According to various Santa Booking Agencies (there are quite a few of these, just Google Hire Santa), hourly rates can be $100 or higher in a mall and up to $300 for private parties.
What does it take to be a Santa? Most of all, it takes an outgoing personality and friendliness, but you will have to pass a background check since you will be working with kids. If you are really serious about a Santa career, enroll in The International University of Santa Claus in Riverside, California. IUSC students pay about $100 for a one-day workshop in which they learn tricks like how to guess a child's age based on his grade level in school or how to handle inconsiderate parents.
Just some food for thought...
Have a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year!
For more weird jobs go to Pinterest-Weird Job Wednesday
Sources: International Council of Shopping Centers, PayScale, Santaforhire.com