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Santa's job worth nearly $133,000

Santa oversees the making of toys, but it's far from his only duty. Here's what he would earn this year, based on wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 14, 2011 12:58PM

This post comes from Emmet Pierce at partner site on MSN MoneyManufacturing executive, sleigh pilot, labor negotiator, compulsive list checker and fulfiller of children's dreams, Santa Claus has no peers when it comes to juggling diverse duties at his North Pole headquarters.


The man who sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake should be earning a well-deserved six figures, according to our analysis of wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We took a look at the tasks for which Santa is best known and calculated what it would cost to hire others to accomplish them.


This year, the value of Old St. Nick's work is $132,948.


Highlights of his duties and corresponding BLS wages include:

  • As a "manufacturing executive" he designs, develops, tests and evaluates systems for managing industrial production processes. That covers everything from carving nutcrackers to creating curly haired dolls that cuddle and coo. Hourly pay and days of work per year (364) bring his pay for this task alone to about $109,841.
  • Fifteen days of professional shopping (for toys that elves can't make) at a cost of $2,388.
  • Add in 14 days of professional wrapping and Santa's annual pay rises by another $1,786.
  • Finding someone else to read children's letters would cost $1,656 annually, under BLS guidelines.
  • His retail store visits to meet with children would cost another $2,648.
  • Giving him credit for all the list checking he does -- and remember, he's checking 'em twice -- we added in a conservative $510.
  • Factor in his labor negotiation skills with those troublesome elves and Santa clears another $5,074 annually.
  • Who's naughty and nice? Factor in another $690 as private investigator.

Even if you're someone who's destined to get a lump of coal in your stocking, you have to admit that getting Santa's services at an annual salary of just under $133,000 is an incredible bargain. (You can find the full list of occupations and compensation here.)


More on and MSN Money:

Dec 14, 2011 3:17PM

To mwlee300:  Haven't you ever done anything just for fun?  It was sort of a neat take off on traditional holiday stories. 

Dec 14, 2011 3:36PM
To mwlee300:  Really? its the holidays, dont be such a Grinch. It'd much rather hear about how much St.nick  makes, than about how one of the kardashians broke her nail. 
Dec 14, 2011 4:36PM
I think Santa does a heck of a lot more work than the 535 idiots we have back in Washington DC, How do they arrive at their salaries and benifits?
Dec 14, 2011 4:17PM
chimney sweeper makes $133.80 per chimney. multiply that by about a gizilion.
Dec 14, 2011 5:39PM

90% of the time, 100% of these articles are a pure waste of time, especially if they aren't amusing!

Dec 14, 2011 4:20PM
Wait until the Elves Union hear this, they haven't seen a raise in 300 years!
Dec 14, 2011 5:31PM
You forgot to add Ambassador of Good Will. Priceless!! Obviously Wall Street doesn't know the value of anything.
Dec 14, 2011 4:29PM
Doesn't Santa play football or baseball...can't he get at least a 15 M 3 yr contract?  I don't know
Dec 14, 2011 5:04PM
Santa is in the top 1%. We need to Occupy North Pole. I'm sure all those gifts he hands out are write offs and he is not paying his fare share of taxes, if any taxes at all.
Dec 14, 2011 4:30PM

I question some of the numbers and maybe there is a typo driving down santa's earning potential? Airline pilot = $554.30 vs. Snowplow driver = $3,101.40?


Also remember this does not take into account his Celebrity Endorsements, Event Emcee and Appearance compensation, royalties for the Saint Nick, North Pole, Kris Kringle, and Santa branding and/or trademarking. Also he has sponsors ya know: shop tools, Sleigh, reindeer supplies, etc..  Those probably total over 100 Million a year. And I believe his new boots are Nike 6.0 series snowboarding boots. Nike Loves taking good care of their "A team" members.


Merry Christmas!

Dec 14, 2011 3:30PM

Wow! He is grossly underpaid then. If I was paid for all I do throughout my days and nights, I'd make his pay look pathetic. Didn't they post the average pay/worth of a stay at home mom, about the same or more than this? Seems like old Saint Nicholas ain't much different than many of us!




salary dot com has a "dad salary wizard". I am a working Dad, but combined with what I would be paid in my Dad duties my total pay would top $160k. Saint Nick WHO?  LOL!


Dec 14, 2011 6:52PM
If Santa can deliver toys to all the children of the world, spead good will and happiness and only make $ 132,000 a year than why do the bank executives make millions and millions. Politicians making millions too. Just goes to show you that something is wrong with society and it priorities.
Dec 14, 2011 3:34PM

"I like how the Workshop CEO salary is like 900% higher than all the other salaries combined."


Ummmmmmmm. That's because that is what he does with the majority of his time, likely over 90%. Coincidently 90% is 900% of 10%, if you can follow that. All jobs aren't weighted equally. That's why his annual pronouncement is only paying $0.18.

Dec 14, 2011 4:24PM
Nice try, but Santa is not like your average 9 to 5er.  First of all, he is in the top 1% of the top 1%.  That's right, he is richer than everybody but God.  He doesn't need your salary.  He gives away hundreds of billions of dollars...every year for the past several hundred years...and still he doesn't run out of cash.  That said, IF he were to earn a living, it would be off of endorsements and royalties, not punching the clock.  He would make more off of that than Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, and Elvis, combined.  Also, he would have his own talk show and make more than Oprah ever did.  And, he would have his own reality TV show.
That about Good-will ambassador
child psychiatrist

Dec 14, 2011 4:59PM
To a Man and an Idea that brings nothing but JOY into the world....Hummmm ...I'd say he is worth all of what WALL STREET , THE CONGRESS , THE HOUSE AND ALL THE POLITICIANS MAKE at least TIMES 10 over.  All of those naughty guys and some gals just have brought nothing but lies, pain and more lies and cronyism and more pain and more lies and special interest sellouts and unemployment and more lies....I could go on for days....But I will spare you....The rest of the Truth...I do not want to ruin your Merry Christmas...!!!  
Dec 14, 2011 3:30PM
I like how the Workshop CEO salary is like 900% higher than all the other salaries combined.
Dec 17, 2011 9:16PM
you forgot about his secret pot farm that nets him a another 500,000 per year
Dec 14, 2011 5:29PM
I always figured Santa had the elves wrap the presents and do the shopping, and also hires someone else to spy on the kids during the year to give him the Naughty/Nice list at Christmas time.  So that should be taken *out* of his salary.

The airline pilot/snowplow driver thing makes sense because he only flies a little bit at one time during the year, but the North Pole needs CONSTANT snowplowing.  That's another thing I figured he would outsource ... maybe this should be retitled, "What It Takes To Keep The North Pole Running".
Dec 14, 2011 8:02PM
He makes another 2-3 million a year in farm subsidizes from raising Raindeer.
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