# PTO Calculator

Use the PTO calculator below to estimate how much paid time off you will accrue over a time period.

## Total PTO:

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## How to Calculate How Much PTO You Have

Paid time off (PTO) is a valuable benefit offered by many employers, allowing employees to take time away from work while still receiving their regular pay, without impacting their annual income.

Understanding how PTO accrues and the policies surrounding it can help you make the most of your time off and ensure you are using your benefits effectively.

You can determine how much PTO you will have over a period of time in a few easy steps.

### Step One: Determine Your Accrual Rate

Most employees in the private sector are granted 11 days of PTO per year, with an increase to 15 days per year after 5 years and 18 days per year after 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.^{[1]}

To calculate how much PTO you will accrue, you’ll need to know your company’s accrual rate, which is often provided in your employee handbook or job offer. This is usually stated in hours per pay period, hours per month, or hours per year.

For instance, if you accrue 3 hours of PTO per bi-weekly pay period, this means you earn 3 hours of PTO every two weeks.

### Step Two: Calculate the Total Accrual

Using the accrual rate and the PTO formula below, you can calculate how much PTO you will earn over a time period.

#### PTO Formula

The amount of PTO you will accrue over time is equal to the PTO accrual frequency times the number of periods in the time range:

total PTO = PTO accrued per period × number of periods

If your accrual rate is in hours per pay period, then multiply the number of pay periods in the time frame by your accrual rate.

**For example,** let’s calculate the total PTO accrued in a year for an employee who accrues 4 hours of PTO per bi-weekly pay period. Note that there are 26 bi-weekly pay periods in a year.

Using the PTO formula above:

4 hours per pay period × 26 pay periods = 104 hours

So, this employee would accrue a total of 104 hours of PTO per year.

### Step Three: Adjust for Overtime, Part-Time, or Variable Hours

If you work part-time, overtime, or have a variable schedule, your accrual rate may be adjusted based on the number of hours you work.

Be sure to consider the impact of an increase or decrease to your PTO accrual based on your anticipated work schedule.

### Step Four: Consider Your PTO Limit

Many companies have policies in place to manage PTO accrual and ensure employees take time off regularly. A PTO cap is the maximum amount of PTO you can accrue.

Once you reach this cap, you stop earning additional PTO until you use some of your existing balance. This encourages employees to take their time off and prevents the accumulation of excessive PTO balances.

Your company may also have a “Use It or Lose It” policy. Under these policies, any unused PTO by the end of the year (or another specified period) is forfeited. This policy is designed to encourage employees to take regular breaks and avoid burnout.

Some companies may allow a limited rollover of unused PTO to the next year or offer a payout for unused days.

## Impact of Accrual Frequency

The frequency of PTO accrual can affect how quickly you accumulate PTO and how you plan your time off.

**Bi-weekly or Monthly Accrual:**If your PTO accrues bi-weekly or monthly, you will see smaller increments added to your PTO balance more frequently. This allows for regular tracking and can help you plan short-term time off more effectively.**Annual Accrual:**Some companies may provide the entire year’s PTO at the beginning of the year. This can be beneficial if you plan to take longer vacations early in the year, but requires careful management to ensure you have enough PTO left for the rest of the year.

## References

- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Paid leave benefits: Average number of sick and vacation days by length of service requirement, https://www.bls.gov/charts/employee-benefits/paid-leave-sick-vacation-days-by-service-requirement.htm