Washington state government salary

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State Information

Washington state government salaries are available through newspapers such as The Olympian and The News Tribune.[1][2] The Office of the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program Committee and Office of Financial Management collaborated in 2008 to create the Washington State Fiscal Information website, which aggregates state spending information.[3]

The Washington Office of Financial Management posts on its webpage the Personnel Detail Report, which provides salary and other employment information for each employee in all state agencies.[4] The data from the 2011 Personnel Data Report, which covers the 2010 calendar year, is searchable by name, agency or function area.[5]

The state cut state employees' pay by 3 percent as of July 1, 2011.[6] Employee salary and benefits for general government and higher education employees accounted for 20.5% of the state budget in 2002 and 18.2% in 2011. K-12 public-school-employment costs were not included in the calculations.[7]

Among general-government employees, more than 1,350 earned more than $100,000. The top earner in the group was Gary Bruebaker, chief investment officer at the Washington State Investment Board. His gross pay was $303,581.79, and he was the 56th highest paid of all state government employees.[8]

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the state of Washington and local governments in the state employed a total of 427,078 people.[9] Of those employees, 287,439 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $1,403,475,485 per month and 139,639 were part-time employees paid $212,257,148 per month.[9] More than 49% of those employees, or 212,659 employees, were in education or higher education.[9]

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, Washington state legislators received an annual salary of $42,106.[10] Legislators received a per diem of $90 per day.[10]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers
State executive salaries[11]
Office '10 salary Current official
Governor $166,891[12] Jay Inslee
Lieutenant Governor $93,948 Brad Owen
Secretary of State $116,950 Kim Wyman
Attorney General $151,718 Bob Ferguson
Treasurer $116,950 James McIntire

As of 2008, the salary of Washington's governor ranked 7th 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.[13] In a 2011 list of state employees ranked by salary, the governor was the 956th highest-paid state employee.[14]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
Washington judicial salaries[15]
Position '10 salary Current justice
Chief Justice $164,221 Barbara Madsen
Associate Justice $164,221 Charles Johnson
Associate Justice $164,221 Charlie Wiggins
Associate Justice $164,221 Steven Gonzalez
Associate Justice $164,221 Sheryl McCloud
Associate Justice $164,221 Susan Owens
Associate Justice $164,221 Mary Fairhurst
Associate Justice $164,221 James Johnson
Associate Justice $164,221 Debra Stephens

As of 2010, the salary of Washington's chief justice ranked 18th 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.[15]

As of 2010, the salaries of Washington's associate justices ranked 15th 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.[15]

Teacher salaries

About 70-75 percent of school staff are at least partially paid by state Basic Ed dollars — the remainder are paid largely by local “enhancement” levies. Almost all districts also pay their staff additional salary or benefits raised from local sources.[16]

Washington adopted collective bargaining for public workers in 2002.[17]

Teacher salaries[18]
Beginning teacher salary Average salary
$35,018 $52,567

A 2000 voter referendum required the state to provide an annual cost-of-living salary adjustment (COLA) for K-12 teachers and other public school employees and certain community and technical college staff, beginning in school year 2002. Each school district must distribute the COLA in accordance with the district's salary schedules, collective bargaining agreements, and compensation policies and certify that the district spent the funds for COLAs.[19]

State employee benefits

Washington employees receive many benefits in addition to their salaries.


Employees earn 12-22 days of paid vacation per year depending on the length of employment.[20]

Paid holidays

Full-time employees are entitled to 10 paid holidays, and one personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the state for at least four months.[20] The paid holidays are:[21]

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

Sick leave

Full-time employees earn one day of sick leave each month. Part-time employees earn sick leave on a pro rata basis.[20]

Bereavement leave

Non-represented classified employees are entitled to three days of paid bereavement leave when a family or household member dies.[20]

Civil leave

Employees are allowed leave with pay for jury duty or to perform other civil duties.

Military leave

Military training leave with pay is permitted to a maximum of 21 work days in any one year.


Health, vision and dental

State employees pay 12% and the state pays 88% of health care premiums, with the average premium for employees costing $112 per month.[22] State employees choose among eight different health insurance plans.[23] These include managed managed care plans or preferred provider plans.[23] Dental and vision insurance is provided to employees and premiums are fully paid by the state.[24]


Eligible employees are provided with a $25,000 basic term life insurance and basic $5,000 coverage for accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance.[25] Additional supplemental insurance and coverage for dependents is available to employees.[24]

Long term disability

Eligible employees receive basic long term disability (LTD) coverage. Employees may choose to purchase additional LTD coverage which provides up to sixty percent of their monthly salary (following a waiting period selected by the employee).


Other coverage for auto, boat, home, and renter insurance is available through payroll deduction. Long term care insurance is also available.[24]


See also: Washington public pensions

Most state employees are members of the Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).[24] The state requires that employees contribute 5.31% of their salaries to the retirement system.[26]

Employees also have the option of supplementing their retirement by participating in the state's Deferred Compensation Program.[24] It is a 457 plan that requires a minimum investment of $30.[27]

Other benefits

  • Dependent Care Assistance Program allows employees to save on child or elder care expenses such as babysitting, daycare, or in-home care for an older dependent by setting aside pre-tax dollars from their paycheck.[28]
  • Flexible Spending Accounts permit employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for out-of-pocket health expenditures.[29]
  • Employee Assistance Program

See also

External links


  1. The Olympian State Salary Database
  2. The News Tribune School Empoyee Salaries
  3. Washington State Fiscal Information
  4. Washington OFM Personnel Detail Report
  5. The Washington Policy Center "State employee compensation now available in a searchable format" Sept. 20, 2011
  6. The Olympian "UW coach No. 1 for pay; Gregoire at No. 956" Aug. 10, 2011
  7. The Seattle Times "State workers getting smaller share of budget" Oct. 14, 2011
  8. The Olympian "UW coach No. 1 for pay; Gregoire at No. 956" Aug. 10, 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 2008 Washington Public Employment U.S. Census Data
  10. 10.0 10.1 National Conference of State Legislators 2010 Legislator Compensation Data
  11. The Council of States Governments The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11
  12. The Council of State Governments The Book of States 2010 Table 4.3
  13. ‘‘The Council of State Governments,’’ “The Book of the States: 2008” (dead link)
  14. The Olympian "UW coach No. 1 for pay; Gregoire at No. 956" Aug. 10, 2011
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 The National Center for State Courts, "Judicial Salary Resource Center" as of Jan. 1, 2010
  16. Funding Washington Schools, Teachers & Staff — Our biggest investment in our children
  17. The Olympian, States Mixed on Collective Bargaining, March 7, 2011
  18. Teacher Salaries
  19. Funding Washington Schools, Teachers & Staff — Our biggest investment in our children
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Vacation, Leave and Holidays
  21. Holiday Schedule
  22. The Seattle Times "State budget likely to go from bad to much worse" Sept. 11, 2010
  23. 23.0 23.1 Insurance Plans
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Benefits Overview
  25. Public Employees Benefits Board Life Insurance
  26. Contribution Rates
  27. Deferred Compensation Plan FAQs (timed out)
  28. Dependent Care Assistance Program
  29. Flexible Spending Accounts