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The Santa Index 2013: Santa's Duties Worth Almost $138,000

Because they have played Santa before:

  • 27 percent, Tim Allen {"The Santa Clause")
  • 15 percent, John Goodman ("The Year Without a Santa Claus")
  • 13 percent, Tom Hanks ("Polar Express")
  • 3 percent, Billy Bob Thornton ("Bad Santa")
  • 2 percent, Bryan Cranston ("'Twas the Night")

Because they've got plenty of money to spend on presents:
  • 14 percent, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates
  • 7 percent, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett

Because he wouldn't forget to feed the reindeer:
  • 6 percent, animal expert Jack Hanna

Because they'd keep the elves in line:
  • 5 percent, businessman Donald Trump
  • 3 percent, Fox TV host Bill O'Reilly
  • 2 percent, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick

Because they make magic:
  • 4 percent, David Copperfield
  • 1 percent, David Blaine

It's a good thing for these candidates that none actually has to step into Santa's boots. Along with the job would come a not-so-merry pay cut.

The Santa Index 2013

Santa's job

BLS occupation title

Hours/
day

Days/
year

Mean hourly
wage

Annual earnings

Manufacturing executive (Santa's workshop)


Industrial Engineers

8

364

$39.47

$114,937

Professional shopper

Sales and Related Workers, All Other

8

15

$16.11

$1,933

Wrapper

Packers and Packagers, Hand

12

14

$10.80

$1,814

Labor negotiator (with elves)

Labor Relations Specialists

0.5

365

$27.02

$4,931

Letter reader

Correspondence Clerks

1

100

$17.75

$1,775

Company representative in mall

Customer Service Representatives

8

21

$15.92

$2,675

Investigator (knows if you've been good or bad)

Private Detectives and Investigators

1

30

$24.42

$733

List checker (checking it twice)

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

1

30

$17.62

$529

Taking care of reindeer

Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals

1

365

$11.56

$4,219

Snow plow driver

Highway Maintenance Workers

0.5

360

$17.43

$3,137

Pilot

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

10

1

$61.90

$619

Chimney sweep

Building Cleaning Workers, All Other

10

1

$14.13

$141

Cookie taster

Agricultural Inspectors

10

1

$20.41

$204

Distributor

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks

10

1

$14.76

$148

Announcer ("Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!")

Public Address System and Other Announcers

0.01

1

$19.27

$0.19

Total: $137,795

Wage source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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