Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2015

The level of pay for congressional staff is a source of recurring questions among Members of Congress, congressional staff, and the public. There may be interest in congressional pay data from multiple perspectives, including assessment of the costs of congressional operations; guidance in setting pay levels for staff in committee offices; or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.

This report provides pay data for 11 staff position titles that are used in House committees, and include the following: Chief Counsel; Communications Director; Counsel; Deputy Staff Director; Minority Professional Staff Member; Minority Staff Director; Professional Staff Member; Senior Professional Staff Member; Staff Assistant; Staff Director; and Subcommittee Staff Director.

Tables provide tabular pay data for each House committee staff position. Graphic displays are also included, providing representations of pay from three perspectives, including the following:

a line graph showing change in pay, depending on data availability;

a comparison at 5-, 10-, and 15-year intervals from 2015, depending on data availability, of the cumulative percentage change of pay of that position, to changes in pay of Members of Congress and federal civilian workers paid under the General Schedule in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas; and

distributions of 2015 pay, in $10,000 increments.

In the past five years (2011-2015), the change in median pay, in constant 2016 dollars, ranged from a 14.96% increase for communications directors to a -12.24% decrease for subcommittee staff directors. Of the eight staff positions for which data are available, two positions saw pay increases while six saw declines from 2011 to 2015. This may be compared to changes to the pay of Members of Congress, -5.10%, and General Schedule, DC, -3.19%, over the same period.

Pay data for staff working in Senate committee offices are available in CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014. Data describing the pay of congressional staff working in the personal offices of Senators and Members of the House are available in CRS Report R44324, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators’ Offices, FY2001-FY2014, and CRS Report R44323, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2001-2014, respectively.

Information about the duration of staff employment is available in CRS Report R44683, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Committees, 2006-2016, CRS Report R44685, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in Senate Committees, 2006-2016, CRS Report R44682, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2006-2016, and CRS Report R44684, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in Senators’ Offices, 2006-2016.

Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2015

November 9, 2016 (R44322)
Jump to Main Text of Report

Summary

The level of pay for congressional staff is a source of recurring questions among Members of Congress, congressional staff, and the public. There may be interest in congressional pay data from multiple perspectives, including assessment of the costs of congressional operations; guidance in setting pay levels for staff in committee offices; or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.

This report provides pay data for 11 staff position titles that are used in House committees, and include the following: Chief Counsel; Communications Director; Counsel; Deputy Staff Director; Minority Professional Staff Member; Minority Staff Director; Professional Staff Member; Senior Professional Staff Member; Staff Assistant; Staff Director; and Subcommittee Staff Director.

Tables provide tabular pay data for each House committee staff position. Graphic displays are also included, providing representations of pay from three perspectives, including the following:

  • a line graph showing change in pay, depending on data availability;
  • a comparison at 5-, 10-, and 15-year intervals from 2015, depending on data availability, of the cumulative percentage change of pay of that position, to changes in pay of Members of Congress and federal civilian workers paid under the General Schedule in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas; and
  • distributions of 2015 pay, in $10,000 increments.

In the past five years (2011-2015), the change in median pay, in constant 2016 dollars, ranged from a 14.96% increase for communications directors to a -12.24% decrease for subcommittee staff directors. Of the eight staff positions for which data are available, two positions saw pay increases while six saw declines from 2011 to 2015. This may be compared to changes to the pay of Members of Congress, -5.10%, and General Schedule, DC, -3.19%, over the same period.

Pay data for staff working in Senate committee offices are available in CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014. Data describing the pay of congressional staff working in the personal offices of Senators and Members of the House are available in CRS Report R44324, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators' Offices, FY2001-FY2014, and CRS Report R44323, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2001-2014, respectively.

Information about the duration of staff employment is available in CRS Report R44683, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Committees, 2006-2016, CRS Report R44685, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in Senate Committees, 2006-2016, CRS Report R44682, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2006-2016, and CRS Report R44684, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in Senators' Offices, 2006-2016.


Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2015

Introduction

Levels of pay for congressional staff are a source of recurring questions among Members of Congress, congressional staff, and the public. In House committees, the chair and ranking member set the terms and conditions of employment for majority and minority staff, respectively. This includes job titles and descriptions; rates of pay, subject to maximum levels;1 and resources available to carry out their official duties.2 There may be interest in congressional pay data from multiple perspectives, including assessment of the costs of congressional operations; guidance in setting pay levels for staff in committee offices; or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.

Publicly available information sources do not provide aggregated congressional staff pay data in a readily retrievable form. Pay3 information in this report is based on the House Statement of Disbursements (SOD), published quarterly by the Chief Administrative Officer,4 as collated by LegiStorm, a private entity that provides some congressional data by subscription.5 Data in this report are based on official House reports, which afford the opportunity to use consistently collected data from a single source. Additionally, this report provides annual data, which allows for observations about the nature of House committee staff compensation over time.

This report provides pay data for 11 staff position titles that are used in House committees, and for which sufficient data could be identified. Position titles and the years for which data are available since 2001 are provided in Table 1. Titles were identified through a two-step process. The first step identified 358 job titles used in House committees in 2014. Of those titles, 282, or 78.8%, were filled by only one staff member, and were excluded. In the second step, the remaining 76 titles were assessed to determine how many of the House committees for which data were available6 employed staff with each title. Fifty-nine position titles that were used by six or fewer panels (five for minority positions) were excluded.

Pay data were then collected for the remaining 17 positions. In order to be included, annual pay data for staff in each position needed to be available from at least five committees (four for minority positions). This eliminated another 6 positions, leaving 11. When committees had more than one staff member with the same job title, data for no more than two staff per committee were collected.7 House committee staff had to hold a position with the same job title in the same committee for the entire year examined, and not receive pay from any other congressional employing authority for their data to be included. Every recorded payment ascribed in the LegiStorm data to those staff for the fiscal year is tabulated. Data collected for this report may differ from an employee's stated annual salary due to the inclusion of overtime, bonuses, or other payments8 in addition to base salary paid in the course of a year.

Table 1. House Committee Staff Positions and Availability of Pay Data Since 2001

Position Title

Available Data

Chief Counsel

2002, 2004-2015

Communications Director

2006-2015

Counsel

2001-2015

Deputy Staff Director

2009-2015

Minority Professional Staff Member

2001-2006, 2008-2010, 2012-2014

Minority Staff Director

2009, 2010, 2012, 2014-2015

Professional Staff Member

2001-2015

Senior Professional Staff Member

2008-2010, 2012-2014

Staff Assistant

2001-2015

Staff Director

2001-2006, 2008-2015

Subcommittee Staff Director

2001-2006, 2009-2010, 2013-2015

Source: CRS. Available data column provides years in which sufficient data (annual pay data for each position from at least five committees, four for minority positions), were available.

Pay data for staff working in Senate committee offices are available in CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014. Data describing the pay of congressional staff working in the personal offices of Senators and Members of the House are available in CRS Report R44324, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators' Offices, FY2001-FY2014, and CRS Report R44323, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2001-2014, respectively.9

Data Concerns

Data presented here are subject to some challenges that could affect findings presented or their interpretation. Some of the concerns include the following:

  • Given the large number of positions with titles held by one House employee, data provided here almost certainly do not represent all of the jobs carried out by House committee staff.
  • The manner in which staff titles are assigned might have implications about the representativeness of the data provided. Of positions for which data were collected, two broad categories emerge. The first category identifies position titles that usually apply to one staff member per committee.10 Since almost all available data were collected for those positions, pay information provided is likely to be highly representative of what House committees pay staff in those positions. The second category includes positions for which committees might hire two or more staff members.11 Since pay data were collected for no more than two staff per committee for each position, it is more likely that data for those positions are a sample of staff in those positions rather than nearly complete data, and therefore may be less closely representative of what all staff in those positions are paid.
  • Pay data provide no insight into the education, work experience, position tenure, full- or part-time status of staff, or other potential explanations for levels of compensation.
  • Potential differences might exist in the job duties of positions with the same title. Aggregation of pay by job title rests on the assumption that staff with the same title carry out the same or similar tasks. Given the wide discretion congressional employing authorities have in setting the terms and conditions of employment, there may be differences in the duties of similarly titled staff that could have effects on their levels of pay.

