What's Mom Worth?

May 5, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - If ever there were a "priceless" occupation, it would have to be "Mom."

That said, Salary.com, Inc. has once again put a value on motherhood as an occupation. Well, at least one based on the time that mothers spend performing the 10 most popular “mom job functions.” According to their ninth annual survey, a “Stay-at-Home” Mom would be entitled to an annual cash compensation of $122,732, while what the survey calls a “Working Mom” (but I’d be more inclined to call a Mom-Who-Gets-Paid) would be entitled to $76,184 (in addition to what they get paid currently), numbers that are up 5% and 11%, respectively, from the 2008 calculations of $116,805 and $68,405.

Salary.com created the ‘Mom Job’ based on Certified Compensation Professional benchmarking principles that determine the value of a job. According to the announcement, following these employer-based principles, it is important to match jobs based on their job descriptions and not solely job titles. In Mom’s case, her role is an example of a hybrid job with 10 different jobs – each with different salaries – that comprise her job.

In the Mom Salary Survey, 12,150 moms quantified their hours worked in each role for a typical week. Salary.com’s compensation professionals weighted the different responsibilities of the job to determine mom’s overall total compensation.

“This is our ninth year looking at the value of mom’s work. It has become a popular annual event because it not only recognizes the critical value of what moms do, but educates the public on the key factors that determine what employers are willing to pay for a given job,” said Meredith Hanrahan, senior vice president at Salary.com, Inc. “We value the job of mom based on her job description and calculate what an employer would have to pay in cash if they were to hire someone to do all that a mom does.”

The job titles that best matched a mom's definition of her work are (in order of hours spent per week):

  • housekeeper,
  • day care center teacher,
  • cook,
  • computer operator,
  • facilities manager,
  • van driver,
  • psychologist,
  • laundry machine operator,
  • janitor and
  • chief executive officer.

Of course, Moms and their families can create their own "mom paycheck" by visiting the Mom Salary Wizard .

"We found that not only are working moms outsourcing less and doing more themselves, but they're also spending more time on the higher-paying jobs such as facilities manager, CEO, and psychologist -- both factors that contributed to their increased salary figure. This year, the working mom had 17 hours of overtime in addition to her full time hours both at work and as a mom -- up nearly double from 2 years ago," noted Meredith Hanrahan, senior vice president at Salary.com, Inc..

According to the Salary.com survey, the working mom puts in over a 92-hour work week once you combine her full-time job, mom hours, and mom overtime. The primary driver of mom's six-figure salary depends on the amount of overtime worked. This year the stay-at-home mom's overtime averaged 56 hours in their 96-hour "work week" -- over half her time spent on the job is overtime.

For more detailed information on the Stay-at-Home and Working Mom compensation analysis as well as the Mom Salary Wizard, log on to http://mom.salary.com .