Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 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 Member offices; or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.

This report provides pay data for 12 staff position titles that are typically used in House Members’ offices. The positions include the following: Caseworker, Chief of Staff, District Director, Executive Assistant, Field Representative, Legislative Assistant, Legislative Correspondent, Legislative Director, Office Manager, Press Secretary, Scheduler, and Staff Assistant.

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

a line graph showing change in pay, 2001-2015;

a comparison, at 5-, 10-, and 15-year intervals from 2015, of the cumulative percentage change in pay of that position to changes in pay of Members of Congress and salaried 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, increased for one position, office manager, by 0.22%, and decreased for 11 staff positions, ranging from a -3.53% decrease for field representatives to a -25.83% decrease for executive assistants. This may be compared to changes over the same period to Members of Congress, -5.10%, and General Schedule, DC, -3.19%.

Pay data for staff working in Senators’ offices are available in CRS Report R44324, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators’ Offices, FY2001-FY2014. Data describing the pay of congressional staff working in House and Senate committee offices are available in CRS Report R44322, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2014, and CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014, 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 Member Offices, 2001-2015

November 9, 2016 (R44323)
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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 Member offices; or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.

This report provides pay data for 12 staff position titles that are typically used in House Members' offices. The positions include the following: Caseworker, Chief of Staff, District Director, Executive Assistant, Field Representative, Legislative Assistant, Legislative Correspondent, Legislative Director, Office Manager, Press Secretary, Scheduler, and Staff Assistant.

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

  • a line graph showing change in pay, 2001-2015;
  • a comparison, at 5-, 10-, and 15-year intervals from 2015, of the cumulative percentage change in pay of that position to changes in pay of Members of Congress and salaried 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, increased for one position, office manager, by 0.22%, and decreased for 11 staff positions, ranging from a -3.53% decrease for field representatives to a -25.83% decrease for executive assistants. This may be compared to changes over the same period to Members of Congress, -5.10%, and General Schedule, DC, -3.19%.

Pay data for staff working in Senators' offices are available in CRS Report R44324, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators' Offices, FY2001-FY2014. Data describing the pay of congressional staff working in House and Senate committee offices are available in CRS Report R44322, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2014, and CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014, 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 Member Offices, 2001-2015

Introduction

The level of pay for congressional staff is a source of recurring questions among Members of Congress, congressional staff, and the public. Members of the House of Representatives typically set the terms and conditions of employment for staff in their offices. This includes job titles, duties, and rates of pay, subject to a maximum level,1 and resources available to them 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 Member offices; or comparison of congressional staff pay levels with those of other federal government pay systems.

Publicly available resources do not provide aggregated congressional staff pay data in a readily retrievable form. The most recent staff compensation report was issued in 2010,3 which, like previous compensation reports, relied on anonymous, self-reported survey data. Pay4 information in this report is based on the House Statement of Disbursements (SOD), published quarterly by the Chief Administrative Officer,5 as collated by LegiStorm, a private entity that provides some congressional data by subscription.6 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 Member staff compensation over time.

This report provides pay data for 12 staff position titles that are typically used in House Members' offices.7 The positions include the following:

  • Caseworker8
  • Chief of Staff
  • District Director
  • Executive Assistant
  • Field Representative
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Legislative Correspondent
  • Legislative Director
  • Office Manager
  • Press Secretary9
  • Scheduler
  • Staff Assistant

House Member staff pay data for the years 2001-2015 were developed based on a random sampling of staff for each position in each year. In order to be included, House staff had to hold a position with the same job title in the Member's office for the entire calendar year. For each year, the SOD reports pay data for five time periods: January 1 and 2;10 January 3-March 31; April 1-June 30; July 1-September 30; and October 1-December 31. The aggregate pay of those five periods equals the annual pay of a congressional staff member.

For each year, 2001-2015, a random sample11 of 45 staff for each position, and who did not receive pay from any other congressional employing authority, was taken. Every recorded payment ascribed to those staff for the calendar year is included.12 Data collected for this report may differ from an employee's stated annual salary due to the inclusion of overtime, bonuses, or other payments13 in addition to base salary paid in the course of a year. For some positions, it was not possible to identify 45 employees who held that title for the entire year. In circumstances when data for 18 or fewer staff were identified for a position, this report provides no data. Generally, data provided in this report are based on no more than three observations per Member office per year, and only one per office per position each year.

Pay data for staff working in Senators' offices are available in CRS Report R44324, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators' Offices, FY2001-FY2014. Data describing the pay of congressional staff working in House and Senate committee offices are available in CRS Report R44322, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2014, and CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014, respectively.14

Data Concerns

There may be some advantages to relying on official salary expenditure data instead of survey findings, but data presented here are subject to some challenges that could affect the findings or their interpretation. Some of the concerns include the following:

  • There is a lack of data for first-term Members in the first session of a Congress. Authority to use the Member Representational Allowance (MRA) for the previous year expires January 2, and new MRA authority begins on January 3. As a consequence, no data are available for first-term Members of the House in the first session of a Congress.15
  • 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.
  • Data do not differentiate between staff based in Washington, DC, district offices, or both.
  • Member offices that do not utilize any of the 12 job position titles or their variants, or whose pay data were not reported consistently,16 are excluded.
  • Potential differences could 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 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 pay data and visualizations for each position. Table 1 provides the maximum payable rates for House Member 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) for various years, expressed in constant, 2016 dollars.17

