How Many Days and Hours Do Tesla Employees Work?

Working at Tesla Motors is a dream for many, but what is it really like? This blog post will deeply dive into Tesla’s work schedule, examining how many days and hours employees are expected to work.

According to current and former employees, Tesla operates on an alternating schedule of 3-4-4-3 working days, with a minimum of 10 hours per day and often pushing up to 12 hours per day. However, it’s not uncommon for employees to work 5 or 6 days a week, including weekends and holidays.

It’s important to note that working at Tesla comes with a heavy workload and expectation for overtime, which can be demanding on one’s personal life. Therefore, it’s crucial that the compensation and benefits offered by Tesla align with the job’s demands.

This article explores Tesla’s employee work schedule, whether you get paid overtime, how stressful, and other FAQs relating to Tesla’s working environment and schedule.

How Many Days Do Tesla Employees Work?

Cars parked in front of Tesla factory building

At Tesla, your work schedule will likely involve alternating between working 3 and 4 days per week. However, there have been reports of mandatory overtime, which can increase this to working 5 or even six days a week.

This is particularly true in high-demand periods or during production ramp-up. Tesla’s business is fast-paced and fast-changing, and the employees expect to adapt and deliver accordingly.

Four days work week can often be found in manufacturing, and many places do 3 shifts if they are dedicated to operating 24/7. This can work well, as long as you’re not expected to work 5 days a week and you’re guaranteed at least 3 days off per week. With this schedule, you can take 2 vacation days and have up to 7 days off.

It’s also worth noting that some employees have reported being called in for work at unexpected times, such as 2 AM on a Saturday. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s something to remember.

While working at Tesla may seem exciting and prestigious, the job can be demanding, with long hours and the potential for overtime. On the other hand, if you’re in a department that offers 3 days off per week, you’ll have more time to rest and recharge.

How Many Hours Do Tesla Employees Work?

Many Tesla employees commented working anywhere from 36 to 72 hours a week, with many comments suggesting that some people were promised certain hours, and then the company changed their minds and forced 5 or 6 days of workweeks. “Long hours” is a common theme in Tesla Glassdoor reviews:

Tesla Glassdoor working hours review

According to many comments from Tesla workers, they typically work shifts of 10 to 12 hours at the Tesla Fremont factory. Employees from other factories report similar, long hours with potential (sometimes mandatory) overtime in both hours and days.

However, this is not the case at every Tesla factory. For example, Tesla factories don’t allow working more than 12 hours, but sometimes you may get paid more. Plus, assembly line workers reported that the work could be exciting and quick, and times fly by fast at the Tesla Fremont factory in California.

It’s worth mentioning that the work schedule at Tesla can vary depending on the specific role and department you’re in. For example, some employees in management or engineering roles may have a more traditional 9-5 schedule, while those in production or manufacturing roles may have longer hours or rotating shifts.

Tesla factory workers don’t generally have 8-hour shifts, and you only get overtime after 10 hours. The number of hours can vary every other week, with some workers reporting working anywhere from 30 to 80 hours.

While 10 hours for four days is standard in the automotive industry, 12 hours is not, as employees will lose efficiency because such long times wear people out. Tesla interns have similar hours, and while interns can do this for a few months, doing it for years can be difficult and not for everyone.

How many hours do Tesla engineers work?

Tesla engineers work similar schedules as everyone else. While 40 hours a week is the official time to work, it’s also generally expected to work overtime. Engineers in management roles may have a more traditional 9-5 schedule, while those in production or manufacturing roles may have longer hours or rotating shifts.

Tamer Shaheen shares his experience at Tesla, where he worked as a mechanical design engineer, and he said:

“Nine to seven is normal, but it’s not surprising to see people working there until 8 or 9 pm.”

He said that working at Tesla is a bit stressful but not terrible. He had to solve many interesting problems, which forced him to grow as an engineer and learn many cool things.

According to some former employees, engineers at Tesla are expected to work an average of 40-50 hours per week, which can include working weekends or holidays. However, remember that this may vary depending on the specific project or department.

Here’s a video where he explained what it’s like to work at Tesla as an engineer:

How Many Shifts Does Tesla Have?

Tesla has implemented multiple shifts in some of their facilities, but the number of shifts varies depending on the facility and its production needs. For example, in the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, the company has multiple shifts running 24/7.