Data Tables and Visualizations

Tables in this section provide background information on House pay practices, comparative data for each position, and detailed data and visualizations for each position. Table 2 provides the maximum payable rates for House committee staff since 2001 in both nominal (current) and constant 2016 dollars.

Constant dollar calculations throughout the report are based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), various years, expressed in 2016 dollars.12

Table 3 provides the available cumulative percentage changes in pay in constant 2016 dollars for each of the 11 positions, Members of Congress, and federal civilian workers paid under the General Schedule in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas.13 Table 4-Table 14 provide tabular pay data for each House committee staff position. The numbers of staff whose data were counted are identified as observations in the data tables. Graphic displays are also included, providing representations of pay from three perspectives, including the following:

  • a line graph showing change in pay, depending on data availability, in nominal (current) and constant 2016 dollars;
  • a comparison at 5-, 10-, and 15-year intervals from 2015,14 depending on data availability, of the cumulative percentage change of pay for that position, in constant 2016 dollars, to changes in pay of Members of Congress and federal civilian workers paid under the General Schedule in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas; and
  • distributions of 2015 pay in 2016 dollars, in $10,000 increments.

Between 2011 and 2015, the change in median15 pay, in constant 2016 dollars, ranged from a 14.96% increase for communications directors to a -12.24% decrease for subcommittee staff directors. Of the eight staff positions for which data were available,16 two positions saw pay increases while six saw declines. This may be compared to changes to the pay of Members of Congress, -5.10%, and General Schedule, DC, -3.19%, over the same period.

Between 2006 and 2015, all of the seven staff positions for which data were available17 saw decreases. The change in median pay, in constant 2016 dollars, ranged from a -4.78% decrease for counsels to a -31.06% decrease for professional staff members. This may be compared to changes to the pay of Members of Congress, -10.41%, and General Schedule, DC, -0.13%, over the same period.

Between 2001 and 2015, all of the five staff positions for which data were available18 saw decreases. The change in median pay, in constant 2016 dollars, ranged from a -9.22% decrease for counsels to a -22.32% decrease for professional staff members. This may be compared to changes to the pay of Members of Congress, -10.40%, and General Schedule, DC, 7.36%, over the same period.

Table 2. House Committee Staff Pay, Annual Maximums, 2001-2015

Year

Nominal $

Constant 2016 $

2001

$143,600

$193,614

2002

$148,500

$197,105

2003

$153,200

$198,812

2004

$156,600

$197,953

2005

$160,600

$196,356

2006

$163,700

$193,892

2007

$163,700

$188,522

2008

$167,800

$186,099

2009

$172,500

$191,994

2010

$172,500

$188,896

2011

$172,500

$183,116

2012

$172,500

$179,403

2013

$172,500

$176,813

2014

$172,500

$173,991

2015

$172,500

$173,785

Source: 2 U.S.C. 4532 note, CRS calculations. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."

Table 3. Selected House Committee Staff Change in Pay, Selected Periods

 

Change
(Based on 2016 constant dollars)

 

5 Years
2011-2015

10 Years
2006-2015

15 Years
2001-2015

Chief Counsel

-3.24%

-8.76%

Communications Director

14.96%

-4.78%

Counsel

6.07%

-11.74%

-9.22%

Deputy Staff Director

-7.34%

Minority Professional Staff Member

Minority Staff Director

Professional Staff Member

-12.17%

-31.06%

-22.32%

Senior Professional Staff Member

Staff Assistant

-9.77%

-11.54%

-21.57%

Staff Director

-5.09%

-9.94%

-9.95%

Subcommittee Staff Director

-12.24%

-13.31%

-10.59%

Members of Congress

-5.10%

-10.41%

-10.40%

General Schedule, DC

-3.19%

-0.13%

7.36%

Source: CRS calculations, based on data provided in Table 4-Table 14 for congressional positions, CRS Report 97-1011, Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables, by [author name scrubbed], for Members of Congress, and the Office of Personnel Management for federal civilian workers in the District of Columbia and surrounding areas, various years. "—" indicates no data available. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."

