West Virginia state government salary

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State Information

West Virginia state government salaries are available through The Herald-Dispatch and the West Virginia State Auditor's Office.[1][2]

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the state of West Virginia and local governments in the state employed a total of 117,327 people.[3] Of those employees, 93,289 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $288,640,423 per month and 24,038 were part-time employees paid $20,440,633 per month.[3] More than 57% of those employees, or 67,113 employees, were in education or higher education.[3]

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, West Virginia state legislators received an annual salary of $20,000.[4] Legislators received a per diem of $131 per day during the legislative session, as set by the compensation commission.[4]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers
State executive salaries[5]
Office '10 salary Current official
Governor $150,000 Earl Ray Tomblin
Secretary of State $95,000 Natalie Tennant
Attorney General $95,000 Patrick Morrisey
Treasurer $95,000 John Perdue

As of 2008, the salary of West Virginia's governor ranked 44th 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.[6]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
West Virginia judicial salaries[7]
Position '10 salary Current justice
Chief Justice $121,000 Robin Jean Davis
Associate Justice $121,000 Brent Benjamin
Associate Justice $121,000 Allen Loughry
Associate Justice $121,000 Menis Ketchum
Associate Justice $121,000 Margaret Workman

As of 2010, the salary of West Virginia's chief justice ranked 47th 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 West Virginia's associate justices ranked 45th 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]

Teacher salaries

The Office of School Finance calculates and distributes legislative funding to the West Virginia school districts, including the state aid to schools through the Public School Support Program, provides guidance for the preparation of school district annual financial statements, promulgates rules concerning school finance issues, delivers professional development and assists school district finance officers.[8]

Teacher salaries[9]
Beginning teacher salary Average salary
$30,815 $44,701

In May 1982, Ohio County Circuit Judge Arthur Recht declared the West Virginia system of financing public schools unconstitutional. He ordered an overhaul of the education system, creation of measurable performance standards and a mechanism to equalize educational opportunities between rich and poor counties.

The ruling stemmed from a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Janet Pauley, a mother of five who attended a PTA meeting in Lincoln County and was appalled to find a crumbling four-room elementary school with broken windows, broken chairs and an open sewer running through the playground. The decision led to creation of the state School Building Authority to oversee major construction projects and the Office of Education Performance Audits to monitor schools' progress. It also tweaked the school aid funding formula and promoted equalization of teacher pay.[10]

Many counties rely on excess or special levies to fund teacher salaries and basic education needs, such as heating and cooling system repairs. In most cases, there is nothing special or extra about what the funds cover -- counties consistently use excess levies as funding streams for essentials.[11]

State employee benefits

Employees of the state of West Virginia enjoy numerous benefits in addition to their salaries.[12]


The state offers 12 paid holidays in each year. The number of paid holidays is above the national average for both public and private sector employees. In addition, employees generally do not work on statewide primary and general election days.[12] Employees receive the following holidays:[13]

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


Employees earn vacation as follows:[12]

Service category Accrual rate Carry-forward maximum
Less than 5 years 1.25 days/month = 15 days/year 30 days
5 years, less than 10 1.50 days/month = 18 days/year 30 days
10 years, less than 15 1.75 days/month = 21 days/year 35 days
15 years or more 2.00 days/month = 24 days/year 40 days

Sick leave

Full-time classified employees earn 1.5 days of paid sick leave per month, which amounts to 18 paid sick days per year. There is no limit to the amount of sick leave an employee can accumulate year to year.[12]


The state offers a comprehensive indemnity health insurance plan, which includes benefits for hospital, surgical, major medical, prescription drug, and other medical expenses. The state also offers medical insurance through a variety of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO). The state pays the major portion of the insurance premium. Employee paid premiums for health insurance vary by salary. Optional group dental plans are also available.[12]

The state provides employees with a $10,000 decreasing term life policy with accidental death and dismemberment benefits. Additional group rate insurance is also available to employees.[12]


See also: West Virginia public pensions

Employees participate in the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement System. The plan provides qualifying employees with a lifetime benefit in the years after their state service ends. Active employees with five or more years of contributing service are eligible for full retirement benefits at age 60, or whether employed or not when the employee's age plus years of contributing service are equal to or greater than 80, with a minimum age of 55. Each employee contributes 4.5% of salary to the retirement system (tax-deferred).[12]

Employees may participate in the state's Section 457 deferred compensation plan. A 457 plan is a program that allows an employee to defer compensation on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction.[12]

Other benefits

  • Flexible Spending Accounts - The Mountaineer Flexible Benefits program allows tax-free deductions for dental, vision, and disability insurance, as well as medical expenses not reimbursed by regular insurance coverage (such as deductibles and co-payments) and child/dependent care expenses.[12]
  • Longevity pay - Employees with three or more years of qualifying service receive annual increment pay in recognition of the value of their past and present service. The annual increment is $60 for each full year of qualifying service, and is paid in July of each year.


In August 2010, the West Virginia Public Worker’s Union, UE Local 170, filed suit against WVOT (West Virginia IT department) trying to stop the department from outsourcing jobs.[14]

See also

External links