A Quick Guide to Politician’s Salaries in the United States

A politician’s salaries in the United States ranges from zero to six figures, with those serving at the local level earning the least and those elected to state and federal offices earning the most. If you’re considering running for public office, perhaps in Congress, you’ll want to know what your salary will be.

The answer is determined by the job. Elected positions on your town council may include a small stipend, but they are typically unpaid volunteer positions. The majority of county-level elected positions pay a living wage. However, it is only at the state and federal levels that politicians’ salaries begin to rise. Here’s a look at the salaries of politicians in the United States.


politician's salaries
Image-Douglas Rissing/Getty Images

The president of the United States is paid $400,000 per year as the country’s commander-in-chief. Since President George Washington took office in 1789, Congress has raised the president’s salary five times. The pay was last increased to its current level by Congress in 1999. As of January 2020, the vice president earns $235,100 per year. 

Members of Congress

The base salary for members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate is $174,000 per year. Some believe that is far too much given the relatively few days they spend debating legislation each year, while others believe it is far too little given the amount of work they actually do outside of the House and Senate floors.


According to the Council of State Governments, governors are paid between $70,000 and $201,000 for their work as their state’s top executive. “California had the highest gubernatorial salary in 2018 at $201,680 and New York had the lowest at $200,000. In 2018, the states with the lowest gubernatorial salaries were Maine ($70,000) and Colorado ($90,000).

State Legislators

State legislators’ pay varies greatly depending on whether they work for one of the ten full-time legislatures or the remaining part-time legislatures. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, full-time elected state legislators earn an average of $75,415 per year. Part-time legislators, on the other hand, earn an average of $12,838.8 per year.

If you are elected to the California legislature, you will earn more than your counterparts in any other state: Its lawmakers’ base salary of $110,459 is the highest in the country. If you are elected to New Hampshire’s part-time legislature, you should have another job lined up because elected legislators earn only $200 per two-year term.

County Politicians

County commissioners and executives, like state legislators, are paid differently depending on the population they represent and other factors. A county executive-level position pays approximately $79,784.10.

According to ZipRecruiter, the top elected officials in Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, and New York City each earn between $183,000 and $202,000 per year.
In Rochester, New York, the starting salary is around $169,000. County commissioners, on the other hand, earn an average annual salary of about $47,500, and their pay is often comparable to that of state legislators in their respective states.

Local Elected Officials 

You’re doing well if you’re the mayor of a major city like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Houston. The mayors of these cities are paid around $200,000 per year. (In addition, the Mayor of San Francisco is paid more than $300,000 per year.)

However, if you are a mayor earning the national average annual salary for the position, you would earn around $56,000 per year. In a small city or township, the mayor and council members may only be paid stipends or serve as unpaid volunteers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is US president’s salary?

The president of the United States is paid $400,000 per year.

How much is US Vice-President’s salary?

The vice president of united states earns $235,100 per year. 

Spread the love

One comment

  1. I agree with your point of view, your article has given me a lot of help and benefited me a lot. Thanks. Hope you continue to write such excellent articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *