What’s A Dad Worth?

July 15th, 2011 by Andrea Bennett

A new survey determines that stay-at-home dads are worth roughly half that of full-time moms

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The Responsibility Project

A new survey by Salary.com, which more-or-less scientifically determines what stay-at-home dads would receive as a paycheck for all the duties they perform, seems to suggest one thing: Dads, don’t quit your day jobs.

The site took a sampling of more than 1,000 fathers, who parent an average of 52.9 hours per week, and calculated an annual salary of $60,128 for their cooking, cleaning and diaper-changing by averaging the pay for the 10 most common “dad jobs.” Salary.com lists these as “day care center teacher, CEO, psychologist, cook, groundskeeper, laundry machine operator, computer operator, facilities manager, maintenance worker and van driver.”  (The jobs used to determine Mom’s salary – stay tuned for that below – are the same, notes Meredith Carroll at Babble, “but are appropriately bestowed with more delicate titles.)

This year’s survey takes the 52.9 dad-hours and factors in base pay plus overtime to reach the $60k mark. Working fathers, who average 30.6 hours a week on parenting duties according to the survey results, would be paid $33,858 a year – on top of working an average of 44 hours a week at their day jobs.

This year, the results of the survey are particularly likely to hit home for dads. In a press release for the survey (which came out in time for Father’s Day), the company noted that both the recession and a shift toward shared parenting led to 154,000 American men becoming stay-at-home dads in 2010. Says Salary.com’s general manager Evilee Ebb, “It’s clear dads have become much more hands-on when it comes to parenting. From cooking meals to driving the kids to soccer practice, dads have been consistently taking on increased roles at home.”

What many of these dads will find unfair, of course, are the results of the Mom Salary Survey (appropriately, a Mother’s Day fixture at Salary.com), which revealed that even working mothers would still earn more in childcare than stay-at home dads. Stay-at-home moms, the results found, spend 96.6 hours per week caring for their kids, equating to a salary of $115, 432 a year. Working mothers would make $63,472 a year after contributing 55.9 hours of mom-work every week. (For you moms, check out the Strollerderby blog’s entertaining explanation of how to calculate your worth – from figuring out the cost of replacing yourself if you went back to work to your value as a fast-food cook, and then multiplying it all by the number of kids you have.)

What’s your take on the stay-at-home pay scale?