Career Development

How Many Work Hours in a Year

February 22, 2021

Knowing the average number of hours you work in a year can help evaluate whether you have a good work-life balance. It can also help you determine your actual annual salary if you're someone who tends to work long hours. Learning the many reasons you may want to consider calculating the actual number of hours you work in a year can help determine whether you want to take the time to do so for yourself.

In this article, we discuss why it's important to know how many hours there are in a year, how you can calculate the number of hours you work in a year and how you can calculate your hourly per year.

Related: What Is Salary vs. Total Compensation?

Why it's important to know how many work hours there are in a year

There are actually a few reasons why it's good to know how many work hours there are in a year. Knowing this can help you:

Calculate annual income

If you're an hourly employee, knowing how many work hours are in a year makes it possible for you to calculate your annual salary. This can make it easier for you to budget and plan personal spending.

Calculate hourly salary

If you are on a salary and frequently work more than 40 hours per week, you may want to calculate the actual amount that you're making per hour.

Plan for extracurricular activities

By knowing the number of hours you're working each year, you know how much free time you'll have and can better plan for other activities like hobbies, exercise, volunteering and personal development.

Evaluate your work-life balance

Research shows that working for too many hours can actually lower productivity and that employees benefit from taking time away from work. By calculating the number of hours you work in a year, you can better evaluate your own work-related habits and think about whether you need to reduce hours, take vacation time or disconnect from your work more on the weekends.

Related: How To Calculate Your Annual Income

How to calculate the number of work hours in a year

Here are the basic steps you need to take to calculate the number of hours you work in a year.

1. Calculate your weekly hours

Start by determining the average number of hours that you work per week. You may also want to consider the number of hours you work in a day, especially if you work more hours some days than others. Add up all the hours you work each day of the week to find out how many hours you work each week, on average.

For example, you may work eight hours per day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and six hours per day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, bringing you to an average of 36 hours per week. If you work a standard eight hours per day, five days per week, you work 40 hours per week.

2. Multiply by 52

Take the average number of hours you work in a week and multiply that number by 52 to determine the total number of hours you would work in a year if you didn't take any time away from work for vacations or holidays.

3. Calculate your paid time off hours

Next, calculate the total number of hours you spend out of the office each year on paid time off (PTO). Depending on your company, all of your time off may be included under PTO or your organization may divide the time into sick time and vacation time. If you generally take all of your allotted sick and vacation time every year, you could calculate the total number of hours. Otherwise, you may want to only include your vacation time and perhaps an estimate of the amount of time you spend out of the office on sick leave.

For example: If you get three weeks every year of vacation time and also usually take all five days of available sick leave, you will multiply five by three to get the total number of vacation days, 15. You can then add five additional days for the sick time, leaving you with 20 total days.

Next, multiply those days by the number of hours you generally work each day. For this example, let's say that you work eight hours per day, which is a total of 160 hours of paid time off with both vacation time and sick leave.

4. Calculate your paid holiday hours

Next, count the number of paid holidays you receive from your employer. Multiply those days by the number of hours you work per day. If you receive 10 paid holidays per year and work eight hours per day, you receive 80 hours of time off for paid holidays.

5. Add your total time off

To find the total amount of time you receive away from work, add the total number of PTO hours to the total number of paid holiday hours to determine the total number of hours you spend away from work each year. Using the example above, if you receive 160 hours of paid time off in addition to 80 hours in paid holidays, you receive a total of 240 paid hours away from work.

6. Subtract total time off from annual hours

In step two, you calculated the total number of hours you would work if you didn't take any time off. To find out how many hours you work in a year, subtract the total time you take away from work, the amount you determined in step five, from the total amount you worked in step two. The formula looks like this:

(# hours per week x 52) - [(# of days of PTO + # paid holidays) x # hours per day] = total hours in a year

Related: Hourly To Salary: How To Convert Your Wages and What To Expect When Transitioning

Calculating hourly pay per year

If you're a salaried employee, you receive the same amount per paycheck, regardless of the number of hours you work. If you are someone who tends to frequently work more than 40 hours per week, you may want to calculate the amount you're actually making per hour.

To determine your average hourly pay, you can divide your annual salary by 52 and then divide that number by the number of hours you typically work each week.

For example: If you earn $50,000 per year and typically work 40 hours per week, to find your hourly rate, you can divide $50,000 by 52 and then divide that amount by 40, which is an average annual salary of $24.04.

Total work hours a year

There are 2,087 average work hours in a calendar year, based on year-to-year fluctuations in working days over a 28-year period, rounded down from 2,087.143 hours. It’s a common mistake to assume there are 2,080 work hours in a year (40 hours multiplied by 52 work weeks), but there aren’t exactly 52 weeks (362 days) every year.

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