North Dakota state government salary

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State Information

This page describes the compensation, salaries and benefits that North Dakota's public employees receive from state and local government.

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, North Dakota state legislators received a salary of $148 per day during the legislative session.[1] Legislators also received a lodging reimbursement up to $1,040 per month.[1]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2010, the state's human resources agency evaluated the salaries of elected officials in 10 other states and recommended a compensation plan that would provide more than a dozen officials a pay raise.[2] The only position not seeing an increase in salary was that of lieutenant governor.[2] Ken Purdy, a state compensation manager, told the legislature's interim Government Services Committee that the pay of North Dakota's elected officeholders could be set at the median of the 10 states every two years, which would cost the state approximately $483,000 in the next biennial budget.[2] Of the 13 affected officeholders, 10 would see their salaries rise at least 16 percent from their 2009 pay levels. If the 2011 legislature approved the plan, it would take effect at the start of the next fiscal year on July 1, 2011. The largest increase would go to North Dakota's superintendent of public instruction, who would be paid $136,450, an increase of almost 44 percent. The tax commissioner's salary would rise almost 26 percent, to $114,195 annually.[2]

State executive salaries[3]
Office '10 salary Current official
Governor $105,036[4] Jack Dalrymple
Lieutenant Governor $81,540 Drew Wrigley
Secretary of State $83,556 Al Jaeger
Attorney General $130,228.[2] Wayne Stenehjem
Treasurer $78,900 Kelly Schmidt

As of 2008, the salary of North Dakota's governor ranked 43rd 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.[5]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
North Dakota judicial salaries[6][2]
Position '08 salary '10 salary Current justice
Chief Justice $121,513 $133,968 Gerald VandeWalle
Associate Justice $118,121 $130,228 Dale Sandstrom
Associate Justice $118,121 $130,228 Mary Muehlen Maring
Associate Justice $118,121 $130,228 Carol Ronning Kapsner
Associate Justice $118,121 $130,228 Daniel Crothers

As of 2010, the salary of North Dakota's chief justice ranked 45th 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.[7]

As of 2010, the salaries of North Dakota's associate justices ranked 49th 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.[7]

State and local employees

The 2011-2013 state budget provided funding for state employee salary increases equal to 3% effective July 1, 2011, and 3% effective July 1, 2012. The legislature stated that the raises must be based on merit and equity, and were not to be given across the board.[8]

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the state of North Dakota and local governments in the state employed a total of 60,528 people.[9] Of those employees, 34,376 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $125,555,635 per month and 26,152 were part-time employees paid $15,835,009 per month.[9] More than 48% of those employees, or 29,397 employees, were in education or higher education.[9]

Teacher salaries

North Dakota teachers have collective bargaining rights to negotiate salaries and benefits packages.[10]

Teacher salaries[11]
Beginning teacher salary Average salary
$25,793 $41,654

In the 2008-2009 school year, the number of teachers in the North Dakota school system increased to 7,295, as compared to the previous year. The average teacher salary also increased from $39,753 in 2007-2008 to $41,044 in 2008-2009.[12][13]

School year Min. base teacher salary Avg. teacher salary Max. base teacher salary Total number of teachers
2007-2008[12] $5,574 $39,753 $67,332 7,189
2008-2009[13] $5,135 $41,044.06 $68,518 7,295

State employee benefits

Employees of the state who work a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least 20 weeks each year enjoy many benefits in addition to their salaries.[14]


State employees receive 10 paid holidays:[14]

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents' Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans' Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Annual leave

Annual leave accrues on a monthly basis according to the following schedule, which is pro-rated for part-time employees:[14]

Years of service Hours/month Days/year
0 - 3 8 12
4 - 7 10 15
8 - 12 12 18
13 - 18 14 21
Over 18 16 24

No more than 240 hours of accrued leave may be carried forward beyond April 30 of each year.

Sick leave

Sick leave accrues at a rate of 8 hours per month, 12 days per year, with no limit.[14] Employees may use sick leave for illness or other medical needs (e.g., doctor appointments) and they also may use up to 40 sick leave hours per year to care for their sick child, spouse or parent.[14] Employees with 10 continuous years of service are eligible to be paid for 10% of their sick leave hours upon termination of state employment.


The state provides each eligible employee with family health insurance coverage at no cost to the employee. The state pays $658 per month per employee.[14]

Employees receive $1,300 in life insurance through the group life insurance plan at no cost to the employee. The state pays $0.28 per month.[14]

Dental insurance is available to employees. Employees pay $37.56 per month in premiums for individual coverage, and up to $119.08 for family coverage.[15]

Vision insurance is available to employees at a rate of $5.16 per month for individual coverage and up to $14.56 for family vision coverage.[16]

Long-term care insurance is another option available to employees and the premium varies depending on the coverage sought.[17]


See also: North Dakota public pensions

Employees participate in the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System. Contributions are based on the employee's monthly salary: 4.12% employer contribution; 4% employee contribution and 1% for the retiree health insurance credit contribution for a total of 9.12% of the employee's salary.[14][18] Employees become vested at 36 months.[14]

Employees may contribute additional money for retirement through the state's 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.[19] The minimum contribution is $25.00 per month; employees may select from among 11 different provider companies comprising more that 250 investment fund options.[20]

Other benefits

  • The Employee Assistance Program provides special assistance in guidance and counseling to employees and their families in dealing with personal problems and substance abuse.[21]
  • FlexComp Plan allows employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for dependent care expenses and health care expenses.[22]

See also

External links