So far, Tesla has had two shifts, for the most part, though some factories have implemented 3 or even 4 shifts. However, for the most part, Tesla has only two shifts, and it’s usually 10 to 12 hours per shift. For example, 12-hour shifts could be scheduled from 6 am to 6 pm for the dayshift and 6 pm to 6 am for the night shift.

The length of shifts can vary depending on the facility, department, or production needs. It’s best to check with the specific facility or department to confirm the number of shifts and the schedule.

Does Tesla Allow Remote Work?

Remote work is being completely removed at Tesla. In a recent email to Tesla employees, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, asked all remote employees to come to the office and work at least 40 hours a week, or the company would assume they resigned. 

It is unclear whether any remote workers still exist at Tesla. Tesla has allowed some employees to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they had problems afterward bringing in people from home to work in offices.

Do Tesla Employees Work on Weekends?

Tesla employees, particularly those in production or manufacturing roles, may be required to work on weekends. This is particularly true during periods of high demand or new product launches.

Depending on the factory and the department, you may be expected to work on weekends, especially during high production needs. In other departments, you may get weekends off and work only about four days a week.

Do Tesla Employees Work on Holidays?

Most holidays at Tesla are paid, but you have to work most of them anyway, except for Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Engineers may have to work on these too. Tesla employees are paid double on Holidays, which typically include about 7 to 9 paid holidays per year.

You must work the day before and after the holiday, which is the standard practice. You also get 10 to 15 days of PTO (paid time off).

Red 2018 Tesla Model X in forest road

Do You Get Paid Overtime at Tesla?

Tesla pays overtime for most hourly employees, starting after 10 hours of work, not eight as with most companies. According to 229 employees at Tesla, 76% of them said that overtime is paid on time, at about 1.5 times the hourly rate.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees must be paid time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Exempt employees, such as some salaried managers and executives, are not entitled to overtime pay. There are many exemptions, which you can check.

Depending on your location, there is lots of overtime at Tesla and an expectation to work over 40 hours. According to a Tesla employee, you are sometimes required to work mandatory overtime, but this may not be the case at every Tesla factory.

Is Working at Tesla Stressful?

Due to Tesla’s working conditions and policy recently, work can be moderately stressful at many factories. When you consider that overtime can often be mandatory for five or even six days a week, you get the picture of a poor work/life balance at Tesla compared to other flexible Big Tech companies.

The expectation at Tesla is that you work over 40 hours a week, which creates a lot of pressure on having to work a lot every day. It’s difficult enough to get a job at Tesla. The stress level at Tesla will depend on the team or a manager and how much they allow their team to burn out during crunch times.

There are a lot of great supporting teams at Tesla, and you’ll be helped and trained well from the start. You’ll have a lot of chill weeks of 40 hours, but there will also be hectic weeks of above 60 or 70 hours, and you should be ready for that as well.


Are Tesla employees paid overtime for weekend shifts?

Tesla employees are generally entitled to overtime pay for any work over 40 hours a week, which also applies to weekend shifts. Weekend shifts are paid at Tesla if you’re hourly paid, and the only employees that may not get paid for overtime on weekends are the salaried ones.

It’s always best to check with the company’s human resources department or consult a labor lawyer to understand the company’s overtime policies and ensure that your rights are respected.

Do Tesla Factories Work 7 Days a Week?

There are 10 Tesla factories in the United States, most of which are open seven days a week, with varying hours of operation. For example, Giga Texas Factory in Austin is open from 6 AM to 11:30 PM every week, while the Tesla Factory in Fremont is open from 10 AM to 7 PM daily. Giga Nevada in Sparks is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How Long Is Tesla’s Lunch Break?

Tesla employees are required to sign a meal period waiver which states that Tesla employees at manufacturing are entitled to an unpaid mail period of at least 30 minutes if working more than 5 hours and less than 6, and a 2nd meal period if working more than 10 hours and less than 12.

Here’s an example of the Tesla Meal Period Waiver so that you can check how much the lunch break will be and when you can skip them. You have to sign this Waiver when working at Tesla.

Whether this will be enough will depend on the person. You can also waive your lunch break in agreement with your supervisor. This means you can skip the launch break as long as your shift is 6 hours or less or skip the 2nd meal if your shift is not longer than 12 hours.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!