How Many Days and Hours Do Tesla Employees Work? (in 2022)

Tesla Motors has always been fascinating, and many of us wanted to work there since its inception, but what’s it like working there now? Let’s take a look at Tesla’s work schedule, and how many days and hours Tesla employees work.

Typically, Tesla employees have an alternating schedule of 3-4-4-3 working days, and work at least 10 hours per day, usually above and up to 12 hours per day. However, there are many cases where the employees worked 5 or even 6 days a week, going into the weekends and even most Holidays.

While working for Tesla seems cool, fun, and prestigious, standing on your feet for 12 hours is far from being fun. On the other hand, if you happen to be in a department that actually gives you 3 days off per week, you may be in luck as you’ll get a lot of time to rest and charge your batteries.

In short, Tesla’s default work days and hours sound good on paper, but you’ll be expected to work overtime, often on weekends and Holidays. This means that your salary at Tesla needs to always match your workload, engagement, and hard work, which often isn’t the case.

How Many Days Do Tesla Employees Work?

Cars parked in front of Tesla factory building

Your work days at Tesla will probably be alternating every week between 3 and 4 days per work week. This means you work 3 days one week, and 4 days the other. However, there have been many reports of mandatory overtime, which increased this to 5 or even 6 days a week.

Four days work week can often be found in manufacturing, and a lot of places do 3 shifts if they are dedicated to operating 24/7. 

This can actually work very well, assuming you always get at least 3 days off per week and aren’t expected to work 5 days as many Tesla employees are. If you think about it, you get three days a week off and take two vacation days, you can connect up to 7 days off.

On the other side, and according to a former Tesla employee at Austin, Texas, it may happen to get called at 2 AM on Saturday if you’re in manufacturing. Doesn’t happen often, but it happens. So keep that in mind as well.

How Many Hours Do Tesla Employees Work?

Many Tesla employees commented working anywhere from 36 to 72 hours a week, with a lot of comments suggesting that some people were promised certain hours and then the company changed minds and forced 5 or 6 days 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) over time in both hours and days.

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

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

While 10h for 4 days is standard in the automotive industry, 12h 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. 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 a lot of interesting problems which forced him to grow as an engineer and learn a lot of cool things.

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

How Many Shifts Does Tesla Have?

So far, Tesla has had two shifts, for the most part, though some factories have been implementing 3 or even 4 shifts. However, for the most part, Tesla has only two shifts, usually about 10 to 12 hours per shift. For example, if working 12 hours, then there could be two shifts from 6 am to 6 pm day shift, and 6 pm to 6 am night shift.

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 will assume they resigned. 

You should keep this in mind when thinking about getting a job at Tesla, as this is not a very productive way to treat your employees. 

Combine this with forced overtime, and you should be wary of signing any kind of contract with Tesla until you’re 100% sure it’s the right thing, the right department, and the working conditions are acceptable for you.

Do Tesla Employees Work on Weekends?

Both Tesla engineers and other workers can work many weekends and are often expected to. Depending on the factory and the department, you may be expected to work on weekends, especially if some project needs to be done. In other departments, you may get weekends off and work only about 4 days a week.

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.

Do Tesla Employees Work on Holidays?

The majority of 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 have to 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, and it starts after 10 hours of work, and not 8 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.

While getting paid overtime is nice and all, raises at Tesla are far from attractive. According to many employees, if you are lucky to get a raise you should know that they are minimal. Tesla tries to compensate this disadvantage by offering good bonuses and stock options to their employees.

Depending on the location you work at, 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 their policy recently, work can be moderately stressful at many factories. When you take into account that overtime can often be mandatory for 5 or even 6 days in 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 high 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 for 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.

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.

While this may seem like a good amount of break, some employees don’t agree. A former employee working as a production associate at a Tesla factory in Fremont, California, contested that the main con at his job was short breaks. So short in fact, that he didn’t even have the time to eat the cereal.

Here’s an example of the Tesla Meal Period Waiver.

Whether this will be enough will depend on the person. You can also waive your lunch break in agreement with your supervisor. This means that 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.

Do Tesla Factories Work 7 Days a Week?

There are 10 Tesla factories in the United States, and most of them are open all 7 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 day of the week, while the Tesla Factory in Fremont is open from 10 AM to 7 PM every day. Giga Nevada in Sparks is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of HowMonk.com! 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!