This paper explores the determinants of preference for contingent employment using a national probability sample of temporary workers and independent contractors. A multi-level model of preference and multivariate analyses indicate that the opportunity cost of contract work, number of job opportunities, prior experience, human and financial capital, access to health benefits, prior experience, and work-family factors predict preference for contingent employment. These results are moderated by gender and by type of contingent work arrangement. Temporary workers differ from independent contractors and men differ from women with respect to which factors are associated with preference. The implications for organization human resource policy and social policy are discussed.