Being underemployed is better than being unemployed. Many job seekers are looking to part time work to get by. You might not think this is an option if health insurance is a big concern for you, but luckily, some companies offer excellent benefits for part-time workers.

Pay: The vast majority of Starbucks (Stock Quote: SBUX) baristas earn from $7.50 to $10 an hour, according to the company’s Web site.  But a significant portion of Starbucks employee compensation comes from bonuses, health care coverage and other benefits.

Work Hours: In order to receive benefits, employees must have been paid for at least 160 hours by the last Friday of a two-month period, which amounts to about 20 hours per week.

Benefits: Health and dental coverage, vision care, life and disability insurance, paid time off, a retirement savings plan, stock options and a discounted stock purchase plan, adoption assistance, domestic partner benefits, emergency financial aid and a free pound of coffee every week.

Job Locations: Nationwide, including Hawaii.

Time Off: Salaried employees and hourly employees who don’t work in retail can get sick pay after 90 days of employment. Full-timers get up to 40 hours of sick pay per year.  The number of vacation days you get depends on your position and how long you’ve been working with the company, and vacation hours are pro-rated for part-time partners.  Starbucks pays time and a half if you work on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Check for openings here.

Next page: UPS

Pay: Pay at UPS (Stock Quote: UPS) starts at $8 an hour, but the company-paid benefits add up.

Work Hours: Part timers have to work about 17.5 to 20 hours a week to get benefits.

Benefits: Depending on their position and location, part-time UPS freight service drivers can get medical, dental and vision coverage, cancer insurance, bonuses and a retirement savings plan. UPS workers who work at the company’s Supply Chain Solutions Group get medical and dental insurance, vision care, life and disability insurance, a discounted stock purchase plan, a 100% 401(k) match up to 3%, a pension plan and tuition assistance of up to $3,000 per calendar year with a lifetime maximum of $15,000 in assistance. Part-time management employees get up to $4,000 a year in tuition reimbursement with a lifetime max of $20,000.

Job Locations:  Nationwide.

Time Off: UPS offers paid holidays, paid vacation and leaves of absence.

Check for openings here.

Next page: Walgreens

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Pay: Compensation at Walgreens (Stock Quote: WAG) varies depending on your region and position. The company aims to have 7,000 stores open by 2010, so they’re definitely hiring.

Work Hours: Employees who work more than 20 hours a week are eligible for some benefits.

Benefits: Employee discount and a prescription drug discount, and minimal co-pays for some prescriptions for part timers.  Walgreens also offers a profit sharing plan, an employee stock purchase plan and Flex Pay which lets employees to set aside part of each paycheck, tax-free, for childcare, dependent care, or other health care expenses not reimbursable under other benefit plans. Full-time benefits for employees working more than 30 hours per week also include medical plan or HMO coverage, dental coverage, personal accident insurance and life insurance.

Job Locations:  Nationwide.

Time Off: Walgreens offers family leave, sick days and holiday and vacation pay.

Check for openings here.

Next page: Aerotek

Pay: “Many times, you can make more money as a contract employee than as a direct hire permanent employee,” says staffing firm Aerotek on its Web site.

Work Hours: Contract workers putting in at least 20 hours a week qualify for benefits at Aerotek.

Benefits: Medical and dental insurance, vision care, life insurance, short- and long-term disability, 401(k) and 529 college savings plans.

Job Locations:  Nationwide.

Check for openings here.

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