What you pay an employee and what you charge for that employee's labor are two different things. It seems obvious, but many remodeling contractors lose money on every job because they are not covering all of the costs associated with maintaining employees.

This calculator is designed to help you figure out how much an employee costs over and above the hourly wages or salary they are paid. To use it, answer each question as accurately as you can -- bad data can lead to inaccurate results.

Conversions. Be sure to convert your figures when necessary -- for example, the calculator may ask for hours of vacation when you keep track of vacation days. Make the appropriate conversion to avoid mistakes.

Help. If you're not sure what's being asked, click the "help" (?) icon and read the instructions. Where an expense does not apply, leave the input field blank. If you know you have some expense for a particular item, but you're not sure how much, it is generally better to make a reasonable guess, because leaving the field blank will result in a labor burden result that is lower than it should be.

Advanced settings. Some calculations are based on data in the "Advanced Settings" that state or Federal agencies change from time to time. We will update the FICA field regularly, but you may have to adjust the FUTA and SUTA field to match your state's regulations.

Troubleshooting. If your results seem out of whack, make sure you have entered the proper units, whether it is hours or days, dollars or a percentage. A small error can have a dramatic effect on your results.