Many workers may not realize how the world of work is rapidly changing and the enormous impact that temp jobs will have on business, industry and even the US economy.

Employer demand for temp workers is strong. Job opportunities are vast. And even the pay for many temp jobs rivals the salary of some full time positions.

Consider that roughly 40 percent of American workers are contingent, which includes temp workers.  By 2020, this workforce is projected to comprise 40 percent of the average company’s total workforce.

According to Glassdoor, the national average for temp salaries is $26,000 annually, which is the equivalent of $12.50 an hour for a 40-hour a week position. However, many companies pay more – much more – for temp positions.

Here’s a sampling of average annual pay that some employers offer temp workers:

  • IBM: $30,154
  • Pharmaceutical Product Development: $27,072
  • Georgia Tech Research Institute: $25,080
  • GuideSpark: $23,000 to $28,000
  • Meredith Corporation: $30,000 to $33,000

Although salary is the NO. 1 magnet for quality talent, gaining valuable experience and skills in your chosen field probably ranks a close second. Unlike the past, many temp jobs now offer meaningful experiences that are comparable to full time positions. They reflect a wide range of professional opportunities like serving as a clinical director, product engineer 2, or case management supervisor. These are simply a handful of great jobs that can help you gain experience, fill employment gaps, and convert a sparse resume into one that turns heads.

Meanwhile, employers want workers with demonstrated abilities who can apply their knowledge and skills to solve problems, tackle challenges, execute tasks, or introduce more effective ways to accomplish the company’s objectives and goals.

By working in a temp job, you can demonstrate your talents and prove that you can accomplish this or that. Recruiters or hiring managers won’t have to guess what’s in the box.

You’ll also have the luxury of experimenting in the job market. While one position may sound very appealing, you may change your mind after working in the job for several weeks or months. The beauty with this set up is that there are no strings attached. You can walk away if you don’t enjoy your responsibilities or the company’s culture and try something else. Think of temp work as your passport into different careers and companies.

But if you do like the work, you will have a distinct advantage over external candidates who compete for the same position if it becomes permanent. As a temp worker – even with limited skills and job experience – you’ll have multiple opportunities to impress your boss, coworkers and others around you by establishing a track record of high performance and productivity. Besides, you’re already trained, familiar with the job’s responsibilities and the company’s people, processes, and culture.

Still, you may lose the job to someone else. Nothing’s perfect.  Move on to different opportunities. The exposure alone to different systems, processes, services, products, and people will grow your professional network across industries and locations and make you a more valuable asset for any organization.

So when you think of temp jobs, think ahead, not behind. Chances are, you won’t regret any of these work experiences that have transformed you into a more versatile and valuable worker.