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How Many Work Hours in a Year

Knowing how many work hours in a year can help you calculate your potential salary when looking for a new job. Let’s say that you see a job listing that shows a wage of $15 per hour. Well… $15 an hour is how much a year? By knowing the hours in a work year, you can easily calculate this. 

But… it’s not actually that simple since every year is different.

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Hours Worked In A Year

The general understanding is that there are 52 weeks in a year and the average full-time employee works 40 hours a week. From this, you can calculate that the number of hours in a work year is 2080 hours (52 weeks x 40 hours). Estimating in this same way, the number of workdays in a year is 260 days (52 weeks x 5 weekdays).

  • Weeks in a year: 52
  • Number of workdays in a year: 260
  • Hours in a work year: 2080

However… that is only an estimate. There are actually 52.143 weeks in a year (365/ 7) and 52.286 in a leap year (366/ 7). In reality, there are anywhere from 260 to 262 workdays per year and 2080 to 2096 work hours.

As an example, let’s take a look at the year 2021.

Workdays & Work Hours for 2021

For 2021, there are a total of 261 days and 2088 hours in the work year.

Month# of Work Days# of Work Hours
January21 days168 hours
February20 days160 hours
March23 days184 hours
April22 days176 hours
May21 days168 hours
June22 days176 hours
July22 days176 hours
August22 days176 hours
September22 days176 hours
October21 days168 hours
November22 days176 hours
December23 days184 hours
Total261 days2088 hours

Do you feel this is getting a bit too complicated? Me too. Unless you want to calculate the actual hours you’ll be working for each and every year, I just like to stick with the general consensus of 2080 hours.

Actual Hours Worked Per Year

Did you realize we forgot something? We did! Remember that some full-time employees also get the benefit of paid holidays, paid time off (PTO), and sick time.

Let’s say that you receive:

  • 10 Paid Federal holidays (80 hours)
  • 80 Hours PTO
  • 7 Days Sick Leave (56 hours)

2080 hours – 80 – 80 – 56 = 1864 

That would mean that you get paid for about 2080 hours, but the actual hours worked in a year are 1,864.

How Many Hours Are In A Year?

I was sitting down one day after calculating the work hours in a year and started to realize just how much our jobs rob the time from our lives. We have a total of 365 days in a year, so that’s about 8,760 hours in a year. But how much do we actually have outside of working and sleeping?

I wanted to calculate how much free time I actually have after work. So here’s what I did:

  • About 260 workdays x 11 hours per day (+3hrs to include getting dressed, the commute, and 1 hr lunch break) = 2860 hours taken by work
  • Hopefully sleeping 8 hours per day x 365 days per year = 2920 for sleeping

8,760 hours per year – 2860 work hours – 2920 sleeping hours = 2980 hours to ourselves per year.

So from all of these calculations, I realized just how valuable our time really is. If we’re lucky, we have about 2980 hours per year to do what we want. That doesn’t even include the time taken up by cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, and the millions of other tasks that have to be accomplished. So use your time to enjoy life and take care of your well-being.

And we can’t end this post without talking about ways to stack your dollars!

Realizing how many hours are spent working can also help you save money. For instance, I think about some things by the amount of time I have to work to pay for them. If you get paid $15 an hour, that Birkin bag isn’t $11,000, it’s 733 hours of your life. That $40 meal at the restaurant is about 2.6 hours of work. That makes you stop and think before purchasing something, doesn’t it?

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