Highest Paid State Employees In The USA

There’s a good chance that the Highest Paid State Employees In The USA isn’t a school dean, and certainly not the governor. But who is a state employee? A state employee is someone who works for a state agency in any branch of government. A state employee is also known as a state officer or a special state appointee. A football or basketball coach is almost certainly the highest-paid state employee in your state — by a long shot.

College sports are big business: Ticket sales, merchandise, and concessions are big moneymakers for universities and colleges all over the country, so they have a strong financial incentive to keep their head coaches happy. Coaches of public school football teams are at the top of the list, but basketball coaches are also making a lot of money.

According to the most recent data compiled by ESPN, sports and athletic coaches earn the most money. If you’re thinking about changing careers, you might want to brush up on your football knowledge.

How Much Does an Average State Employees In The USA Earn?

State employees in the United States are well compensated because their salaries are significantly higher than workers in other countries. In terms of the average income per country, the United States has an advantage over other countries due to high levels of demand and supply, as well as the cost of living.

Also, the United States is a technological powerhouse with top-tier companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon which place high reliance on tech professionals and an increase in the standard of living in each state. The highest-paid state employees in the United States typically earn around an annual salary of $94,700. The average take-home pay for private workers ranges from $24,000 (the lowest average) to $423,000 (the highest average).

Housing, transportation, and other benefits are included in the salary of the highest-paid state employee. The pay scale for various occupations varies dramatically. As of August 7, 2021, the average monthly pay in the United States is $5,555 per month. It’s also worth noting that men hold 48 of the 50 Highest Paid State Employees In The USA.

Top 25 Highest Paid State Employees In The USA

Below is a list of the highest-paid state employees in the United States, which includes the following:

1. Dabo Swinney, South Carolina — $9.3 million

Dabo Swinney, the head football coach at Clemson University in South Carolina, is one of the Highest Paid State Employees In The USA. Swinney has been the head coach of the Clemson Tigers since 2008, and he has had a lot of success in that time (13 years). If you’re wondering how he got his salary, it’s because he led the Tigers to two national championships, including a historic 15-0 season in 2018 that no college team had achieved since 1897.

2. John Calipari, Kentucky — $9.3 million

John Calipari, the head coach of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, is tied for first place with Clemson Tigers’ coach Dabo Swinney on the list of the Highest-Paid public employee by State. Calipari has led the Kentucky Wildcats since 2009 and has been dubbed “best-compensated coaches” in college basketball history. John Calipari signed a 10-year contract worth $86 million last year. He has had a long and successful career, with 733 official victories. Calipari has had a lot of success in his career, one of the most notable of which is leading Kentucky to four Final Fours between 2011 and 2015.

3. Nick Saban, Alabama — $8.9 million

Despite his West Virginia roots, Nick Saban has become a wealthy Alabamian making him the highest-paid public employee by state. He is the head coach of the Crimson Tide at the University of Alabama, where he signed a new eight-year contract worth at least $74 million in 2018. Saban previously led the Miami Dolphins to six national championships as their head coach. He has been hailed as the greatest college football coach in history by media outlets such as CBS Sports.

4. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan — $7.5 million

Jim Harbaugh attended the University of Michigan and was a member of the team at one point. He is currently the team’s coach, earning millions of dollars per year, making him the highest-paid public employee by state. That instills a strong sense of patriotism in me.

5. Jimbo Fisher, Texas — $7.5 million

Jimbo Fisher was signed by Texas A&M in 2017 for a record-breaking $75 million for a ten-year contract. This was brought up after he proudly led Florida State University to championships, making him the Highest-Paid public employee by State. His base salary is set at $500,000, with an additional $7 million in supplemental income. He also has access to two luxury vehicles and a full country club membership, according to reports. The number of victories Fisher has amassed is the most in the school’s history.

6. Kirby Smart, Georgia — $6.9 million

Kirby Smart is one of the Highest Paid State Employees In the USA. He attended the University of Georgia in the 1990s and graduated with honors. He coached the University of Alabama football team for seven years and has been the head coach since 2015. His leadership team, as impressive as he was, led the Bulldogs to the Rose Bowl and the SEC Championship game.

