Average Working Week by Industry

51.4: that’s the average number of hours worked per week by recent MBA graduates, according to data from the RelishCareers platform. But how does that number, aggregated from thousands of MBA alumni working at hundreds of firms, vary by industry? We took a deeper look at the data to help shed some light on that question.

First, we ranked popular industries for business students by their mean weekly hours. While we may be missing a few of your favorites, we only included the industries that we had a significant amount of data on in order to make this list as accurate as possible.

Furthermore, we analyzed several of the well-known companies within a few of these industries to give better insight into whose work culture attempts to stay near the optimal 40-hour work week versus whose employees spend the most time in the office.

Technology (Position: 9 | Overall Mean Hours: 50.05 | Overall Median Hours: 50.00)

Based on our data, Technology, Internet, and E-commerce MBAs clock in a high number of hours given that the industry makes it into the top 10. Looking at four of the big five technology companies (Amazon, Apple,  Facebook, Google, and Microsoft), two of them have a median 50 weekly hours (Amazon and Google) while the other two (Apple and Microsoft) have a median 45 weekly hours. 

Several other big software and technology companies have a median between 40-45 weekly hours. Intel and Adobe particularly stand out with having the maximum weekly hours clocked at 60.

Healthcare (Pharma, Medical Devices, & BiotechPosition: 20 | Overall Mean Hours: 47.98 | Overall Median Hours: 45.00 ; Hospitals, Medicine, & Healthcare Services Position: 22 | Overall Mean Hours: 47.80 | Overall Median Hours: 45.00)

In Healthcare, Pharma and Biotechnology appears to have a slightly higher average number of hours for MBAs than their Healthcare Services counterparts. Still, we found that several big companies such as CVS Health had 75% of our MBAs working at least 45 hours per week. DaVita Healthcare Partners trails closely with 50% of our MBAs at the company working 45 hours or more. Johnson & Johnson meets the same median hours of 45 as the aforementioned companies, while Medtronic is higher at 50 hours. Genentech, however, matches the norm of 40 hours per week.

Consulting (Position: 3 | Overall Mean Hours: 57.89 | Overall Median Hours: 60.0)

Consulting at the MBB firms is usually associated with a high number of weekly hours, as reflected in our plot below. In this case, McKinsey & Company takes the cake with a median 70 hours and maximum of 90 hours.

While the big 4 accounting firms still clock in a significant number of hours with a median of 55 hours across the board, they appear to work a few less hours than the MBB firms.

To explore consulting firms more in detail, check out our top consulting firms blog post, where we include details on hourly wage, percentage travel, and more.

Consumer Products (Position:  15 | Overall Mean Hours: 48.71 | Overall Median Hours: 50.00)

For Consumer Products, weekly hours appear to vary widely by company. Out of the four companies plotted below, General Mills has the lowest number of hours while Kraft Heinz has the highest.

Investment Banking (Position: 1 | Overall Mean Hours: 72.10 | Overall Median Hours: 75.00)

Investment Banking is typically associated with high hours and unsurprisingly found it at the top of our list in terms of hours. The almost three hour difference in mean and median hours is largely explained by the variation in hours by position (Associate, Associate Vice President, Vice President, etc) and by company as seen below. While Credit Suisse and Barclays have the highest median hours with 80 and 75 respectively, Bank of America associates still achieve a median 50—an extra 10 hours on top of the desired 40 hours. These companies also have the largest variation in number of hours, since associates can have as few as 35 weekly hours and as high as 120.

Are you interested in learning more about post-MBA work life? Continue checking out the RelishCareers Blog, where we will continue posting information about employers and work culture.  Candidates can also sign up for an account through RelishCareers and registrants will be informed of all upcoming blog posts through email. 

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