How many hours do you spend working full-time in a year?

Although you make relatively more than your peers, your job demands your undivided attention seven days a week. It seems like you spend most of your week at the office. You might even find yourself wasting most of your salary on fuel, takeout meals, and coffee at work.

For this reason, you’ve decided to check if you’re getting fair compensation for the amount of work you put in. However, you’re not sure how to compute your annual working hours.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry. We can help! Our team reviewed various case studies to create a straightforward, comprehensive guide explaining the number of hours Americans spend working.

Read until the end to learn how to compute your work hours accurately. Clocking in and out of work without regard for your workday bloats your daily expenses and puts you at risk of unfair compensation.

Who knows? You might already be spending too much time working for a lower salary without your knowledge.

Let’s start calculating your total working days in a year!

How Many Work Hours Are There in a Year?

When computing annual working hours, most employees generally assume that one year has 52 weeks. As such, a year would have 2,080 work hours.

Although referencing a whole number makes calculations simpler, it generates inaccurate results. You’ll get slightly different rates if you round off the number of weeks in a year. 

Technically, the standard work hours in a year are as follows:

Time FrameWeeks (rounded off by the third decimal point)Annual Working Hours (rounded off by the second decimal point)
Calendar Year52.143 weeks2085.72 hours
Leap Year52.286 weeks2091.44 hours

Keeping these numbers in mind, we strongly encourage calculating your work hours by the third or fourth decimal for accurate, reliable results. Otherwise, you might deviate by as much as a fraction of your true hourly rate.

FTE: Full-Time vs. Part-Time

Familiarize yourself with the way your company computes the total working days in a year. Watch out for unfair employers that undercut their staff.

Although companies follow varying factors when computing their teams’ hourly rates, most HR admins and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) prioritize the full-time equivalent (FTE). This calculated metric quantifies the amount of work an employee does. 

You’ll reach your FTE by dividing your scheduled work hours by your employer’s full-time workweek. Full-time employees will need a minimum FTE of 1. Meanwhile, part-timers can maintain FTEs of 0.5 to 0.9, depending on their job descriptions.

For instance, let’s say your employer has set a full-time workweek of 40 hours. If you work 40 hours, you’ll get an FTE of 1. However, you’ll only get a 0.5 FTE if you only report to work 20 hours per week, which makes you a part-timer.

Companies use the FTE to gauge an employee’s profitability. From a business point of view, you’ll need a minimum FTE to offset the expenses your employer paid for hiring, onboarding, training, and employing you.

How to Calculate the Number of Work Hours in a Year

You can get an accurate, reliable estimate of your annual working hours by:

1. Counting the Weeks in the Calendar Year

As we mentioned above, rounding off the number of weeks in a calendar year to a whole number gives you inaccurate results. You’ll get around 2080 to 2091.44 work hours per annum.

If you need a reference for computing this and last year’s projected annual working hours, refer to the tables below:

2021No. of Working DaysNo. of Working Hours
January21 working days168 working hours
February20 working days160 working hours
March23 working days184 working hours
April22 working days176 working hours
May21 working days168 working hours
June22 working days176 working hours
July22 working days176 working hours
August22 working days176 working hours
September22 working days176 working hours
October21 working days168 working hours
November22 working days176 working hours
December23 working days164 working hours
Total261 working days2,088 working hours
2022No. of Working DaysNo. of Working Hours
January21 working days168 working hours
February20 working days160 working hours
March23 working days184 working hours
April21 working days168 working hours
May22 working days176 working hours
June22 working days176 working hours
July21 working days168 working hours
August23 working days184 working hours
September22 working days176 working hours
October21 working days168 working hours
November22 working days176 working hours
December22 working days176 working hours
Total260 working days2,080 working hours

2. Tracking Your Workday

After counting the number of workweeks in your calendar year, it’s time to compute your typical workday. 

Unfortunately, this data varies on a case-by-case basis. The only way to get an accurate result is to keep track of every hour you’ve spent working so far—or will spend working.

Once you’ve reached a number, multiply it by the number of working days stated in the table above. The result is an estimate of how much you’ve worked this year.

Note: Don’t round off your workdays. Include every minute that you spent at the office, even if you didn’t receive overtime compensation for it.

3. Totaling All Your Total Time Off Hours

Finally, it’s time to compute your time off from work. Add all the paid time offs, planned leaves, paid holidays, and emergency leaves, then subtract the total from your annual working hours. 

The more paid time off hours you have, the higher your average hourly rate.

The Importance of Measuring Work Hours Accurately

Admittedly, many find it tedious to track their annual working hours. If your job already imposes multiple urgent, high-priority demands daily, you might not even have the time to review your workday.

However, we encourage all employees to make time for this task. Allocating just 10 to 15 minutes every day for timekeeping yields several benefits, such as:

Setting Fair Salary Expectations

If you get paid by the hour, set your salary expectations based on the number of hours you spend at work. 

Your annual salary is not fixed. If your employer’s full-time workweek only consists of 40 hours but your scheduled hours spiked to 50 hours, you should receive compensation for the 10-hour difference.

Also, familiarize yourself with your company’s overtime policies. Most employers pay their workers 1.5 to 2 times more for every hour spent working beyond the scheduled workday.

Managing Daily Expenses

You might not realize it, but you probably spend most of your money at work. Considering the cost of transportation, food, clothing, daycare, and coffee, an entire workday could set you back by over $15 to $20.

To avoid overspending at work, manage your work hours. List all your expenses and keep track of which ones typically spike when you work overtime.

Planning Extracurricular Activities

Do you find yourself canceling trips and plans that you scheduled months prior? Change your working habits. Instead of just computing your standard work hours in a year, start reassessing your workweek. 

Planning a weekend getaway shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. Regain control over your time so that you can go on dinner dates, night outs, and vacations without worrying about accumulating a backlog of work.

Making Time for Freelance Projects and Gigs

Freelancing serves as one of the simplest ways to make a few extra bucks on the side. You can almost double your income just by taking on two or three hours’ worth of projects every day. 

However, one of the biggest roadblocks you’ll face is time. If you spend most of your weekdays on overtime, you wouldn’t have much time left to look for gigs—much less work on them.

How Many Hours Should You Work per Week?

Hopefully, by comparing your standard work hours in a year versus your actual workdays, you’ll learn to spend your time efficiently. 

Don’t blindly opt for higher salary offers. Earning 10% or 15% more than you currently do yields negligible benefits if it means sacrificing your free time. 

Strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Work efficiently during the workweek to meet your career’s demands, but leave room for your friends and family.

Remember: you can always earn more money. However, time is a limited resource, and you’ll only have one shot to create unique, distinct memories with your loved ones.

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