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Wages for many U.S. workers are increasing, and that includes American fathers. Dad’s 2024 “salary” in the last year jumped 5.4% to $57,940, up from $54,996, according to an analysis by

Fathers appear to be doing a bit better than workers in general. In its May jobs report, released June 7, 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said U.S. hourly earnings increased 4.1% over the past 12 months.

Each year around Father’s Day,’s editors look at 17 household chores fathers do and estimate an annual salary for each task based on wage data for comparable jobs from the BLS. 

Examples of such work include landscaping and groundskeeping. The editors estimate that fathers spend about two hours a week cutting the lawn in the summer, raking leaves in the fall and shoveling pathways during wintertime. Landscapers and groundskeepers, according to the BLS, make $19.13 an hour. At that rate, for working two hours a week across 52 weeks, the annual pay for that work would be $1,990. When the editors added the pay for yard work with the salaries for other common jobs fathers do, such as working on the car (auto mechanic) and killing bugs (pest control worker), they came up with an annual salary of $57,940. 

The 5.3% boost in pay is a small increase from last year’s index, which saw fathers’ salaries rise 5% from 2022.

Unlike some years in the past, just about all of Dad’s jobs saw an increase this year. Among the roles that boosted Dad’s paycheck the most were cook, laborer and accountant, which all saw significant salary bumps: 

  • Laborers: Up 9%
  • Cooks: Up 10%
  • Accountants: Up 23%

There are good reasons those salaries are rising. Laborers and cooks are two of the jobs on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics list of occupations that will add the most workers between 2022 and 2032. As for accountants, The Wall Street Journal  and others over the last few months have been reporting on the dire shortage of these professionals. CNBC said in April that companies were increasing entry-level salaries to attract finance and accounting talent. 

However, despite his recent salary increase, Dad’s contribution to the household account pales in comparison to Mom’s. In the past year, if mothers were paid for all the jobs they do around the house, they would have received a salary of more than $140,000, according to an earlier analysis by 

Profession Father’s job description Hour per week Weeks per year Mean hourly wage Annual earnings (rounded) % Change from 2023
Cooks (short order)Barbecuing and cooking352$16.31$2,544.0010.2
Chauffeurs and shuttle driversDriving952$17.75$8,307.005.5
Setting up computers, cellphones and helping with IT issuesHelping with homework1040$31.92$12,768.000
Accountants/auditorsHandling family finances0.552$43.65$1,335.0023.2
Landscaping and groundskeeping workersMowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removals252$19.13$1,990.006.8
Laborers and freight, stock, and material moversCleaning up23$16.36$98.009
Automotive service technicians and mechanicsMaintaining the car210$24.97$499.004.4
Coaches and scoutsCoaching a team410$22.07$883.002.3
Recreation workersKeeping the kids entertained510$17.44$872.006.1
Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricatorsAssembling toys, bookshelves, etc.310$20.39$612.005.3
Pest control workersRemoving pests (spiders and all gross bugs)14$21.46$86.006.2
Maintenance and repair workers, generalBeing handy86$23.87$1,146.005.3
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfittersPlumbing23$32.62$196.004.3
Refuse and recyclable material collectorsCollecting trash and occasional trips to the dump0.552$22.99$598.004.9
Computer and information systems managersSettting up computers, cellphones and helping with IT issues145$86.88$3,910.004.1
Judges, magistrate judges, and magistratesBreaking up fights, deciding fault and handing out punishment150$87.60$4,380.0018.5
CuratorsHandling family papers, photographs and heirlooms and teaching family history1052$34.07$17,716.005
TOTAL    $57,940.005.4

Why it’s important for fathers to get life insurance

As we celebrate Father’s Day and recognize all the contributions fathers make, it’s a good time to make sure dads have an adequate level of life insurance protection. If a father dies, in addition to the emotional loss, there’s often a significant reduction in household income.

Almost half — 49% — of American families would face financial hardship within six months if a wage earner died unexpectedly, and 27% would suffer financially within a month, according to the 2024 Insurance Barometer Study. The study, which tracks consumers’ insurance perceptions, is conducted annually by LIMRA, the life-insurance industry research organization, and Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance education group.

For many families, the absence of a second parent necessitates hiring outside experts for household repairs, lawn maintenance and other essential tasks. Using the Father’s Day Index as a benchmark, the cost could add up to $58,000 – and maybe more.

Life insurance can help lessen many families’ financial pain when a parent dies.

However, the LIMRA study found only about half of American adults own life insurance. 

One reason: cost. Many families put off buying life insurance because they think they can’t afford it. But the study found people consistently think the cost of life insurance is higher than it is — with about three-quarters (72%) of Americans overestimating the cost of basic term life.

But another issue is a lack of familiarity with life insurance products. People often wonder about the right time to buy a policy, how much life insurance they need and what type of life insurance they should buy.

