How Many Work Hours in a Year

Posted October 15, 2021

Why it’s important to know how many hours you work per year

It’s important to calculate the number of hours you work per year to determine the level of your work life balance. Also, It can help you figure out what your actual annual salary is, especially if you work a lot of overtime. Knowing the many benefits to having your actual number of hours worked in a year solidified will help you decide if it's worth the time and effort to do so. 

How Many Work Hours in a Year

Read on to discover how many work hours there are in an average year, how to keep track of your hours worked in a whole year, and how to calculate your hourly pay rate averaged out for the year.

How many hours in a year can you work and why is it important to know?

There are many reasons why knowing how many hours out of the year are work hours vs leisure, personal, sleep etc...When you know this number of hours you can:

Determine your annual income

Every job is paid differently and you may not know your total annual or hourly income right off the top of your head. When your pay is given on a per hour basis, it's crucial to know how many hours you will be working that year so you can calculate your actual annual salary. Knowing this will let you plan for the year and make things like budgeting or even applying for something like a car loan much easier.

Determine your hourly pay rate

When your employer pays you on a salaried basis, you will only know your total income for the year and may not be given the number of what you would be paid hourly. Making the calculation of your hourly rate will help keep your time in perspective and is helpful to keep your work-life balance in check.  

Determine your non work hours (extracurriculars)

When you have a clear picture of how many hours you work in a year, you will be able to more realistically plan those fun and important activities. If you’ve always wanted to have time for personal development opportunities like volunteering, learning a new hobby, exercising, or even taking a much needed vacation, having a clear plan for the hours in a year can help achieve that.

Optimise your work and free time

It’s a science proven fact that overworking yourself can actually diminish your productivity. Researchers have shown that productivity diminishes after a certain number of hours anyways, so taking some time off to refresh can actually be beneficial.  When you evaluate how many hours you work in a year, you can better determine your own productivity and know whether it's time to make a change to your work habits. You may need to schedule some vacation time or be more diligent about separating your work from your life and setting up clear boundaries like not working weekends unless it's absolutely necessary. 

What’s the formula for calculating the number of hours worked in a year?

This is the simple way to calculate how many hours you work in a year.

1. Count your hours worked weekly

First, calculate how many hours a week you work on average. If you work more hours per day than others don’t forget to add those in. You may also want to think on a daily basis, if some days have a heavier workload than others you don't want to forget to calculate those in. Once you have your hours per day, add up the numbers to find your weekly average hours worked.

As an example, If you work 8 hours per day for the standard 5 day work week, that means you work 40 hours a week. But, If you work a standard 8 hour day Monday, Wednesday, Friday but on Tuesdays and Thursdays you have to stop early and only work about 6 hours those days, that brings your average to 36 hours a week. .

2. Add up the yearly total

After you have your weekly total, multiply that by 52 (approximate number of weeks in a year) to get the grand total of hours you would work in that year.Say you work 40 hours per week times 52 weeks, you would work 2,080 hours per year. This is not accounting for time away from work for holidays or vacations yet.

3. Subtract holiday and vacation time

Now, all companies and workplaces address paid time off (PTO) differently. Sometimes all of your time off will be under the umbrella of PTO or it may be divided out by sick time and vacation time. So, calculate all the time off you will take that counts as PTO. If you use all of your hours for sick and vacation time, you can use the remaining hours to calculate your expected time off.  Or if you are someone who is not expecting to take many sick days, only calculate your vacation time and an estimation of sick leave just in case. 

For example:  To calculate how many hours a person who gets 3 weeks vacation time and 5 days of sick leave works per year. Multiply 3 (3 weeks) by 5 (5 work days per week) to get the total days of vacation time given which is 15, plus the 5 days of sick leave which brings us to 20 days per year. Now multiply that total with the average hours per day worked to get the total, let's say that’s 8 hours per day, meaning the total is 160 hours of paid days off per year.

4. Add up how many hours are holidays

How many days per year are off due to holidays? This number will vary greatly per company. However, say you have 10 days of paid holidays throughout the year, multiply that by your average daily hours to get the total hours for paid holidays. Example being is you get 10 holidays off times an average of 8 hours worked per day you get 80 hours of paid holidays.

5. Combine all those PTO numbers

To calculate your time away from work that counts as PTO, add your vacation and sick time to your holiday time. This will give you a solid estimate for how many hours you will spend away from work per year, besides nights and weekends. If we use the above example numbers, receiving 160 hours of PTO plus the 80 hours we calculated for holidays, brings the total to 240 paid hours that you will receive per year.

6.Calculate annual hours minus total time off

If we go back to step two, we determined the total hours available to work per year which was 2080 before we calculated how many hours we would receive off. Now, how to find out how many hours were worked in a year goes like this. Start by subtracting the total hours you take away from work from step five from the total amount from step two. To follow our ongoing example, 2,080 total hours - 240 paid time off = 1,840 total hours per year. 

Determining your hourly rate

No matter how many hours they work, salaried employees receive the same amount each paycheck. You might benefit from calculating your actual hourly pay as a salaried employee, especially if you consistently work over 40 hours per week. 

To do this, divide your annual salary by the number of weeks per year, 52, then divide the result by your average hours worked weekly. As an example, If your salary is about $60,000 per year and your average work week is 45 hours per week, divide 60,000 by 52 to get about 1,154, then divide that by 45 bringing us to $26.64 per hour.

You may want to be more precise

In all reality there are closer to 2,087 available hours to work in a year because of year-to-year differences in work days averaged out over a 28 year period. This is because there aren’t always precisely 365 days per year. So plan accordingly.

All in all, it is always beneficial to be mindful of where you spend your time, whether it is work related or personal. Taking the time to run through these numbers will help ensure you are being fair to yourself and your workplace. It's a small calculation that will not only help your day to day but help the year as a whole to stay on track and achieve your yearly goals.

The Careerbliss Team

Your career happiness is our #1 priority here at CareerBliss. To help you succeed in your career, we offer a wide variety of tools and resources to help you out along the way. Check out company reviewssalary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

Sign up for Job Alerts!
Show me more jobs

Resume Writing Services

Free resume evaluation from career experts
  • Guaranteed interviews in 30 business days or get a free rewrite
  • All staff writers are Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRWs)
Learn more
We noticed that your web browser is outdated!

Update your browser to have a more positive job search experience.

Upgrade My Browser