Time Card Calculator
Calculate your daily and weekly hours and generate a time card report using the calculator below.
Time Card Report:
|Day||Start Time||End Time||Break||Total Hours|
On this page:
- How to Calculate Hours for a Time Card
- Step One: Convert the Start and End Times to 24-hour Time
- Step Two: Convert the Times to Decimal
- Step Three: Subtract the Start Time from the End Time
- Step Four: Subtract Breaks from the Hours at Work
- Step Five: Add the Time Worked Each Day
- How to Use a Time Sheet
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Calculate Hours for a Time Card
A time card or time sheet is the method by which employers record the total hours worked during a given period for employees.
Any employee who is not exempt (typically hourly wage employees) is required to complete a time sheet per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This ensures that employees are paid accurately for their time and helps employers measure productivity and efficiency.
You can calculate the number of hours for a time card using the five-step process outlined below. Of course, you can also use a time card calculator like the one above to make the process much easier.
You can calculate the total hours worked in a week by following five simple steps.
Step One: Convert the Start and End Times to 24-hour Time
The first step is to convert the starting and ending times to 24-hour time, or military time. This allows you to subtract the start time from the end time in the third step.
For example, if you work from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, convert 5:00 pm to 24-hour time, which is 17:00. To convert the starting and ending times to 24-hour time, morning hours will always stay the same, and you will add 12 if the time is in the afternoon (1:00 pm to 11:59 pm).
Step Two: Convert the Times to Decimal
Next, you’ll need to convert the times to a decimal. 9:00 becomes 9.0, and 17:00 becomes 17.0.
Simple enough. But what if you end at 5:30 pm (17:30 in 24-hour time) or begin at 8:45 am? In this case, you would take the number after the colon (or take the minutes) and divide by 60.
For example, 17:30 is the same as 17 and 30/60. You can reduce the fraction to change the number to 17.5. For 8:45 am, we would rewrite it as 8 and 45/60. This becomes 8.75 after the fraction is reduced.
Step Three: Subtract the Start Time from the End Time
The third step is to subtract the start time from the end time. If you work from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (17:00), you would subtract 8.5 from 17.0, which equals 8.5 hours.
This isn’t necessarily the number of hours you worked in a day. This amount is just the number of hours you were at work because it might include any unpaid breaks you took; we’ll account for those next.
Step Four: Subtract Breaks from the Hours at Work
The next step is to subtract any unpaid breaks you took during the day. This is only necessary for unpaid breaks or to subtract breaks from billable project time.
For example, if you take one half-hour break for lunch and two 15-minute breaks, then you can subtract one hour from the total time worked.
Each employer varies in the breaks that are paid or unpaid to employees. Be sure to check with your employer to understand which breaks must be entered into your time card.
Step Five: Add the Time Worked Each Day
The final step to calculating the number of hours worked in a week is to add together the number of hours worked each day during the week.
Of course, you could use our work hours calculator to do this, but the math is pretty simple.
For example, let’s calculate the hours an employee worked throughout the week given the following time card entries:
- Monday: 8:00 am through 5:15 pm with a 1-hour break
- Tuesday: 8:00 am through 6:30 pm with a 1 and a half hour break
- Wednesday: 8:00 am through 5:00 pm with a 1-hour break
- Thursday: 7:45 am through 5:00 pm with a 1-hour break
- Friday: 8:00 am through 4:30 pm with a 1-hour break
Step 1: convert the start and end times to 24-hour time.
- Monday: 8:00 through 17:15
- Tuesday: 8:00 through 18:30
- Wednesday: 8:00 through 17:00
- Thursday: 7:45 through 17:00
- Friday: 8:00 through 16:30
Step 2: convert the times to a decimal.
- Monday: 8 and 17.25
- Tuesday: 8 and 18.5
- Wednesday: 8 and 17
- Thursday: 7.75 and 17
- Friday: 8 and 16.5
Step 3: subtract the times for each day.
- Monday: 17.25 – 8 = 9.25
- Tuesday: 18.5 – 8 = 10.5
- Wednesday: 17 – 8 = 9
- Thursday: 17 – 7.75 = 9.25
- Friday: 16.5 – 8 = 8.5
Step 4: subtract the breaks.
- Monday: 9.25 – 1 = 8.25
- Tuesday: 10.5 – 1.5 = 9
- Wednesday: 9 – 1 = 8
- Thursday: 9.25 – 1 = 8.25
- Friday: 8.5 – 1 = 7.5
Step 5: add these amounts together to arrive at 41 total hours worked in the week.
8.25 + 9 + 8 + 8.25 + 7.5 = 41
Since 40 hours is the standard workweek, any time above that is considered overtime. Therefore, you worked 1 hour of overtime and should be compensated accordingly if you are eligible for overtime pay.
How to Use a Time Sheet
Using a time sheet or time card is a pretty straightforward process. A time sheet will often have the start and end times on it where you enter the time you started work and the time you ended work.
Some time sheets have multiple entries to track portions of work throughout the day, for instance, to track billable time for clients or the time worked on specific projects during the day.
Time sheets also usually have a notes section to notate details about the work done or any items that caused a time sheet to be unusual.
To use a time sheet, enter the start and end times in each field, and the software will track the time allocated for each entry.
Often times, time sheets track hours for a single week, and multiple are then added together for biweekly paychecks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a time card, time sheet, and time clock?
While these three terms may be used interchangeably, there is a difference between them. A time card is a ticket that employees have that tracks the amount of time worked.
They insert the time card into a time clock, and the time clock stamps the card with the current time to note whether the employee is beginning work or “clocking out.” This process has been used historically prior to the invention of the technology we have today.
Employees enter their time on a time sheet instead of using a time clock to stamp it. They can also enter the specific work they did during that time.
A time sheet can be paper where the employee writes in the time or an app or software where they note the time digitally. Paper time sheets are harder to track and leave room for error, so most employers use digital tracking.
The method for tracking employee time has advanced over the years. And although some employers may use time cards and a time clock, other employers use advanced technology like fingerprint and retinal scans for employees to clock in and out.
Why do I have to complete a time sheet?
Time sheets ensure that an employee is compensated accurately for their work. They also help track employee efficiency and measure total project costs or billable time.
When does a time sheet need to be completed?
Each employer varies in their time sheet requirements, but may require an employee to submit their time sheet daily or at the end of the week. It’s generally a good idea to complete your time sheet daily while your start and end times are fresh in your mind.
How should I handle bathroom breaks on my time sheet?
Whether an employee is paid for bathroom breaks is dependent on each employer, however, per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), breaks under 20 minutes are counted as hours worked and do require payment. You should check with your employer on whether bathroom breaks need to be entered on your time sheet.
Does my employer have to approve my time sheet?
Many employers require an employee’s immediate supervisor or manager to review and approve their time sheet. This ensures that an employee’s hours are being tracked accurately.
Overall, it’s important to understand how to complete a time sheet or time card so that you are paid accurately for your work and any overtime hours that you may work.
- U.S. Department of Labor, Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/21-flsa-recordkeeping
- U.S. Department of Labor, Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/22-flsa-hours-worked