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What are Contract Jobs?

By G. Melanson
Updated Jan 25, 2024
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Contract jobs are jobs performed by individuals or organizations which are outsourced or assigned by other individuals or organizations. Contract jobs may have a designated time frame, or they may be for an ongoing project that does not have a set termination date. In the case of contract jobs, the organization or individual that hires the contractor is not the employer of the contractor but rather the client. As such, contract jobs do not usually offer contractors the same employee benefits and hours that might usually be offered to employees. Contract jobs can be performed on-site at the location of the client, or at the contractor’s location, depending upon the terms of the contract.

Clients who assign contract jobs might have a variety of reasons for choosing to outsource rather than attempting to meet their needs using in-house personnel. They might not have staff who are qualified or skilled to handle the specific assignment, or their needs for the specific assignment may be of a limited basis. For example, a small business that normally handles their accounting needs in-house might opt to outsource a certified accountant once a year during tax time. This would ensure that the organization’s finances are in line with the specific government regulations known and practiced by a certified accountant. Or, an individual who is a homeowner would be more inclined to hire a construction contractor to add a section onto their home rather than hiring a construction worker as a full-time employee.

Individuals who work on contract jobs might be self-employed, or they might be employed with a firm that is contracted by other organizations. As the second party to the contract, self-employed individuals have a say in the terms of the agreement, whereas employees of a contracted firm report to their employer. Before entering into contract jobs, both parties settle on a set of terms that make up a verbal or written contract. These terms include such details as the duration of the project, the remittance of payment (whether upon completion of the project or in installments), and which parties are responsible for supplying the tools required to complete the project.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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