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Working at a job that pays $50,000 a year is a respectable living. Freelancing is also a great way to make money, but how much does it pay? $50000 a year may sound like a lot of money, but when you break it down into an hourly wage, the number looks more like $20.00-$25.00 per hour.

If you want to know the answer to “$50,000 per year is how much an hour?” keep reading!

$50,000 a Year is How Much an Hour?

The math behind this question is straightforward if you know the number of hours you work per year.

If you want to calculate this based on a standard full-time work week, or 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, you’d need to divide $50,000 by 2,080 hours (40 * 52).

So, how much is $50,000 a year per hour? Or, asked differently, what is $50,000 a year hourly? If this is your measure, this comes to $24.04 per hour.

However, if you side hustle or work as a freelancer, you might not work just 40 hours per week- you might work more or less.

If you work more hours, that hourly wage will decrease because the numerator remains constant ($50,000) while the denominator increases. The lowest hourly wage you can with a $50,000 income in a year is $5.71/hour.

Though, that means you’d need to work every hour of the year: 8,760 hours (24 hours per day * 7 days per week * 52 weeks per year)!

While it’s important to learn how to make money while you sleep, I don’t think this is quite what we had in mind.

If you work fewer hours but still take home $50,000 per year, you could earn a much higher wage.

Perhaps you only work part-time at 20 hours per week but still earn $50k per year. If that’s the case, you’d actually earn $48.08 per hour (same pay but half as many hours).

As you can see, the amount of income remains constant, but the hours you work may vary. Therefore, it is important to get the most out of your time.

The fewer hours you can work to earn more income the better. If you’re smart, you can accomplish your job quicker and more efficiently.

This can happen from:

  • gaining on the job experience
  • automating routine, time-consuming tasks
  • outsourcing work where possible

You can also earn money from income generating assets, which don’t tie directly to how many hours you work.

These are some of the best assets to invest in because they don’t require you to take time to earn money beyond investing in them and letting the income payments come directly to your bank account.

Want to Make More than $50,000 a Year?

All of the math in this article considers you working every work hour of the year. In all likelihood, if you work as a salaried employee, you don’t work all 2,080 hours per year.

Let’s not forget, your hourly rate might remain fixed, but you might not actually work 52 weeks per year. You may received paid time off, or PTO.

If you receive 2 weeks of PTO per year, while your pay rate remains the same, you actually earn a higher rate when you account for those two weeks of PTO.

Further, you may get federal holidays like 4th of July, Christmas, New Year’s and other major events. Most salaried employees get between 8 – 10 federal holidays off plus 2 weeks of PTO. This means 3-4 weeks of PTO per year.

If that’s the case, then you actually earn more than $24.04 per hour because you take the same $50,000 per year and divide it by 48 weeks, or 1,920 hours, and earn $26.04 per hour.

These four weeks of time off allow you to unwind or even take up a side hustle to earn more income.

→ Start Freelancing and Side Hustling

young person on computer

Personally, I supplement my job by working as a freelance finance content marketing writer to increase my annual pay. You might want to pick up other side hustles to invest your time in a higher take-home pay.

But this can mean taking up a line of work best suited to your own skills.

This can include things like:

  • Writing
  • Designing and styling websites (or resume templates)
  • Developing software
  • Becoming a rideshare driver
  • Selling your services on a site like Fiverr (Learn how to sell your services on Fiverr with their low cost courses)
  • Reviewing albums for a local radio station
  • Renting out your car on a platform like Hyrecar
  • Becoming a dropshipper

→ Learn How to Make Money from Your Money

couple reviewing information on computer medium

When you have enough money saved, you can learn how to turn money into more money. This means investing in assets that appreciate in value, or provide you an income return as well.

You can start by controlling your expenses, establishing a budget and sticking to it. You can also learn how to make money from your money by investing in stocks, bonds and mutual funds that provide you with income or long-term returns.

It’s important not to put all of your eggs into one basket though – diversify what you invest in so it won’t be as hard on the pocketbook if we experience a downturn in the market.

There are several services that offer stock advice through investment newsletters or stock picking services. Be sure to read through the selections provided and determine if any of them meet your own investment criteria.

