Temporary Workers

Temporary Worker Packs Box

Employees who work on an assignment or contractual basis are called temporary workers. They usually work through agencies, staffing offices, or placement centers that place qualified workers in jobs that last from one day to months according to their educational background, work experience, or profession.

People work as temps for several reasons. The majority of people temp because they are between full-time positions. Some enjoy the flexibility that temporary assignments offer. Others use the opportunity to try out different occupations or companies in hopes of being hired in a permanent capacity. Companies from almost every industry hire temporary workers to fill in when regular staff members are ill or on vacation. Special projects and seasonal work are other reasons for employment. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the temporary help services industry accounted for 2.4 percent of all private sector jobs in the United States, with a record high of nearly 3 million temporary jobs in May 2015.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Contract Workers, Temps
Duties Work on an assignment or contractual basis for a variety of for-profit and nonprofit employers
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Business
  • English
  • Mathematics
Experience Prior occupational experience required
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Organized
  • Business Management
  • Interpersonal
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Manager
  • Salaried Worker
  • Temporary Worker