Santa’s ‘salary’ up 4% to $143,000


FOSTER CITY, Calif., Dec. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — While Santa is busy deciding who was naughty and who was nice so he can fill up his sled for his yearly delivery of toys and gifts to kids of all ages, has been busy calculating his worth.’s annual Santa Index measures the “value of Santa” based on analysis of wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is a nearly a 4 percent increase over last year’s calculated salary and the highest value yet placed on Santa since the Index began:

  • 2014: $139,924
  • 2013: $137,795
  • 2012: $134,944
  • 2011: $132,950

“Santa’s salary continues to climb topping over $140,000 this year, showing that the various jobs and roles in which he immerses himself continue to increase in value,” said Jennifer Shelton, managing editor of “The expertise needed to perform all of Santa’s duties is staggering. From aerospace to customer service, agriculture to upper management, he really does it all. So we’re pleased to find that Santa is due another bump in pay this year.”

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The highest-paying job for Santa is the one that he does for most of the year: working in Santa’s workshop. As a manufacturing executive 364 days a year, eight hours a day his annual earnings are $119,159. After all, he doesn’t just sit behind a desk. Santa does research and design development, product testing, and quality control on every ball, doll and train in his workshop produces.
Other top-paying tasks for Santa include:

Labor negotiator: Elves may be hard workers, but that they still need to be managed. Even in the friendliest of workplaces disputes can erupt, and Santa would be the one to get the elves back to their workstations with smiles on their faces. If he spent a half-hour each day managing the elves, his annual earnings would be $5,212 for this task.

Farmworker and rancher: Reindeer may fly, but they can’t take care of themselves on land. Santa needs to attend to the reindeer by feeding them, examining them for injuries administering appropriate medications and vaccinations, and keep their quarters clean and maintained. Spending just one hour a day at this duty Santa’s annual pay would be $4,417.

Snow plow driver: The North Pole can’t function if the roads are filled with snow. The elves and Santa need to get between the workshops quickly, so Santa is a part-time highway maintenance worker. Working a half-hour per day for 360 days clearing roads, he would earn $3,279.

Customer service: To promote his brand and provide customer service to all, Santa visits malls to speak with children each winter season. As a customer service representative working eight hours a day for 21 days, he would earn $2,737.

Professional shopper: Santa’s workshop may make most of the toys, but Santa must still select just the right item for each person on his list. Working eight hours a day for 15 days, his annual earnings would be $2,195.

Announcing to the world, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” takes hardly any time at all, and thus pays Santa the least, a mere18 cents.

While Santa may not be a member of your household, there likely is someone playing Santa one day out of the year who otherwise takes care of the household the rest of the time. Knowing how much money your family would need to replace your income and take over your household duties is important so that you can determine how much life insurance you need.

“The Santa Index is an entertaining way to broach a serious topic and remind people to reflect on all their total contribution to the home, not just the income they make, when buying life insurance,” said Shelton.

To see the full chart of Santa jobs and wages, visit the full feature on


The Santa Index is based on a pre-set list of tasks and hours; tasks are then matched to occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the average wages.

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CONTACT: Jennifer Shelton

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