Learn how to research stocks with useful stock analysis apps and begin investing through free stock apps to keep more money in your pocket. Many even offer you free sign up bonuses when you open an account and make a minimum deposit.

Learn how to get free stocks from a number of brokerages best for beginners.


→ Invest to Earn Passive Income

Likewise, you may want to choose investments that will generate income for you to raise your annual income. Just the same, you might prefer to live on your current income and invest in growth stocks to make your net worth increase over time.

By having persistence, and a strong work ethic, you can make $50,000 per year in passive income! Continue investing in worthwhile endeavors like real estate investing and your investments will earn you $50,000 per year.

Add in your work income and you’ll be upgrading your annual take home pay in no time.

You might consider investing with a micro-investing app like Public.com. The free stock trading app allows you to invest in increments as small as $1 in index funds and individual stocks.

Starting small can let you grow a larger investment balance over time, especially with high-yield investments.

Doing this consistently across several years can lead to significant returns that can raise your income.

Read more in our Public.com investing app review.


How Much is Your Paycheck if You Make $50,000 a Year?

Now that we know a bit more behind the math involved in calculating your hourly wage, let’s take a look at what your paychecks might look like if you earn $50,000 a year.

→ $50,000 a Year is How Much Biweekly?

young woman investing on smartphone

When looking at how much $50,000 a year is biweekly in your paycheck, you simply need to calculate how much you would earn over every two weeks.

If you assume a full-time position with no overtime and exactly 40 hours per week, then you would earn $50,000 / 26 bi-weekly pay periods = $1,923.08 per biweekly paycheck.

However, we know this doesn’t account for things like:

  • Federal, state and local income taxes
  • FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare)
  • Pre-tax deductions to retirement accounts
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Anything else you have as part of your regular paycheck deductions.

→ How Much is $50k a Year Monthly?

excited young investor medium

If you get paid instead on a monthly basis, you will receive fewer paychecks but for larger amounts. Because…math!

Ignoring the effects of taxes or pre or post-tax deductions, $50k a year monthly is $4,166.67 per paycheck.

Though, you might get paid time off and federal holidays. Depending on how many of those you get per year, your monthly pay effectively goes up on an per hour view.

$25 an Hour is How Much a Year?

$52,000 a year is how much an hour? $25 per hour. That’s right. If you can earn $25 an hour, this translates into $52,000 a year. Assuming of course you mean for a 2,080 hour work year.

If you work 20 hours per week, $25 an hour equals $26,000 a year.

If you work 30 hours per week, $25 an hour equals $39,000 a year.

If you can earn a raise at your job from $24.04 to $25 an hour, you’ll earn an extra $2,000 per year (ignoring taxes)!

Related: $40,000 a Year is How Much an Hour?

$50,000 a Year is How Much After Taxes?

Uncle Sam always takes a cut, lest we try to forget. Therefore, your effective wage is actually less than $24.04 per hour or $50,000 per year.

Depending on your unique tax circumstance and state of residence, you will encounter different levels of taxation.

Assuming you live in a state like Texas which has no income tax and you only claim the standard deduction as a single person, your $50,000 a year would be this much after taxes:

  • $50,000 annual pre-tax income
  • -$4,315 federal income taxes
  • -$3,825 FICA taxes
  • $41,860 after-tax take home income

If you get paid on a biweekly basis as a full-time employee, you’d have $1,610 per bi-weekly paycheck in after-tax income.

If you get paid on a monthly basis as a full-time employee, you’d have $3,488.33 per monthly paycheck in after-tax income.

How Much is a $50,000 Salary Compared to All Americans?

Household Income Census

This figure represents the median household income for Americans in 2018. This means it accounts for all households with multiple family members or single individuals and the total income brought in by every entity.

If your household has two earners making $50,000 a year, your household income is $100,000. This would place you far above the median household income for all American households in 2018.

Likewise, if your household has one earner making $50,000 a year, you fall below the median income earned per household in the U.S. in 2018.

It’s best to avoid looking at averages when it comes to income because the tails can wildly skew the metric.

Many individuals would have $0 income either because they’re not the right age to be in the workforce (think kids or elderly individuals) or have the inability to join (e.g., on account of disabilities).

Similarly, you’d have individuals like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Wall Street billionaires dramatically throwing off the math behind averages.

