What Does A Pay Stub Look Like?


If you have just landed your first job or are new to business, the intricate world of pay stubs may be a whole new ball game for you. Pay stubs are more than just a slip of paper that you receive along with your check. They are an important record for both employee and employer alike and should be kept for at least two years. So it makes sense to ask, “What does a pay stub look like?”

Information that should appear on a pay stub

Here is an example of a paystub, or you can use one of your own for comparison. You will see that it contains quite a lot of information. Let's have a look at what all those figures mean. While each employer’s pay stubs will look different, there are certain things which must be included by law.
Your pay stub should have the following information on it if you earn a salary:

  • Your employer’s address
  • Company name
  • Your name
  • Your employee number or the last four digits of your social security number
  • The start and end date of the relevant pay period
  • A description of each deduction
  • Gross earnings
    • the total amount you earn before deductions
  • The total amount of deductions
  • Net earnings
    • the amount you actually receive (Gross – deductions)
  • Year to date total of your gross salary, deductions, and net salary

What does a pay stub look like for an hourly paid worker?

 If you get paid per hour, your pay stub should also include the following information:

  • The rate per hour for both regular and overtime work
  • The number of hours worked at each rate
  • The total amount due for each pay rate

By now you will have noticed that it only makes sense to start planning your budget once you have seen the reality of your net pay versus your gross pay. Those deductions sure add up, but also have their benefits.

Common deductions

Nobody likes having money taken from their wages or salary. Ensure you know exactly where your hard-earned cash is going. Tax is a necessary evil. It helps to keep our state and nation’s economy healthy. It provides us with all those things we take for granted, such as infrastructure and public services. Each state has different levels of taxes. You can look them up here if you want to make sure you are paying the correct rate.

Apart from Federal Income Tax and State Income Tax, it is likely that you will also see deductions for social security tax (FICA) and State Disability Insurance (SDI). You may have authorized deductions such as Pension fund deductions (IRA or 401K), Medicare deductions, and insurance. There may even be a garnishment deducted due to a previous judgement against you regarding money owed.  

Creating your own pay stubs

As an employer, you may find this all a little overwhelming, try our quick and easy online paystub maker to create your own pay stubs in 3 steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can multiply your net pay by the number of pay periods in a year to estimate your annual income. However, be aware that this method may not account for potential changes in your earnings, deductions, or taxes throughout the year.

Employers may provide pay stubs in various ways, such as electronically through a payroll platform, by email, or as a printed document. Check with your employer to find out how they distribute pay stubs.

Gross pay is typically displayed as the total amount earned before any deductions are made, including hourly wages or salary, overtime, and bonuses.

Net pay is the amount left after all deductions have been made, and is typically displayed as the final amount that is deposited into your bank account or provided as a paper check.

The frequency of receiving a pay stub depends on your employer's pay schedule, which can be weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. You should receive a pay stub for each pay period.

A pay stub usually includes details such as employee name, pay period dates, gross pay, taxes and deductions, and net pay.

A pay stub is a document provided by your employer that details your earnings for a specific pay period, including your gross pay, deductions, and net pay.

Common deductions include federal and state taxes, Social Security and Medicare contributions, health insurance premiums, retirement plan contributions, and wage garnishments.

Knowing what a pay stub looks like helps you verify the accuracy of your earnings, deductions, and taxes, and ensures you are being paid correctly.
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What Does A Pay Stub Look Like?
James Wilson

After graduating from McCombs School of Business in Texas, James joined ThePayStubs as a CPA to make sure the numbers we provide our clients are correct. Read More

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