Notes: Insufficient data were available for minority staff directors for 2011. Between 2010 and 2015, change in pay for that position was -8.64%. Insufficient data were available for senior professional staff members for 2011 and 2015. Between 2010 and 2014, change in pay for that position was -26.93%. Insufficient data were available for minority professional staff members for 2011 and 2015. Between 2010 and 2014, change in pay for that position was -14.99%.


Table 4. Chief Counsel, 2002-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2002

5

6

 

$119,250

$133,741

$133,127

$147,170

 

$158,281

$177,515

$176,699

$195,340

2003

 

 

2004

6

7

 

$115,500

$141,037

$143,786

$156,600

 

$146,000

$178,280

$181,755

$197,953

2005

9

10

 

$118,817

$145,037

$150,900

$160,600

 

$145,270

$177,329

$184,496

$196,356

2006

7

8

 

$131,188

$149,070

$152,250

$161,997

 

$155,383

$176,564

$180,330

$191,875

2007

5

7

 

$130,099

$150,315

$155,892

$161,997

 

$149,826

$173,108

$179,530

$186,561

2008

12

14

 

$127,983

$153,277

$154,055

$167,800

 

$141,940

$169,992

$170,855

$186,099

2009

12

14

 

$136,200

$158,277

$157,449

$172,500

 

$151,592

$176,163

$175,243

$191,994

2010

11

14

 

$140,111

$160,547

$162,500

$172,500

 

$153,429

$175,807

$177,946

$188,896

2011

6

7

 

$156,400

$162,890

$160,188

$170,696

 

$166,025

$172,915

$170,046

$181,201

2012

9

11

 

$139,000

$157,525

$162,673

$170,696

 

$144,563

$163,829

$169,183

$177,527

2013

7

10

 

$141,961

$159,148

$161,003

$170,696

 

$145,511

$163,128

$165,029

$174,964

2014

8

10

 

$145,333

$161,897

$161,894

$172,500

 

$146,589

$163,296

$163,293

$173,991

2015

7

8

 

$144,201

$162,320

$163,322

$172,500

 

$145,275

$163,529

$164,538

$173,785

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-3.24%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-8.76%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. "—" indicates insufficient data available. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 5. Communications Director, 2006-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2006

5

5

 

$85,163

$103,872

$111,667

$121,929

 

$100,869

$123,029

$132,262

$144,417

2007

5

5

 

$85,917

$103,084

$100,069

$126,100

 

$98,945

$118,715

$115,243

$145,221

2008

12

16

 

$81,515

$113,158

$119,000

$151,921

 

$90,404

$125,498

$131,977

$168,488

2009

14

16

 

$79,458

$113,739

$106,045

$163,224

 

$88,438

$126,593

$118,030

$181,670

2010

8

10

 

$83,000

$120,632

$121,446

$149,328

 

$90,889

$132,097

$132,989

$163,521

2011

8

8

 

$83,667

$107,173

$103,197

$133,889

 

$88,816

$113,768

$109,548

$142,129

2012

10

10

 

$100,000

$126,218

$120,976

$164,034

 

$104,002

$131,269

$125,817

$170,599

2013

8

9

 

$104,000

$134,395

$137,700

$168,411

 

$106,601

$137,755

$141,143

$172,622

2014

13

14

 

$89,000

$128,454

$123,167

$168,411

 

$89,769

$129,564

$124,231

$169,866

2015

11

11

 

$95,500

$131,881

$125,003

$168,411

 

$96,211

$132,863

$125,934

$169,665

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

14.96%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-4.78%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 6. Counsel, 2001-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

10

16

 

$71,167

$97,784

$98,767

$143,283

 

$95,953

$131,841

$133,167

$193,187

2002

11

19

 

$65,750

$100,279

$108,000

$143,600

 

$87,270

$133,101

$143,349

$190,601

2003

9

14

 

$75,388

$104,678

$100,317

$149,467

 

$97,832

$135,844

$130,184

$193,967

2004

12

19

 

$58,233

$101,021

$99,500

$150,000

 

$73,611

$127,697

$125,774

$189,610

2005

12

19

 

$79,087

$104,912

$104,880

$134,567

 

$96,695

$128,270

$128,230

$164,527

2006

13

19

 

$56,250

$111,987

$115,647

$154,083

 

