With an unprecedented number of hours spent as virtual teacher support and homework helper during the 2020 pandemic, dad’s salary skyrocketed to $51,293, a 36% increase in just one year. Proving when the going gets tough, tough dads pull up a chair and quiz on this week’s spelling words.

Child on Father's shoulders

Every year at Insure.com, we take a look at all the jobs that dads do throughout the year and create an estimated salary based on wage data from the Bureau of Labor statistics for a comparable job. Suffice it to say that 2020 was a year unlike any other, and dads kicked it into high gear when their families needed them the most.

While virtual school was the number one reason for the salary increase, several other jobs saw raises this year.

The jobs that increased the most in pay were the following jobs:

  • Plumber: +10%
  • Homework helper: +10%
  • Scout leader/ Recreation and fitness: +9%

The jobs that decreased were the following:

  • Coach: -17%
  • Barbecue master/cook: -4%
  • Chauffeur: -3%

Despite the significant number of declining salaries, dads more than made up for the lost wages because of the number of hours spent helping kids with school. Beyond his normal homework helper hours, he also got credit for supporting kids with their daily schooling needs under a special task we included this year – assisting with educational duties during a pandemic.

“Whether your kids were virtual, hybrid or back in person, dads needed to be highly involved in their child’s school year,” said Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com. “Every parent, single or part of a household, took on a significant lift to help their kids get through this difficult academic year. But will this lift last?”

According to a study of American and Australian fathers, the answer is no.

“Many dads across the U.S. are anxious to get back into the office and return to how things were before the pandemic,” said Gusner, “However, their reality might look very different now. The demands on parents, who work outside the home as well as those who do not, are at an all-time high. I predict that next year we’ll see a dip in dad’s salary that we assign as he gives back some of the homeschool duties, but I doubt it will be a very drastic drop in the total salary.”

Father’s Day job values index 2021

BLS occupation titleFather's job descriptionHours per weekWeeks per yearMean Hourly WageAnnual earnings (rounded)Change from 2020
CookBarbecuing and cooking352$12.80$1,997-4%
Chauffeurs and shuttle driversDriving952$15.15$7,090-3%
Other teachers and instructorsHelping with homework1040$32.85$13,14010%
Accountant/auditorFamily finances.552$38.00$9887%
Grounds maintenance workerMowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removals252$15.08$1,568-1%
Laborers and freight, stock and material moversCleaning up23$16.80$1012%
Automotive service technicians and mechanicsCar Maintenance210$21.43$4296%
Athletes, coaches, umpires and related workersCoaching a team410$23.65$946-17%
Recreation and fitness workersScout leader510$17.88$8949%
Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricatorsAssembly of toys, bookshelves, etc.310$18.50$5552%
Pest control workersPest removal (spiders and all gross bugs)14$18.68$751%
Maintenance and repair worker, generalHandyman86$22.43$1,0762%
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfittersPlumber23$25.10$15110%
Refuse and recyclable material collectorsCollect trash and puts on curb & occasional trips to the dump.552$17.45$6282%
Computer and information systems managersSets up computers, cellphones and helps with IT issues145$52.28$2,3524%
JudgeBreak up fights, decide fault and punishment150$46.40$2,3203%
Elementary/Middle school teacher*Taking over/assisting with educational duties during pandemic1536$31.48$16,983N/A
TOTAL69  $51,29336%

* Additional job during COVID-19 pandemic

Never enough hours in the day

With only 168 hours in a week, and let’s estimate seven hours a night for sleep and a 40-hour work week, that leaves 79 hours for the 69 hours work of family responsibilities. If dads double dip with some of these chores by helping with homework while the tri-tip is on the grill, then he just might find a few free hours in the week to watch that favorite show after the kids go to bed.

The value of caregiversPhotobooth photo of duather and dad by tie

Raising kids is not for the faint of heart, and this year required dealing with a level of added stress that affected the mental health of everyone in the home.

As we celebrate dads with the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, we recognize that dads, or any caregiving adult in the home, really do so much work, both seen and unseen, that it would be catastrophic if they weren’t there. With the Insure.com Father’s Day index, we can estimate that it would cost over $50,000 to pay for all the jobs that he does around the house if he were not there.

Can you afford not to have life insurance for your family?

We talk about the value of dads to illustrate just how far-reaching the effects of losing a family member can be.

In the event that a parent dies, the family has both immediate and long-term financial obligations. In the short term, funeral and burial arrangements, mortgage, car payments, utilities and credit cards are all bills that will come due quickly. Childcare arrangements, hospital bills, and grief counseling are a few examples of unforeseen costs.

Without a partner’s contribution around the home, it can be difficult to keep up with home maintenance like regular cleaning and yard work. Even tasks that seem simple, like grocery store runs and fixing random things around the house may be challenging when you’re doing it all.

Insure commissioned a survey of over 2,000 life insurance policyholders and found that top reasons for purchasing a life policy were:

  • Got married - 31%
  • Were advised by a financial expert - 24%
  • Bought a house – 23%
  • Were pregnant or just had a child – 22%

The policy can help your partner and family survive financially, and take one burden off their heavy heart.

Life insurance is planning for the inevitable, not a windfall

Sappy movies where a woman discovers an estranged family member has died and left her a bunch of money to buy a quaint restaurant or charming inn don’t paint a realistic portrait of life insurance. In fact, if you don’t know you’re the beneficiary of a policy, you might not ever see that money.

It’s very common that the beneficiaries of a policy are the ones who report the death to the insurance company. If no one reports the death, the policy could even lapse because the company believes no one is paying the premium. It’s critical that after someone passes that the company is contacted.

Our survey of life policyholders found that 83% had informed their beneficiary of this designation, leaving 17% that had not. Of those whose beneficiary was uninformed, 29% said the reason was because they were unaware of the need to notify, 27% said it was because they felt uncomfortable discussing death and 24% said they didn’t know the steps to take to tell them. 

“It’s important to let your spouse, or whomever your beneficiary is, know so that they can take advantage of the financial assist you’ve wisely set up,” notes Gusner. “Don’t let a life insurance policy potentially go to waste.”

And, you don’t have to wait for a special time to broach the topic. In the survey, 65% said anytime is the best time to bring up life insurance. So you don’t have to wait for special day, family dinner or major life event to share the information.

A life insurance policy helps to pay for all of the things that person’s income and ability provided for the family. With that money, the family can continue to maintain their standard of living by paying the bills created from the death, paying the regular bills, as well as paying for services that were the family member normally did.

Tools of the trade

Dads have already learned the value of being prepared with something as simple as a fully-stocked diaper bag. The extra onesies, the bags full of snacks, the band-aids, the “works-for-everything” pack of wipes, and the many, many bottles of hand sanitizer have all come in handy time and time again to make things a little easier. A life insurance policy isn’t too different: It will make life a little easier in the hardest of times for your family.

Insure.com created the best tools for the job: use our Life Insurance Advisor to quickly analyze your assets and your life to provide an insurance check-up, advising you of any areas where you may not be fully covered. Then, use our insurance calculator to create an estimate of the type of life insurance policy you would need and how much that policy should cover.

In less than 10 minutes, you can feel confident that you’ve provided for your family in every way possible, and this Father’s Day, we can’t think of a better dad flex.

Methodology

“Dad’s value” is based on occupational wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and does not include a salary from work outside the home. It is calculated using a list of common household tasks that fathers often perform.

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