job?

Contract work is an arrangement between an employer and a person working as an independent contractor, not an official company employee.

Businesses and government agencies hire independent contractors to do everything from computer engineering to marketing to technical or content writing to construction..

You can build a career as an independent contractor if you have skills that companies require.

How Do Contract Jobs Work?

With a contract job, a company that wants to hire an independent professional will post a job based on the task that needs to be completed.

A work marketplace like Upwork makes it an easy platform to create job listings that target contract talent with specialized experience.

Companies can use the platform to review applicants’ profiles and portfolios in order to find the best candidate for the job.

Before the job begins, the client and contractor will determine details like the schedule for work completion and pay rate.

The contractor will finish the job and be paid when certain milestones or the entire task are met.

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Do Contract Jobs Have Benefits?

Contract jobs do not have traditional employment benefits like insurance and retirement accounts.

However, as an independent contractor, you will receive your pay check from your employer for your services but will most likely be ineligible for other benefits such as healthcare.

You may be able to enroll in other programs at the company, but it depends on the employer.

The benefits of working contract jobs are that you typically set your own schedule by choosing what days of the week, and you can often work remotely.

What are the benefits of working on contract?

Working on contract is beneficial to both the contracted worker and the company they work for. Here are a few of the primary benefits of working on contract:

  • Flexibility: Since you technically work for yourself as a contractor, you often get to choose your hours, giving you more flexibility than a traditional job.
  • Mobility: Depending on the type of work you do, you may have the opportunity to work remotely as a contract employee.
  • Growth: Working in a variety of contract positions gives you the ability to rapidly and specifically develop your skill set.
  • Network: You can easily expand your professional network by taking on a variety of contract positions rather than a single internal position.
  • Novelty: Since most contract positions are relatively short, you’ll continue to enjoy new opportunities as you move from one project to the next.
  • Assessment: Some companies hire internal employees from their contractor pool. If you like working for a certain company, you might have the chance to move into a full-time position with them for a more permanent position if you want.
  • Tax deductions: The IRS usually considers contractors as self-employed individuals. As your own boss, you’re eligible to tax deductions and business tax write offs you don’t receive as an internal employee.

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How to List Contract Jobs on a Resume.

Whether your contract work is full time, part time or temporary, you should include the position on your resume to showcase your qualifications to future employers.

Hence, State your duties and achievements as you would for any job.

If you use a staffing agency, include their information as well as the company you were contracted to work with and the role you are to fill.

List your contract work in chronological order, with your most recent positions or projects toward the top of your resume.

How Do You Become a Contract Employee?

However, to become a contract employee, it largely depends on the positions being offered by the employer, though, there are some types of jobs that are often contracted.

Although, a bachelor’s degree in the field you would like to work in is a good starting point to gain the skills and experience you will need for a career as an independent contractor.

However, employers may not require a college education if you have the relevant experience and a portfolio of work.

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Who is a contractor?

A contractor is any individual or organization that is hired to perform work for another individual or organization on a contract basis.

There are many different categories of contractors; however, when used without specification, the term usually refers to one of three types:

  • General contractor: responsible for the overall management of a construction project
  • Subcontractor: responsible for fulfilling only a specific portion of a contract
  • Independent contractor: typically hired to perform a specific task, such as masonry

What Does a Contractor Do

A contractor is responsible for supplying the needed materials, tools, as well as taking care of everything happening on the site.

They are usually self-employed individuals, but, in some instances, they can be a part of their own limited company.

Contractors can also be employed by an umbrella company or an agency.

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What Are Different Types of Work From Home Contract Jobs

Work from home contract jobs are positions for freelancers who sign short- or long-term contracts to do work for a company.

Despite the fact that they are independent contractors and not actual employees of the organization, they must still follow all company guidelines regarding the completion of the project they work on for the duration of their contract.

Home-based contract jobs are available in many different sectors.

A freelance writer or copywriter works to write content for clients.

For example, work from home web designers may design or update a company’s website.

A contract recruiter takes steps to find, screen, and recruit qualified candidates for job positions at clients’ companies.

Work from home contract writers may develop new content or edit someone else’s copy for a publication, publishing house, or an author.

What Are the Qualifications to Get a Work From Home Contract Job.

The qualifications that you need to get a work from home contract job depend on the type of job you wish to pursue.

Although, different work from home contract jobs require a variety of skills, all home-based contractors must be able to complete their assignments to contract specifications.

Technical positions, such as web developers or programmers, typically require a certificate or degree in a relevant field, but clients may hire IT professionals who have extensive backgrounds in specific programs but do not have degrees.

Work from home writers or graphic designers need to have a substantial portfolio that showcases their work when they interview for contract positions.

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What is a Contract to Hire Job

Contract to hire is a short-term job that allows both parties to try out a role before committing to full-time employment.

Also known as “temp to hire,” contract to hire agreements typically set out the length of time the contractor will work for the employer.

At the end of this trial period, the employer can decide whether to hire the contractor as a full-time employee with benefits.

