How Do I Calculate My Pay Rate?

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Calculating your pay rate is important to determine if the amount of money you are making based on the amount of hours you put in is meeting your earning goals. This number can be just as important, if not more important, than your pay, which is a flat number not tied necessarily to the amount of time you log in a given day, week or year.

Determining Hours Worked

It is important to determine the amount of hours you work during a given amount of time in order to determine your pay rate. This is because your salary or your take-home pay will be divided against this number to create your pay rate. If you work a normal 9-to-5 job, then this number of hours worked will be easy to calculate because it will be either 35 or 40, depending on whether you get paid, hour-long lunches and breaks. However, if you don't work such hours, this won't work. In this instance, you can either keep a log of your hours and divide against the number of hours logged, or you can make a rough estimation of hours worked by logging your hours for a few weeks, averaging the number and then multiplying by 52, the number of weeks in a year.

Determining Pay

Besides calculating your hours worked, the other important number that you need to determine is your pay. Once again, if you are working a salaried job with a set weekly, biweekly, monthly or annual salary, this number is easy to figure out. For example, if you are paid a fixed amount biweekly, simply multiply this amount by 26. If you are paid monthly, multiply by 12. However, some jobs do not pay set wages. If this is the case, the best option is to meticulously log your pay throughout the year, keeping accurate ledgers by pay earned per day, per week or per month. Another option is to get a rough estimate of your pay over time by tracking your pay for a few weeks, calculating a weekly average and then multiplying this number by 52.

Calculating Pay Rate

Once you have the two crucial numbers, hours worked and pay, you can now calculate your pay rate. Simply divide your pay by your hours worked. This will determine your hourly pay rate. To figure out your daily pay rate, simply multiply this total by eight, the typical number of hours worked in a day. To calculate weekly, multiply by 40. To calculate annually, multiply by 40 and then by 52. Understand that if you estimated hours worked, pay or both, your pay rate may not be completely accurate.

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