The right time to buy life insurance

There is no right or wrong time to get life insurance, according to the experts – although starting early can get the lowest rate for a policy. The cost of buying coverage increases with age. 

“The timing really depends on each father’s needs, which will likely differ depending on a consumer’s age,” says Darrel Tedrow, senior vice president and president of Life Solutions at Lincoln Financial.  

“For instance, someone in their 20s or 30s might want life insurance that focuses on providing a death benefit, while a retiree might focus more on the living benefits of their policy like helping pay for unexpected medical bills, covering long-term care expenses or supplementing their retirement income,” Tedrow says. He offered additional advice for fathers during an interview with

How much life insurance do dads need?

Which brings up the next question: How much does anyone need?

There are several factors fathers should consider when deciding how much life insurance they need, Tedrow says.

“First is income replacement – a person should take into account their current and future income, the length of time their loved ones would need financial support, any outstanding debts – mortgage, credit card bills, etc. – and funeral costs when determining the amount of life insurance they need,” he says.

Todd Taylor, senior vice president and head of Life Insurance Solutions at New York Life, agrees that fathers should think beyond funeral expenses and estimate the multi-year cost of income loss as well as the cost of replacing the work they do in the home – factoring in expected increases for those costs.

“For example,” Taylor says, “fathers should consider the cost of childcare. According to New York Life Wealth Watch research conducted in May 2024, on average, parents report spending $718.55 on their child’s education and $610.68 on childcare and daycare each month. Forty-two percent of parents with child education costs and 40% of parents with childcare and daycare costs report that their monthly bills have increased compared to a year ago.”

Taylor says fathers need to ask themselves a series of questions: How much death benefit do I need? How long will I need that coverage? What is my budget (or how much monthly premium can I afford to pay)? What is my investment risk tolerance?

Taylor offered additional advice for fathers during an interview with

“Coverage needs depend on many factors including dad’s income, any debt the family has such as a mortgage, student or auto loans, and other financial goals – perhaps funding a college savings account,” says Karen Terry, assistant vice president and head of LIMRA Insurance Product Research. “Fathers should make a list of all of their financial needs that might not be met if their income stopped and then consult a financial advisor.”

How to choose a life insurance policy for dad

Another question families often have is what type of policy to buy, usually deciding between term life insurance or permanent life insurance.

Term life policies last for a set number of years – such as 20 or 30 years – and are generally affordable. Rates vary by company, age, health status and other factors, but the cost of term life insurance for a healthy 30-year-old is around $200 a year, according to LIMRA.

“Term life insurance provides protection for a temporary period of time, meaning it generally has a lower monthly financial commitment than other types of life insurance,” says New York Life’s Taylor.

Permanent life insurance works differently. The policy is effective as long as you’re alive and your premiums are paid.

Permanent life insurance — such as whole lifeuniversal life and indexed universal life — is more suited for those looking for coverage for longer periods of time and supplemental offerings, such as cash value accumulation. Unlike term life, permanent life insurance doesn’t expire after a set period but remains active your entire life. 

Whole life is the most popular type of permanent life.

Whole life, says New York Life’s Taylor, “is ideal for individuals who want guarantees and the ability to accumulate savings, along with not having to worry about future changes in health and the need to be underwritten again in the future.”

Certain whole life policies are eligible for annual dividends that can be received as cash, used to reduce or pay premiums, or be reinvested into the policy — thus increasing the total amount of coverage, he says. New York Life says the average annual price for whole life insurance policy with a face value of $154,000 for a 35-year-old male non-smoker is $2,108.

In general, New York Life says, consider whole life if you’re looking for:

  • Permanent lifetime death benefit protection.
  • Fixed, predictable premiums that are guaranteed not to increase.
  • Guaranteed cash value accumulation that grows tax deferred and can be accessed, under certain conditions, tax-free, to meet various financial goals.
  • Additional potential cash value and death benefit growth through dividends.
  • Tax-free life insurance death benefit.

In addition to Lincoln Financial and New York Life, several other companies offer life insurance. has put together a list of the best life insurance companies.

And to help families determine how much life insurance they need, built a pair of valuable tools:’s Life Insurance Advisor offers a way to quickly analyze your assets and how much life insurance you may need.’s Life Insurance Coverage Calculator is designed to answer the big questions about life insurance: What type of policy do we need and how much coverage should we buy?

“Life insurance can provide needed protection and peace of mind for many of life’s unknowns,” New York Life’s Taylor says. “While individuals decide to purchase a policy for many reasons, the choice to do so fundamentally comes down to one thing: protection for what and who matters most.”’s Life Insurance Advisor offers a way to quickly analyze your assets and how much life insurance you may need.

Life Insurance Advisor’s Life Insurance Advisor offers a way to quickly analyze your assets and how much life insurance you may need.’s Life Insurance Coverage Calculator is designed to answer the big questions about life insurance: What type of policy do we need and how much coverage should we buy?

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John McCormick
Editorial Director


John is the editorial director for, and Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.