Salary of Every Politician, From the State House to the White House
The politician’s salaries in the United States range from zero to six figures, with those serving at the local level earning the least and those elected to state and federal offices making the most. You will want to know your salary if you are considering running for public offices, such as Congress.
You may get a small stipend if elected to the town council, but it’s usually an unpaid volunteer position. Most county-level positions are a living wage. In the United States, politicians’ salaries start rising when they reach the state and federal levels. Here’s how much they get paid.
As the nation’s commander-in-chief, the president gets paid $400,000 annually. President George Washington got a raise five times since he took office in 1789. Congress last raised the pay in 1999. The vice president earns $235,100 a year as of January 2020.
U.S. House and Senate members have a base salary of $174,000. Some people think that’s way too much, given the relatively few days they spend debating legislation every year, and others think that’s way too little, given all the work they do outside the House and Senate floors.
According to the Council of Governments, governors get paid between $70,000 and $201,000 for their work as their state’s top executive. California had the five highest gubernatorial salaries in 2018 at $201,680 (and) New York at $200,000. The lowest gubernatorial salaries were in Maine at $70,000 and Colorado at $90,000 in 2018.
A legislator’s salary varies widely based on whether he or she works for one of the ten full-time legislatures or one of the remaining part-time legislatures. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, full-time elected lawmakers at the state level earn an average of $75,415 annually. Part-time lawmakers, by contrast, receive an average salary of $12,838 annually.
If elected to the California legislature, you will earn more than your counterparts in any other state: Its MPs’ base pay of $110,459 is the highest in the country. If elected to New Hampshire’s part-time legislature, you should have another employment lined up because elected legislators receive only $200 for a two-year term.
Politicians in counties
Politician salaries for a county executive-level position are nearly $79784. Like state legislators, county commissioners and executives earn substantially different amounts depending on the population they represent.
Each top elected official in Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, and New York City makes between $183,000 and $202,000 a year. In Rochester, it’s about $169,000. On average, a county commissioner earns about $47,500 a year nationwide, which is about the same as what state legislators get paid.
Elected Local Officials
The mayors of big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston make about $200,000. (And San Francisco’s mayor makes more than $300,000 a year.)
On the national average, a mayor makes about $56,000 a year. If your city or township is small, the mayor and council members may only get stipends or serve as unpaid volunteers. In a way, it’s funny because your local elected officials often make decisions you notice more, or at least more immediately.