How many work hours in a year?

It does not matter if you are just starting to work or have been already working; knowledge of the number of hours you work plays an important role, and it helps define the job and private life balance, plus the money you get for one work hour. 

Learning this can serve as a critical element in defining whether you should alter your career or work and private life balance. Besides, it can influence the wage demands both from the employer's and worker's point of view. 

So, in our article, we will discuss how many hours we work for a year, methods to count the hours we spend for a job per year, and why it plays a significant role for you as a worker and human being. 

The number of hours we spend for work per year – why should we know this?

As we have said before, knowing the number of working hours in a year influence your job pleasure and your prosperity as well. It can be useful in a few ways:

In terms of money, knowing the working hour's amount can assist you to count the salary you earn for a year. If you work on the job with an hour's payment, knowing the year's working hours can give you a clear vision of your year's family budget. This knowledge plays a significant role in planning big family projects such as buying a car or house. 

But it doesn't concern only the hourly workers. Generally, wage-owners work more than forty hours a week.  

Understanding how your wage is split among the number of hours you work during a year will help you get a clear vision of the actual money you get for one hour. This knowledge will help you immensely, especially when asking for a salary increase or promotion. 

Besides finances, knowing the year's working hours is very helpful when making plans for your outside work life. Learning the hours you spend for work can better plan your spare time. 

Moreover, as we've already said, this knowledge can help you define your balance between your private life and work – whether it's healthy or not and whether you have a significant caseload. Additionally, it can help you value your habits and correct them to have more spare time from work.

Counting the year working hours' number

 If you work the same hours' amount for a week, to count the year hours' number is easy. But you also should take into account your personal and vacation days, plus your spare time from work. 

 But if the working hours' number is not the same for each week, we recommend having a notebook to count all hours you spend for work.

  • Counting full day working hours:

Generally, a full workweek comprises forty hours. To count the number of hours you work as a full-time is easy, but it is easy only at first sight. Take an hour amount you work during a month and multiply them forty times four weeks, and you'll have 160 hours you spend for work for one month. You can also want to take these 160 work hours and increase them by the amount of month you work during a year. In most cases, this monthly amount is twelve. But if we multiply these two numbers, we'll have 1920 hours we spend for work during a year. But it's not the precise number since not all months consist of four weeks. So, to know the exact year working hours number, you need to take a week working hours figure (it's forty) and multiply them by year week number (it's fifty-two). And in the end, we'll have 2080 working hours for one year, that's the standard norm for an ordinary full-time worker.    

  • Counting part-time work hours:

Part-time workers have the same number of working hours for one week as full-timers have. But during a year, you have to take annual vacation days into account. So, one day off is equal to two work hours' absence. For example, suppose that you need thirty days of vacation every year. Then, if you're a part-time worker, you'll have to cut thirty days into weeks, that is six weeks of annual vacation. This means that your working hours' number for one week will be forty-six. And after multiplying this number by twelve months' number (forty-two), it turns out the number of part-time work hours in an average year is 1968. And, as for full-timers, you can increase or decrease this number by adding or removing some paid holidays. 

  •  Calculating the year's working hours' number from weekly working hours:

Most people get their salary depending on the week. If we take a salary of a full-timer, who works 40 hours a week, we'll get a figure which is equal to the weekly wage. And if we divide this amount by weekly working hours' number, we'll have the yearly salary with hourly rate included. So, if your weekly wage is 6000 dollars and you work 40 hours per week, you get 150 dollars for one hour. 

  • Including or deducting time:

If you want to know the exact time you spend for work during a year, you need to include overtime or remove vacation, personal days, and holidays when you haven't worked. Usually, the workers get compensation for such days; that's why you don't need to subtract them. If you don't get the payment, you need to deduct eight hours from every day when you haven't worked to know the exact working hours' number. Similarly, you should include over hours and extra time if you have it to count the year working hour amount. 

 Now, let's see how many hours Americans dedicate to work per year. 

 If we look at statistics, we will see that people dedicate more time to work per year than other Western countries – they spend over 200 hours more. The average full-day American spends over 1800 hours for work per year. The employees, who work a 35-hours week, dedicate 1820 hours for work during a year. If we add eight paid vacations and ten personal days, we will have a 1943 year working hour amount for an average American.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2004, the employees who work a 40-hours week spend 2080 hours for work during a year.  

