You’ll never guess how much the average mall Santa makes

Santa Claus reading from a stack of letters.

Image source: Getty Images

This seasonal work is largely underestimated.

Key points

  • Mall Santas earn quite competitive salaries, although they sometimes have to deal with long shifts.
  • Some malls hire Santas directly while others work with event and photo companies.
  • Santa season in the mall lasts from early November until Christmas, so start looking right away if this side job interests you.

Seasonal jobs are springing up everywhere at this time of year. You’ve probably heard of retailers hiring extra cashiers to keep up with increased demand, or people with a gift-wrapping knack to help the picky wrappers among us. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Some people take jobs pretending to be Santa Claus himself and they actually make quite a bit of money doing it. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a mall Santa, here’s everything you need to know.

What a day in the life of a Santa Claus looks like in a mall

You probably already have an idea of ​​what a Santa Claus job in a mall would be like. Eager children come to sit on your lap, take a picture and tell you what they want for Christmas. Some skeptics may also want to ask you about life at the North Pole or tug at your beard.

It’s not a job for you if you don’t like children. But if you’re happy to stay in character and strong enough to lift the kids onto your lap, it can be very rewarding to see all those smiling faces.

However, you should be prepared to spend long hours. Most malls aren’t willing to take the risk of an eagle-eyed child noticing the fact that the Santa he’s sitting on isn’t the same one who left for a break for a few minutes. previously. So they don’t like to swap Santa Clauses. According to Monster, many mall Santas work six to 12 hours, although this varies depending on the mall in question.

How much does a shopping center earn?

The average mall Santa makes about $22 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter. That’s $264 in your bank account over a 12-hour shift, and some malls pay even more. Some employers may ask you to bring your own Santa costume as part of the deal, but many provide their own, so all you have to do is show up.

How to get hired as Santa Claus in a mall

Some malls hire Santas by posting ads on job boards, just like they would for any other position. But many malls hire their Santas through partnerships with photo and event companies. Working with one of them could therefore improve your chances of success.

If you are interested in becoming a mall Santa, you should start looking for a position as soon as possible. Santa’s season in the mall usually runs from early November through Christmas, so there’s only a short period of time when you can find this job.

Pay attention to the employment requirements of each mall. Some prefer Santas with real beards while others gladly accept those with fake beards. And while the traditional depiction of Santa Claus is an old white man, the number of opportunities for those from all walks of life is growing. If in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to inquire about the job to see if the mall is willing to work with you.

And if things don’t work out for this year, you can always keep that in mind for next year. Many of these positions start opening in October, so if you move quickly in the fall of 2023, you may have a better chance of succeeding. And remember, there are plenty of other seasonal jobs available this year if you need the extra cash.

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