‘Friends’: What Was Chandler Bing’s Job?

Friends might not be streaming at the moment, but that doesn’t mean Friends fans have to miss out on their favorite moments. The beloved sitcom will launch on HBO Max in May 2020. While everyone waits for the show to return to the streaming world, a few questions about the beloved series remain. Namely, fans, 25 years later, are still unsure about Chandler Bing’s job. So what did the wisecracking friend do for a living? The answer might actually surprise you.

Did Chandler have a college degree?

Ross and Chandler met in college and quickly became best friends. It’s presumed that, because the pair met in college, that Chandler finished his program. A few other clues within the series suggest that he has at least a bachelor’s degree. In the seventh season, when Chandler challenges the gang to name every U.S state in under six minutes, Ross notes that it is sad that a group of “well-educated adults and Joey” can’t name the states.

Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing
Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing | Dave Bjerke/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The statement leads fans to believe that everyone, except for Joey, has at least some higher education. It is assumed that Pheobe, who claims to have grown up on the streets likely has a GED and went on to obtain her massage therapy license. Joey is presumed to have a high school diploma, and the rest of the gang are all believed to have at least four-year degrees.

Monica graduated with a degree in culinary arts, while Ross earned his Ph.D. Rachel is believed to have attended college, as well. It’s known that her sister is a college graduate, so one can assume she is too. While Chandler absolutely has a degree, he never mentioned what he majored in.

What did Chandler actually do for a living?

Chandler’s job was a bit of a punchline during the majority of Friends. He was the friend who never really found his niche, and had a job instead of a career or a passion. Think about it, Pheobe was a massage therapist. While a wonderfully respectable profession, she embodies what one would think of when thinking of a masseuse in the 1990s. Rachel, starting her life as a waitress, eventually finds her sea legs and gets into the fashion world she adores. Ross’ love of science led him to paleontology, while Monica’s love of food led her into the kitchens of New York’s restaurant scene. Even Joey had his career mapped out. Chandler, however, simply took a job, and it was not as a “transponster,” as Rachel suggested.

Chandler’s actual role during the earliest seasons of Friends is supposed to be a mystery, but it’s easy to figure out precisely what he did. Chandler was in data processing, but based on the types of reports that were run at his office, it can be assumed he worked in IT procurement. He moves into a supervisory role during the run of Friends after working for the company for five years.

Later, when it became clear that Chandler’s job was entirely unfulfilling, Monica helped him snag a position at an advertising company, although he starts off as an intern. Eventually, he becomes a junior copywriter. The job was far more fulfilling, but Chandler likely earned less in advertising than he did in data processing, at least at the time the show was on the air.

How much would he have made?

The exact company that Chandler worked for is unknown, but assuming he worked in IT procurement, and he was a manager by the time his tenure ended, he’d make roughly $120,000 today, according to Salary. If you adjust the numbers for inflation, in 1995, Chandler would have made about $72,000 per year.

When he eventually quit and entered the world of advertising, his original position likely netted him next to nothing. Eventually, as he moved into the role of a junior copywriter, he was making a decent salary, but nowhere near what he was making at the data company that previously employed him. According to Glassdoor, a junior copywriter earns an average salary of about $57,000 in New York today. Adjusting for inflation, Chandler would have made about $39,000 per year in 2002, which was the year he landed the role.