$66,624

$132,641

$136,976

$182,501

2007

7

14

 

$59,167

$102,363

$96,177

$139,041

 

$68,138

$117,885

$110,760

$160,124

2008

12

19

 

$64,694

$111,010

$107,136

$147,415

 

$71,749

$123,115

$118,819

$163,491

2009

13

20

 

$94,261

$123,682

$117,900

$170,696

 

$104,914

$137,660

$131,224

$189,987

2010

8

15

 

$55,733

$104,700

$101,854

$142,000

 

$61,031

$114,652

$111,535

$155,497

2011

6

10

 

$79,356

$105,961

$107,371

$130,917

 

$84,239

$112,482

$113,979

$138,973

2012

10

17

 

$77,000

$108,888

$114,267

$142,050

 

$80,081

$113,245

$118,839

$147,735

2013

10

16

 

$78,383

$112,593

$115,417

$166,048

 

$80,343

$115,408

$118,303

$170,200

2014

12

19

 

$49,917

$106,016

$112,895

$159,717

 

$50,348

$106,932

$113,871

$161,098

2015

15

23

 

$54,833

$114,886

$120,000

$170,696

 

$55,242

$115,741

$120,894

$171,967

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

6.07%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-11.74%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-9.22%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 7. Deputy Staff Director, 2009-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2009

5

5

 

$136,250

$159,050

$168,139

$172,500

 

$151,648

$177,024

$187,140

$191,994

2010

5

6

 

$122,500

$145,128

$145,257

$172,500

 

$134,143

$158,922

$159,064

$188,896

2011

6

6

 

$142,015

$162,374

$169,516

$172,500

 

$150,755

$172,366

$179,948

$183,116

2012

12

12

 

$140,124

$161,167

$169,206

$172,500

 

$145,732

$167,617

$175,977

$179,403

2013

8

9

 

$140,100

$158,695

$154,300

$172,500

 

$143,603

$162,663

$158,158

$176,813

2014

11

12

 

$134,000

$161,029

$164,417

$172,500

 

$135,158

$162,421

$165,838

$173,991

2015

8

10

 

$137,500

$160,161

$165,500

$172,500

 

$138,524

$161,354

$166,732

$173,785

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-7.34%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."

Table 8. Minority Professional Staff Member, 2001-2014

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

7

13

 

$73,667

$95,925

$88,827

$139,559

 

$99,324

$129,334

$119,765

$188,165

2002

7

14

 

$65,267

$106,863

$102,642

$147,170

 

$86,629

$141,840

$136,238

$195,340

2003

7

13

 

$59,350

$98,384

$97,957

$135,613

 

$77,020

$127,675

$127,122

$175,989

2004

8

15

 

$64,812

$105,503

$102,333

$155,098

 

$81,926

$133,363

$129,356

$196,054

2005

6

11

 

$71,833

$106,447

$103,500

$139,091

 

$87,826

$130,147

$126,543

$170,058

2006

7

13

 

$71,917

$106,739

$107,044

$144,583

 

$85,181

$126,426

$126,787

$171,249

2007

 

 

2008

4

7

 

$62,500

$104,167

$109,376

$143,124

 

$69,316

$115,527

$121,303

$158,732

2009

5

8

 

$59,750

$96,173

$96,467

$127,408

 

$66,502

$107,042

$107,368

$141,806

2010

4

7

 

$73,667

$115,362

$120,000

$140,000

 

$80,669

$126,327

$131,406

$153,307

2011

 

 

2012

4

5

 

$67,500

$101,786

$105,085

$143,760

 

$70,201

$105,859

$109,290

$149,513

2013

5

8

 

$45,117

$90,613

$92,417

$143,591

 

$46,245

$92,879

$94,728

$147,181

2014

4

6

 

$60,000

$110,397

$110,750

$155,207

 

$60,519

$111,351

$111,707

$156,549

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2010-2014

-14.99%

Median Pay

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. "—" indicates insufficient data available. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 9. Minority Staff Director, 2009-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2009

6

6

 

$165,000

$170,597

$172,250

$172,500

 

$183,647

$189,877

$191,716

$191,994

2010

7

7

 

$169,587

$171,558

$172,500

$172,500

 

