*

Article:

Six-Figure Moms

It's Mothers Day and most people are rewarding mom with home-made dinners, flowers and cards and letting her know how much she is appreciated for all that she does. At Salary.com, we're proud to be able to help recognize the critical value of what moms do with our annual Mom Salary Survey. While it is impossible to put a price tag on the value of a mom, it is possible to quantify what she would earn if an employer had to pay someone to do the multiple jobs an average mom performs in a given week including overtime. This year, Salary.com determined that the time mothers spend performing the 10 most popular "Mom job functions" would equate to an annual cash compensation of $116, 805 for Stay-At-Home Mom's and $68,405 for Working Moms.

If you've been following the Mom Salary Survey, you may have noticed that it appears like Mom's salary went down from last year's salary of $138,094 for Stay-At-Home and $85,938 for Working Moms. Is the economy that bad you might wonder? No, that's not the case. This year, we did something different to our calculation to reflect a key factor that affects pay – company size. Since smaller companies pay less money, mom's salary dipped by over $21K from 2007 but still remains a six-figure salary.

Over the past eight years, Salary.com has been publishing a Mom Salary and it has generated a lot of interest: Why value the job of mom? How did you value the job of mom? Why did you change the way you value mom?

To begin with, that's what Salary.com does. Since 2000, we've been valuing jobs and providing insights what the market is paying for a given job in a given geography. In 2001, we realized we didn't have a value for the most important job of all – the job of mom. We thought it would be interesting to value the job of mom like we value our other 3,600 jobs. Over the years, valuing the job of mom became a great way to educate people on the different factors that determine the compensation of a particular job.

We created the Mom Job based on the principles used by Certified Compensation Professions®*. We started by defining what Mom did and what jobs made up her job description. We surveyed all types of moms to determine the most common roles in her job description. We found that mom works a hybrid job with over 10 different jobs – each with different salaries – that make up her job description. The job titles that best matched a mom's definition of her work in both the U.S. and Canada are (in order of hours spent per week) housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, laundry machine operator, computer operator, psychologist, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive officer and janitor.

In the past, we have received a lot of feedback on our survey. People have asked us to include Working Moms and we did. Next, we got feedback from many Dads, both stay-at-home and working, who wanted to get equal airtime as caregivers. Then people wanted to know the salary in their geography and what happened if their mix of jobs worked changed. We added the ability to personalize the survey data with our on-line Mom Salary Wizard®. Users can now modify the number of hours worked and customize the salary calculation to the their local area and see the impact of those key factors on what an employer would be willing to pay someone to do those jobs.

This year, we wanted to show the impact of company size on compensation and expanded the calculation to include bonuses to reflect total cash compensation not just base salary. Many people work for small companies throughout the U.S. and smaller companies typically pay less. In addition, many companies offer bonus as part of employee's compensation. We wanted to account for these factors as many times people may think they are underpaid until they compare themselves against same size companies and look at total cash compensation not just base salary for a given job.

In 2008, over 18,000 moms participated and quantified the number of hours worked in each role in a typical week. Our team of compensation professionals weighted the different responsibilities of the job to determine mom's overall total compensation. By using the compensation data for employers with fewer than 25 employees – offset slightly by the addition of bonuses – we saw a net decrease in U.S. Mom's pay of nearly $21K. However, we hope it highlights that there are many factors that go into determine what to pay an individual for a job.

The primary driver of Mom's six figure salary, however, remains the amount of overtime worked. This year mom's overtime averaged 54.4 hours per week up 2.4 hours from last year. Over half of time spent on the job is overtime.

Moms and their families can create their own "mom paycheck" with the Mom Salary Wizard, the first interactive tools that allows moms and families price the "mom job." Users can create a hypothetical mom paycheck and pay stub which can be printed and emailed to family and friends.

* Certified Compensation Professional is a registered trademark of WorldatWork.