Virginia state government salary

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State Information

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the state of Virginia and local governments in the state employed a total of 526,602 people.[1] Of those employees, 402,487 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $1,577,251,433 per month and 124,115 were part-time employees paid $131,107,597 per month.[1] More than 59% of those employees, or 312,402 employees, were in education or higher education.[1] Since 2009, the number of local government employees has decreased approximately 12,000.[2]

Of these public jobs, 347 were for board and commission roles. In 2010, the governor launched a reform commission that would look to consolidate and combine these programs. For example, there were three potato commissions.[3]

As of 2010, state employees last received a raise in November 2007.[4] They would receive a one-time holiday bonus of 3% in December 2010.[4] Gov. McDonnell said in October 2010 that his amendments to the final year of the FY 2011-12 budget would not include pay raises for state workers.[5]

In Virginia, it is illegal for the government to enter into a formal bargaining relationship with the public sector.[6]

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, Virginia state senators receive dan annual salary of $18,000 and state representatives receive $17,640 per year.[7] Legislators received a per diem of $135-$169 per day during the legislative session, as set by the compensation commission.[7]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers
State executive salaries[8]
Office '10 salary Current official
Governor $166,000[9] Bob McDonnell
Lieutenant Governor $36,321 Bill Bolling
Secretary of State $152,793 Janet Polarek
Attorney General $150,000 Ken Cuccinelli
Treasurer $149,761 Manju Ganeriwala

As of 2008, the average salary earned by U.S. governors was $128,735, and the median salary earned by U.S. governors was $129,962.[10] The governor took a 5% pay reduction in 2010.[9]

Most of the governor's cabinet members and advisers also accepted a 5% pay cut, putting their annual salary between $145,153 to $152,793, with the exception of senior economic adviser, Robert Sledd, who earned $0 after making more than $1 billion in the private sector in 2008.[9]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
Virginia judicial salaries[11]
Position '10 salary Current justice
Chief Justice $195,000 Cynthia Kinser
Associate Justice $183,839 Bill Mims
Associate Justice $183,839 Cleo Powell
Associate Justice $183,839 Elizabeth McClanahan
Associate Justice $183,839 Donald Lemons
Associate Justice $183,839 Bernard Goodwyn
Associate Justice $183,839 Leroy Millette

As of 2010, the salary of Virginia's chief justice ranked 10th 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.[11]

As of 2010, the salary of Virginia's associate justices ranked 8th 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.[11]

State employee salaries

At the end of the 2012 fiscal year, Virginia had $448.5 million in surplus. The surplus was being used to grant a three percent bonus to state employees, who had not received a pay raise in five years.[12]

Teacher salaries

Virginia does not allow public employees to engage in collective bargaining.[13] Within Virginia there is a lot of variation in public school teacher salaries. These variations depend on a wide range of factors, from population to general competitiveness in the market.[14]

Teacher salaries[15]
Beginning teacher salary Average salary
$36,634 $48,365

State employee benefits


Commonwealth employees receive the following 12 paid holidays:[16]

  • New Year's Day
  • Lee-Jackson Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • George Washington Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

Annual leave

Annual leave is accrued as follows:[17]

Years of service Accrual rate per pay period Total hours accrued per year Maximum leave carryover
Less than 5 years 4 hours 96 hours (12 days) 192 hours (24 days)
5 years 5 hours 120 hours (15 days) 240 hours (30 days)
10 years 6 hours 144 hours (18 days) 288 hours (36 days)
15 years 7 hours 168 hours (21 days) 336 hours (42 days)
20 years 8 hours 192 hours (24 days) 384 hours (48 days)
25 years 9 hours 216 hours (27 days) 432 hours (54 days)

Sick leave

Employees accrue five hours of sick leave, or proportionate, at the end of each pay period. Employees have access to 48 hours of accrued sick leave to use for absences for the illness or death of an immediate family member.[17]

Other leave

Leave is also granted for military service, organ donation, jury duty and court appearances. A maximum of 16 hours per calendar year is credited to eligible employees to use to provide service within their communities. Employees may perform service as a volunteer member of a community organization or participate in their children's school activities or perform volunteer work that has been approved through the school administration.[17]


The Commonwealth of Virginia health benefits program offers the COVA Care and COVA HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) statewide to full-time and part-time classified employees, early retirees and certain family members. The Kaiser Permanent regional health maintenance organization is available to members in Northern Virginia only.[16]

The Virginia Sickness and Disability Plan (VSDP) provides state employees with income security when they cannot work because of a partial or total disability. The program includes sick, family and personal leave; short-term disability benefits; long-term disability benefits and a long-term care program. VSDP benefits cover non-work-related and work-related conditions.[18]

State employees are eligible to apply for optional life insurance coverage to enroll themselves, spouse, and/or eligible children. The employee pays the premiums.[19] In addition, the Commonwealth offers long-term care insurance to eligible state employees, retirees and certain family members.[16]


Membership in the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit plan is automatic and paid by the state. Employees become vested with the accumulation of five years of credited service. A vested member is eligible to receive a reduced retirement benefit at age 55 with at least five years of service. Employees can receive a reduced benefit as early as age 50 with at least 10 years of state service. Employees can retire with unreduced benefits at age 50 with at least 30 years of service or age 65 with at least five years of state service. The unreduced monthly retirement benefit is calculated as 1.7% times the years of creditable service, times the employee's average monthly salary during their highest 36 consecutive months of creditable compensation.[16][20]

The Commonwealth's Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) is a voluntary tax-deferred retirement savings program that is available to individuals who are employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia in either a salaried or wage position.[21]

Other benefits

  • Educational assistance - Such assistance varies and is dependent upon the policies and procedures of individual state agencies.[16]
  • Employee Assistance Program - The program offers up to four sessions at no charge for such services as mental health, alcohol or drug abuse assessment, child or elder care, grief counseling and legal or financial services.[22]
  • Flexible Reimbursement Account - The account allows employees who are health plan members to set aside part of their salary on a pre-tax basis each pay period to pay for out-of-pocket medical or dependent care expenses.[23]

See also

External links