How much would fictional characters get paid for doing their job in the real world? If you’ve ever lost yourself in a novel you might have wondered this about your favourite Tom, Joe or Helen.
Wonder no more. To celebrate World Book Day we’ve delved into our extensive database of over 1 million job vacancies to answer this very question. We’ve worked out the annual salaries for a dozen characters from popular books both new and old.
So while the kids dress up to celebrate World Book Day, why not see how your earning potential stacks up against some of fiction’s hard-working heros, villains and housekeepers.
Unreal Earnings – The Salaries Of Fictional Characters
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Joe Gargary, Blacksmith – £30,000
A modern day blacksmith would most likely work as a fabricator, with average starting salaries of £30,000.
Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon
Helen, PR Assistant – £30,000
Due to her age and her many years of experience in the role, it is likely that Helen is toward the top of the range for PR Assistants.
The Rebus Novels by Ian Rankin
John Rebus Detective Inspector – £52,290
With many successful years in his role, DI Rebus would be at the top of the pay scale.
The Sex Live of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh
Lucy, Personal Trainer – £25,000
Lucy’s fanatical and aggressive approach to training would only appeal to some, preventing her from making much more than the average starting salary for a personal trainer.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman, Associate Professor (Genetics) – £40,000
While Don lives for his job and finds it frustrating when others don’t show an interest in his position, he’s probably in line with the average salary for an associate professor.
Bleak House by Charless Dickens
Josia Tulkinghorn, Lawyer – £60,000
Mr Tulkinghorn is a private client solicitor of wills and probates. With years of experience in his job he would’ve earned well above the average salary for his position.
The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka
Mrs. Penny Council, Housing Officer – £33,000
Mrs Penny works in central London as a housing officer. Her many years in the job would see her earn over the £30,600 starting salary average.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Zillah, Housekeeper – £18,000
While Zillah’s job involved living on-site in a remote location, most live-in housekeeper jobs are now advertised in London, where the average salary is just over £20,000.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Kamal Abdic, Therapist – £38,000
Kamal should have regular clients at his well-established Home Counties private practice. However, with enough time on his hands to be out and acting mysteriously he may not be earning his full potential.
Emma Jane by Austen
Mr. Perry, Pharmacist – £35,000
My Perry treats Mr Woodhouses’s complaints with a variety of tinctures he made in his pharmacy – a position that pays an average salary of £35,000 today.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Lou Clarke Day Carer – £27,600
Hired by a wealthy family and given a generous package, Lou would be at the top of the pay range for this position. How much she would receive in bonuses is anyone’s guess.
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Tom Sherbourne, Lighthouse Keeper – Unknown
The last of Britain’s lighthouses was automated in 1998, so no salary data exists.
The Roy Grace Series by Peter James
Cleo Morley, Pathologist – £50,000
Despite being quite young, Cleo has years of service under her belt, and would be comfortably on her way up the pay ladder.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Mr. Wickham, Soldier – £18,306
Mr Wickham’s rank isn’t made clear, but as he is young and spends most of his time playing cards and dancing, he is most likely at the bottom of the pay scale.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Miss Scatcherd, History Teacher – £38,250
While the average salary for a history teacher is around £30,000, Miss Scatcherd’s years of service means she would be at the top of the pay band.
Salaries convereted to US Dollars*
Blacksmith – £30,000 = $36,480
PR Assistant – £30,000 = $36,480
Detective Inspector – £52,290 = $64,214
Personal Train – £25,000 = $30,702
Associate Professor – £40,000 = $49,124
Lawyer – £50,000 = $61,403
Council Housing Officer – £33,000 = $40,526
Housekeeper – £18,000 = $22,105
Therapist – £38,000 = $46,669
Pharmacist – £35,000 = $42,985
Day Carer – £27,600 = $33,898
Lighthouse Keeper – NA
Pathologist – £50,000 = $61,403
Soldier – £18,306 = $ 22,483
History Teacher – £38,250 = $46,976
*currency conversion correct at time of publication, taken from xe.com.