Here's How Many Years You'll Spend at Work in Your Lifetime

Architect working late


Gina Belli via PayScale
Gina Belli via PayScale
May 22, 2024 at 3:1AM UTC
People only spend 328 days socializing with friends, on average, over the course of a lifetime. However, the average person spends 13 years and two months at work, according to one analysis from HuffPost Australia.
If that seems startling, hang on to your hat. Here are a few other lifetime work statistics that you should know:

How many times will you change jobs?

These days, people changes jobs about 10 to 15 times over the course of their career. On average, workers go through 12 job changes during a lifetime.

How much more do men earn? 

The gender pay gap has a major impact on lifetime earnings. Based on the current wage gap, women earn, on average, $403,440 less over the course of their lives than their male peers, according to the National Women’s Law Center. For black women, the losses are $867,920 on average. Latina women lose $1,056,120 because of the wage gap.

Will you really earn more if you go to college? 

Yes. There is a significant correlation between education and lifetime earnings. Men with bachelor’s degrees earn roughly $900,000 more over the course of their careers than high school graduates. Women with bachelor’s degrees earn $630,000 more.
Those with graduate degrees earn even more: $1.1 million more for women and $1.5 million more for men.

How much time will you spend working? 

On average, people now spend approximately 13 years and two months of their lives at work. If you often put in overtime, you can factor in an additional year and two months. The average worker spends nearly a quarter of their time on the job during a typical 50-year stint of employment.

How much time will you spend working from home? 

These days, thanks to email and other technologies, workers often feel pressured to stay connected to their jobs even when they’re at home. A Canadian survey found that workers, on average, spend 5.3 hours a week checking work emails from home. Thirty percent of the time, work emails aren’t urgent or important, according to the same survey.
The amount of time workers put in at home varies significantly by industry. But, workers from the marketing and advertising industry have been found to invest the most time. According to a recent report, they spend 6.3 hours per week.

How long do most people stay at a job? 

Workers spend, on average, 4.2 years working at a job before moving on. Workers in management, professional and other related occupations had the highest tenure: 5.0 years. Folks who work in service occupations had the lowest average tenure at just 2.9 years.
This article originally appeared in PayScale.

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