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If Santa were paid, he'd earn $139,924

Damian Dovarganes / Today

Being Santa Claus is a tough gig. Not only do you have to make toys for every child in the world, you have to deliver them all in one night.

For all this toil, all he gets is gratitude and adoration (and some cookies and milk), and a few hugs from Mrs. Claus. But if he were paid a salary, he'd earn about $140,000 this year, say the folks at Insure.com.

They crunched official government stats to take parts of Santa's job, like running the workshop, and then matched it to a real-world job title and salary, like "Industrial engineer." 

That part alone accounts for the bulk of Santa's earnings, about $116,000 worth. Other gigs include reindeer handler, paid at a farm hand rate, or private investigator, to account for his work in determining whether you've been bad or good.

All total, this year he'd earn $139,924, up $2,129 from last year's $137,795, a 1.5 percent raise. Not too shabby, Mr. Kringle.

No word on what Mrs. Claus would make. Probably triple that.

  • Running the workshop 2912 hours per year $116,742
  • Professional shopper 120 hours per year $1,980
  • Wrapper of gifts 168 hours per year $1,831
  • Labor negotiator (with the elves) 182.5 hours per year $4,964
  • Letter reader 100 hours per year $1,722
  • Talking to kids in the mall 168 hours per year $2,695
  • Investigator (knows if you've been good or bad) 30 hours per year $777
  • List checker (checking it twice) 30 hours per year $537
  • Taking care of reindeer 365 hours per year $4,347
  • Snow plow driver 180 hours per year $3,200
  • Sleigh pilot 10 hours per year $623
  • Chimney sweep 10 hours per year $146
  • Cookie taster 10 hours per year $210
  • Gift distributor 10 hours per year $149
  • Announcer ("Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!") .01 hours per year $0

Email ben.popken@nbcuni.com or tweet @bpopken.

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