How many hours do we need to work?

 If we had an answer, we'd respond, but, unfortunately, we do not have it. You wonder why – because there're many factors that impact it. These factors are – a person, occupation, sphere, organization, and the job's name. Besides, the work time is contingent on the middle working hour's number by the sphere. If we look at statistics, we'll see that the gas and oil industry workers spend over 40 hours for work per week. Paper sphere employees work almost the same time – 41.9 working hours for one week. The less time for work hospitality and leisure sphere employees spend. Additionally, the amount of working hours also depends on the country and its work tendencies. And finally, people's habits also affect this matter. Some people do not work every day and only spend the most time for work during a week. According to statistics, employed mothers are less likely to dedicate full-time working hours for work per year. They don't want to leave kids unattended at home, that's why they often cut their week in half or even go part-time.  

Aspects that influence the number of working hours:

  • The number of working hours in a day: Most people, who work an 8-hour day shift, dedicate around 7.5 hours to work per day. Usually, the employees who have a short work shift dedicate fewer time for work than those who have a long one.
  • Workday and working week: The full-time workers spend 40 hours per week at their workplace. But there're also part-timers among them who only get paid once they've worked for 36 or more hours during a week. Paid holidays sometimes require extra time to count and the employers sometimes add 50% to the normal hourly rate if an employee has to stay after 5:00 PM or come earlier than usual (before 9:00 AM).  

Weekly working hours in US states

The work hour's length: Usually, the basic job includes an 8-hour day shift. However, some spheres have different shifts – 6-hours in the wholesale region and along with it 10 in retail in addition to night shifts. Also, in the medical field, people come across 12 working hours or even 16 for one week when an employee works overtime. Besides, if you are a nurse or doctor assistant, you'll spend 2 days per week on your feet all day long.  

It depends on many factors – occupation, the sphere of activity and so much more! But what exactly do we dedicate our time to? Well, let's take a look at which employees work more! According to information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, the most time per year is dedicated to professional and technical workers (men) who work 2,163 hours (35 hours for 5 days per week). The least working time is spent by sales employees (women), who work only 1,719 hours during a year (29.3 weekly average per hour). Depending on occupation and spheres of activity, women dedicate less than men's time for work. Now let's look at the most popular jobs in the United States. Retail workers spend remarkably less time than managers or office staff which are more than three times shorter. Furthermore, production employees take away half of their earnings to pay taxes which they need to deduct from their wages before they see them in reality! Although it might seem surprising, even among 16.7 million retired people, almost 8 out of 10 receive a paycheck every month! In the end, we'd like to mention that today more and more workers spend an average of 20 or more hours per week on the Internet.

As you see, there're many aspects that influence the number of working hours in a year. And according to these factors, we can easily see how much time (days) people should spend for work every day and what is the daily wage amount if they were paid by an hour basis. 

In many countries outside the USA, there're regulations of the week maximum length and paid vacation days' amount. Unfortunately, America doesn't have such rules. That is why before starting to work, you need to negotiate about the workweek length and vacation days with the future employer. 

 To sum up, the decision of how many hours to spend on work depends only on you – your obstacles, personality, and career aims. 

Although the number of working hours in a year having an impact on health is not mentioned here, it's definitely worth mentioning. This information is for general purposes only.

  • The average American works 1,788 hours per year
  • The average American spends 8.8 hours daily at work
  • Weekly paid leave averages 27 annual vacation days per worker in the U.S.
  • Women are more likely to take unpaid leaves then men are
  • 43% of Americans are getting less that two weeks of paid time off
  • Over 2 million people work full-time on weekends or holidays without pay
  • 32% of all salaried workers report working more than 40 hours a week, up from 28 percent 10 years ago
  • 11% of salaried workers report earning bonuses without working overtime
  • 38% of all workers say they spend two hours or more each day on the job dealing with email
  • 35 percent spend between one and two hours a day working during non-work time, and 15 percent work for between three and four hours per week outside of normal business hours.

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