government jobs

The Highest and Lowest Paying Government Jobs


Ever wonder why so many politicians suddenly become rich upon leaving the federal government? Yeah, me too. But that’s an article for another time.

Here are the highest paying jobs you can land working in government:

Representative or Senator

As it turns out, you can make around $174,000 annually as a U.S. Senator or member of the House of Representatives. The majority or minority party leader earns even more—close to $200K! Sign me up.

Supreme Court Justice

Being a judge has its perks, especially in your wallet. A Supreme Court Justice earns around $250,000 per year, which is nice considering you can be one for life.

President of the U.S.

This one is pretty easy to justify. If you love the President of the United States, he doesn’t make enough money. If you hate the President of the United States, he earns way too much money. In nonpartisan terms, he makes $400,000 annually.

University President

Public university presidents actually earn a greater salary than the U.S. President. Plus, the job comes with all kinds of perks like housing, vehicles, and other kickbacks. They can rake in upwards of $430,000 or more.

College Football and Basketball Coaches

Coaching a big time basketball or football program will make you a millionaire. In the past 20-30 years it’s become the highest paying “government” job by a miiiiiiiiiiiillllllllle.

Bus Drivers

On the other end of the government job spectrum are bus drivers, who make an average salary of $33,010 annually. Ironically, this is while they drive around those millionaire football coaches.

Forest and Conservation Workers

Do you like the environment? That’s great. You won’t get paid much for your passion though. Forest and conservation workers earn around $30,000 per year, tops.

Recreation Attendants

Wanna earn $10.78 an hour? If the answer was “yes, sign me up,” then you can apply today to be an amusement and recreation attendant. These are the people who schedule use of recreation facilities and maintain sporting equipment. I suppose if you enjoy the great outdoors this might be a solid fit. Otherwise, not.

So as you can see, working in government is not all it’s cracked up to be. Sure you can end up meeting rich financial donors like Jay-Z or Katy Perry—who in turn will help you get rich—but that’s a rarity. If you’re taking a job as a bus driver or conservation worker, just stay there long enough to build up a skill set, then bail for greener pastures.