How to Figure PTO

by Karen Rogers, Demand Media

PTO lets you take time off from your job and still get paid for the hours. Paid time off is a benefit many employers provide to reward employees for their loyalty and to attract new hires. PTO replaces traditional vacation and sick time, which have to be tracked separately. Your employer is responsible for making sure that your PTO time is accurately calculated and credited to your account. You can figure out your PTO hours and their dollar value to make sure your employer’s calculations are correct.

Step 1

Determine how many days of PTO you are granted each year. The accumulation rate usually depends on your years of service and your position with the company. Check the employee handbook or ask your supervisor if you aren't sure how many days your company offers.

Step 2

Multiply the number of PTO days for the year by the hours in your employer’s standard workday. If you follow a 40-hour, five-day workweek, each PTO day is worth eight hours. Divide the total number of hours by 12 to figure out how many PTO hours you earn for each month worked.

Step 3

Calculate the dollar value of your PTO account by multiplying the number of hours you have accumulated by your current pay rate. For example, if you have two PTO days in your account, multiply two days by eight hours to find that you have 16 paid hours available. If you earn $10 per hour, multiply 16 hours by $10 to get your account value of $160.

Step 4

Save your PTO time for your regular vacations, family emergencies or illness. Track the hours that you use so you always know how much time you have available for the rest of the year. Don’t mismanage your PTO or drain your account. If you run out of PTO, you may have to take unpaid time off if you get too sick to go to work.

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  • Bring any discrepancy to your employer's attention to correct your PTO balance.


  • Don't go into work sick just to keep from using your PTO.

About the Author

Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.

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