Salary Basics

Conducting salary research is essential when exploring careers. Use the information in this free lesson to start exploring salaries.

Calculating your gross income

When you're hired for a job, you're usually told how much you'll be paid per hour, if you're an hourly worker, or how much you'll be paid per year, if you are a salaried worker. These amounts are called your gross income—they're the amount of money you'll earn before income tax is taken out. Here we'll show you how to calculate your gross income per pay period and per year.

To calculate your gross income, you'll need to do some multiplication and division. For a quick math refresher before you start, check out our Math tutorials.

Gross Income Per Pay Period (hourly work)

Let's say you know you make $10 per hour at your retail job. Every week is different, but you tend to work about 15 hours per week on average. If we want to know how much money you earn per biweekly pay period, first we'll multiply the number of hours you work per week by your hourly pay.

$10 × 15 = $150 gross weekly income

Now we'll multiply your gross weekly income by 2 to find out how much money you make per pay period.

$150 × 2 = $300 gross biweekly income

Gross Annual Income (hourly work)

To find out how much money you make annually (per year), we can multiply your gross weekly income by 52, the number of weeks in a year.

$150 × 52 = $7,800 gross annual income

Gross Income Per Pay Period (salaried work)

Let's say you make $26,000 per year. If you get paid biweekly, we can figure out how much you're paid per pay period by dividing your annual pay by 26, which is half the number of weeks per year.

$26,000 ÷ 26 = $1,000 gross biweekly income

If you're paid semi-monthly, or twice per month, we can figure out how much you make per pay period by dividing your annual pay by 24, twice the number of months in the year.

$26,000 ÷ 24 = $1,083.33 gross semi-monthly income