How Much an Hour is $65,000 a Year?

Being offered a job that provides better than minimum wage is exciting, especially if you’re new to the job market. And a salary that has some breathing room is even better.

Some pay rates come down to salary rather than hourly pay, and you may wonder how much $65,000 is hourly. It’s a good amount of money, and many people would be happy with this amount, but what are the particulars?

What about taxes? Is this really enough money to live on? Find the answer to the question: $65,000 a year is how much an hour?

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How Much is $65,000 a Year Hourly in the US?

Wages don’t always have the same impact in every location. For a typical 8 hour day working five days a week and 52 weeks a year, $65,000 per year equals $31.25 an hour.

This is way above minimum wage and is considered pretty decent money in most cases. Still, there are places where this salary will buy you more than other locations.

For this article, I will focus on what this amount is worth in the US.

Is $65,000 a Year a Good Salary?

Generally, $65,000 is a good salary, especially if you have a side income or share your expenses with someone. But if your location is fairly high-cost, it may not be enough.

The cost of living in your location can help you determine this. For example, living in New York City or Los Angeles is a lot more expensive than living in Texas or Oklahoma.

Consider factors like housing – renting, or mortgage costs. Also, think about if food, transportation, and other bills are on the expensive side.

Is $65,000 a Year a Good Salary in California?

This all comes down to where in the city you live in. Suppose you avoid the expensive areas such as the large cities of San Diego, LA, or San Francisco.

If you live in a smaller Californian town, you may live comfortably on $65,000 a year. You just need to choose your location wisely and pick someplace with a lower cost of living.

So, avoid the large cities, but be sure the area offers other things you want. This article discusses some of the good and affordable places to live in this state, including Ventura and Oxnard. 

You can also consider whether or not you are sharing expenses. You may be able to afford to live in a larger city if you have roommates or rent a room from someone, for example. And if you and your spouse combine finances, your combined salaries may be enough to live comfortably.

Last, think about what you need to live comfortably. Are you happy with free activities and cooking at home, or do you like to go out to dinner a lot?

If you can live comfortably without spending a lot on extras, that can impact where you live, as well.

How Much Will My Paycheck Be if I Make $65,000?

Here’s a chart to simplify and break down the amounts you will make per month, biweekly or weekly. You’ll also notice columns for your daily or hourly wage at this rate. It equals out to be a good income overall. 

Monthly Wage$5417
Biweekly Wage$2500
Weekly Wage$1250
Daily Wage$250
Hourly Wage$31.25

$65,000 a Year Is How Much a Month After Taxes?

Maybe you want to see the actual numbers of what you will receive after taxes come out of your paycheck. Unfortunately, this is a challenging question because taxes are a bit different for every person.

It depends on where you live, for starters. Your location and state play a huge role in how much you’ll pay in taxes. Some states have no state income tax, and others have high taxes, affecting what you make. 

Whether or not you have dependents will also make a difference with your tax rate. Dependents may lower your tax rate. If you don’t have any dependents, this will not affect your taxes. 

Multiple other things can affect your tax rate, so it’s best to talk to an accountant in your area about the cost to you per year. This may also help you determine what location to live in.

How Can I Make $65,000 a Year?

This is a good salary for most people, and you may seek to make this amount of money annually. There are many ways to do it. Specific careers may offer you the chance to bring in this salary; let’s look at some examples.

1. High school teacher

You may make more or less than $65,000 a year in this career, but it averages around this amount. If you love education and teaching, this could be a good idea, especially if you want to have holidays and weekends off.

2. Respiratory therapist

Working in healthcare is a great way to make a good salary and a respiratory therapist averages around $65,000. You may also make more than this in some cases.

You can save people’s lives and have the chance to improve their breathing conditions. 

3. Film and Video Editor

If you are creative and love film, you might have a career in video editing. This is another one of those careers where you can make less or quite a bit more depending on various factors.

It’s a chance to make videos look their very best and can be very lucrative. 

4. Web developer

Web developer jobs are a great career for people who want to freelance, work remotely, or even start their own companies.

Depending on various factors, you can make a lot of money with this, possibly a lot higher than $65,000 a year. If you’re great at coding and designing websites, this might be the perfect thing.

5. Accountant

Love numbers? If financial data is easy for you to understand and you’re good at math, this can be a great career.

