How Many Working Hours Are In a Year? (With FAQs)

Updated 27 December 2022

Whether you're a casual, part-time or full-time worker, knowing the number of working hours in a year can be useful. Knowing how many hours you work can help you keep track of your finances and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Understanding and calculating your work hours can also help you in salary negotiations.

In this article, we discuss why it's important to calculate the number of hours you work, explain how to calculate your yearly working hours and your hourly rate and provide answers to frequently asked questions on this topic.

Why track the number of working hours in a year?

There are many benefits of keeping track of the hours you work. Here are the key reasons:

Managing your finances

Budgeting your finances can be important if you're working towards a financial goal such as buying a house or saving for a holiday. As an employee who works at an hourly rate, you can work out your annual salary by calculating the hours you work. If you're an employee who earns a yearly salary, you can calculate your weekly pay rate by tracking the actual hours you work.

You can use this data when applying for a promotion or raise. Many salaried employees may work more hours than their contracts state. This can be especially true over busy periods. Some employers offer overtime or time in lieu to account for this.

Related: 6 Tips for Your Next Salary Negotiation

Making plans

It's important to give yourself time for extracurricular activities. These activities may include things like exercising, enjoying hobbies and seeing friends. By figuring out your weekly hours, you can plan ahead to include these activities. You may like to write a weekly or monthly plan to ensure you're dedicating time to things other than work.

Related: How To Write an Action Plan To Help Achieve Your Goals

Work-life balance

By calculating your weekly, monthly and yearly working hours you can get an idea of how much balance you've achieved between work and your personal life. With this information, you can be better equipped to decide if you need to reduce your hours, make a lifestyle change or take paid time off.

It's important to assess your working hours every few months and make changes accordingly. This can promote a healthy work-life balance and may improve your general well-being. You may like to plan one day per month dedicated to relaxation. This is especially important for business owners or independent contractors who work for themselves. It can be easy to work constantly and forget to take breaks, even when you get home.

Related: How To Make Time for Self-Care While Working from Home

How to calculate the number of working hours in a year

The formula to calculate working hours in a year is:

(# hours per week x 52) - [(# paid days off x # hours per day] = total hours in a year

You can find a more detailed explanation of this formula in this easy step-by-step guide:

1. Figure out your weekly hours

Start by working out how many hours you work in an average week. This means figuring out how long you work each day and adding those figures together. If your daily and weekly hours vary, try to come up with an average number of hours you work.

Example: Sarah is a salaried worker. She earns pay to work for 40 hours a week spread over five days. On Mondays and Wednesdays, she works at home from 8 am to 6 pm. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays she works at the office from 9 am to 5.30 pm. That equals 45.5 hours per week. Sarah is working slightly more hours than her contract requires.

Related: What Are Average Work Week Hours? (With FAQs)

2. Multiply by 52

The next step is to take your weekly hours and multiply it by 52 because there are 52 weeks in a year. The weeks in a year technically fluctuate due to leap years, but you can still base it on 52 weeks per year as a general rule.

Example: Sarah works 45.5 hours a week multiplied by 52 weeks in a year for a total of 2,366 hours. This is not the final figure, because you have to account for all types of paid leave and time off.

3. Calculate your paid time off

Paid time off is your yearly allocated amount of paid leave hours. Most companies allow for four weeks annual leave, 10 days of sick leave and two days of compassionate leave. That means most employees can take 32 days per year of paid leave. Many people do not take the full 32 days. Many professionals choose to roll their unused annual leave into the next year to save it up for long trips. Sick days and compassionate leave days usually do not roll over.

Example: Sarah has taken 10 days of annual leave, two sick days and no compassionate leave in the past year. That is 12 days of paid leave. To figure out how many hours of paid leave that is, you multiply it by the daily hours worked, which is eight hours. The figure you get is 96.

4. Subtract your yearly hours from your paid-time-off hours

To calculate the final number of hours you work in a year, you can subtract your yearly hours from your paid-time-off hours.

Example: Sarah's original yearly hours figure was 2,366, but she took 96 hours of paid time off. 2,366 – 96 = 2,270. So, the total number of hours Sarah worked in the past year was 2,270.

Related: Salary vs. Wage: What's the Difference?

Calculating your hourly rate

If you're a salaried employee, like Sarah, you may receive the same pay each week regardless of actual worked hours. The average full-time employee works eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. It can be useful to figure out your hourly pay rate.

Example: Sasha is on a salary of $60,000 per year. However, she typically works 45.5 hours per week. To find her hourly rate, she can divide 60,000 by 52 and then divide that amount by 45.5. This equals 25.35. So, Sasha earns an hourly rate of $25.35. Sarah can use these figures to negotiate a pay rise.

Related: Understanding the Base Salary in Your Compensation Package

Total number of working hours in a year

A simple way to calculate the average number of work hours per year includes the following formula. Multiply 40 times 52, which equals 2,080. This calculation does not take leap years into consideration. You may adapt the weekly amount depending on how many days of the year there are.

Related: How to Calculate Time and a Half (With Examples)

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the number of working hours in a year:

How many hours do we work in a year?

The answer to this question is different for everyone. It depends on the type of work you do, whether you are casual, part or full time and how many overtime hours you work. Casual and part-time workers can work a maximum of 38 hours a week. Any more than that is considered to be full-time. A full-time employee usually works for eight hours a day five days a week. A full-time employee works an average of 2,080 hours a year.

What is a 7.6-hour workday?

A 7.6-hour workday refers to the minimum number of hours a full-time employee would work per day. To be classified as a full-time employee, you have to work 38 or more hours per week. 38 divided by five equals 7.6 hours per day. This equates to 7 hours and 36 minutes.

What are the standard working hours in Australia?

Standard working hours refer to an employee's ordinary hours of work in a week. Ordinary hours of work are considered to be between 7 am to 7 pm. Working outside of those hours will incur overtime rates. Australia has laws about the maximum number of hours an employee can work in a week. Currently, the maximum number of working hours is 38 hours; however, an employer can ask an employee to work reasonable extra hours.

Related: How To Calculate Average: Mean, Median and Mode

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