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4 Min. Read

Salaried Employees Hours: How Many Hours Should a Salaried Employee Work?

Salaried Employees Hours: How Many Hours Should a Salaried Employee Work?

How many hours do salaried employees work? We’ll answer that question and more in today’s guide.

Expanding your team is not easy! You have taxes, benefits and salaries to think about. If you’re hiring employees, you’re probably wondering the difference between hourly and salaried employees.

Do salaried employees work more than hourly employees? How many hours does a full-time salaried worker work?

This short guide will dive deep into what the typical hours are for salaried employees and the nuances of that.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

Definitions of Salaried Employees

What Else Is Included in Work Hours?

Why It’s Important to Track Time With Salaried Employees?

Key Takeaways

Definitions of Salaried Employees

According to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), we can define salaried employees as:

  • Employees who receive a set amount of pay every week or longer pay period
  • Generally the amount doesn’t change depending on how much the employee works
  • As an employer, you can only reduce the pay for unauthorized absences. For example sick leave or holiday that isn’t included in the employee’s contract.

The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) defines the “work week” as a seven day consecutive period. Within that work period, around 35-40 hours is the norm for a full-time salary basis.

When it comes to work hours, there are two further employee definitions to think about.

Exempt and non-exempt. You’ll mostly see these terms tied to overtime law. Who is entitled to overtime pay and who isn’t?

FLSA Exempt Employees

Exempt employees generally have a salary, but there are other conditions they need to meet. Employees exempt from overtime compensation must:

  • Earn over $684 week to week or $35,658 annual salary
  • Earn a weekly salary for any workweek
  • Belong to certain industries and work positions. These include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Professional employees with administrative, outside sales and executive job duties.

FLSA Non-Exempt Salaried Employees

Some employees on a full salary can still qualify for overtime pay. They would be classified as non-exempt employees.

To qualify, they must:

  • Earn less than the above amount
  • Not have professional duties that are in the exempt category
  • Have “blue collar professions”. These could be mechanics, electricians, construction workers etc. This is regardless of salary

Overtime pay is usually calculated by hourly wage. It is the regular rate plus one half as an overtime hourly wage. The regular rate has to surpass the minimum wage. With salaries it's a little more complex.

Check with an employment law specialist when in doubt.

What Else Is Included in Work Hours?

Of course, desk time is working. But you and I both know that there are many other aspects of “work” that you should include in your work hours. It’s not just doing the thing. There are other activities around work included in your workweek.

  • Training

    Training is mostly considered part of your work hours. You need to compensate employees for training. The only exceptions are when the training is already happening during regular work hours. Or if training is truly voluntary. If you require that the employee does some training, you must compensate them for that time.

  • Pre-Shift Time and Post-Shift Time

    In some professions, there is some pre and post-work to do before the main responsibilities can be done. Let’s take the example of a dental nurse. A dental nurse needs to prepare all utensils for the next patient. That’s pre-shift work. After the patient has left, they need to disinfect and packdown the surgery. That’s post-shift work. If these fall outside of regular work hours, the nurse would need to compensate with overtime pay for that extra time.

Why It’s Important to Track Time With Salaried Employees?

Timesheets are given with hourly staff. Clock in, clock out - that’s normal!

But what about salaried employees? Even though many of your salaried employees may not qualify for overtime pay, it’s good to know how many hours your employees are actually working.

Are they fulfilling their contract hours? Are they going way over 40 hours per week? And if so, what can you do to redesign the job post to be more time efficient?

Having a good online time tracking system will help you to see the broad picture. How much are your employees working and are you compensating them fairly?

Key Takeaways

Most agree that 35-40 hours is reasonable as a full time salaried employee. But of course, each profession varies to some extent. It’s worthwhile implementing a system where your employees track their time. It can help improve the efficiency of the business.

For more guides on employee management, head to our resource hub.


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