What is a Time Ticket?

Time Ticket

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Time Ticket

A time ticket, often referred to in manufacturing and production contexts, is a document or electronic record that tracks the time an employee spends on specific tasks or jobs. Time tickets are particularly useful in job costing systems, where it’s crucial to determine how much time is spent on each job or project to allocate labor costs accurately.

A time ticket typically contains the following information:

  • Employee Details: This includes the employee’s name, ID number, and possibly their position or department.
  • Job or Task Details: This would involve a description of the specific job or task they’re working on, possibly a job number or code for reference.
  • Date: The specific day or period the ticket covers.
  • Time Details: Start and end times for the work, the total hours worked, and sometimes breaks or non-working periods.
  • Rate Information: This might include the employee’s hourly rate or any other relevant pay details, especially if different tasks have different pay rates.
  • Signatures/Approvals: This may be necessary in some contexts to verify the accuracy of the time recorded.

The primary purpose of time tickets is to:

  • Allocate Labor Costs: By knowing how long an employee spent on a particular job and their pay rate, businesses can accurately allocate labor costs to specific jobs or projects.
  • Job Costing: In combination with other cost data (like materials and overhead), time tickets can help determine the total cost of a specific job.
  • Performance Evaluation: Managers can assess the efficiency of workers or processes by analyzing time spent on tasks.
  • Scheduling & Planning: Time tickets can provide insights into how long tasks typically take, aiding in future planning and scheduling.

Example of a Time Ticket

Let’s delve into a detailed example illustrating the use of a time ticket in a manufacturing setting:

Scenario: Precision Mechanics, a company that manufactures custom machine parts

Background: Precision Mechanics produces made-to-order parts for various industrial machines. Given the custom nature of their products, it’s essential for them to track the amount of time each employee spends on specific tasks to calculate labor costs for each job accurately.

Example Time Ticket for Alex, a Machinist:

Employee Name: Alex Rodriguez
Position: Senior Machinist
Date: September 5, 2023

Job Details:
Job Number: PM-20456
Description: Custom Gear for Industrial Mixer

Task Information:

  • Task 1:
    • Description: Designing gear blueprint
    • Start Time: 8:00 AM
    • End Time: 10:30 AM
    • Total Hours: 2.5
    • Rate: $30/hour
    • Task Labor Cost: $75
  • Task 2:
    • Description: Setting up machining tools
    • Start Time: 10:45 AM
    • End Time: 11:45 AM
    • Total Hours: 1
    • Rate: $30/hour
    • Task Labor Cost: $30
  • Task 3:
    • Description: Machining gear
    • Start Time: 1:00 PM
    • End Time: 4:00 PM
    • Total Hours: 3
    • Rate: $30/hour
    • Task Labor Cost: $90

Total Hours for the Day: 6.5
Total Labor Cost for the Day: $195

Employee Signature: Alex Rodriguez
Supervisor Signature: Lucy Chen


  • The company can determine that the labor cost for producing the custom gear (just for Alex’s contribution on that day) was $195.
  • If the custom gear requires multiple days of work, or if other employees also work on the same job, their time tickets would be combined to determine the total labor cost for the job.
  • By analyzing time tickets, the management of Precision Mechanics can ascertain the efficiency of the process, identify any time-intensive tasks, and make decisions to streamline operations.
  • Additionally, when billing the customer for the custom gear, Precision Mechanics will include the labor cost (from all time tickets related to that job), material costs, overhead, and desired profit margins.

In this way, time tickets play a pivotal role in Precision Mechanics’ ability to accurately price its products, manage labor costs, and evaluate operational efficiency.

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