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15 dollars an hour is how much per year?

So, you get paid 15 dollars an hour? To work out what that adds up to over the course of a year, we need to know how many hours you work in a year, and multiply those hours by $15.

The standard working week for a full-time employee in the USA is 40 hours. It's common for employees to receive two weeks of unpaid leave per year, meaning you get paid for working 50 weeks of the year, instead of 52. So, we'll factor this in and give calculations for both.

Yearly salary for $15 per hour

40 hours per week for 50 weeks equals 2000 hours of work in a year. $15 per hour would end up giving a salary of: $30,000 per year

Yearly salary (52 weeks)

40 hours per week for 52 weeks equals 2080 hours of work in a year. $15 per hour would end up giving a salary of: $31,200 per year

If you work more than 40 hours per week, we look at figures including overtime further down the article. You can also use our hourly to salary calculator to work out an annual salary based upon different figures for hours per week and weeks per year.

Here’s another way to think of 15 dollars per hour across the year…

  1. 30,000 slices of dollar pizza ($1 each)
  2. 6060 skinny peppermint lattes at Starbucks ($4.95 for venti size)
  3. 2307 cinema tickets ($13 each)
  4. 1200 visits to the Whitney Art Museum (at $25 per head)
  5. 60 Botox treatments (at $500 each)
  6. 22.6 nights at Skylofts at MGM Grand, The Strip, Las Vegas ($1325 per night)
  7. 15 labradoodle puppies ($2000 each)
  8. 0.2cm³ of Leonardo da Vinci's ‘Salvator Mundi' (the painting measures 45.4cm x 65.6cm, and was sold for $450.3 million in 2017, so each of its 2978cm³ is worth $151,208)

How much does the average US worker earn per hour?

The average hourly pay of an American worker, as of 2021, is $25.60 (ref). It's worth remembering that average hourly pay will vary for different industries. For example, the average hourly pay in the hospitality industry is around $16, compared to over $40 in the utilities industry.

Salary pay day

How your yearly pay compares with others

You earn 49.5% of the $60,558 average US salary. Remember, though: it only takes a handful of billionaires to push the national average way higher than the norm.

The median - or middle - salary of a US worker in 2021 is $51,428, which is $989 per week (BLS). You earn 58.3% of the median national salary.

Here’s the median household income in some US states:

Median household income by state
State Household income*
New Jersey$80,088
New York$64,894
Puerto Rico$19,343
*household income combines all salaries at one address
Reference: census.gov: ‘2017 ACS Median house-hold income (dollars)’

Now compare your wages with the average annual salary of other nations

Average salary per country
Country Salary
New Zealand$46,917
Your Salary$30,000
(All figures are in US dollars)
Reference: OECD (2017 data used, to match other examples)

How much do I make in a day?

If you work 8 hours a day at $15 per hour, you earn: $120 per day

What’s my weekly pay?

If you work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for $15 per hour, you earn: $600 per week

What's my monthly pay?

Dividing your annual $30,000 salary by 12 months gives an average of: $2500 per month

The above figures are for gross pay, before any taxes and deductions are taken out.

What if I work above 40 hours and get paid time-and-a-half?

If you get paid a 1.5 rate for working more than 40 hours, your ‘time-and-a-half’ rate is $22.50 per hour.

Here’s what your income would look like with an extra 5, 10, 15 or 20 hours at a 1.5 rate
Hours/week Extra $/week Extra $/year Total
45 hour week$112.50$5,625$35,625
50 hour week$225$11,250$41,250
55 hour week$337.50$16,875$46,875
60 hour week$450$22,500$52,500

50-30-20 Rule

The 50-30-20 budgeting method suggests a very general idea that people spend 50% of their income (after tax) on living expenses, 30% on discretionary items (fun, entertainment, holidays) and 20% on saving. Finance journalist Paula Pant has written a very good article about this.

Woman holding piggybank for saving her pay

Serious financial advice

Every state taxes its employees differently, and the cost of living varies massively by region too, so in this feature we’re focusing on your salary and not your actual disposable income. Don’t actually budget based on daily trips to the Whitney or bulk-buying pedigree pooches: this guide is mathematically accurate but it’s real-world ridiculous.

For the sake of the guide, let’s just imagine that you live rent-free in an abandoned fortress, surrounded by a deep moat and a platoon of armoured guards who protect against visits from the taxman. Food is free, supplied by an organic farm on your land, and you’re never required to buy anyone a birthday present because you’re so charming and wonderful that your friends are beyond grateful to even have you in their lives at all.

If you're looking to start saving towards a goal, we have an article and calculator to help you calculate how long it might take to save.

For serious advice on your finances, we recommend speaking with a qualified, independent financial advisor.

Last updated: 17 June 2021