July 2nd, 2010
10:13 AM ET
8 years ago

Just how much can you make at the White House?

 The top wage-earner at the White House, besides the president, makes just shy of $180,000.

The top wage-earner at the White House, besides the president, makes just shy of $180,000.

(CNN) – Working at the White House includes long days, 7-day work weeks, and a demanding boss who just happens to have his finger on the button.

So what's the going rate to put up with these working conditions?

According to the salary list released by the administration Thursday, 23 White House staffers make $172,000, while two "detailees" – Michael Harsh and Timothy Love – top the list at nearly $180,000. "Detailees" are employees from other government offices who have been assigned to work at the White House for a period of time.

The White House is required to submit an annual salary list to both the U.S. Senate and House.

Most of President Obama's senior aides – including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and adviser David Axelrod make $172,000 a year – the same salary they made last year due to a salary freeze the president implemented shortly after taking office.

However, rank-and-file White House staffers make considerably less, with the average salary is $82,700 a year, while the median employee salary is $66,000. The lowest full time salary is just under $38,000 a year.

Obama himself earns $400,000, double the $200,000 President Clinton earned annually during his eight years in office. The president's pay hike went into effect during the presidency of George W. Bush.

In all, the White House employs 469 staff members for a total payroll of nearly $40 million.

- CNN's Alexander Mooney contributed to this report

Filed under: White House
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Angry Taxpayer

    Why do they need 495 staff members and I see a $20 target just by cutting ALL of the White House staff salaries in HALF.....

    July 2, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Fola Babalola

    So what's the big deal!!! I think CNN should look for better stuff to write about. Presidents need staffs, so why is Obama case different from all of the past presidents.

    July 2, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. NotTelling

    He makes $400,000 a year and how much does he pay for his own health care?

    July 2, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. jeff jackson, alabama

    Not alot of dough considering the hours and
    the pressure.
    What's ridiculous is the salary and benefits for
    congressmen and senators, especially considering
    the lack of hours worked and the lack of decision
    Which brings to mind....TERM LIMITS...TERM LIMITS
    ....and....TERM LIMITS !!!!!!!

    July 2, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Van - Bloomington

    So how do these figures compare to past administrations?

    July 2, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. billclinton3

    obama made $400,000 and he took it?? he already made $5,000,000 off his book deal.. lets spend that salary to pay off some debt instead of taxing business!

    July 2, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. trish

    Do I really need to comment on this. Stop the government spending. Why can't they take a pay cut. Hell I get a pay cut at work all the time. I am a server, so when business is slow, my money is slow. I still manager to live.

    July 2, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. RealityKing

    Not to mention the humongous mountain of debt continuely being piled onto our future generations. There is no change in this shame..

    July 2, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Cody

    I think that they should all work for minimum wage like the good people at Goldman Sach$ and AIG.

    July 2, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. JAYRO

    Overpaid and Overrated

    July 2, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. The Lunatic

    Wow, I am surprised that the staff salaries are that low. An equivilent job as a senior staff member in the private sector would earn at least $300K. These are supposed to be the best and brightest in the world, we should pay them as such.

    July 2, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Roger

    It's fun giving WH and other politicians a hard time, but yeesh, they're clearly not in it for the money. They make WAY less than their peers in private industry.

    July 2, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. snow

    While this administration is working so hard on destroying this countries economy, any pay they receive is to much.

    July 2, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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