Becoming an accountant is a fairly steady way to earn a good income. You may have the option to work for yourself or a company based on your preference.

6. Registered nurse

Becoming a registered nurse affords you the chance to help others while also making a good living.

Something that is good about being a nurse is it will probably be easy to find a job, so good career security that way. You may also make more than 65k a year with overtime and doing specialty jobs. 

7. IT Engineer

This job has the potential to make a lot of money – more than $65,000, and it can be a rewarding career. If you are well-versed in technology and are a good problem solver, consider getting some training for this type of job.

8. Ultrasound Technician

If you are interested in medicine, becoming an ultrasound tech is a great way to earn an excellent salary and provide a helpful service for families.

It’s possible to make more than 65k in this career, and you may not even need a four-year degree. 

9. Power Plant Operator

A power plant operator manages equipment that controls electricity. If you enjoy this type of work, it can come with an excellent salary without spending years and years in school. You may not need a college education, either.

10. Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs that run their own businesses always have the potential to make a lot of money or a little. Depending on what their company does, they can easily make $65,000 a year.

The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that you don’t need specific education requirements. The salary options are basically limitless.

The challenging thing is that it is hard work and many businesses fail, so be prepared to put in a lot of effort. It’s also not a job where you’ll immediately start earning money so it’s best if you have money saved to live off of before jumping in. Or you can start your business in your free time while still working your other job.

11. Dental Hygienist

This is an excellent medical field to get into that can afford you a salary of $65,000 a year or more. It does require a two-year education, and you will need to be licensed, but this can all be worth it for this lucrative career. 

Tools for Living on $65,000 a Year

Living on 65k a year is entirely possible in many locations, and usually, you can live quite comfortably. But of course, there are places where $65,000 would not be enough money if the area you live in is costly.

Here’s how to make the most of 65k a year and how to be ready for expenses and savings.

Use a budget

First, you need to use a budget. Creating a monthly or bi-weekly budget isn’t hard, and checking in daily to make sure you’re on track will help you stick with your financial choices.

Living on 65k without a budget means you may easily run out of money. But getting organized and budgeting this amount will help you pay your bills and be prepared for non-monthly expenses and likely still have quite a bit leftover.

You’ll be able to pay for costs, spend, and save successfully when using a budget.

There are a lot of ways to make a budget, and some people prefer to just use a spreadsheet to track expenses. A simple and convenient way to budget is by using a budget planner.

Most of them have pre-labeled monthly budgeting worksheets and prompts to help you set goals and keep track of your expenses.

Plan ahead

If there’s something you want to buy in the future, or you are saving up an emergency fund, or have some other reason for needing a large amount of money, you should plan ahead.

$65,000 will probably give you plenty of income to pay bills, and you can put away some money each month or week for higher costs that are annual or semi-annual. Just be prepared, and you should have no problem having enough money.

Related: Emergency Fund vs Savings – What’s the Difference?

Work extra or use side income to save up for large expenses or goals

While a $65,000 annual salary will very likely take care of all of your basic needs and some wants, if you have a large purchase or savings goal, such as a down payment for a house or early retirement, consider making more money specifically for that.

If you begin working more hours or take on a side hustle, everything you make can be put towards your savings. You won’t have to change your spending, budget, or lifestyle at all, and you can still meet all of your financial goals.

Some savings objectives may take only a few months or a year to gather enough funds. Others that are larger could take longer, such as 3-5 years. Don’t get discouraged, and be willing to keep working and saving for what is important to you.

$65,000 a Year is $31.25 an Hour

$65,000 a year is an excellent annual salary in most cases. It breaks down to $31.25 per hour if you work a typical 40 hour week and work 52 weeks a year. This is the before-tax amount, and your taxes will vary based on many factors. 

$31.25 an hour is an excellent wage and well above the poverty level in the US. It is also pretty far above minimum wage.

Many careers will make you this amount of money or more, and some don’t even require higher education. Earning $65,000 a year is a great thing to aspire to, and it is very achievable for most.

If you just began working and make this amount, it’s a good place to start. This is still a decent salary if you’ve been working for many years, but you should work towards pay raises and promotions.

Overall, 65k annually is a very good living wage. You should be able to live well with this amount and enjoy your life. 

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Want somewhere to track your money across all accounts?  Grab this free financial dashboard to track your savings, retirement, net worth, and more!

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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