If I'm Paid a Salary, How Much Do I Make Per Hour?

By Matthew Frankel Markets Fool.com

If you're paid a salary, it's a fairly straightforward process to convert your compensation to an hourly wage. By using the number of hours you work each week and the number of weeks you work each year, this salary to hourly calculator can tell you how much you make on an hourly basis.

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How to convert your salary to an hourly wage

There are two basic steps you need to do in order to convert your annual salary to an hourly wage.

First, divide your salary be the number of weeks you work each year. For example, if you work all year, you'll use 52 weeks in a year. If you work in a position that gives you a certain number of weeks off, it's important to take that into account. For example, when I was a high school math teacher, I had 10 weeks off for summer vacation, two weeks off during the holiday season, and another week off for spring break. Therefore, I only worked 39 out of the 52 weeks each year.

Image source: Getty Images.

Next, divide by the number of hours you work each week. A standard 9-5 work schedule translates to a 40 hour work week, but for most people, this is somewhat open to interpretation. For instance, some people consider their lunch breaks to be working hours, while others don't. Other people are contractually obligated to work a certain number of hours per week, such as the 38 hours stipulated by my former teaching contract.

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So, the formula for converting an annual salary to an hourly wage is:

Equation graphic is author's own work.

Better yet, here's a quick calculator that can do the math for you:

* Calculator is for estimation purposes only, and is not financial planning or advice. As with any tool, it is only as accurate as the assumptions it makes and the data it has, and should not be relied on as a substitute for a financial advisor or a tax professional.

Examples of calculating hourly pay

Let's consider the example of when I was a high school math teacher, I already mentioned that I worked 39 weeks per year, and 38 hours per week (I actually worked significantly more than this, as do most teachers I know, but this was my "official" work time).

My salary as a first-year teacher was $42,000. Using these parameters in the calculator gives me an official hourly rate of $28.34.

As I mentioned, however, this is somewhat open to interpretation. During that first year, I was in my classroom for approximately 50 hours per week, when you include the time I spent planning lessons and grading papers. So, when I consider the time I actually spent at work (not just the time in my contract), my hourly pay was a not-as-attractive $21.54.

Finally, for quick reference, here's how some round salary numbers translate to hourly wages, based on a year-round (52-week) job and a 40-hour work week.

Annual Salary

Hourly Wage

$30,000

$14.42

$40,000

$19.23

$50,000

$24.04

$75,000

$36.06

$100,000

$48.08

$150,000

$72.12

$200,000

$96.15

Note: Chart is author's own work.

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