How Much Would Santa's Salary Be?

It's a tough job, but someone's got to to do it. Factoring in skill, stealth, and unparalleled delivery service, a new survey says Santa could earn under $138,000 per year.

This story originally appeared on CNBC

The big man in red should pull in a salary of just under $138,000 for his annual rounds, toymaking and elf-labor management, according to new analysis and survey data. That's a jump from last year's salary but still way a fraction of the almost $2 billion more than one-quarter of Americans think he deserves.

The numbers come courtesy of an analysis of the "value" of Santa's various jobs using data on comparable positions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We're not exactly sure what in the BLS database compares with "investigator of the naughty," but Santa's other tasks of workshop management and list-checking are common in many other careers.

The analysis is, of course, not flawless. The world is now home to 2 billion Christians (it was 600 million a century ago) and a growing number of non-Christian celebrants of the Christmas holiday. Visiting the home of every participant within a 12-hour window while piloting a flying sleigh powered by reindeer, Santa can hardly be classified as simply a "delivery driver."

His needed skill in aviation, logistics, stealth and concealment, and animal husbandry, not to mention sheer endurance and speed, defies comparison.

The physical strain of his work is all the more impressive given that most renditions place his body mass index on the higher end of the scale.

The company also surveyed a pool of Americans on what the yuletide saint should rake in, and while 27 percent of them thought he deserves $1.8 billion, more than a third think he should make ... nothing.

"The disparity between the two most popular answers reveals that Santa's salary is a controversial topic," said Amy Danise, editorial director of "Many people have come to expect free delivery, even in this cold economy."

Most of the 2,000 people surveyed said that actor Tim Allen would make the best Santa (he played one in a couple of films). This is consistent with thinking that Ben Affleck would make a great CIA analyst,

Fourteen percent think Bill Gates should take over the job—since he can afford to work for free—with about 7 percent supporting Warren Buffett for the job. On the lower end, 3 percent would like to see Bill O'Reilly bring his trademark fairness and balance, 2 percent appreciate the management skills of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and 1 percent would like to see illusionist David Blaine take over the duties.

And then, we assume, magically disappear.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Business Plans

5 Things to Know and Do Before Writing Your Business Plan

If you need a business plan, there are certain things you need to know and do before you sit down to create it. In this article, you'll learn five things to complete before writing your plan to ensure you get the best results.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.


Streaming TV Is the Future of Advertising — Without Breaking the Bank

Today's consumers expect personal, impactful ads. There's an advertising method that can get you there for half the price, making it the next frontier in digital advertising.

Growing a Business

Scaling Made Easy: How to Scale Your Business like a Fortune 500 Company

Once you have the night-vision skills of Fortune 500 restaurants, scaling becomes effortless. Here are 3 ways to scale, hidden in plain sight.