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7. Jeff Brohm, Indiana — $6.6 million

Jeff Brohm is a Kentucky native who previously held the position of quarterback. He is the coach of Purdue University’s Boilermakers making him the highest-paid public employee by state. Brohm signed a $29 million contract with Purdue in 2017. This was on top of his base salary, as he received $3.6 million in bonuses. Brohm’s aggressive and innovative plays helped the Boilermakers win the Foster Farms Bowl. This was a clear demonstration of his prowess.

8. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma – $6.4 million

Lincoln Riley is also the Highest-Paid public employee by State, as well as the youngest multimillionaire on the list. At the age of 36, he accomplished this feat. Lincoln Riley was named head football coach of the University of Oklahoma Sooners in 2017 and has a track record of success. He is known for guiding the Sooners to great success during his brief tenure with the team.

9. James Franklin, Pennsylvania — $5.7 million

James Franklin, who played quarterback for the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, is one of the Highest Paid State Employees In the USA. He was a member of the team for all four years. Since 1995, James Franklin has had a successful coaching career, and he has been the head coach of Penn State’s Nittany Lions since 2014.

10. Scott Frost, Nebraska — $5 million

Scott Frost is the head coach of the Cornhuskers, the football team of the University of Nebraska, and is also the highest-paid public employee by state. He agreed to be paid $35 million over seven years with the club at the end of 2017. Frost is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his performance has been so impressive that he has been asked to coach the team for another two years after his current contract expires in 2024.

11. Eric Musselman, Arkansas — $2.5 million

Chad Morris, the highest-paid public employee in Arkansas, was fired after leading the University of Arkansas to a dismal 4-18 start in 2019. Eric Musselman left Nevada to take his place, signing a $12.5 million, five-year contract that includes a slew of big bonuses, ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on whether the Razorbacks make it to the NCAA tournament and how far they advance.

12. Chip Kelley, California — $3.5 million

Chip Kelley, the head football coach at UCLA, signed a five-year, $23.3 million contract that pays him $300,000 per year for the next five years. The real money comes from his yearly “talent fee,” which he receives for appearing at booster events, media events, and university events. The first-year talent fee was $3 million, but it increased to $3.2 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $4.3 million by the end of his contract.

13. Karl Dorrell, Colorado — $3.2 million

Mike MacIntyre, the head football coach at the University of Colorado Boulder, was the highest-paid employee in Colorado until he was fired. Karl Dorrell, who was named as his replacement at the end of February, signed a five-year, $18 million contract that starts at $3.2 million a year. His salary grows by $200,000 annually and tops out at $4 million.

14. Randy Edsall, Connecticut — $1.1 million

Randy Edsall, the head football coach at the University of Connecticut, signed a five-year, $5.5 million contract in 2017 that runs until 2021. It guarantees him $1.1 million per year, with the possibility of earning hundreds of thousands of dollars more in bonuses for things like winning titles. It also pays him a total of $500,000 in retention bonuses over the next two years: $300,000 in 2019 and $200,000 in 2021.

15. Dan Mullen, Florida — $6.1 million

Dan Mullen, the head football coach at the University of Florida, signed a six-year contract worth $6.1 million per year in 2017. Not only does the deal make him one of the Highest Paid State Employees In The USA, but it is the fifth-highest-paid coach in college football, surpassing rival Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, who currently earns $5.7 million.

16. Bryan Harsin, Idaho — $1.7 million

The salary of Boise State head football coach Bryan Harsin is listed on Idaho’s open records site to be over $1.65 million on a contract that seems to fluctuate slightly every year. He received $1.4 million in 2017 as part of his seven-year, $9.75 million contract, which equates to just under $1.4 million per year.

17. Lovie Smith, Illinois — $4 million 

Lovie Smith, a former Chicago Bears coach, has had a bad tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Despite this, the school chose to extend his contract for a number of years. In the end, keeping him was less expensive. His previous contract had a massive $12 million buyout clause, so the Illini decided to keep paying him his $4 million salary. But there’s a big caveat in the renegotiation and Smith’s buyout was reduced to $1 million in 2021.

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18. Jeff Brohm, Indiana — $5.3 million 

As the head football coach of Purdue University, Jeff Brohm recently received a raise in his annual salary from $4.2 million to $4.8 million in 2019. Brohm’s salary jumped to $5.3 million after a signing bonus which spreads out over the first two years of the seven-year contract, making him one of the top ten paid college football coaches.

19. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa — $4.1 million 

Since 2009, Kirk Ferentz who is the head football coach at the University of Iowa has earned more than double the salary of the Highest Paid State Employees In The USA. His annual salary was $4.8 million, but COVID-related budget cuts forced him and other top university officials to accept a 15% pay cut.

20. Bill Self, Kansas — $3.6 million

In the midst of economic loss due to the pandemic, longtime University of Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self agreed to a pay cut. In 2020, he lost 10% of his $4 million salaries, or $400,000, but he managed to keep his position as Kansas’ highest-paid employee.

21. John Calipari — $8.2 million 

John Calipari, a Hall of Famer and NCAA Championship winner, has been the longtime basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, a position that pays more than any other in the state.

22. Ed Orgeron, Louisiana — $8.7 million

Ed Orgeron, the head coach of the mighty LSU football program, is the second-highest-paid college football coach last year, behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban. His huge salary is part of a $42 million contract extension he signed in February, which includes a $6 million base salary. And also a $5 million split-dollar life insurance policy for the first 2 years of the contract.

23. Lane Kiffin, Mississippi — $3.9 million

Matt Luke’s $3 million salary made him one of the Highest Paid State Employees In The USA when he was the head football coach at Ole Miss, until he lost his job to Lane Kiffin. Kiffin signed a four-year, $16.2 million contract in 2020 that increases by $100,000 every year until it reaches $4.2 million in 2023.

24. Cuonzo Martin, Missouri — $2.9 million 

Cuonzo Martin signed a seven-year contract in 2017 that made him the richest head basketball coach in Mizzou athletics history – besides the retired football coach Gary Pinkel, who earned $4 million in 2015. Martin’s contract paid him a base salary of $300,000 plus $2.6 million in supplemental pay in 2020. Over the course of the contract, he will earn an average of $3 million per year (plus a slew of other enticing benefits).

25. Scott Frost, Nebraska — $5 million 

Scott Frost, the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, is one of the sport’s elite coaches, earning at least $5 million per year. Due to the pandemic, he has agreed to return an unknown portion of his salary. 

 

The Highest-paid Public Employee by State in the USA

We’ll show you the highest-paid employees in each state in the US, along with their jobs, employers, and the highest pay they’ve ever received.

1. Alabama

Nick Saban, Head football coach at the University of Alabama.

Total compensation: $8,307,000

2. Alaska

James Roland, President of the University of Alaska Statewide System.

Total compensation: $384,599.99

3. Arizona

Sean Miller, Head basketball coach at the University of Arizona

Total compensation: $2,700,000

4. Arkansas

Chad Morris, Head football coach at the University of Arkansas.

Total compensation: $3,500,000.

5. California

Chip Kelly, Head football coach at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Total compensation: $3,300,000

6. Colorado

Mike MacIntyre, Head football coach at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Total compensation: $2,878,500

7. Connecticut

Randy Edsall, Head football coach at the University of Connecticut.

Total compensation: $1,100,000

8. Delaware

Mark T. Brainard, President of the Delaware Technical Community College.

Total compensation: $245,954.82.

9. Florida

Dan Mullen, Head football coach at the University of Florida.

Total compensation: $6,070,000.

10. Georgia

Kirby Smart, Head football coach at the University of Georgia.

Total compensation: $6,603,600

11. Hawaii

Jay Boughanem, Staff surgeon at the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.

Total compensation: $600,000

12. Idaho

Bryan Harsin, Head football coach at the Boise State University.

Total compensation: $1,650,010

13. Illinois

Lovie Smith, Head football coach at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Total compensation: $5,000,000

14. Indiana

Jeff Brohm, Head football coach at Purdue University.

Total compensation: $3,800,000.00

15. Iowa

Kirk Ferentz, Head football coach at the University of Iowa.

Total compensation: $4,700,000

16. Kansas

Bill Self, Head basketball coach at the University of Kansas

Total compensation: $4,066,857

17. Kentucky

John Calipari, Head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky.

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Total compensation: $9,276,643

18. Louisiana

Ed Orgeron, Head football coach at the Louisiana State University.

Total compensation: $3,500,000

19. Maine

Joan Ferrini-Mundy, President at the University of Maine.

Total compensation: $350,000.

20. Maryland

Mark Turgeon, Head basketball coach at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Total compensation:  $2,847,232.

21. Massachusetts

Michael Collins, Senior vice president for health sciences and Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Total compensation:  $1,069,751.67.

