Santa Claus Jobs
Every year right after Thanksgiving to right after Christmas, malls and department stores rush to fill the position of mall Santa Claus. Could this be the seasonal job for you? Has anyone ever said that you remind them of Santa Claus?
Santa Claus has rosy cheeks, a big belly, a snow-white beard, a hearty laugh, and is full of holiday spirit. If you can look and act the part, you’ll be in a prime position to snag one of the coveted mall Santa Claus jobs.
Every mall and department store across the country hires a Santa or two for the season. Santa brings families, kids, and money into the mall during the holidays. It may not be a great career move because it only lasts a month or so, but it’s a great seasonal gig.
Being Santa Claus is hard work. Santas have to be good actors and must stay in holiday character at all times. Santa’s roles at the mall is to sit on his throne surrounded by his elves and play the part of Santa for hundreds of children.
At every mall, there are children waiting for hours for the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. You listen to them, pose for photographs, and send them on their way. You don your big red suit, floppy hat, and wire-rimmed spectacles, while you smile and talk to children. As kids sit on your lap, you ask them what they want for Christmas and if they’ve been good this year. Be sure to remember their names and never promise anything.
Kids are straight shooters so get ready for any number of crazy questions like what’s your favorite reindeer? How do you fit down my chimney when I don’t have one? What happens if your sleigh breaks down? Where do you go in the summer? Or how do you travel around the entire world in one night? You always have to be on your creative toes and be in character. Plus, be ready for kids to yank your beard.
If you think you have what it takes to be Santa, you should start your search now. Contact malls and department stores about positions. Check the classified sections for jobs. Remember that you will need a clean criminal background check because you are working with children.
Ideally, Santas are going to physically look the part – older, a white beard, a hearty laugh, and a large tummy. However, some malls look for non-traditional Santas – African-Americans, bilinguals, skinny, short. If you’re serious about being Santa get your headshot, cover letters, holiday cheer, and resumes together and start making mall contacts.
Another way to get your foot in the door is to train and practice being Santa.
Places like the NOERR Programs or the International University of Santa Claus offer courses on how to be Santa Claus. Sometimes they will help with job placement.
Santa Claus’s pay will vary tremendously depending on your natural appearance, location, experience, and holiday vibe. Most Santa’s can plan on making about $10 per hour. You can plan on working lots of hours because most malls hire only two Santas for the season. Other Santa’s (like one in Virginia) report that they can pull in around $10,000 a season or $175 per hour – but don’t count on it.
Ultimately your job is to bring joy to children. Playing Santa is an important part of the holidays. So how’s your Ho-Ho-Ho? Also, see our page on holiday season photography jobs in another section.
Quick Facts About Santa Jobs
Job Title: Santa Claus
Office: Malls across America
Description: Act as Santa Claus – Speak and get your photo taken with children
Certifications/Education: No Formal Education Required
Necessary Skills: Looking like Santa, Clean background check, Good with children
Potential Employers: Malls or Department stores
Pay: From $10 per hour to several thousand per “season” – depends on looks and skills
International Council of Shopping Centers
International University of Santa Claus
Santa School UK
Professional Santa Claus School
Find A Santa Claus Near You
$175 Per Hour Santa