Salaries are increasing for many American workers, and that includes fathers. Dad’s 2022 “salary” jumped to $52,474 from $51,293, a 2.3% increase from last year, according to an analysis by Insure.com.

Every year, Insure.com’s editors take a look at the household tasks fathers do throughout the year and create an estimated salary based on wage data from the Bureau of Labor statistics for comparable jobs. Last year’s index, which was calculated during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and the surge in working and learning from home, saw fathers’ salaries skyrocket 36% from 2020. A significant increase in the time dads spent helping with homework was responsible for a good portion of last year’s jump.

While dads didn’t see as big of a pay increase this year, some of the jobs they performed saw notable bumps. Among the jobs that boosted dad’s paycheck this year were cooking, plumbing and information technology management, professions that are seeing significant wage increases.

  • Cook: 9%
  • Plumber: 15%
  • IT manager: 46%

Demand for cooks and other restaurant and hospitality staff have soared since the end of the pandemic lockdowns. And who doesn’t need a good plumber?

Having someone who can manage computer systems and electronics is a need every home and business has today. So it’s no surprise computer and information systems experts are seeing their salaries increase significantly. IT management research provider Computer Economics, in its latest  IT Salary Report, said IT staffers are seeing the biggest salary increases in a decade.

On the other hand, the salary for some of dad’s jobs decreased in the last year. With children back in school, fathers are seeing the value of keeping the kids occupied decrease – although for many fathers that’s the best part of the job.

  • Coach: -20%
  • Recreation worker: -20%

Overall, fathers’ wage increases this year are slightly below U.S. workers’ overall salary increases. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in early June reported that average hourly earnings increased by 5% during the past 12 months.

However, despite their recent salary increases, dad’s salary contribution to the family pales in comparison to mom’s. In the past year, if mothers were paid for all the jobs they do for their families, they would have received a salary of more than $126,725, according to an earlier analysis by Insure.com. 

2022 BLS occupation titleFather’s job descriptionHours per weekWeeks per yearMean Hourly WageAnnual earnings (rounded)Change from 2021
Cooks Barbecuing and cooking352$14.00 $2,184 9%
Chauffeurs and shuttle driversDriving952$15.66 $7,329 3%
Other teaches and instructorsHelping with homework1040$29.90 $11,960 -9%
Accountant/auditorFamily finances0.552$37.14 $966 -2%
Grounds maintenance workersMowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removal252$17.05 $1,773 13%
Hand laborers and material moversCleaning up23$14.58 $87 -14%
Automotive service technicians and mechanicsCar maintenance210$22.54 $451 5%
Coaches and scoutsCoaching a team410$18.74 $749 -20%
Recreation workersScout leader510$14.27 $714 -20%
Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricatorsAssembly of toys, bookshelves, etc.310$17.87 $536 -3%
Pest control workersPest removal 14$18.05 $72 -4%
Maintenance and repair workersHandyman86$20.76 $996 -7%
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfittersPlumber23$28.79 $17315%
Refuse and recyclable material collectorsCollect trash and puts on curb and occasional trips to the dump0.552$20.57 $535 -15%
Computer and information systems managersSets up computers, cellphones and helps with IT issues145$76.45 $3,440 46%
Judges and hearing officersBreak up fights, decide fault and punishment150$61.88 $3,094 33%
Elementary/middle school teachersTaking over/assisting with educational duties 1536$32.25 $17,415 3%

Note: Some professions might not perfectly match last year’s description due to editor updated selection of job titles.

Why it’s important for fathers to get life insurance

It’s not easy raising a family, and the last couple of pandemic-filled years increased the burden on all parents.

As we recognize dads this Father’s Day, we’re mindful that the loss of any parent is catastrophic. In addition to the emotional loss, there’s often a reduction of household income.

For many families, the loss of a father also necessitates the need to bring in outside experts for household repairs, lawn maintenance and other essential tasks. The Father’s Day Index estimate for these jobs is more than $50,000 a year.

Forty-two percent of Americans said their families would face financial hardship within six months after a wage earner’s unexpected death, according to a 2021 report from Limra, a life-insurance industry research firm.

Life insurance can help alleviate the financial pressure many families encounter when a parent dies.

