9 New Jobs for Santa When Christmas Is Canceled

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: December 12, 2012

Everyone Thinks About Changing Careers

Most people have thought about changing jobs. But what if you’re someone who has been doing a job for what seems like forever? Someone with a truly unique set of skills? Someone like -- Santa Claus.

Even those of us with great jobs occasionally wonder if the grass is greener. So it stands to reason the big guy in red -- who has been doing the same gig for quite a while now -- might be a little bored with dashing, dancing and prancing across the globe every Christmas Eve. But even if he could find someone else to make the toys, drive the sleigh and tend to the reindeer, what the heck would he do in his newfound profession?

Although Santa has a distinguished resume, there are still certain jobs that would not be a good fit. It’s safe to say the mass consumption of cookies and sweets over the years rules out things like dietitian and nutritionist. And while we fully respect Santa’s body of work, it’ll be difficult to get work as a personal trainer with that body.

So what’s left? We took a break from our number-crunching, had a little fun, and combed our database of more than 4,000 jobs to come up with a few suggestions.

9. Mine Engineer

Median annual salary: $55,043

We know solar, wind and other alternative energy sources are all the rage right now. But the kids on Santa's "naughty" list who have long received coal, have required him to become a savant in the mining industry.

It’s easy to see how you’d overlook this aspect of Santa’s job, but all those pieces of coal in stockings around the world don’t just appear out of thin air. Coal has to be mined and those mines need to be carefully planned and designed to ensure the safety of Santa’s workforce. If he gave up the toy-making, reindeer training and distribution portions of his duties to focus on mining, Santa could carve out a nice little living for himself.

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8. Adult Day Care Director

Median annual salary: $79,503

Taking care of people is something Santa does best.

We’re not just talking about delivering toys on time. Think about it. His workshop is filled with elves, most of whom are longtime employees who spend their entire careers in the same place. So long, in fact, they often have no transferable skills and feel lost after retirement. Which is why Santa set up and runs an elf retirement community at the North Pole.

It’s only natural that if he’s not going to be Santa any longer, he’d continue working to help people and lend a hand with the operations side of a care center for those having trouble caring for themselves.

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7. School Bus Driver

Median salary: $31,541

This alternative job for St. Nick combines two of his favorite things -- children and transportation.

Most of what Santa does is for the kids. And while parents can be very protective of their children, how many of them even know the first name of the man or woman driving their precious cargo to and from school on a daily basis? But with an experienced transportation expert like Santa behind the wheel, you can be sure of two things: kids will be delivered safely and on time.

And the best part is he’s already memorized where everyone lives.

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6. Marketing Communication Manager

Median salary: $84,833

What is Santa if not a marketing genius?

From being immortalized in Norman Rockwell paintings to gracing cans of Coca-Cola, Santa is a master communicator and product placement expert. With mass consumer appeal and a personal brand that puts Justin Bieber to shame, we have to believe companies would pay Santa top dollar considering his vast network of contacts.

How many LinkedIn contacts and Facebook friends do you think Santa has amassed over the years, and how valuable is that network to companies? One tweet from Father Christmas might be all it takes to put a company on the map.

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5. Pilot

Median salary: $117,975

We have to imagine one of the best parts of Santa’s current job is getting to travel around the world on Christmas Eve. So why not make that a full-time gig?

It might take a little more aviation training and a little less Christmas magic to make the transition from flying reindeer to commercial jets, but the upside is he wouldn’t have to do all of his work in such a compressed amount of time. But becoming a pilot seems to be a natural progression since Santa has been navigating the skies for years. And his safety record is impeccable since we’ve never heard about any reindeer-related crashes.

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4. Courier/Messenger

Median salary: $27,433

What occupation could be a better fit for Santa Claus than one that entails getting important packages from Point A to Point B?

Seriously, being a delivery person is at the core of what Santa does. You want someone who knows what it’s like to work on deadline? Santa has arguably more experience under pressure than anyone else on the planet. When your entire existence revolves around spreading joy to children of the world by bringing them the things they want most, you’d better be able to deliver on time and without incident. 

Just think of what would happen if kids the world over woke up with empty spaces under the tree, or busted up toys damaged during transit. Santa knows, and that's why he'd be a model employee as a messenger.

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3. Animal Groomer

Median salary: $30,929

If Santa is the most important aspect of Christmas, the reindeer have to be second.

The elves can make all the presents in the world and Santa can be ready and willing to deliver them, but if the reindeer don’t fly quickly and accurately, the whole operation falls apart. In order to keep his fleet in tip-top condition, Santa has amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding these animals. He knows that in order to keep the reindeer happy and maintain his personal brand, they have to look well cared for, clean, presentable and professional. That’s why Santa has devoted considerable time to polishing up his animal grooming skills.

Making the transition from reindeer to dogs and cats would be easy, and Santa could continue working with animals in this fine career.

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2. Security Director

Median salary: $106,427

We understand when you think of Santa, the first thing that jumps to mind is of a jolly old guy in a robe spreading Christmas cheer. But it only makes sense that security is of the utmost importance to him.

This is a man who has made a living not only by entering peoples’ houses while they sleep, but basically performing acts of breaking and entering across the globe in a single night. You can’t perform that kind of feat without an expert grasp of advance surveillance, an ability to detect the easiest points of entry, and pinpointing ways to sneak in and out of places without getting caught.

Companies will shell out big bucks to a man who knows how to identify how vulnerable its facilities are to break-ins, and then protect against them.

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1. Private Investigator

Median salary: $42,064

At the end of the day, Santa’s greatest strength is his ability to unearth dirty secrets and get to the truth.

The Man in Red has spent decade after decade essentially spying on the public. He knows when you’re sleeping, when you’re awake, when you’ve been good, and -- most importantly -- when you’ve been bad. And the North Pole is filled with millions of files he keeps on us all. 

Even more impressive is the sneaky yet brilliant way he’s built a network of spies to which people turn a blind eye. Although powerful, Santa isn’t omnipresent. That’s why he hires and trains an army of mall Santas to perform his reconnaissance missions and report back to him. Furthermore, the recent “Elf on the Shelf” phenomenon is an ingenious way to spy on people in their homes without them suspecting a thing.

That’s why Santa could make a fortune as a private detective who uncovers valuable secrets of all kinds.

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Santa Has Options & So Do You

Truth be told, we don’t want Santa giving his notice any time soon. But it’s clear to us that if he did feel a career change is in order, he’d have more than a few lucrative options. And you're no different.

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.