What the Governor Gets Paid in Every State

The big boss must be pulling in the big bucks, right? Not necessarily, especially compared with what he or she could make as a CEO.

U.S. map with flags marking state capitals.koya979 / Shutterstock.com

Governor: The boss of your state. The big shot. The guy or gal in charge. He or she must be pulling in the big bucks, right?

Yes. And no.

Even the lowest-paid United States governor earns more than the current U.S. median income of just over $59,000. But given that the governor of a state is its chief executive officer, he or she could make a lot more as a private-sector CEO. (Think: seven or eight figures instead of five to six.)

Some of the nonsalary benefits are pretty sweet, though. For example, 44 states provide a residence for their top dog, and 46 states subsidize their governors’ travel.

You get bodyguards or state police protection. And you wield a lot of power, including the chance to issue executive orders and, in states that have the death penalty, the option of declaring a stay of execution.

Where does your state’s highest-ranking official rank on the pay scale? Read on and find out, starting with the lowest-paid:

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