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Unreal Earnings – The Salaries Of Fictional Characters

Salaries of Fictional Characters - Cover Photo

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 and our salary stats 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.

Having trouble reading the infographic? Find the full text here. Wondering what these salaries are in US dollars? We’ve got that covered as well.Salaries of fictional characters - from Austen, Dickens and more


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 Charles 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