However, only half of American adults have life insurance, according to Limra. Cost is a concern. But people often have a lot of questions about life insurance: When should I buy a life insurance policy? How much life insurance do I need? What type of life insurance should I purchase? 

It’s never too soon to think about life insurance, says Amanda Kuhl, vice president and actuary, life products, at New York Life.  

“However, big life events like getting married, buying a home, having children, or changing professions are common moments for fathers to consider life insurance,” Kuhl says.

Life insurance needs can vary significantly depending on age, stage of life or financial goals, says Stafford Thompson Jr., senior vice president, life and executive benefits business management, for Lincoln Financial. 

“For example, someone in their twenties who just reached a life milestone such as getting married, buying a house or having a child may have simpler life insurance needs based around death benefit protection,” he says. “Someone in their mid-forties will also likely have protection needs, but they may want a life insurance policy that can also help them plan for their retirement needs.”

Indeed, the amount of life insurance a dad needs depends on several factors, says Michele M. Frey, chief marketing officer, individual life insurance, at Prudential Financial. 

“But start by asking, ‘How much money would my family need each year to replace my income if I die?’ And then, ‘For how many years?’” she says. “These are not pleasant questions but are important for both fathers and mothers alike.”

Then, she says, for determining the best level of coverage a father should factor in other financial obligations or goals – such as paying off debt, paying for a child’s college tuition and covering future health care costs – to get a more detailed view of the family’s income needs. 

“Remember, life insurance doesn’t have to cover all of it – you may have other sources like savings or 529 plans that can be used,” she says. “Spending a few minutes going through this exercise should give dads a good estimate for how much life insurance coverage is needed.”

How to choose a life insurance policy for dad

Many families put off buying life insurance because they think they can’t afford a policy. In fact, more than half of Americans overestimate the cost of life insurance threefold, according to Limra.

Some people don’t realize that there are different types of life insurance – term and permanent life – and that some policies are more affordable than others.

Term life policies are in effect for a set number of years – such as 20 or 30 years – and families often find these policies affordable. Rates, of course, vary by company, age, health status and other factors, but a 35-year-old male who doesn’t smoke and is in good health will pay about $14 for a 10-year, $250,000 term policy from New York Life.

Term life insurance is a relatively simple way to provide for your family, says Prudential Financial’s Frey: “It allows you to select the length – or ‘term’ – of the policy, the amount of coverage you want, and the purchase process can be simple and quick.”

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

Permanent life insurance is more suited for those looking for coverage for longer periods of time and added policy flexibility, Lincoln Financial’s Thompson says. Permanent life includes different types of policies, such as whole life,  variable universal life and indexed universal life

“Permanent policies can offer lifetime death benefit protection, as well as ‘living benefits’ in the forms of cash value accumulation or riders that can be used for various financial planning needs such as supplementing retirement income, protecting a business or helping with long-term care expenses,” he says.

Just as with term life, rates vary by company, age, health status and other factors, but a 35-year-old male who doesn’t smoke and is in good health can get a $250,000 whole life policy from New York Life for about $290 a month. 

In general, says New York Life’s Kuhl, whole life should be considered if you are 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, usually tax free, to meet a variety of financial goals.
  • Additional potential cash value and death benefit growth through dividends.
  • Tax-free life insurance death benefit.

In addition to Lincoln Financial, New York Life, and Prudential Financial, there are several other companies offering life insurance. Insure.com has put together a list of the best life insurance companies.

And to help families determine how much life insurance they need, Insure.com built a pair of calculators.

Life Insurance Advisor

Insure.com’s Life Insurance Advisor offers a way to quickly analyze your assets and how much life insurance you may need.

Insure.com’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 Coverage Calculator
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
If you are looking for:

“Today’s life insurance market offers a diverse set of solutions across various price points so consumers can tailor coverage to their specific needs,” Lincoln Financial’s Thompson says. “Consumers should speak with a financial professional to help determine the type of policy that best suits their needs.”

Methodology

Mean hourly wages are based on current occupational wage data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It does not include income from work performed outside the home. The annual wage and percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. Sums may add up to more than 100. The editors determine the hours and weeks each occupation is performed based on their research and the values assigned to those tasks in past indexes. Some professions might not perfectly match last year’s description due to editors’ updated selection of job titles.

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