Elections will be held in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C., today. Find out what's on your ballot!

North Carolina state government salary

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
State Information

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

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, North Carolina state legislators received an annual salary of $13,951.[1] Legislators received a per diem of $104 per day set by statute.[1] Legislators were also given a monthly expense allowance of $559 per month.[1]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers
State executive salaries[2]
Office '10 salary Current official
Governor $139,590[3] Pat McCrory
Lieutenant Governor $123,198 Dan Forest
Secretary of State $123,198 Elaine Marshall
Attorney General $123,198 Roy Cooper
Treasurer $123,198 Janet Cowell

As of 2008, the salary of North Carolina's governor ranked 20th 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.[4]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
North Carolina judicial salaries[5]
Position '09 salary Current justice
Chief Justice $140,932 Sarah Parker
Associate Justice $137,249 Mark Martin
Associate Justice $137,249 Robert Edmunds
Associate Justice $137,249 Barbara Jackson
Associate Justice $137,249 Paul Martin Newby
Associate Justice $137,249 Cheri Beasley
Associate Justice $137,249 Robin Hudson

As of 2010, the salary of North Carolina's chief justice ranked 35th 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.[5]

As of 2010, the salary of North Carolina's associate justices ranked 36th 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.[5]

Appointed state department heads

In 2012, state lawmakers amended the state budget to give North Carolina’s next governor new power to set salaries for non-elected state department heads. However, no additional funding has been added to make up for any salary increases. Previous law had capped salary limits for the heads of eight state agencies at $121,807.[6]

State and local employees

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the state of North Carolina and local governments in the state employed a total of 655,598 people.[7] Of those employees, 510,183 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $1,839,723,835 per month and 145,415 were part-time employees paid $150,416,252 per month.[7] More than 57% of those employees, or 377,690 employees, were in education or higher education.[7] The state employee work force has grown less than 1% since July 2008, when there were 92,627 workers at state agencies and universities.[8] As of April 2010, North Carolina employed 93,217 state workers.[8]

State employees have not received a raise since 2008; more than 2,300 state workers, however, pocketed a total of $8.23 million from April to June 2010 because they were promoted, gained new skills, or took on added duties.[8]

The average state employee salary as of April 2010 was $41,723.[8]

Teacher salaries

North Carolina, like many other Southern states, does not allow for collective bargaining. The state provides funds to county school districts which in turn settle teacher salaries.

Teacher salaries
Beginning teacher Salary Average salary
$31,892 $48,648

According to state officials, in the 2008-2009 school year the average annual teacher salary was approximately $48,648. Compared to the 2007 average annual salary of $47,633, 2008 saw a $1,015 increase. Compared to the national teacher salary average, North Carolina fell $5,671 below the $54,319 average.[9]

School year Average teacher salary U.S. average teacher salary
2005-2006[10] $43,922 $49,109
2006-2007[11] $46,137 $50,816
2007-2008[12] $47,633 $52,308
2008-2009[9] $48,648 $54,319

State employee benefits


According to the Office of State Personnel website, state employees receive 11 or 12 paid holidays annually as set by the State Personnel Commission.[13]

However, the Commission's website lists only these nine holidays:[14]

  • New Year's Day
  • Lincoln's Birthday
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans' Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Sick leave

Twelve days yearly of sick leave is provided to permanent, probationary and trainee employees. Leave is prorated for part-time employees.[13]


At least 95 hours (11 ¾ days) of vacation leave is provided yearly to permanent, probationary, trainee and provisional employees. As length of service increases, the amount of leave earned increases. Leave is prorated for part-time employees.[13]

Years of service Leave granted monthly
Less than 2 years 7 hrs. 50 mins.
2 but less than 5 9 hrs. 10 mins.
5 but less than 10 11 hrs. 10 mins.
10 but less than 15 13 hrs. 10 mins.
15 but less than 20 15 hrs. 10 mins.
20 years or more 17 hrs. 10 mins.

Other leave

  • Civil leave is granted to employees serving on a jury or when subpoenaed as a witness.[13]
  • Community service leave: state employees are allowed up to 24 hours per calendar year to volunteer in support of schools, communities, citizens and non-profit organizations. Parents may also use the leave for child involvement. State employees wishing to mentor or tutor a student may receive one hour per week (up to 36 hours) instead of the 24 hours annually. Additional time may be given for emergency services, blood and bone marrow donorship and disaster service volunteer efforts with the American Red Cross.[13]
  • Military leave up to a maximum of 120 hours per year.[13]


See also: North Carolina public pensions

State employees contribute 6% of their salaries to the state retirement system.[15] The state also contributes 8.14% of the employee's salary.[16]

The state offers the following tax-deferred programs to provide a way to save money to supplement the state retirement plan[15]:

  • 401(k) Deferred Compensation Plan
  • 403(b) Deferred Compensation Plan
  • 457 - North Carolina Public Employees' Deferred Compensation

In 2010, the state missed its first pension payment in history.[17] Pension assets were down $3.4 billion from the previous year, and down $8.3 billion from 2008.[17]


A statewide group plan, which covers hospital and medical expenses, is available to employees at no additional cost. Family and dependent coverage is available at the employee's expense.[18]

Employees are eligible after one year of state service for short-term disability; they are eligible for long-term disability after five years of service.[18]

A long-term care plan is optional.[18]

Other benefits

The state Employees' Assistance Program is a confidential, free service of North Carolina State Government to assist employees and their immediate family members with personal problems before they disrupt personal or work life.[18]

NC Flex offers seven voluntary benefits pre-tax to employees working 20 or more hours per week in a permanent, probationary or time-limited position[18]:

  • Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
  • Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account
  • Vision Care Plan
  • Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
  • Traditional/Managed Care Dental Coverage
  • Cancer Insurance
  • Group Term Life

Additional reading

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 National Conference of State Legislators, 2010 Legislator Compensation Data
  2. The Council of State Governments, The Book of States 2010 "Table 4.11"
  3. The Council of State Governments, The Book of States 2010 "Table 4.3"
  4. The Council of State Governments, The Book of States 2008
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The National Center for State Courts, Judicial Salary Resource Center as of January 1, 2010
  6. News & Observer, "New governor gets to dole out the salary cash to department heads," August 31, 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 2008 Illinois Public Employment U.S. Census Data
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Yahoo! Finance, "Thousands of NC workers split $8 million in raises," September 15, 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 North Carolina Department of Education, "Facts and Figures 2009-2010," accessed April 30, 2010
  10. North Carolina Department of Education, "Facts and Figures 2006-2007," accessed April 30, 2010
  11. North Carolina Department of Education, "Facts and Figures 2007-2008," accessed April 30, 2010
  12. North Carolina Department of Education, "Facts and Figures 2008-2009," accessed April 30, 2010
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, "Leave Benefits
  14. North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, State Personnel Commission, "Holiday Schedule"
  15. 15.0 15.1 North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, "Benefits - Retirement"
  16. North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, "My NC Retirement"
  17. 17.0 17.1 Watchdog, "Latest data show continuing pension pinch," August 5, 2010
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, "Insurance Benefits"