Michigan state government salary

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State Information

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, the state of Michigan and local governments in the state employed a total of 590,868 people.[1] Of those employees, 395,115 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $1,896,386,227 per month and 195,753 were part-time employees paid $232,116,286 per month.[1] Over 60% of those employees, or 366,011 employees, were in education or higher education.[1] As of 2010, Michigan state workers received approximately 47% more in total compensation than their private-sector counterparts.[2] As of 2010, the average state worker made about $54,000 a year.[3]

As of 2011, managers and supervisors in Michigan state government made an average of $73,694 a year. Union-represented employees earned an average of $53,705 annually.[4]

As of 2011, Michigan's state budget director, John Nixon, received a salary of $250,000 a year -- the highest salary of those in the cabinet, according to salary information released by the governor's office.[5]

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, Michigan state legislators earned $79,685 per year.[6] As of 2012, legislators also received a $10,800 yearly expense allowance for session and interim as set by the compensation commission.[7]

Effective January 1, 2011, Michigan legislators took a 10% reduction in pay to $71,685. The yearly expense account was also reduced 10% to $10,800.[8]

The House discloses all of its salaries in a database.[9]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers
State executive salaries[10]
Office '11 salary Current official
Governor $159,300, $1 as of 2011[11] Rick Snyder
Lieutenant Governor $123,900 Brian Calley
Secretary of State $124,900 Ruth Johnson
Attorney General $124,900 Bill Schuette
Treasurer $174,204 Andy Dillon

As of 2008, the salary of Michigan's governor ranked 3rd among U.S. governors' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. governors was $128,735. The median salary earned by U.S. governors was $129,962.[12]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
Michigan judicial salaries[13]
Position '09 salary Current justice
Chief Justice $164,610 Robert P. Young, Jr.
Associate Justice $164,610 Diane Hathaway
Associate Justice $164,610 Bridget Mary McCormack
Associate Justice $164,610 Mary Beth Kelly
Associate Justice $164,610 Brian Zahra
Associate Justice $164,610 Michael F. Cavanagh
Associate Justice $164,610 Stephen Markman

As of 2010, the salary of Michigan's chief justice ranked 16th among U.S. chief justices' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $155,230. The median salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $151,284.[13]

As of 2010, the salaries of Michigan's associate justices ranked 14th among U.S. associate justices' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $151,142. The median salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $145,984.[13]

Michigan State Police

Michigan State Police troopers approved a contract that was effective until December 2011. Then-governor Jennifer Granholm said "tough economic times and financial pressures on the state budget" required changes in employee benefits. Per the agreement, state troopers received no wage increase in the first year of the contract, a 1% increase in the second year, and a 2% increase in the third year. Healthcare plan changes were expected to offset the wage increases.[14]

Local government employees

See also: Michigan local government salary

In 2011, Sunshine Review requested salary information from 19 local governments in the state.

Teacher salaries

As of 2011, the average salary for a teacher in Michigan with 25 years of experience was $68,230 with a bachelor’s degree, $78,826 with a master’s degree and $83,556 with a master’s degree plus credits.[15]

Teacher salaries[16]
Beginning teacher salary Average salary
$35,164 $57,327

In 2008, the average Michigan teacher salary was approximately $56,000, compared to a nationwide average salary of $40,800.[17] In the 2006/2007 school year, Michigan had an average teacher salary of $55,541 and ranked 9th in the nation according to the American Federation of Teachers. In 2005/2006, the average salary was $54,739 and ranked 7th.[18] By June 30, 2010 all school districts were required to post financial, salary and benefit information according to the School State Aid Act.[19]

School year Average annual teacher salary Average beginning teacher salary
2006-07 $55,541[18] $34,100[18]
2005-06 $54,739[18] n/a[18]
2004-05 $53,959[18] $35,557[18]

Bus drivers

One bus driver in Lansing earned $140,900 in 2009, after clocking in 2,198 hours of overtime - or about 42 extra hours per week.[20] Another CATA bus driver earned $114,691 in 2009, and 25 other drivers reported incomes over $80,000.[20]

Employee benefits

The Mackinac Center estimated that the annual cost of public sector benefits for Michigan state employees in 2011 was $5.7 billion total, with about $2.5 billion coming from pension, health care and other fringe benefit costs found in public schools, $1.7 billion in local government, $844 million in colleges and universities and $708 million in state government.[21]


Employees are eligible for insurance options if the employee is in any category of the classified state service with an appointment of at least 720 hours duration, except if the employee has a non-career appointment.[22]


Employees may choose between an HMO plan and a PPO plan.[23] Another option is catastrophic coverage.[24]

As of April 1, 2011, new state employees paid 20% of their health insurance premiums; all others paid 10%.[4] The state contributed a minimum of $280 and a maximum of $648.26 on a biweekly basis for employee health insurance.[25]


