The question asked was,
Besides a fixed work schedule, should I expect something else from a full-time job?
There are many differences between working as a direct employee versus working as a contractor - although, in terms of your day-to-day experience, you may not often notice or even be aware of the differences - and some of them may apply (or not) depending on your circumstances. Many of them can be significant when tax time comes, or if you need to deal with unusual circumstances (injury from an accident, becoming unemployed, dealing with a sick immediate relative, etc).
In terms of work management or supervision, there likely won't be much of a difference. Regardless of whether you're an employee or a contractor, the company still has rights to "supervise" your work - assign tasks, monitor quality, specify processes and procedures, etc. The same goes for hours worked (specifying whether they expect you to be "full time" for 40 hours a week, or part time, allowing overtime, etc).
Your standing with the government from a tax perspective is one of the most obvious and commonly referenced differences. If you're an employee, your employer will make income tax contributions on your behalf and report them on a W2. If you're a contractor, that won't happen, and depending on the type of contractual relationship, the burden of determining and paying taxes basically lies with you, or your staffing agency, if there is one. But in short, you do not appear on the company's direct payroll, from a tax perspective.
The other major difference is in terms of benefits provided to employees but not to contractors. Some of these benefits are required by law in the US, although the details of what is required vary from state to state and based on company size. Typically though, direct employees receive benefits such as:
- Disability insurance, which pays you if you're disabled
- Social security contributions on your behalf, which provides you with income potential once you've retired or other events have happened,
- FMLA (family medical leave), which requires the employer to allow you time off to care for a sick relative under certain conditions,
- Unemployment insurance which provides you the ability to claim unemployment benefits from the government if you're unemployed under certain conditions,
- Healthcare according to the ACA, which may take the form of an employer-provided health insurance plan or options for you to buy reduced-cost individual insurance though a marketplace.
In addition, direct employees typically receive other benefits that aren't required by law, including:
- Paid time off when you're sick or want a vacation,
- Contributions to a retirement plan such as a 401k,
- Access to an Employee Assistance Plan which can help with basic legal, emotional, relationship, or other personal needs,
- Access to healthcare insurance or other healthcare programs beyond the minimum required by law - most employers provide health insurance that covers more than the minimum required, or additional plan types. For instance, they may offer an optional FSA or HSA, or vision and dental plans beyond the minimum required
- Other benefit plans - some employers offer tax-free parking or commute benefits, tax-free childcare plans, or other benefits that are paid for and not taxed out of the employee's reported income.
Generally, employers use contractors when they don't want to foot the bill for these benefits or incur the overhead. Or, they use contractors under the perception that there's more flexibility, since contractors can generally be found or let go "more easily" than full time employees.
As an additional note, my answer focuses on the differences between contracting and direct employment in the broad sense - if you're interested in specifics relevant to your exact employer and your exact citizenship or other personal standing, it's probably best to seek those answers from your employer or from an immigration attorney, tax professional, or other official source.