$185,706

$187,865

$188,896

$188,896

2011

 

 

2012

7

7

 

$157,838

$169,602

$172,400

$172,500

 

$164,154

$176,390

$179,299

$179,403

2013

 

 

2014

8

8

 

$144,712

$166,098

$168,480

$172,500

 

$145,962

$167,533

$169,936

$173,991

2015

5

5

 

$165,011

$169,626

$171,300

$172,500

 

$166,240

$170,889

$172,576

$173,785

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

6 Years, 2010-2015

-8.64%

Median Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. "—" indicates insufficient data available. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 10. Professional Staff Member, 2001-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

13

24

 

$45,930

$79,533

$80,423

$140,865

 

$61,927

$107,233

$108,434

$189,927

2002

15

27

 

$43,000

$81,293

$80,429

$148,500

 

$57,074

$107,900

$106,754

$197,105

2003

13

25

 

$44,667

$86,645

$91,000

$121,335

 

$57,965

$112,441

$118,093

$157,460

2004

16

32

 

$41,083

$90,763

$91,792

$143,211

 

$51,932

$114,730

$116,031

$181,028

2005

15

28

 

$42,200

$96,007

$99,635

$138,000

 

$51,595

$117,382

$121,818

$168,725

2006

15

29

 

$40,833

$100,719

$103,161

$157,013

 

$48,364

$119,295

$122,187

$185,972

2007

11

21

 

$44,700

$99,295

$97,657

$136,433

 

$51,478

$114,351

$112,465

$157,121

2008

13

22

 

$51,250

$96,048

$97,783

$135,000

 

$56,839

$106,522

$108,447

$149,722

2009

15

25

 

$47,917

$109,033

$109,000

$172,049

 

$53,332

$121,355

$121,318

$191,492

2010

14

27

 

$51,868

$89,333

$86,498

$135,762

 

$56,798

$97,824

$94,720

$148,666

2011

12

22

 

$49,000

$94,787

$90,344

$142,000

 

$52,015

$100,620

$95,904

$150,739

2012

16

28

 

$53,000

$96,110

$96,333

$134,083

 

$55,121

$99,956

$100,188

$139,449

2013

17

29

 

$41,667

$93,765

$92,475

$151,083

 

$42,708

$96,109

$94,787

$154,861

2014

16

30

 

$54,000

$89,714

$88,506

$155,000

 

$54,467

$90,489

$89,271

$156,340

2015

14

26

 

$53,500

$95,061

$83,611

$135,000

 

$53,898

$95,769

$84,234

$136,005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-12.17%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-31.06%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-22.32%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 11. Senior Professional Staff Member, 2008-2014

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2008

5

9

 

$101,700

$129,285

$131,875

$153,841

 

$112,790

$143,384

$146,256

$170,617

2009

5

10

 

$87,028

$141,473

$145,358

$170,696

 

$96,864

$157,460

$161,785

$189,987

2010

5

9

 

$114,631

$148,295

$145,853

$170,696

 

$125,527

$162,390

$159,716

$186,921

2011

 

 

2012

7

12

 

$82,000

$133,660

$135,250

$164,000

 

$85,282

$139,009

$140,662

$170,563

2013

6

9

 

$66,000

$114,418

$125,000

$164,000

 

$67,650

$117,279

$128,126

$168,101

2014

6

10

 

$73,000

$115,499

$115,708

$164,000

 

$73,631

$116,497

$116,708

$165,417

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2010-2014

-26.93%

Median Pay

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. "—" indicates insufficient data available. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 12. Staff Assistant, 2001-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

12

20

 

$25,750

$54,489

$42,111

$124,500

 

$34,718

$73,467

$56,778

$167,862

2002

18

30

 

$24,923

$51,071

$42,187

$123,500

 

$33,080

$67,787

$55,995

$163,922

2003

16

22

 

$28,391

$52,471

$40,867

$128,063

 

$36,844

$68,094

$53,034

$166,190

2004

14

26

 

$29,222

$53,364

$39,056

$155,010

 

$36,938

$67,456

$49,370

$195,943

2005

13

20

 

$32,416

$54,621

$43,743

$156,848

 

$39,633

$66,782

$53,483

$191,769

2006

14

19

 