Many roles hire contract to hire, including:

  • Sales
  • Administrative
  • Marketing and communications
  • Graphic design
  • Project management
  • Seasonal retail

Pros of Contract to Hire

The flexibility built into contract to hire is beneficial in many ways, whether you’re looking for a short-term position or more long-term position or a freelance opportunity.

Here are some of the pros of a contract-to-hire position:

  • Demonstrates your value
  • Increases your qualifications
  • Determines compatibility with a company or role
  • Expands your professional network

Demonstrate Your Value

Contract-to-hire roles can give you time to prove your value to a company and demonstrate to your employer why you would be a good long-term fit for the role.

In this type of position, you can use your skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on the role, team and company as a whole during your short time there.

When you have quantifiable or obvious contributions, you can use them to secure permanent employment.

Employers often use contract to hire as a way of doing a “working interview,” or testing out the fit between the potential employee and the company, which can result in making higher-quality hires.

You can consider taking a contract-to-hire job while you negotiate your salary after receiving a formal offer.

In this situation, you would act as part of the team in that capacity to showcase just how valuable an asset you and why they should consider paying you more.

Increase Your Qualifications

Temporary positions can serve an important purpose on your resume, especially if they help to fill the time between two permanent positions.

They can be a productive option as you search for a more long-term role, especially if you aren’t hearing back from potential full-time employers.

Contract-to-hire jobs can also help you become an expert in your field or on a particular task.

In these roles, you may have a certain number of specific tasks to learn and excel in very quickly.

This experience can help you refine skills and focus on one or a few elements of your profession to then apply at expert status in a full-time position.

Taking on a few of these roles at different companies can build your reputation as a fast-learning expert.

Determine Compatibility With a Company or Role

Contract to hire allows you to test your suitability for a company and the position.

It’s a more in-depth way of researching a company during the job search process.

The experience can help you to determine whether or not the organization’s work environment, goals and values are a good fit for your future.

If you are testing out career options or roles in your field, contract to hire can allow you to do so without committing to a full-time job before you’re confident in your decision.

Expand Your Professional Network

A contract-to-hire job can also help you build your professional network.

The connections you make at a company might lead you to a job offer at the same company in the future, at a client’s company or a different company with mutual connections.

Additionally, having the opportunity to make a good impression on an employer, even if they do not end up offering you a long-term position, allows you to ask for a positive recommendation or referral during your next job search.

If you use a contract-to-hire position to test potential career paths, the opportunity can also introduce you to people in your industry who you can ask about their professional background and experiences.

They may be able to provide you further insight and guidance as you decide on a career.

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Cons of contract to hire

Along with the considerable benefits, there are other considerations for contract-to-hire positions to be aware of during your search.

Secure temporary work

Even if you love the job and thrive in your role, an employer may not hire you for permanent work at the end of your contract.

Employers use contract to hire to help during busy seasons or temporarily replace a full-time, permanent employee on leave.

Though work may be temporary, employers may keep you in mind for future openings, especially if you exceed expectations and quantifiably contribute to the company’s success.

In some cases, employers may have additional temporary work they may consider you for, either as an extension of your current contract or in the future.

Have lapses in employment benefits

Contract employees don’t often receive benefits like health insurance coverage, paid leave or pension options.

For cases where you’re hired in a contract-to-hire role through a staffing or recruiting agency but then hired through the company full-time, your time as a contract-to-hire employee may not count toward total accruement of benefits.

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Questions to ask about a contract-to-hire position

Regardless of the role, there are a set of questions you should ask about any contract-to-hire position before accepting, especially if you hope to turn the contract into a full-time position at the end.

  1. What goals will be set for this role?
  2. How will I be evaluated as a temporary employee?
  3. When do you plan to hire a permanent employee in the role?
  4. What are the expectations of a permanent employee in this role?

1. What goals will be set for this role?

This question allows you to discuss the employer’s expectations for the temporary work, including daily responsibilities and key performance indicators to track your productivity and success in the role.

Consider asking what the day-to-day schedule for this role is and what kind of tasks an employee should complete and in what timeframes.

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2. How will I be evaluated as a temporary employee?

You can ask this question to learn more about what performance evaluation tools your prospective employer plans to use, including supervisor and coworker reviews or task-tracking software.

Using this knowledge, you may better position yourself for the type of employment environment—whether it’s busy or easygoing.

It can also help you gauge your eligibility to have your contract extended or be hired permanently.

3. When do you plan to hire a permanent employee in the role?

During the interview process, you can ask whether the employer has a timeframe for hiring.

They can have a date when the agreement is due to terminate and consideration of hiring permanent workers begins.

They may also have plans to extend the temporary contract if things go well.

If the employer does not have a timeline in mind, consider suggesting one yourself. The focus be based on how long you think you need to become comfortable enough with the position to be best considered for the permanent role.

You can also wait to have that discussion until after you’ve begun working. As long as you’re comfortable accepting the contract-to-hire position without confirmation of the hiring timeline.

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4. What are the expectations of a permanent employee in this role?

Understanding what the company is looking for in an ideal candidate can help you align your work style and productivity while on the job.

Consider asking what the hiring manager views as most important about the role to determine how you can best demonstrate your value to the team.