The State of Michigan offers various Dental Insurance Plans. An eligible employee can select the State Dental Plan, for the which the state pays 95% of the premium, a Preventative Plan, which the state pays for in full and gives employees a $100 lump-sum cash payment, or a Dental Maintenance Organization, which the state pays for in full.[26][27]


The state's vision insurance plan is available to employees and the state covers the entire cost of the premium.[28]


Employees can select the State Life Insurance Plan, for which the state will cover the full premium cost, or the Reduced Benefit Life Insurance Plan, for which the state will cover the full premium cost and give the employee a biweekly cash refund.[29] The state life insurance plan is a traditional group life insurance plan that pays the employee's designated beneficiary a non-taxable death benefit equal to 200% the employee's basic annual salary.[29] The reduced benefit plan pays the designated beneficiary a non-taxable death benefit equal to 100% of the employee's basic annual salary rounded up to the next $1,000 but no more than $50,000.[29] Employees may also add employee-paid supplemental insurance.[30]

Long-term disability

Employees also have long-term disability insurance.[31]


See also: Michigan public pensions

Employees receive a minimum 4% state contribution toward their retirement fund. If an employee elects to contribute more, the state will match that percentage (up to 3%).[32]

Employees may invest income in a tax-deferred retirement investment program. The state offers two optional deferred compensation plans, the 457 and 401(k). Employees decide the amount they want deducted from their paychecks.[32]

As of 2010, the state wanted workers to pay 3% of their monthly salaries toward a trust that would fund retiree health-care benefits, whereas they had previously paid nothing.[33] The employee contributions would generate $300 million of the more than $920 million in health-care costs projected for FY2012.[33] Three unions filed suit against the state, claiming that the policy was an unlawful violation of the terms of their employment.[33] The new contributions had been collected by the teachers' retirement fund since July 1, 2010, but were being held pending a court decision. Should the state lose the lawsuit, contributions would likely be returned to employees.[33]

Retiree benefits

Michigan officials have said that retiree health obligations account for 1/7 of the state’s payroll costs.[34]


State employees receive 12-13 paid holidays per year:[35]

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Election Day (even years)
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Years Eve


Full-time employees receive between 15 and 35 vacation leave days per year.[32]


Employees also receive 13 sick days per year.[32]


Employees receive 8 hours of leave annually to participate in certain school functions or community activities.[32]

Other benefits

  • Flexible Spending Account[36]

Additional reading

External links






  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 2010 Michigan Public Employment U.S. Census Data
  2. Reason "What's Round on The Ends and High in The Middle? Ohio's Public Sector Salaries, That's What" July 7, 2010
  3. The Detroit News "Budget proposal pits local governments against state employees" Sept. 12, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Detroit Free Press "Too many managers in Michigan government? Gov. Rick Snyder orders study" Sept. 16, 2011
  5. The Detroit Free Press "State budget chief gets top salary at $250K" Jan. 15, 2011
  6. National Conference of State Legislators 2010 Legislator Compensation Data
  7. NCSL, 2012 Compensation Data," accessed June12, 2012
  8. NCSL 2012 Legislator Compensation Data
  9. Michigan House of Representatives, Salaries," accessed May 3, 2012 (dead link)
  10. The Council of States Governments The Book of States 2011 Table 4.11
  11. CNS News, Michigan Governor to Take $1 Salary in 'Shared Sacrifice', Feb. 17, 2011
  12. ‘‘The Council of State Governments,’’ “The Book of the States: 2008” (dead link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The National Center for State Courts, "Judicial Salary Resource Center" as of Jan. 1, 2010
  14. The Detroit Free Press "3-year deal approved by Michigan State Police" July 30, 2010
  15. Michigan Capital Confidential, Michigan Teacher Salaries and the Highest-Paid College Graduates in America, May 24, 2011
  16. [2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00Z%20TO%202012-01-01T00%3A00%3A00Z
  17. Kalamazoo Gazette, "Another look at Michigan teacher salaries," April 22, 2008
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 American Federation of Teachers, "Survey and Analysis of Teacher Salary Trends 2007," accessed September 16, 2009
  19. Michigan Capital Confidential, Schools Starting to Post Salary Details, Aug. 10, 2010
  20. 20.0 20.1 Michigan Capitol Confidential, Lansing's $140,000 Bus Driver, Nov. 5, 2010
  21. The Detroit News "Public workers in Snyder's sights" Jan. 3, 2011
  22. Eligibility
  23. Benefit booklets
  24. Health Info
  25. Rates (dead link)
  26. Dental
  27. Dental Details
  28. Vision Insurance Plan
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Life Insurance Plans
  30. Supplemental Insurance
  31. Long Term Disability Insurance
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 Civil Service Commission
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 The Wall Street Journal "States Press Workers on Healthcare" August 27, 2010
  34. The New York Times "States Aim Ax at Health Cost of Retirement" Feb. 13, 2011
  35. State Holidays
  36. Flexible Spending Account