# Understanding annual salary having been paid by hour

I have a job offer that states what the annual salary would be. I have only had jobs where I've been paid per hour. In the interview there was some discussion about pay and I gave a pay range I was looking for but stated it in hours. The offer seems a little bit low (taking into account things like benefits).

I have used various tools on the internet to convert between hourly pay and annual pay. They all give slightly different numbers depending on if I work 37-40 hour weeks. When I asked what the work hours were they just said "typical 8 hour days". So does this mean 40 payable hours per week? Does it make a difference if my meal breaks are paid or unpaid? In my experience "8 hours days" include a 30 minute meal break but I'm not sure about about other (15 minute) breaks. I would be working from home. Where I live an employer has to pay for a 30 minute meal break but the company is located in a different province where meal breaks can be unpaid.

• Most salaried jobs are 40 hours (5x 8 hour days). However then in this situation it's to their benefit to overwork you... anyways, divide annual salary by 2080 to get approx. hourly wage. Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 2:54
• 2080 assumes you get no sick leave and no annual leave. In Australia we're on 37.5 hours/week, 4 week annual leave and two weeks sick leave, plus ~10 public holidays. So about 1660 hours worked per year, assuming you use all your sick leave = 365.25*5/7*7.5-(8x37.5). The other answers seem to assume you're in the USA, but I suspect Canada is closer to Australia in terms of sick and annual leave.
– Móż
Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 4:35
• So, which Province regulations will be applied in your case? Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 8:04
• Why does this website have the default of working 50 weeks per year? Is that somehow a thing, people normally work 40 weeks in a year? calculators.org/savings/wage-conversion.php Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 6:27
• @Móż The legal maximum for full-time work in Australia is 38 hours per week, not 37.5. Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 23:09

Generally the accepted conversion is to multiply the hourly rate by 2040 to achieve an annual salary and 173.33 to achieve a monthly. These are generalities assuming a normal work week and standard time off. Usually when someone is asking a question such as this they're not expecting to get an exact "to the penny" count, they want to have a guideline for reference.

Example: If your hourly rate is 20.00/hr you can profess an annual salary ~40,000. If it's a question of what your annual salary demands are, I would personally round it up a bit and go with something like 42-45k. If it's asking for a historical, just going with 40 would work in that scenario.

Does it make a difference if my meal breaks are paid or unpaid?

Not really. You're being paid an annual salary. Whether that break includes or excludes the lunck break makes no difference you how much you get paid each month.

But assume that the "8 hours" is 8 hours of work.

• Just to be clear, if a person works 9AM-5PM with a 30 minute break, normally people would call it a "8 hour shift," right? As opposed to "7.5 hours" Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 23:32
• @deploredbanked depends on company and culture. My wife works 8-5 with a hour lunch. I work 9-5 with a 15 min lunch. Neither one tracks time, just results. Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 1:55

I am from the US, so I won't comment about how many hours per week you might be asked to work. But this is what my advice is:

I have a job offer that states what the annual salary would be. I have only had jobs where I've been paid per hour. In the interview there was some discussion about pay and I gave a pay range I was looking for but stated it in hours. The offer seems a little bit low (taking into account things like benefits).

You have a job offer. You don't understand a key item in that offer. The best advice is to ask. You don't want your assumptions to cause you to make the wrong decision. You don't want your assumption to lead to an sore point later on when that first paychecks aren't what you were expecting.

You might ask the question by phone, or by email. You need to explain that you have only worked jobs that pay by the hour, and you are wondering about hours per day, meal breaks, vacation, sick, overtime.

If they won't take the time to help you understand the offer now when they are trying to get you to pick them, think how they will answer your questions when you get that paycheck that doesn't match your assumptions.

Never be afraid to ask the company about any provision in the offer.

I’d say try and get as much information as possible. Benefits can add up to a lot but not all benefit plans are created equal. They’ll probably try to be vague because they want you to think their benefits package will compensate for what you see as a less than ideal salary offering. Ask to see info about the available healthcare plans for the current year (including how much they cost), their 401k match, stock purchasing plan, vested benefits (if offered), amount of paid vacation, the number of paid holidays (you might think this would be the same everywhere but it’s not), number of paid sick days, parental leave policy, life insurance options (if that’s something you care about, etc.

In my experience, “usually 40 hours a week” can mean anything from “being the first person in a little after 10 and the last one to leave around 4:30” to “try and get this to me by 1am so I can review before the morning status meeting.” Try and get them to be as specific as possible. If that doesn’t work (or even if it does), see if you can figure out a way to chat with a current employee with the same or a similar position to the one you’re being offered. If your contact at the company won’t set it up for you, try and see if you can find someone on LinkedIn. Chances are you’ll be able to get someone to open up to you about their experience.

Knowledge is power and you deserve to know what to expect and whether or not it meets your expectations. They may well see your lack of experience with salaried positions as a weakness to be exploited in negotiation. Don’t let them get away with it!