How Much Per Hour is $50,000 a Year?

woman holding money that she earned from her $50,000 per year salary at $24.04 an hour

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For many people, $50,000 is a lot of money. You can do quite a bit with it, and earning $50,000 in a year means in many areas of the country, you’re doing pretty well.

There are many things to consider, and you’ll have to adjust your lifestyle to ensure that you live comfortably with that type of salary. That means adjusting your budget to live within your means while also ensuring you prepare for a better financial future.

According to statistics, $50,000 is above the median, but many places don't quite follow that median. To make things easier for you, we need to look at that value objectively.

In this article, we’ll discuss how much $50,000 per year is when converted to an hourly wage and answer various questions about what it means to earn $50,000 in a year.

$50,000 Per Year is How Much an Hour?

How much you make per hour will depend on the amount of hours and the number of weeks you work per year. If you work 40 hours per week, you will make roughly $24.04 an hour.

This will, of course, vary based on your job. For example, if you have unpaid vacation time, $50,000 may be $25 an hour or more. Your hourly wages will also increase if you have a part-time job. If you work 30 hours a week at $50,000 per year, you will make around $32.05 per hour.

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How Much Per Month is $50,000 Per Year?

Earning $50,000 a year means having an average monthly salary of around $4,167 per month. There are many types of jobs that can provide that level of pay from design jobs, to executive roles. On average, you’ll be at a managerial level or higher in many industries be paid this much. Other roles include:

  • Low level software engineering
  • Web developer
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Registered Nurse
  • Real Estate Appraiser

There are many more roles that pay around $50,000 that aren’t managerial as well.

How Much Biweekly is $50,000 Per Year?

Having a $50,000 per-year annual salary on a pay schedule means you are getting at least $1923 every paycheck if you get paid biweekly. Having frequent income within a month can be beneficial, as it leaves less chance of you having little to no money in your reserves. 

Being paid biweekly can help you budget better as you won’t have to go an entire month without getting paid again. Check out our guide on how to create a budget.

Is $50,000 a Good Salary?

This isn’t a simple question to answer since there is no straightforward yes or no. It depends on several factors and how you fall into each of them.


The first thing you need to consider is your location. If you live in one of the more expensive locations in the U.S., then $50,000 can be too little. If you live in California, which has some of the most expensive costs, you’ll find that you can drain that monthly salary quickly if you’re not careful. The same is true for other major cities such as New York City and LA.

Other places you should be wary about are Hawaii and Alaska. While they may seem low-key compared to Cali or New York, they’re expensive to live in. The reason is that they aren’t close to commerce, making it hard for it to bring goods there. Businesses have to pay extra, meaning you also have to spend more to get the same service available elsewhere.

Compare that to living in less popular areas. Places like Michigan or Oklahoma may not be as bustling, but they make up for it with better prices. You could be renting a large property for the same price as a small apartment in New York City. The difference can be massive, leading many people to live in these states where costs and taxes are lower.

Likewise, if you live in a more rural area, $50,000 can be an excellent salary to live off of, as expenses such as rent and home prices will be significantly lower.

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Cost of Living

Let’s break down the details of the usual costs of living that people have. That way, you’ll understand how to adjust the $50,000 to fit your lifestyle.

  • Rent: Rent takes a large chunk out of your monthly income. The rule of thumb is to spend 30% of your monthly income on rent at most. That means around $1250 for your place. Depending on the location, it can be either modest or luxurious.
  • Subscriptions: Most people’s expenses today are in the form of monthly subscriptions. It’s popular because businesses earn a steady stream of money, and one can easily forget what they’re paying in a month. Things like the gym, streaming services, and apps can be taking away from your extra cash.
  • Bills: Bills come close to rent and may exceed it for some. One of the factors that influence your bills is credit card debt. It can be easy to get into the habit of spending money you don’t have, and you’ll pay for that each month in the form of compound interest.
  • Non-Negotiables: Costs like transportation, insurance, and clothing are unavoidable. You need to pay them to avoid any issues on your end. The good news is that there is always a way to cut down on costs for each. As an example, think twice before spending your money on designer clothing you might not need.
  • Food: On average, a person can spend around 10-15% of their salary on food. It covers both groceries and dining out. There are ways to cut down on these costs by creating a budget and choosing more affordable options.
  • Entertainment: Entertainment is sometimes a necessary cost. It helps keep us happy and motivated. Whether you’re out for the nightlife or you’re a movie buff, entertainment usually takes around 5% of your monthly income. Some may spend more, so you may need to dial back on it if you’re overdoing it.

What Jobs Pay $50,000 Per Year?

While $50,000 is above the median income, there several jobs and career paths out there where you can earn $50,000 per year or more, even at entry level. Aside from the careers that we listed above, here are some more where you can earn $50,000 per year.