What does working on contract mean?

Working on contract can mean a few different things, depending on the specifics of your role and agreement with the hiring company.

In most cases, contract employees are considered self-employed and not employees of the company.

Instead, the company hires contractors to perform a specific job, usually for a set period of time.

Some contract positions last for as little as a day or a single project, while others can extend for months or years.

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Who works on contract?

Just about any position can be a contract position.

For companies, hiring internal employees provides several specific benefits, while hiring contract employees provides different benefits.

It’s often up to the individual companies whether they choose to hire internal employees or contract employees.

Industries and types of work that frequently rely on contract staff include:

  • Information technology and computer-related fields
  • Administrative work
  • Finance and accounting
  • Customer service
  • Software design and development
  • Healthcare
  • Project management
  • Research and analysis
  • Writing and editing
  • Education and training

How do contract employees get paid?

Pay for contract employees differs from position to position and company to company.

However, some professions, like freelance editing, often pay a specific amount for each task completed. Whereas, other roles, like project management, receive a pre-determined sum for all work related to the project.

Most companies pay their contract employees through direct deposit on a regular basis for the duration of the project, though some might provide paper checks at regular intervals.

Since contract employees are technically self-employed, they’re responsible for filing their own taxes.

The company for which they’re contracted will pay them the full amount the contract stipulates, with no money withheld for taxes. The contracted employee must manage their own tax payments.

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How do you find contract work?

You can find contract work in several ways, with most options mirroring a traditional job search. A few of the best way to find a contract position include:

  • Temp agencies: Temporary agencies, also called “staffing agencies,” are organizations that match contract workers with open, temporary positions. Some of the positions are purely temporary, while others can become internal jobs.
  • Job boards: Traditional online job boards, like Indeed, let you search for contract work generally or select contract work as a filter in an advanced search.
  • Gig sites: There are many sites online that allow contract workers to participate in the gig economy. Often, these sites segment work by type, so you can search specifically for tasks like copywriting, completing errands or any other contract job you might want.

Why do companies hire contract employees?

Companies choose to hire employees on contract for several reasons. A few of the most common include:

  • Flexibility: By using contract employees rather than internal employees, companies maintain staffing flexibility.
  • Compensation: Companies don’t have to provide contract employees with additional compensatory perks like health insurance or paid time off as they would for internal employees.
  • Timely support: Contract employees can quickly join a project that’s overburdening internal employees for the duration of the assignment and leave for other opportunities once the team meets its goal.

What is a Contract Administrator Job Description

A contract administrator manages a company’s contracts, such as rental, sales, purchase, new business proposal and employment contracts.

Contract administrators work for various companies such as engineering firms, educational institutions and insurance companies. Also known as contract manager.

Responsibilities for Contract Administrator

  • Develop contract proposals to support organizational goals
  • Review contract estimates, including proposed materials, production costs, etc and determine whether they seem reasonable and accurate
  • Ensure that all records are accurate and up to date
  • Write contract letters and other communications and notices
  • Negotiate and approve contract terms while ensuring that projects remain within the established budget
  • Attend meetings to assess progress on projects which are in motion, and take detailed notes to share with stakeholders
  • Create regular status reports regarding progress on projects
  • Analyze contracts to ensure they comply with state and federal laws and regulations

Qualifications for Contract Administrator

  • 3+ years prior experience in a contract administration role or a related field
  • Exemplifies knowledge of contract law, accounting principles and finance
  • Has strong negotiation and mediation skills
  • Possesses superior attention to detail in order to spot inconsistencies in contracts
  • Has previous experience in customer service and strong communication skills
  • Able to work productively independently and as part of a team
  • Must have excellent analytical thinking skills and problem solving abilities
  • Previous experience as a project manager, or coordinating large projects is an asset
  • Should exhibit strong organizational and time management abilities


What are the different types of employment contract?

There are three main types of employment contract: 

permanent employment contracts.

fixed-term contracts.

casual employment contracts.

How long is a typical employment contract?

Common arrangements are one year and three years; five years is more common in Europe than in the U.S. Shorter agreements, especially those with one-year terms, often have “evergreen” language which automatically renew the contract from year to year unless either party gives notice of intent not to renew.

How many hours is a full-time contract?

A full-time contract is almost the same as a part-time contract. The main difference being the number of hours per week you’re required to work. In a full-time contract, you’re expected to work 35 hours or more per week

What happens if I breach my contract?

If you breach your contract, your employer should try to settle the matter with you informally, but they can sue you for damages in the same way you can sue them. Your employer would normally use a county court for a breach of contract claim

What should I ask in an employment contract?

7 things you need to include in an employment contract

  • Legal disclaimer.
  • Job information.
  • Compensation and benefits.
  • Time off, sick days and vacation policy.
  • Employee classification.
  • The schedule and employment period.
  • Confidentiality, privacy and responsibility.
  • Termination, severance and survival.

How is a contract terminated?

Terminating a contract means ending the contract before it is fully performed by the parties. In other words prior to the parties performing all of their respective obligations required by the contract, their duty to perform these obligations ceases to exist.


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