How Much Amazon PTO Do You Get? And Is it Enough?

Lars Lofgren Avatar
Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported, which means we earn commissions from links on HR Advice. Commissions do not affect our editorial evaluations or opinions.

Full-time salaried employees get 16 PTO days in the first year and 21 days in the second year. So a little over 4 weeks in the second year.

Part-time hourly employees at Amazon get about 1 week of PTO in their first year, then it gradually increases to 2 weeks in their 7th year of employment.

But I’m drastically simplifying things.

Amazon’s PTO policy is confusing, you’re not alone. Here’s what makes it complicated:

  • There’s vacation time and personal time. And they accrue at different rates. To get your full PTO amount, you need to combine them.
  • Part-time, reduced-time, and full-time folks all earn PTO at different rates.
  • There are different PTO rates for hourly and salaried employees.
  • Employees earn more PTO with every additional year of employment. Hourly employees get more PTO every year, salaried employees only get more PTO on years 2 and 7.
  • There’s a different set of PTO rates for employees in California.
  • If you work outside the United States, everything is different.

To figure out your PTO, you need to look up your employee status across multiple PTO grids and then add up all the totals. I wish I was joking.

If you want to skip all that, you can use these simple rules for PTO at Amazon to get a rough idea of how much PTO you can take:

  • Full-time salaried employees get about 3-4 weeks of PTO. Then an extra week in year 7.
  • Full-time hourly employees get about 2 weeks in the first year, then this gradually increases to 4 weeks by year 7.
  • Part-time salaried employees get about 1.5 weeks of PTO. Then an extra week in year 7.
  • Part-time hourly employees start with about 1 week of PTO, this gradually increases to two weeks by year 7.
  • If you’re a reduced time employee (30-39 hrs/week), your PTO is about halfway between part-time and full-time.

Which PTO System Does Amazon Have?

Amazon uses an accrual PTO system. As you work, you slowly gain PTO hours that you can use as you like.

Most companies will set up their accrual PTO systems so that a full-time salaried employee earns 2-3 weeks of vacation per year. This is exactly what Amazon does.

Part time and hourly employees earn different amounts. The exact PTO breakdowns are here

How Much PTO Does Amazon Offer?

Amazon offers this amount of PTO for salaried full-time employees:

  • First year of employment – 10 days (80 hours)
  • After one year of employment – 15 days (120 hours)
  • After 6 years of employment – 20 days (160 hours)

Amazon calls this their vacation time.

On top of that, you’ll also receive 6 days of “personal time” each year.

Many companies treat vacation, sick days, and personal days in a single “PTO bucket.” So if you want to accurately compare PTO benefits, you need to combine them.

Here’s how many total days of paid leave (vacation and personal days) you get per year at Amazon as a salaried employee:

  • First year of employment – 16 days
  • After one year of employment – 21 days
  • After 6 years of employment – 26 days

Amazon doesn’t have a separate “sick day” bucket, you can use any of these days as sick days.

You Get Different PTO if You’re in California

To make all this more complicated, Amazon has a separate PTO policy for employees based in California.

Here’s the vacation bucket for a full-time, salaried employee:

  • First year of employment – 15 days (120 hours)
  • After one year of employment – 20 days (160 hours)
  • After 6 years of employment – 25 days (200 hours)

At first, it looks like employees in California get an extra 5 days of vacation per year. But hold on, we need to compare the entire PTO bucket.

California employees don’t get personal days. But they do get 3 “floating holidays” per year. These are typically days that employees can choose for their own holidays, often religious days that are important to them.

If we add in the floating holidays, we get these totals for salaried employees in California:

  • First year of employment – 18 days
  • After one year of employment – 23 days
  • After 6 years of employment – 28 days

In other words, employees in California get an extra 2 days of PTO per year.

Amazon’s PTO Confusion

A little googling and it’s pretty obvious that employees at Amazon have no idea how much PTO they make. Check out this post on Reddit:

HR had no idea how much PTO this person was accruing.