  • Truck Driver: Hauling items over long distances pays well. You’ll need to be able to stay vigilant by keeping a record of your truck. If you don’t mind being by yourself and driving for many hours at a time, this could be a path for you.
  • Construction Superintendent: If you have experience in construction, taking this roles pays well. However, you’ll need to be interacting with clients more. You’ll also have to be knowledgeable about construction and its applications.
  • Loan Officer: Those with finance degrees may want to get into the loan industry. It’s very profitable, and it shows how much they pay their officers. You’ll need to have a deep understanding of your company’s products and present them to customers.
  • Executive Assistant: With enough experience, you can get over $50,000 a year serving in this position. You’ll need to be flexible with your duties as you’ll be doing many things depending on who you work for. That means handling itineraries, talking with clients, doing phone and email support, and more.
  • Police Officer: It is a demanding job that pays well. You’ll need to complete training and have an associate’s degree in criminal justice. It can be a rewarding job for those who want to be more involved in keeping the peace.
  • Business Analyst: Analysts are always in high demand through the job requires that you have a degree in the field you want to work in. You’ll conduct many tests and connect with other businesses. Most of the time, you’ll be responsible for data gathering and analysis.

These are only the tip of the iceberg. Many other jobs pay above $50,000 a year, and some need minimum investment. For others, you may be in a good position depending on your past education.

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Can I Invest While Making $50,000 In a Year?

A little cash left after your monthly costs shouldn’t deter you from investing. Doing this as early as possible can set you up for financial freedom or ensure your retirement. It was nearly impossible to get into investments without capital in the past. Today, technology and emerging markets have made it easier than before.

There are so many options available, and you don’t need to talk to third parties. You can set a budget, like a portion of your salary for investments. What you invest in depends on your goals and your risk tolerance. Here are some ways you can go about it.

  •  Invest in a retirement plan: Setting up for retirement is as easy as having monthly contributions taken away from your income. You can talk to your employer so you can begin contributions to an IRA. Alternatively, you can set it up and make contributions on your own.
  • Robo-advisors: These advisors allow you to make smart investments without hiring a human advisor, and they are effective in what they do. They also come at a low cost, and you don’t need much money to start. You can research the advisor before investing. M1 Finance is our recommended place to invest with Robo-advisors.
  • Stocks: Stocks are one of the most reliable investments, and many consider them foundational to finances. You can buy and hold stocks of a well-known company you like. Alternatively, you could take in more risk by investing in up-and-coming companies.
  • Index funds: Index funds are primarily for those who are looking for a steady gain over time that will see fewer highs and fewer lows. You’ll own an entire index of the market, which means your returns will follow the market more closely. 
  • Real estate: Real estate can be the most expensive out of all investments, but there is a way to get in with little money. Crowdfunding is a popular option, and fractional shares are also becoming popular. Check out Fundrise to get started with crowdfunded real estate with as little as $10. You’ll also get 90 days’ worth of fees waived when you sign up with our link – Fundrise charges 1% per year in management fees.
  •  Alternative investments: From collectibles to cryptocurrency, there are many types of investments out there. Most of them have medium to high risk but can have a lot of potential with rewards. These markets often reward those who spend more time learning about their intricacies or are early adopters. If you’re interested in cryptocurrency, check out Coinbase.

How Much is $50,000 a Year After Taxes?

$50,000 a year after taxes varies on where you live. Using a calculator found at Talent.com, we looked at what a $50,000 per year salary is in New York after taxes and found the following information:

  • Federal income tax paid: $4,295
  • State income tax paid: $2,308
  • Social Security: $3,100
  • Medicare: $725
  • SDI: $31.20
  • FLI: $256

Total taxes paid: $10,714

Total after-tax salary: $39,286*

*Note that this after-tax salary makes some assumptions on marital status and current tax code in New York and may vary year to year and with different family situations.

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Is $50,000 a Year Middle Class?

$50,000 a year is middle class and generally isn’t enough to live in luxury in most areas. To be in the upper class means that you can buy what you want while having much to spare. 

The average middle class salary range is considered to be between $25,000 and $100,000 a year, according to Good Financial Cents.

In some areas of the country, you’ll need more money to feel middle class, such as in big cities like New York, San Francisco, L.A., Boston, and similar.

How to Live Off of $50,000 Per Year?

$50,000 is a great salary by many standards for a typical American, but depending where you live will depend on how you use it to get by. Having a sound financial plan will help you get a clear picture of what you can and can’t afford. 

Here are some things you can do if $50,000 per year is not enough for you to live off of.

  •  Downsize: Moving to a lower-cost state or living in a cheaper place may be the right move.
  •  Cut costs on essentials: There are many ways to lower costs. We cover 40+ ways in this article.
  •  Don’t skip your investments: If you want to have some extra money as well as improve your finances in the future, investments are a great way to do this.

Wrapping It Up

$50,000 a year is a good benchmark salary. For most, it fits comfortably in the middle class range, and you can get by with it. Depending on your state, you may have to pay more on daily expenses and taxes, meaning there is always room for improvement.

With good financial habits and strategies in place, though, you’ll be able to secure your financial future and make the most of your annual salary.

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