How Much PTO is Normal for Your Industry?


We want PTO, and we want it now!

The results are in: Americans are tired of being overworked. A study of 600 small business employees revealed that PTO is highly-valued over dental/vision coverage and 401K plans. Why is this? Maybe it's just another reality of a post-pandemic society, or maybe it's a long overdue policy. 

The bottom line? PTO is what employees want from their employers. If you wonder how the rest of America is incorporating PTO into their workplaces, you’ve come to the right place. 

Average PTO in the U.S.

If you have worked at the same company for at least one year, you are eligible for 10 days of PTO. Technically, the average number of PTO days in America is 9.7 days, not including sick days or paid holidays. However, PTO can depend on your industry, region, and age across America. 

Average PTO by Industry

Each industry is as unique as the individuals who work there. For example, in the non-profit/foundation industry, the average number of PTO days is 17.5. The marketing industry, on the other hand, averages 0.0 days.


17.5 days

Government/ Military

17.3 days

Engineering/ Architecture

11.4 days

Food Service/ Hospitality/ Travel 

6.9 days


2.0 days

Marketing/ Market Research/ PR

0.0 days


Where You Live Really Does Matter

Where you live in the U.S. can influence the average number of PTO days you may receive. The Northeast tends to be more charitable, whereas the Midwest and Southeast aren’t as lenient. 

Northeast (Maine, New York, etc.)

11.4 days

Southwest (Texas, Arizona, etc.)

10.3 days

West (California, Colorado, etc.)

9.4 days

Midwest (Kansas, Michigan, etc.)

8.5 days

Southeast (Georgia, Virginia, etc.)

8.5 days

Wait, My Age Can Influence My PTO Too?

If your industry and where you live aren’t enough, your age can contribute to the number of days you receive. Older adults tend to have more PTO days than younger adults, given their time and experience.

18-24 years old

6.2 days

35-44 years old

9.5 days

65 years +

13.0 days

PTO by Service Requirements

PTO can also depend on service requirements–or in other words, the length of service. For example, if you just finished 90 days at a company, your PTO will be less than a colleague who has just hit their one-year mark. In 2021, it was reported that workers received 10-14 days of PTO after one year at a company. For those who had been at a company for 10 years, 33% received 15-19 days of PTO in a year. 

Get the PTO You Deserve

Compared to other advanced economies worldwide, America is notorious for being the only nation where PTO isn’t a guarantee. With this reputation, U.S. companies are more adamant about incorporating a PTO policy within the workplace. However, our job is to ensure we receive the PTO days we deserve based on our industry, region, age, and years of service. Don’t wait till next summer–go ahead and take the break you’ve been waiting all year for! 

Download our ebook to learn if the amount of PTO you have aligns with industry standards. Download Now

Published on Aug 19, 2022 by Marketing

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Discover The Real Story Behind Unlimited PTO 

Unlimited PTO might not be as amazing as many HR executives make it out to be. Find out more with this research report conducted by Lighthouse Research and Advisory.