And it’s obvious that confusion around PTO is rampant. Tons of folks are asking and no one seems to have a consistent answer.

I live in Seattle. And I happen to know a ton of folks that work at Amazon. So I asked around, what does the PTO system look like?

No one could give me a straight answer, they had no idea. People know that they accrue vacation but no one could tell me what the caps were, how fast they accrued, and how it all worked. All they really know is they get a few weeks per year. As far as I can tell, people take a couple of weeks off and no one actually worries about the accrual system.

If you’re joining Amazon, the real answer is to expect a few weeks off per year. Also expect lots of confusion around the specifics.

Other Amazon Benefits and Paid Leave

Amazon observes seven paid holidays a year in the US:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day 

But another win for California employees: they get an extra 2 paid holidays per year. So the folks in California get 4 extra days of paid leave in total (2 extra paid holidays and 2 extra days of PTO).

Amazon also offers parental leave to eligible employees. Birthing mothers can take up to 20 weeks of maternity leave and can take up to four weeks of leave before the baby is born. The company also offers six weeks of paternity leave and six weeks of parental leave for adopting or foster parents. 

There’s a full list of benefits in Amazon’s Benefits Overview.

Amazon’s International PTO Policy

Since each country has different labor laws, Amazon’s PTO policies change depending on the country. Below are a few of its international PTO policies:

Amazon Canada PTO 

Amazon Canada offers employees two weeks of paid vacation in their first year, which increases to three weeks in the second year. Like in the US, employees must accrue PTO rather than having it available at the beginning of the year. 

Employees can use their PTO days for vacation, illness, or personal time off. Amazon Canada also offers up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave for eligible employees. 

Amazon UK PTO 

Amazon UK offers up to five weeks of paid time off annually, including bank holidays. Amazon UK also offers parental leave depending on tenure. Eligible birthing mothers may receive up to 20 weeks of paid leave, while adoptive parents receive up to six weeks of paid parental leave. 

Again, Amazon implements a PTO bank. Employees can use the five PTO weeks for personal time, illness, or vacation. This policy is also similar across the European Union (EU). 

Amazon Australia PTO

Amazon Australia offers four weeks of standard paid annual leave. However, employees can accrue more paid vacation time depending on the employee classification and years of service. The company also offers ten days of sick leave per year. 

Amazon Australia also offers six weeks of paid parental leave to eligible employees. This PTO is standard for most Australian companies and meets the minimum compliance threshold for Australian labor laws.  

How Amazon’s PTO Compares to the Rest of Big Tech

In the US, 2-3 weeks of PTO is pretty standard. Amazon is ahead of the curve. But most big tech companies offer above average PTO. When compared to Google, Meta, and similar companies, Amazon doesn’t stand out.

Here’s how I’d compare Amazon’s PTO:

  • Compared to most US companies, Amazon is above average.
  • Compared to other big tech companies, Amazon is average.
  • If unlimited PTO is important to you, try to join Microsoft or Netflix instead.
  • Amazon’s PTO policies are very complicated and there’s a lot of confusion internally, don’t expect clear answers on specifics if you join.

Microsoft’s PTO

Microsoft has unlimited PTO which they call “discretionary time off.” As a result, Microsoft employees can take as much time off as they want. Unlimited vacation is not available to hourly employees or employees based in the U.S.

I know this sounds amazing, but I consider it a huge red flag. While it sounds great in theory, unlimited PTO is horrible in practice. In my experience employees take a lot less PTO when there’s unlimited vacation.

The rest of Microsoft’s PTO for full-time salaried employees is pretty solid:

  • 10 paid US holidays
  • 10 paid sick days per year
  • 20 weeks of paid parental leave for birthing mothers and 12 weeks of paid parental leave for other new parents, including foster and adoption  
  • Four paid weeks of family leave to take care of an ailing family member

Hourly employees get 15 paid vacation days, 10 paid sick days, 2 personal days, and the same ten paid US holidays. Hourly employees have to accrue or “earn” their vacation days over time. 