22. Michigan

Jim Harbaugh, Head football coach at the University of Michigan.

Total compensation: $7,504,000.

23. Minnesota

P.J. Fleck, Head football coach at the University of Minnesota.

Total compensation:  $3,550,000.

24. Mississippi

Matt Luke, Head football coach at the University of Mississippi.

Total compensation: $3,000,000.

25. Missouri

Cuonzo Martin, Head basketball coach at the University of Missouri.

Total compensation:  $2,800,000.00

26. Montana

Laurence Hubbard, President, and CEO of Montana State Fund.

Total compensation: $342,308 dollars.

27. Nebraska

Scott Frost, Head football coach at the University of Nebraska.

Total compensation: $5,000,000.

28. Nevada

Tony Sanchez, Head football coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Total compensation: $600,000

29. New Hampshire

James W. Dean Jr., President of the University of New Hampshire.

Total compensation: $445,000

30. New Jersey

Chris Ash, Head football coach at the Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Total compensation: $2,200,000.

31. New Mexico

Bob Davie, Head football coach at the University of New Mexico.

Total compensation: $823,740

32. New York

Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., President, and CEO at Erie County Medical Center Corp.

$876,442.07.

33. North Carolina

Roy Williams, Head basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Total compensation: $3,298,778.

34. North Dakota

Larry P. Nybladh, Superintendent of schools at Grand Forks County.

Total compensation: $231,210.

34. Ohio

Urban Meyer, Head football coach at the Ohio State University.

Total compensation: $7,600,000.00

35. Oregon

Dana Altman, Head basketball coach at the University of Oregon.

Total compensation:  $2,822,000.

36. Pennsylvania

James Franklin, Head football coach at the Pennsylvania State University.

Total compensation: $4,800,000.00

37. Rhode Island

David M. Dooley, President at the University of Rhode Island.

Total compensation:  $379,999.88.

38. South Carolina

Dabo Swinney, Head football coach at Clemson University.

Total compensation: $6,543,350.

39. South Dakota

T.J. Otzelberger, Head basketball coach at South Dakota State University.

Total compensation: $400,000

40. Tennessee

Jeremy Pruitt, Head football coach at the University of Tennessee

Total compensation: $3,846,000.

41. Texas

Jimbo Fisher, Head football coach at Texas A&M University.

Total compensation: $7,500,000.

42. Utah

Kyle Whittingham, Head football coach at the University of Utah.

Total compensation: $3,787,917.

43. Vermont

Frederick C. Morin III, Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

Total compensation: $582,254

44. Washington

Chris Petersen, Head football coach at the University of Washington.

Total compensation: $4,377,500.

45. West Virginia

Bob Huggins, Head basketball coach at the West Virginia University.

Total compensation: $3,865,000.

46. Wisconsin

Paul Chryst, Head football coach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Total compensation: $3,750,000.

47. Wyoming

Craig Bohl, Head football coach at the University of Wyoming

Total compensation:  $1,412,000.

48. Virginia

Tony Bennett, Head basketball coach at the University of Virginia

Total compensation: $4,150,000.

 

Conclusion

The highest-paid state employees in the United States are listed in this article, along with their net worth, job title, employer, and other pertinent information. Becoming a public employee in the United States is worthwhile because it is one of the most sought-after jobs in the country, with good pay and numerous benefits. As a result, becoming a paid state employee in the United States is one of the best decisions you can make.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Highest Paid State Employees In The USA

Which State Has The Highest Paid State Employees In The USA?

Illinois is the highest-paid public employee by state.

Which States Have The Lowest Minimum Wage in the USA?

Georgia ($5.15) and Wyoming ($5.15) are the two states in the United States with the lowest minimum wage. Regardless, employers in Georgia and Wyoming who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

How Much is Considered as High Salary In The United States?

A typical annual wage in the United States is $94,700. The highest average salary an American is entitled to is $423,000, while the lowest median salary is $24,000. Housing, transportation, and other benefits are included in the salary of the highest-paid state employee.

What Is the Most Difficult Job in the USA?

Line installers and repairers are the most difficult job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Because these workers are exposed to potentially deadly hazards daily, their risk of death and injury is much higher than the national average.

What Are The Best States To Work In The US?

In the United States, the best states for finding work are:

  • Nevada.
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Iowa
  • New Hampshire
  • Virginia
  • Idaho
  • Massachusetts
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