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Work schedules

A work schedule includes the hours of a day and the days of a work week that an employee is required to work. In the Federal Government, the work schedule is sometimes called a “daily tour of duty” and “weekly tour of duty”.

Some work schedules have the same hours every day and the same days every week. Others may be flexible and change from week to week or day to day. For example, a work schedule could be Monday - Friday, from 9 am - 5 pm or Wednesday - Sunday, from 4 pm to midnight.

The number of hours you work each day and the days of the week you work may vary depending on the job and the agency.


A full-time job requires most employees to work 40 hours per work week, or 80 hours in a pay period. There may be slight variations in this schedule.


A part-time job requires most employees to work less than 40 hours per work week, or less than 80 hours in a pay period. The number of hours may vary depending on the job.

Shift work

Shift-work requires coverage 24 hours per day, and sometimes 7 days per week. A shift-work job means you’ll work during a set period of time within that 24 hour period. You may work a night shift, morning shift or you may rotate shifts with other workers. The exact schedule may vary depending on the job.


An intermittent job requires you to work from time to time – there is no set schedule. This is not the same as a part-time job.

Job share

A job share job requires you to share a full-time job with another employee. You and the other employee share the full-time job responsibilities and receive salary and benefits on a pro-rated basis. Each job sharer can work up to 32 hours per week and your schedule could include half days, alternative days, alternative weeks or other arrangements. The exact schedule will depend on the job.

Multiple schedules

A job with “multiple” work schedules usually means there is more than one position that can be filled and the work schedules may vary for each job.

Additional resources

Work schedules (OPM)

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