Paid vacation should be a mandatory benefit for all employees. When a company offers paid vacation days, it means you get to take time off work while still earning money. As such, you are perfectly entitled to wonder if you are receiving enough vacation pay or not.
Some employers will be a bit sneaky when assigning paid vacation days to employees, as they know you don’t know what the norm is. So, how many vacation days per year is normal for the average worker? We’ll answer this question, along with many more, in this post.
How many PTO days is normal?
30 days is the average PTO for private industry workers in the USA. Personal days are also included, which tend to be one or two days a year for someone to take off. These days give you time away from work for something other than illness, a vacation, or a national holiday.
PTO stands for paid time off, so it relates to various different ways that you might be given paid leave. For instance, it looks at your paid vacation days, but also the paid holidays that full-time employees are allocated. Furthermore, it takes sick days into account too.
When all of these different elements are added up, most employees will get around 30 days of paid leave, which equates to 6 working weeks – assuming you only work Monday-Friday.
The number of paid leave days you get each year will usually be distributed as follows:
- 10 holiday days
- 10 vacation days
- 2 personal days
- 8 sick days
Remember, these are averages. So, you could receive more or less in each category depending on who you work for or what state you work in. As a good rule of thumb, you should expect 30 days of leave as the bare minimum from your employer. Any less, and they may be taking advantage of you and not giving you a good benefits package that you deserve.
How many vacation days per year is normal?
Typically, US employers will allocate 10 days of paid vacation time per year to each employee. Initially, 10 days per year does not sound that good. However, factor in that most employees only works for five days a week.
How many weeks of vacation is normal?
Two full weeks of vacation is usually considered normal when you look at the labor statistics. The 10 days of paid vacation time will cover two full working weeks for the average employee. Of course, weekends are not included in the paid time off that someone gets. They can still be used as your vacation time, but you don’t work on weekends anyway. So, you’re not losing out on money if your vacation spans two successive weekends.
What do we mean by vacation days?
Some people get paid vacation days and holiday days mixed up. They may seem similar, but holiday days are allocated to national or state holidays that everyone in the organization takes off. Vacation days are optional days you can take off to go on vacation or take a break from work.
How much PTO per year is normal?
On average, people with less than a year of experience will only take 13 days of paid leave per year. Comparatively, employees with over 20 years of experience are likely to take around 26 days of paid leave each year.
Employees that sit in the middle of these two experience levels – between 5-9 years of work experience at a job – take an average of 20 days of paid leave each year.
The number of days spent getting vacation pay per year can vary across different industries. As mentioned earlier, for private industry workers, paid vacation time is handed out based on experience. The more time someone spends with a company, the more vacation time they’re given.
Moreover, we need to start looking at PTO from the perspective of time off that’s actually used. If the average PTO per year is 30 days, how many people will actually use all of it?
What happens to unused paid leave at the end of the year?
If you don’t use all of your PTO, you end up with unused vacation time at the end of the year. It’s important to note that only your vacation time can be unused. Paid holidays are automatically taken off by you and everyone at the organization. Any sick leave is optional, so you can’t ‘unuse’ it.
But, for whatever reason, you may have unused vacation time when the year is up. Now, does this mean that your unused vacation time carries over to next year?
Sadly, it does not. Most states have a use-it-or-lose-it policy in place. Essentially, if you don’t use all of your paid leave by the end of the year, you forfeit it. So, your employer is not entitled to pay it to you as a bonus. This is why it makes sense to take advantage of any time off you get!
Are you getting enough PTO per year?
What constitutes a good amount of paid leave for an employee? As we’ve covered already, you should be looking at around 30 days in total – covering sick pay, holidays, vacations, and personal days off.
15 days of PTO per year is not good at all. You are being sold short when you could be getting way more paid time off. However, it is crucial to understand what an employer means when they assign you your PTO. Do they just mean vacation days, or are they talking about all of your paid time off?
If they’re talking specifically about vacation days, then 10-20 days of paid vacation is very good. You’ll be getting anywhere between two and four weeks off work per year, all of which is paid – and it doesn’t include sickness or holidays!
In conclusion, it is normal to receive around 10 vacation days per year. However, the average PTO for an employee in the US is 30 days, when you include everything else in the package.