$29,417

$59,980

$42,500

$161,997

 

$34,842

$71,042

$50,338

$191,875

2007

8

12

 

$36,032

$77,341

$66,239

$161,997

 

$41,495

$89,069

$76,283

$186,561

2008

12

18

 

$34,000

$60,085

$55,000

$134,385

 

$37,708

$66,638

$60,998

$149,040

2009

11

15

 

$36,325

$66,030

$50,750

$170,696

 

$40,430

$73,492

$56,485

$189,987

2010

16

26

 

$24,750

$53,749

$44,521

$154,039

 

$27,102

$58,858

$48,752

$168,680

2011

7

12

 

$30,000

$63,876

$46,491

$153,000

 

$31,846

$67,807

$49,352

$162,416

2012

14

25

 

$30,000

$49,506

$40,617

$151,534

 

$31,201

$51,487

$42,242

$157,598

2013

10

15

 

$33,000

$66,141

$50,000

$168,411

 

$33,825

$67,795

$51,250

$172,622

2014

10

11

 

$32,000

$62,975

$40,625

$163,701

 

$32,277

$63,519

$40,976

$165,116

2015

7

10

 

$25,938

$62,883

$44,200

$165,409

 

$26,131

$63,351

$44,529

$166,641

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-9.77%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-11.54%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-21.57%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 13. Staff Director, 2001-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

5

5

 

$109,270

$136,410

$143,133

$143,600

 

$147,327

$183,920

$192,985

$193,614

2002

9

9

 

$117,755

$143,242

$148,000

$148,500

 

$156,297

$190,125

$196,441

$197,105

2003

5

5

 

$148,473

$150,769

$150,316

$153,174

 

$192,677

$195,658

$195,070

$198,778

2004

7

7

 

$129,583

$148,326

$156,417

$156,600

 

$163,802

$187,493

$197,721

$197,953

2005

8

10

 

$126,000

$150,959

$158,997

$160,600

 

$154,053

$184,569

$194,396

$196,356

2006

8

10

 

$134,000

$154,948

$162,916

$163,700

 

$158,714

$183,526

$192,964

$193,892

2007

 

 

2008

9

11

 

$140,791

$164,854

$167,800

$168,217

 

$156,144

$182,832

$186,099

$186,561

2009

8

9

 

$167,800

$170,758

$171,500

$172,500

 

$186,763

$190,055

$190,881

$191,994

2010

11

13

 

$168,000

$171,146

$172,500

$172,500

 

$183,968

$187,413

$188,896

$188,896

2011

8

8

 

$165,006

$170,679

$172,495

$172,500

 

$175,161

$181,182

$183,111

$183,116

2012

8

10

 

$164,593

$170,575

$172,330

$172,500

 

$171,180

$177,402

$179,226

$179,403

2013

10

11

 

$145,250

$168,843

$172,500

$172,500

 

$148,882

$173,065

$176,813

$176,813

2014

12

13

 

$112,833

$165,939

$172,500

$172,500

 

$113,809

$167,373

$173,991

$173,991

2015

10

13

 

$135,000

$167,383

$172,500

$172,500

 

$136,005

$168,630

$173,785

$173,785

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-5.09%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-9.94%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-9.95%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. "—" indicates insufficient data available. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."


Table 14. Subcommittee Staff Director, 2001-2015

 

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Committees

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

5

8

 

$64,694

$108,922

$115,331

$134,891

 

$87,227

$146,858

$155,499

$181,872

2002

9

16

 

$68,250

$112,430

$116,733

$134,905

 

$90,588

$149,229

$154,940

$179,060

2003

7

13

 

$70,783

$127,704

$131,417

$151,358

 

$91,858

$165,724

$170,543

$196,421

2004

8

16

 

$77,583

$125,937

$129,966

$147,947

 

$98,070

$159,192

$164,285

$187,015

2005

8

12

 

$82,761

$135,548

$135,667

$158,954

 

$101,187

$165,727

$165,872

$194,344

2006

8

14

 

$91,761

$138,231

$135,406

$161,745

 

$108,685

$163,726

$160,380

$191,577

2007

 

 

2008

 

 

2009

6

10

 