Microsoft also offers additional paid time off for bereavement, jury duty, and mental health days. However, these leaves are subject to a manager’s approval.

Google’s PTO

Google offers ample paid time off to keep employees happy. In 2022, Google increased its annual PTO days for all employees from 15 to 20 days and increased parental and carer leave.

Google employees also earn one additional PTO day per year of tenure capped at 25 days. The company offers 12 paid holidays annually and unlimited paid sick days. 

Birthing parents are now entitled to 24 weeks of paid parental leave, a jump up from the previously offered 18 weeks. Similarly, non-birthing parents are entitled to 18 weeks of paid leave (up from 12 weeks). And Google offers up to eight weeks of paid caregiver leave to care for seriously ill family members. 

Meta’s PTO

Facebook, now known as Meta, provides up to 21 days of paid time for full-time employees. Employees accrue their PTO. The company also offers:

  • Unlimited sick time.
  • 2 paid “choice days” per year. Employees can take choice days at their discretion.
  • 12 paid holidays a year in the US. 
  • New parents are entitled to up to four months of paid maternity and paternity leave, more than many other tech companies offer. This benefit is available to all Facebook employees and includes adopting and foster parents. 
  • Employees caring for a sick family member are entitled to up to six weeks of paid family leave annually. And an employee with a sick child or a family member with a short-term illness, such as the flu, can take up to three days of paid leave.
  • Up to eight hours of paid voting time.
  • Up to 20 days of emergency paid time off.
  • A performance-based 30-day paid break every five years.
  • 26 weeks of short-term disability leave.
  • Up to 5 years of paid, active-duty military leave.
  • Paid jury duty and witness leave.
  • 12 weeks of medical and family leave for Washington State employees.
  • 20 days of paid bereavement leave for immediate family members and up to 10 days for extended family. Employees are entitled to bereavement leave every 12 months.

If this feels extensive, that’s because it is. Meta has the best paid leave benefits package in big tech and it’s not even close. If paid leave is important to you, look for an open role at Meta.

Apple’s PTO

New hires at Apple receive 12 PTO days per year, increasing to 15 after three years of service. Apple employees also earn one extra PTO day per year after three years. 

So yes, Apple offers less PTO than other big tech companies.

Part-time employees get six PTO days per year. Employees can use their PTO days for vacation, sick time, mental health days, or personal time. 

Apple employees accrue PTO hours bi-weekly. The company also typically offers the week of Thanksgiving off and additional paid time off in December, and Apple observes ten paid holidays annually. 

Apple also offers maternity leave. Expectant mothers are entitled to up to four weeks of paid leave before childbirth. Then, the new mother gets an additional 14 weeks of paid maternity leave post-birth. New mothers are also entitled to up to six weeks of optional paid leave on top of the maternity leave. In addition, fathers and non-birth parents are given six weeks of parental leave.

What Should Amazon Change About Its PTO Policy?

Amazon’s PTO policy is solid. You’ll get plenty of time off, especially compared to US companies as a whole. There’s a lot of folks that only get 2 weeks off per year. The fact that you can get 21 days after your first year of employment is pretty awesome.

The biggest problem with Amazon’s PTO is how complicated it is. It’s a mess. Nobody seems to know how it actually works.

It almost feels like a de facto unlimited PTO policy. The accrual system is so complicated that I’m not sure anyone is actually following it. So people just take some time off when they need it and no one is sweating the exact amounts.

I totally get that Amazon is a colossal company. I’m so happy I don’t have to sort out all these policies, it must be a nightmare. But there’s a ton of room for improvement.

Even with the case of California, I’d try to find a way to meet all of the California requirements even if that means giving the rest of US employees an extra 4 days of paid leave per year. Teams at Amazon are spread out all over the US, having unique PTO policies by state makes zero sense.

So Amazon has a solid PTO policy, I just wish they simplified it so everyone could actually understand it.

References for Amazon’s PTO

Use these official resources to get clarity on how much PTO you have:

Build and Grow right from your Inbox

Scroll to Top