Special Report

The Highest Paid Public Employee in Every State

Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. Alabama
> Highest paid employee: Nick Saban
> Position: College football coach
> Salary: $7.09 million

Like nearly every state in college football’s Southeastern Conference, the highest paid public employee in Alabama is a football coach for an SEC school. Nick Saban, head coach of the University of Alabama football team, was paid $7.09 million in the 2015 season, during which he led the team to its fourth national championship.

Alaska Pipeline
Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Alaska
> Highest paid employee: Keith Meyer
> Position: President, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation
> Salary: $550,000

Keith Meyer, who was named Alaska Gasline Development Corporation’s new president in June, is Alaska’s highest paid public employee. Meyer has an annual base salary of $550,000 and is eligible for up to $200,000 in performance bonuses. The previous president of the AGDC also had the highest public salary in the state, a fact which was criticized by Governor Walker for being extravagant during his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.


3. Arizona
> Highest paid employee: Sean Miller
> Position: College basketball coach
> Salary: $4.95 million

Head coach of the University of Arizona men’s basketball team, Sean Miller’s compensation was $4.95 million in the latest season. Miller’s pay is partly financed by an anonymous donation of oil shares the school received in 2014 and is therefore tied to the price of oil. With oil prices falling by as much as 70% since then, Miller may have lost up to $2.6 million in potential compensation.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Arkansas
> Highest paid employee: Bret Bielema
> Position: College football coach
> Salary: $3.96 million

The head coach of the University of Arkansas football team since 2013, Bret Bielema, was paid $3.96 million in the latest season. Bielema makes $1.5 million more than the next highest paid public university employee and $3.7 million more than the highest paid government employee not employed at a public college or university.


5. California
> Highest paid employee: Jim Mora
> Position: College football coach
> Salary: $3.35 million

While California Governor Jerry Brown’s salary of $178,000 a year is relatively high for a governor, the pay of Jim Mora, head coach of the UCLA Bruins football team, far surpasses it. Mora made $3.35 million in the latest season and is currently under contract to coach the team through 2021.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.