Therefore, it’s best to look at median income levels when understanding how you fare against all Americans.

What Types of Jobs Pay $50,000 Per Year?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the following short list of professions appear to offer median pay in the $50,000 range.

Many of them don’t require high levels of education nor have high barriers to entry as they provide on-the-job training.

Further, this list doesn’t capture even higher paying, more in-demand jobs in the tech field. Many of which can pay over $75,000 per year.

OccupationEntry-Level EducationOn-the-Job TrainingProjected Number of New JobsProjected Growth Rate2020 Median Pay
Survey researchersMaster’s degreeNoneDecliningDecline$40,000 to $59,999
Electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologists and techniciansAssociate’s degreeNone0 to 999As fast as average$40,000 to $59,999
Physical therapist assistantsAssociate’s degreeNone10,000 to 49,999Much faster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Crane and tower operatorsHigh school diploma or equivalentModerate-term on-the-job training0 to 999Slower than average$40,000 to $59,999
Property, real estate, and community association managersHigh school diploma or equivalentNone0 to 999Little or no change$40,000 to $59,999
FundraisersBachelor’s degreeNone10,000 to 49,999Much faster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Legal support workers, all otherAssociate’s degreeNoneDecliningDecline$40,000 to $59,999
TapersNo formal educational credentialModerate-term on-the-job trainingDecliningDecline$40,000 to $59,999
Cardiovascular technologists and techniciansAssociate’s degreeNone1,000 to 4,999Faster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Flight attendantsHigh school diploma or equivalentModerate-term on-the-job training10,000 to 49,999Much faster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Plant and system operators, all otherHigh school diploma or equivalentModerate-term on-the-job training0 to 999Little or no change$40,000 to $59,999
Telecommunications line installers and repairersHigh school diploma or equivalentLong-term on-the-job trainingDecliningDecline$40,000 to $59,999
Sales representatives of services, except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travelHigh school diploma or equivalentModerate-term on-the-job training50,000 or moreFaster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Property appraisers and assessorsBachelor’s degreeLong-term on-the-job training1,000 to 4,999As fast as average$40,000 to $59,999
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Is $24.04 a Good Hourly Rate?

This is a living wage. For 2020, if you are a single individual without any dependents, the federal poverty level is $12,760. If you work full-time and earn $24.04 an hour, that means you make $50,000 per year.

Therefore, you earn almost 4x the federal poverty level nationally. Your federal poverty level will vary depending on where you live as each area has a different cost of living.

$50,000 in San Francisco won’t go as far as $50,000 in Des Moines, Iowa. Consider the cost of living for your area before deciding if $24.04 is a good hourly rate.

For most Americans living outside of expensive metropolitan areas, $24.04 is a good hourly rate which can support your living needs.

You might consider developing some high income skills to increase that hourly rate.

You can enroll in in-demand courses on sites like Udacity to develop the most-coveted skills in the economy with their nano-degree programs. The learning platform offers skill workshops, on-demand lessons and the opportunity to get placed at some of the most respected employers today.

Consider enrolling in a nano-degree to learn some useful skills to get ahead and start earning some serious money today.


Is $50,000 a Good Salary?

happy couple financial planning medium

Similar to the question above, answering this question depends on your circumstance, lifestyle and cost of living.

In most metropolitan areas, $50,000 per year is a good salary.

$50,000 in Des Moines may not be enough for your lifestyle while $50,000 in San Francisco will last you all year if you can live within your means and find a suitable living situation that saves you money.

If you don’t have any children or dependents and live alone then $50,000 may be a good salary to support yourself, invest in your retirement and build up a respectable net worth.

$50,000 a Year is How Much an Hour?

An average person works about 40 hours per week, which means if they make $50,000 a year, they earn $24.04 per hour.

This is a living wage in many parts of the country, especially if you’re part of a dual-earner household with both of you earning $50,000 a year.

Learn how to invest with $50,000 a year in income from your main job as well as picking up other side hustles to increase your income further.

The sky is the limit if you can carve out a profitable niche for yourself doing something you love. Who knows, you might even be able to work for yourself and earn more than you did at your main job!

Just keep investing to build your net worth and practicing wealth building habits.

About the Author

Riley Adams is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.