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Do You Earn More Than Your Favorite TV Characters?

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Last Updated September 28, 2016

As the weather turns cooler and Starbucks begins serving its highly-anticipated pumpkin lattes, it's hard not to get excited about the holidays. But we can’t forget that another exciting season is dawning upon us. That’s right, 'tis the season for fall TV’s hottest shows. In full pop-culture-meets-Glassdoor spirit, we have created a list of the salaries of some of our favorite TV characters based upon what they would earn in today's job market. So while you may not make as much as the A-listers behind the role, the real question is: Do you make more than these famous fictional characters?

1. Joyce Byers, Stranger Things
Job: Cashier
Median Annual Salary: $18,560

The single mother of two just can’t get a break. Aside from barely making ends meet with her retail clerk job, she turns into the town lunatic during her pursuit to retrieve her son from “a stranger world”.



2. Michael Scott, The Office
Job: Regional Sales Manager
Median Annual Salary: $105,290

From paper man to paper maker. It’s safe to say that Michael Scott is living large.



3. Sookie St. James, Gilmore Girls
Job: Professional Chef
Median Annual Salary: $45,720

This loveable chef from the idyllic town of Stars Hollow is more than just giggles and jokes. She makes a mean mud pie and brings home a solid salary too.



4. Ross Geller, Friends
Job: Professor
Median Annual Salary: $114,134

Ross may not be the smoothest guy on the block, but he definitely brings home one good-looking paycheck.



5. Nick Miller, New Girl
Job: Bartender
Median Annual Salary: $33,000

As a law-school-dropout-turned-bartender, Nick Miller might be a parents’ nightmare come true, but that doesn’t turn Jess away from his awkward charm.



6. Hannah Horvath, Girls
Job: Staff Writer
Median Annual Salary: $49,679

Hannah’s gig at GQ gave her a decent salary for a writer struggling to get her big break. Too bad it wasn’t too long before she quit her job and returned to her annual income of a big fat nothing.



7. Sheldon Lee Cooper, Big Bang Theory
Job: Physicist
Median Annual Salary: $105,290

Sheldon might not know how to talk to girls, but he sure as heck knows how to bring home the big bucks as a physicist at CalTech.



8. Danny Tanner, Full House
Job: Broadcast Journalist
Median Annual Salary: $50,707

This super dad and talk show co-host of “Wake Up, San Francisco!” gets by as a single father of three with his broadcast journalist salary, not to mention having his brother-in-law and best friend living with him to help out.



9. Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
Job: Deputy Director, Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation
Median Annual Salary: $117,537

We may never know if Leslie Knope goes on to be president of the United States, but we do know that this die-hard advocate of Pawnee City’s recreational well-being got paid more than the national average.



10. Walter White, Breaking Bad
Job: Chemistry Teacher
Median Annual Salary: $47,492

There are many reasons teachers need to be paid more, but let’s add the pressure the low salary puts on people to deal drugs in order to support a family and stage 3 lung cancer to the list.



11. Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
Job: Waste Management Consultant
Median Annual Salary: $92,564

Tony Soprano rakes in a nice salary as a consultant, but is it enough to afford his mega mansion in New Jersey? Maybe he works night shifts somewhere...



12. Jane Villanueva, Jane The Virgin
Job: Elementary School Teacher
Median Annual Salary: $46,967

Amidst being accidentally artificially inseminated, finding out her father was a major telenovela star, and falling in love with man unintentionally tangled in all sorts of crime and suspense, Jane is somehow still able to achieve her dream of becoming a teacher.



13. Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
Job: Nuclear Plant Safety Inspector
Median Annual Salary: $37,100

It’s hard to believe that Homer actually has a job as serious as this. However, Marge helps him live frugally to support the family and his love of Duff beer,



14. Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock
Job: Detective
Median Annual Salary: $61,632

The legendary character of Sherlock, most recently brought back to the forefront of modern TV via Benedict Cumberbatch, takes home a sharp salary, but not as sharp as his abilities as a top sleuth.