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Real-Life Salaries of Popular TV Characters

What would your favorite characters make in real life?

By Jared Jost, Salary.com

Great TV shows captivate audiences and form a unique bond. Whether a viewer imagines working alongside the resident doctors on Grey’s Anatomy or under the incompetent boss of The Office – they relate to these characters.

TV Characters
Median Salary
Dr. Derek Shepherd, Neurology Surgeon
"Grey's Anatomy"
Dr. Gregory House, Infectious Disease Doctor "House"
Dr. Bill Hoffman, Psychiatrist/Therapist
"Help Me Help You"
Annabeth Chase, Prosecutor
"Close to Home"
Alison Dubois Stay at Home Mom
George Lopez, Plant Manager
"George Lopez"
Michael Scott, Regional Sales Manager
"The Office"
Homer Simpson, Nuclear Safety Inspector
"The Simpson's"

Horatio Caine, Head of Crime Lab
"CSI: Miami"

Betty Suarez, Executive Assistant
"Ugly Betty"
Eddie Stark, High School History Teacher
"'Til Death"
Olivia Benson, Detective
"Law and Order"
Coach Taylor, High School Football Coach
"Friday Night Lights"
Doug Hefrernan, Delivery Man
"King of Queens"

Jack Bauer, Special Agent


Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey): Neurology Surgeon "Grey’s Anatomy"
While Dr. Shepherd’s personal life may be chaotic, he is on top and in control of his professional career. It doesn’t hurt that a neurosurgeon tops our list as the highest real-life TV salary.

Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie): Infectious Disease Doctor "House"
Dr. Gregory House is another one of the top paid doctors on TV these days. Perhaps it is because of his ability to cure all the strange diseases that come his way. Whether it is anthrax or leprosy, House finds a cure, and then gets paid big.

Dr. Bill Hoffman (Ted Danson): Psychiatrist
"Help Me Help You"
In his new role, Ted Danson is a psychiatrist who may have more problems than the people in his group
therapy sessions.

Annabeth Chase (Jennifer Finnigan): Attorney
"Close to Home"
Annabeth Chase is a successful prosecutor with a near perfect conviction record. With courage, she tries to clean up the community by taking the most difficult cases.

Alison Dubois (Patricia Arquette): Stay-At-Home Mom "Medium"
In "Medium", Alison Dubois juggles her family life and the obligation she has to help people with her supernatural powers.

George Lopez: Plant Manager
"George Lopez"
After clocking out at work as a plant manager in an L.A. airplane parts factory, George Lopez heads home to find balance with his family.

Michael Scott (Steve Carell): Regional Sales Manager "The Office"
Steve Carell gets paid a decent salary to head this office filled with quirky employees. While thinking he is full of wisdom and good jokes, his employees (and viewers) would surely disagree.

Homer Simpson: Nuclear Safety Inspector
"The Simpson’s"
Fortunately, Homer Simpson is only a nuclear safety inspector on TV and not in real life.

Horatio Caine (David Caruso): Detective
"CSI: Miami"
Horatio Caine heads the Miami Crime Lab, solving cases by relentlessly pursuing suspects and always keeping his cool. Caine relies on his team, science and his instincts to protect his hometown of Miami.

Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay): Detective
"Law and Order"
A top detective like Olivia can expect to earn a decent wage - but with the cost of living in New York City, she cannot afford too luxurious a life.

Betty Suarez (America Ferrera): Executive Assistant "Ugly Betty"
Betty Suarez is an ordinary girl trying to make it in the world of fashion. Will her intelligence and hard-work as an executive assistant help her boss successfully manage the magazine or are her dad and sister right in worrying that she is setting herself up for a fall?

Eddie Stark (Brad Garrett): High School History Teacher "‘Til Death"
Brad Garrett from "Everybody Loves Raymond," plays Eddie in this new sitcom. When he is not providing his newlywed neighbor and boss with marriage advice, he spends his time educating the minds of students as a high school history teacher.

Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler): High School Football Coach "Friday Night Lights"
Preparing his team for game day and trying to
meet the town's expectations for this year's Panther team has Coach Taylor under a lot of pressure. Can the team win the state championship this year?

Doug Heffernan (Kevin James): Delivery Man
"King of Queens"
Doug’s days are spent working the physically demanding job of a delivery man in Queens, NY. Unfortunately for him, the hard work doesn’t end when he clocks out.

Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland): Special Agent
Jack Bauer is constantly in harm’s way as he saves the president and the country on a daily basis. His non-stop, around the clock job requires him to work in hazardous conditions, odd-shifts and under great stress – all are factors that should increase his salary. Unfortunately, due to the secret nature of Jack Bauer, his salary remains confidential.

How the hell does a housewife make $134,000?
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