How Many Workweeks Are in a Year? (Calculations and FAQs)

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Updated September 29, 2023

A desktop calendar shows some dates crossed out with a pencil.

A workweek comprises the total number of days during which employees work in a calendar week. When you know the number of workweeks in a year, it might be easier to make plans and schedules for both your work life and personal life. Knowing the number of workweeks in a year can also help you calculate how much you earn per week or year with greater accuracy.

In this article, we explain how many workweeks are in a year, provide steps for calculating workweeks in a year and answer some frequently asked questions about workweeks.

How many workweeks are in a year?

There are approximately 52 weeks in a calendar year. Of these 52 weeks, employees typically get a few weeks off from work throughout the year, such as three or four weeks, depending on their employer. This means that there are generally about 48 or 49 workweeks in a single year, though this number can vary for every person and employer.

Related: How Many Work Hours in a Year

How to calculate workweeks in a year

Here are the five steps to calculate how many workweeks are in a year:

1. Calculate your time off

Begin by calculating how much time off the company you work for provides, whether it's paid or unpaid. The company might divide time off into subcategories such as family, vacation and sick leave. Include all the types of leave offered in your time off calculations.

Companies also vary in whether they offer time off in hours or in days. For example, some companies might give all their employees 10 days of time off, while others might give employees an hour of time off for every week they've worked.

If you're calculating the workweeks in a year as an accounting manager, assume for your calculations that employees take their full time off. Find out the total hours or days allotted in time off to most or all employees.

If you're an employee trying to find out how many workweeks you're likely to have, estimate how much time off you might take in the current or upcoming year, whether it's the full allotted amount or less.

Related: How To Calculate Hours Worked in Excel (Plus Tips)

2. Calculate your holidays

After you've calculated your time off, figure out how many holidays affect your personal schedule or the company's work schedule. If you're calculating your personal workweeks, include holidays for which the company offers time off. You can also include any holidays you plan to take but that other time off policies don't cover.

If you're calculating workweeks as a supervisor or accounting professional, figure out the number of paid holidays that the business you work for offers to employees. You can also include any unpaid holidays during which the business closes operations.

For example, if a restaurant typically closes for certain holidays but its hourly employees don't receive payment for them, the employees can still include those holidays in their calculations, as those holidays affect the restaurant's total workweeks.

Related: FAQ: What Is a Common Paid Holiday Schedule? (Plus Its Benefits)

3. Find the total days

The next step is to add the total time off and the total holidays. Make sure that the total for your time off and holidays are both in days instead of hours. For example, if a company offers five paid holidays and 80 hours of paid time off (PTO), you'd convert the 80 hours of PTO into workdays first.

If you work an average of eight hours a day, you'd divide 80 by eight to get 10 days of PTO. Then, you'd add the five paid holidays and 10 days of PTO to get a total of 15 days.

Related: Paid Time Off: What Is It (And How It Differs From Vacation Time)

4. Convert the days to weeks

After finding the total days, you can convert this number to weeks. To do this, figure out how many workdays you have on average during a single week. For example, most employees work five days a week. If your total number of holidays and paid time off days equals 15 days, then you'd divide 15 by five to get three. This means you have an average of three weeks off per year.

Related: How To Balance Your Schedule When Working 70-Hour Weeks

5. Subtract weeks off from total weeks

Once you know how many weeks you don't work in a year, you can subtract your total number of weeks off from 52, which is the total number of weeks in one year. Your result is the number of workweeks that you have in a year. For example, if you have three weeks off in a year, you'd subtract three from 52 to get 49. This means that you work 49 weeks each year, or that you have 49 workweeks in a year.

Related: How To Ask for More Hours at Work (With Tips, a Template and an Example)

Importance of the number of workweeks

Knowing the number of workweeks in a year can benefit professionals such as employees, supervisors and accounting managers. Here are some reasons you might need to know how many workweeks are in a year:

  • To calculate your annual wage: If you're an hourly employee, it can be easier to find out how much you make in a year if you know the annual number of workweeks.

  • To calculate your weekly wage: Whether you're an hourly or salaried employee, knowing the number of workweeks in a year makes it simpler to calculate how much you make in a week. Many employees receive paychecks weekly or biweekly, so knowing your weekly wage can help you create accurate budgets for yourself and ensure your paycheck contains the correct amount.

  • To schedule time off: Employees and managers need to make sure their working schedule remains separate from their personal schedule. Knowing how many workweeks are in a year means professionals can more accurately arrange vacations and other plans for their time off.

  • To create business timelines: Company projects, client requests and business operations often require companies to create schedules with either tentative or firm deadlines. If you know the number of workweeks in a year, then business time frames and deadlines might be more accurate.

  • To plan cash flow: Accounting managers need to make sure they have an adequate cash flow, which is money moving in and out of a business, for regular salary payments and other operating costs. Accurately calculating the number of workweeks in a year helps make sure that the company accounts have enough cash flow for routine payments.

Related: Working Full-Time Hours: How To Find a Work-Life Balance

Calculating weekly pay per year

Here's how to calculate your weekly pay per year based on whether you're a salaried or hourly employee:

Salaried employees

If you're a salaried employee or an accounting manager for salaried employees, knowing how much you or an employee receives per week can help you ensure the accuracy of weekly or biweekly paychecks.

To calculate the weekly pay for a salaried employee, divide the employee's annual salary by the total number of workweeks. For example, if you work a total of 48 weeks and receive an annual salary of $50,000, you'd divide $50,000 by 48 to get $1,041.67. This total is your gross weekly pay, meaning that the actual amount might be less because of taxes, health care benefits or other deductions.

Read more: What Is a Salaried Employee? Salaried vs. Hourly and Benefits

Hourly employee

If you're an hourly employee, you might work different hours each week, so your weekly paychecks may vary in amount. This means calculating your weekly pay might give you an estimate rather than an exact amount.

To estimate your weekly pay, start by calculating the average number of hours you work per week. For example, if some weeks you work 40 hours and other weeks you work 20 hours, your average work hours per week would be 30. Multiply your average number of hours worked per week by your hourly rate.

If your rate is $10 an hour, you'd multiply $10 by 30 hours to get a total of $300 per week. You could then multiply your average weekly pay by the number of workweeks in a year to estimate how much you might make annually.

If you earn $300 a week and have 50 workweeks, you'd multiply $300 by 50 weeks to get $15,000. This is your gross annual salary, meaning the actual amount might vary because of taxes, tips or other additions or deductions.

Read more: Hourly Employee: Definition and How They Get Paid

FAQs about workweeks

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about workweeks:

How many hours do employees work during a typical day and week?

Most employees work eight hours a day for five days a week, which means they typically work 40 hours per week. These numbers can vary based on your position and the company for which you work. For instance, some employees work only four hours a day, or 20 hours a week.

Related: How To Optimize Your Time and Work a 20-Hour Workweek

Is it allowed to work long hours for your employer?

Most employees work long hours at some point during their employment, such as during the holiday season. Employees may need to do overtime during the workweek if their employer requests them to or if they need to finish a task or project after hours or on the weekend. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), hourly workers who do overtime generally receive payment for additional hours worked.

Related: How Many Hours Is Overtime? (Plus More Overtime FAQs)

How many workweeks are in a month?

There are about four weeks in each month, meaning employees may work this amount of weeks in a given month. Workweeks per month can vary because some months are shorter than others. Employees may also take time off or have holidays during certain months, shortening their amount of time worked.


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