Santa makes the big bucks in 2012

By Staff | December 17, 2012 | Last updated on December 17, 2012
2 min read

From tracking who’s naughty and who’s nice to running the world’s largest toy workshop and delivery service, Santa wears many stocking caps.’s annual Santa Index analysis of wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Santa should be earning $134,944 this year. That’s a 1.5% increase from last year’s Santa salary of $132,950. identified the occupations that most closely match Santa’s duties and estimated the hours per year he’d spend performing each task. This year’s earnings include:

  • Industrial engineer. Santa supervises the design, development and testing of every doll and rocket the elves produce, among the hundreds of other toys. Annual earnings for eight hours a day every day: $111,792.
  • Labor relations specialist. Elves are a merry bunch, but that doesn’t mean disputes don’t erupt. If he spends a half-hour each day dealing with labor issues, annual earnings would be $5,167.
  • Correspondence clerk. The letters from children keep coming. An hour a day as a correspondence clerk for 100 days a year would yield $1,656.
  • Professional shopper. Think of the tears on Christmas morning if Santa didn’t carefully select each toy. Eight hours a day, 15 days a year spent selecting presents would earn him $2,303.
  • Rancher. Reindeer don’t just take care of themselves. Annual earnings for one hour a day every day: $4,234.
  • Private investigator. Seeing you sleeping, knowing when you’re awake, identifying the naughty and nice: An hour a day for sleuthing in the month leading up to Christmas would be $701.
  • Pilot. Santa and his reindeer perform millions of rooftop takeoffs and landings. Average earnings for an airline pilot for 10 hours: $568.

And finally, his concise final words every year, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night,” would yield a regular announcer a mere 19 cents. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.