The perfect temp: Why now is a great time to consider a temporary job

temp jobs forecast

There are many benefits to taking a temporary job, including flexibility, variety and learning opportunities.

Looking for work that provides flexibility, variety and learning opportunities galore? Try going the temporary route. Jobs in the temporary employment industry are booming right now – and will only continue to increase over the next three years, a new study shows. According to a new labor market analysis from CareerBuilder and Emsi, temporary employment is expected to add 173,478 jobs from 2016 to 2018 – an increase of 5.9 percent.

What's behind this significant growth? Since the recession, companies have increasingly been relying on temporary and contract workers to supplement hard-to-fill positions and help them stay flexible in the face of ever-changing market demands.

The benefits of temporary work

But employers aren't the only ones who benefit from hiring temporary workers. Temporary jobs are ideal for workers who want to utilize various skills, create connections at different companies and explore different career possibilities.

Consider the following benefits of taking a job in the temporary services industry, which you may not have previously considered:

  • You get to "try out" a new career. If you're on the fence about your next career move, taking on a temporary job could help you explore a new career path.
  • Your market value increases. Temporary employment may not be your ideal industry or work arrangement, but your status as a currently employed individual will make you more marketable to employers who are hiring. Not to mention that the experience will enrich your resume and showcase you as a dedicated employee.
  • You'll pick up new skills and gain experience. Many people use temporary work as a chance to develop new skills or gain experience in a new industry.
  • You might end up with a full-time position. It's not uncommon for a temporary job to turn into a full-time gig. In a 2015 CareerBuilder survey, of the 47 percent of employers who said they planned to hire temporary or contract workers in 2016, more than half (58 percent) plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into full-time, permanent roles.
  • You'll build your network. Even if you aren't offered a full-time position when your contract ends, you've made connections who may be able to refer you to opportunities down the line or vouch for your skills when applying to other jobs.

Where the jobs are

While there might be a perception that temp jobs are limited to data entry and admin work, that's simply no longer the case. According to Kyle Braun, President of CareerBuilder's Staffing and Recruiting Group: "Opportunities are opening up in a variety of occupations and pay levels, and this is a trend we're seeing in a wide range of industries and company sizes."

CareerBuilder outlined some of the fast-growing occupations for temporary employment from 2016 to 2018. The following occupations have at least 10,000 jobs available, are expected to grow 6 percent or more, and pay $15 or more per hour*:

The following occupations have at least 10,000 jobs available, are expected to grow at least 6 percent and pay less than $15 per hour (but well above the federal minimum wage*):

*Median hourly earnings covers anyone working in that occupation whether they are temporary or full-time, permanent staff.

Want to see what else is out there? You can check out more temporary job opportunities on