$105,198

$141,675

$144,957

$170,696

 

$117,086

$157,686

$161,338

$189,987

2010

10

16

 

$98,293

$144,215

$144,661

$170,499

 

$107,636

$157,922

$158,411

$186,705

2011

 

 

2012

 

 

2013

6

11

 

$105,000

$143,609

$151,838

$170,696

 

$107,625

$147,199

$155,635

$174,964

2014

6

12

 

$102,395

$141,386

$137,750

$168,411

 

$103,280

$142,608

$138,941

$169,866

2015

5

9

 

$110,000

$138,476

$138,000

$170,683

 

$110,819

$139,508

$139,028

$171,954

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-13.31%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-10.59%

Median Pay

Change in Pay

2015 Pay Distribution

Dollars in figures are in thousands.

Source: Statement of Disbursements of the House, as collated by LegiStorm, various years, and CRS calculations. "—" indicates insufficient data available. Tabular change is based on change in median pay for the periods noted. In the visualizations, position pay information based on constant 2016 dollars in thousands of dollars, or change in those levels, is presented in green. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Coordinator, Specialist in American National Government ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
[author name scrubbed], Research Assistant ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

[author name scrubbed], Research Assistant, provided update support. Jacobo Licona, Brian Hamel, Joe Wisniewski, and Claire Laurence, former CRS interns, collected data for this report. [author name scrubbed], Visual Information Specialist, created the visualizations for this report. Claudia Guidi and Sandra L. Edwards, User Support Specialists, and Alex Marine, Publications Editor, provided formatting and editorial support.

Footnotes

1.

Since 2009, the maximum annual pay for staff in House committees has been $172,500. See Order of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, January 9, 2009, set out as a note following 2 U.S.C. 4532. Maximum payable rates for House committee staff since 2001 are available in Table 2.

2.

For discussion of resources available to committees, and their distribution, see CRS Report R42778, House Committee Funding: Description of Process and Analysis of Disbursements, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

3.

In this report, pay refers to monies paid by the House to staff, and excludes other components of total compensation, which might include paid leave or employer contributions to various insurance and retirement benefits.

4.

Volumes of the Statement of Disbursements since July 2009 are available at http://disbursements.house.gov/.

5.

http://www.legistorm.com/.

6.

The Statements of Disbursement of the House provided data for the following panels in 2015: Agriculture, Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget, Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Ethics, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, House Administration, Intelligence, Judiciary, Natural Resources, Oversight and Government Reform, Rules, Science, Space and Technology, Small Business, Transportation and Infrastructure, Veterans' Affairs, and Ways and Means.

7.

The numbers of staff whose data were counted are identified as observations in the data tables.

8.

Other forms of payment do not appear to be recorded in a consistent manner. Sometimes overtime and other pay is listed as separate entries and in other instances, significant one-time changes in a quarterly total may suggest payments in addition to regular salary.

9.

Information about the duration of staff employment is available in CRS Report R44683, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Committees, 2006-2016, CRS Report R44685, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in Senate Committees, 2006-2016, CRS Report R44682, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2006-2016, and CRS Report R44684, Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in Senators' Offices, 2006-2016.

10.

Positions that typically employ one staff member per committee include communications director, deputy staff director, minority staff director, and staff director.

11.

Positions that typically employ two or more staff members per committee include counsel, staff assistant, and professional staff member.

12.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/tables.htm.

13.

General Schedule pay change is based on changes in pay levels, and not the pay of individuals. General Schedule pay tables are available at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2015/general-schedule/. For a complete description of areas covered under the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA locality pay table, see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2014/locality-pay-area-definitions/#w.

14.

5 years, 2011-2015; 10 years, 2006-2015; and 15 years, 2001-2015.

15.

The median is the midpoint at which half of the numbers in a list are higher and the other half lower.

16.

Sufficient data are not available in 2011 for minority staff directors, senior professional staff members, and subcommittee staff directors.

17.

Sufficient data are not available in 2006 for deputy staff directors, minority staff directors, and senior professional staff members.

18.

Sufficient data are not available in 2001 for chief counsels, communications directors, deputy staff directors, minority staff directors, and senior professional staff members. Sufficient data are not available in 2015 for minority professional staff members.