Your role at your school's Christmas pageant is linked to how much you earn, study claims

Ariel Skelley | DigitalVision | Getty Images

The roles British kids land in their school Christmas pageant could play a part in their future careers and earnings, new research claims.

According to the findings of a study published by U.K. telecom firm Virgin Media this month, children who played an ox in their school nativity went on to earn the highest salaries later in life, with adults who played the part landing an average salary of £43,000 ($55,370).

Virgin Media partnered with Ginger Comms to survey 2,000 British adults online in October. The findings, which were a snapshot of what respondents were currently earning, showed that those who had played Angel Gabriel in their school pageant were the second-highest earners, with an average income of £40,000.

Playing the role of Mary or Joseph correlated to an average annual income of £39,000 and £38,000 respectively, the data showed.

At the other end of the scale, kids who played a sheep or lamb in the school nativity made less than half of the former oxen's average income in later years, earning an average £20,000.

Nativity roles and average earnings in adulthood

Ox — £43,000

Angel Gabriel — £40,000

Mary — £39,000

Joseph — £38,000

Inn Keeper — £37,000

Shepherd — £29,000

Three Kings — £26,000

Donkey — £25,000

Angel — £25,000

Narrator — £24,000

Lamb — £20,000

As well as looking into earnings, the study delved into the industries kids went on to work in years after playing those roles.

Children who played Mary were most likely to grow up to work in the retail industry, while those who landed the part of Joseph were most likely to go on to a career in finance or banking.

Most of those who had played Angel Gabriel in their school nativity worked in marketing, while playing an ox was linked to working in advertising.

Lambs and angels were most likely to pursue a career in health care, according to the research.