What Would Santa Claus Earn As A CEO?


It’s the time of year when many of us turn our thoughts to a man who continues to work well beyond the normal retirement age with no plans to hang it up – ever. His name and likeness are recognized almost universally. Yet he presides over an empire that operates entirely in secret.

I’m talking about Santa Claus – the CEO of the North Pole. We all know that Santa works around the clock, 364 days a year, and does it strictly for the love of giving to others. But imagine for a moment that Santa would actually draw a salary for his tireless efforts. How much would he possibly earn?

Never mind the question of who would pay him and whether he would even agree to accept money for his work. How would you determine a paycheck for the world’s most famous CEO?

The folks at Insure​.com took a stab at this and determined that Santa would earn $139,924 this year. They arrived at this figure by listing all of Santa’s varied tasks as the head of the North Pole empire and matching those occupations with the associated average wages from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s how it breaks down.

Santa’s most important job is running his vast toy workshop, and he would receive the biggest percentage of his salary from serving as an industrial engineer. Figuring a mean hourly wage of $40.09, multiplied by eight hours a day and 364 days a year, Santa would receive $116,742 from his workshop supervisory role.

He has to manage all those elves who keep the North Pole industrial complex running. In his capacity as a labor relations specialist, Santa would earn $4,964 for the 182 or so hours he spends each year dealing with his pint-sized workforce.

Santa also has the reindeer to consider. Although there are only eight of them (OK, nine if you include Rudolph), they must be fed and cared for every day. For keeping the reindeer happy, Santa would earn $4,347 in the role of farm worker.

The North Pole receives several feet of snow each year. In return for keeping the snow from getting in the way of his operations, Santa would earn $3,200 in his capacity as highway maintenance worker.

Santa is the ultimate customer service representative, talking to countless kids at department stores and shopping malls all over the world. Give him $2,695 for that task.

He’s the ultimate professional shopper, too, selecting the perfect gift for everyone on his list. This adds $1,980 to his salary.

Then there are all the other tasks Santa performs to get ready for his great Christmas Eve trek. He’s a professional gift wrapper. He’s a correspondence clerk (reading all those letters!). He’s a private investigator (how else would he know the naughty from the nice?). He’s an auditor (checking his list twice). He’s a pilot, a chimney sweep, a gift distributor and even a food inspector (tasting all those cookies!).

Total up all those hourly wages and you get $139,924.

That figure might not exactly be reindeer feed but it’s a small amount compared with the salary Santa might draw if he were paid for every delivery he makes on Christmas Eve. If he were paid roughly $1 for every child under age 15 in the world, he would earn a whopping $1.8 billion a year.

That’s a lot of gingerbread.


Susan Rupe is assistant editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Connect with Susan →

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