Table 2 provides the available cumulative percentage changes in pay in constant 2016 dollars for each of the 12 positions, Members of Congress,18 and salaries paid under the General Schedule in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas.19 Table 3-Table 14 provide tabular pay data for each House Member office staff position. The numbers of staff for which 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, 2001-2015, in nominal (current) and constant 2016 dollars;
  • a comparison, at 5-, 10-, and 15- year intervals from 2015,20 of the cumulative percentage change in median pay for that position to changes in pay, in constant 2016 dollars, 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 median21 pay, in constant 2016 dollars, increased for one position, office manager, by 0.22%, and decreased for 11 staff positions, ranging from a -3.53% decrease for field representatives to a -25.83% decrease for executive assistants. This may be compared to changes over the same period to Members of Congress, -5.10%, and General Schedule, DC, -3.19%.

Between 2006 and 2015, the change in median pay, in constant 2016 dollars, decreased for all 12 staff positions, ranging from a -1.99% decrease for legislative directors to a -24.82% decrease for executive assistants. This may be compared to changes over the same period to Members of Congress, -10.41%, and General Schedule, DC, -0.13%.

Between 2001 and 2015, the change in median pay, in constant 2016 dollars, ranged from a 4.27% increase for chiefs of staff to a -23.35% decrease for executive assistants. Of the 12 positions, one saw a pay increase, while 11 saw declines. This may be compared to changes over the same period to the pay of Members of Congress, -10.40%, and General Schedule, DC, 7.36%.

Table 1. House Member Office Staff Pay, Annual Maximums, 2001-2015

Year

Nominal $

Constant 2016 $

2001

$140,451

$189,369

2002

$145,226

$192,759

2003

$149,728

$194,306

2004

$153,022

$193,430

2005

$156,848

$191,769

2006

$159,828

$189,306

2007

$159,828

$184,063

2008

$163,795

$181,657

2009

$168,411

$187,443

2010

$168,411

$184,418

2011

$168,411

$178,775

2012

$168,411

$175,151

2013

$168,411

$172,622

2014

$168,411

$169,866

2015

$168,411

$169,665

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

Table 2. Selected House Member Staff Change in Pay, Selected Periods

 

Change
(Based on Constant, 2016 Dollars)

 

5 Years
2011-2015

10 Years
2006-2015

15 Years
2001-2015

Caseworker

-15.41%

-12.42%

-4.67%

Chief of Staff

-8.47%

-7.09%

4.27%

District Director

-4.14%

-4.91%

-3.10%

Executive Assistant

-25.83%

-24.82%

-23.35%

Field Representative

-3.53%

-14.09%

-2.76%

Legislative Assistant

-5.99%

-15.55%

-11.99%

Legislative Correspondent

-4.85%

-8.11%

-5.25%

Legislative Director

-6.07%

-1.99%

-3.16%

Office Manager

0.22%

-14.46%

-19.67%

Press Secretary/Communication Director

-16.95%

-9.49%

-4.59%

Scheduler

-8.46%

-15.39%

-15.96%

Staff Assistant

-5.73%

-16.31%

-16.60%

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 3-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. Detailed information about data sources is available above in "Data Tables and Visualizations."

Table 3. Caseworker

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$21,750

$35,841

$34,231

$61,572

 

$29,325

$48,324

$46,154

$83,016

2002

45

 

$23,846

$37,733

$37,358

$100,500

 

$31,651

$50,083

$49,586

$133,394

2003

45

 

$27,000

$38,492

$36,500

$63,333

 

$35,039

$49,953

$47,367

$82,189

2004

45

 

$27,500

$42,439

$43,160

$63,900

 

$34,762

$53,646

$54,557

$80,774

2005

45

 

$27,250

$42,527

$39,386

$76,836

 

$33,317

$51,996

$48,155

$93,943

2006

45

 

$21,500

$43,963

$42,417

$66,867

 

$25,465

$52,071

$50,240

$79,199

2007

45

 

$20,733

$43,694

$42,500

$72,500

 

$23,877

$50,319

$48,944

$83,493

2008

45

 

$22,500

$44,331

$44,409

$60,000

 

$24,954

$49,165

$49,251

$66,543

2009

45

 

$25,000

$45,806

$44,363

$86,210

 

$27,825

$50,983

$49,377

$95,953

2010

45

 

$28,405

$47,592

$44,000

$82,062

 

$31,105

$52,115

$48,182

$89,862

2011

45

 

$31,200

$49,697

$49,000

$83,155

 

$33,120

$52,755

$52,015

$88,273

2012

45

 

$30,135

$50,182

$47,492

$72,000

 

$31,341

$52,190

$49,393

$74,881

2013

45

 

$24,000

$49,805

$50,000

$84,353

 

$24,600

$51,050

$51,250

$86,462

2014

45

 

$26,250

$47,823

$46,000

$88,833

 

$26,445

$48,180

$46,343

$89,495

2015

45

 

$28,500

$46,269

$44,000

$84,667

 

$28,500

$46,269

$44,000

$84,667

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-15.41%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-12.42%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-4.67%

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 4. Chief of Staff

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$76,361

$106,313

$104,250

$137,020

 

$102,957

$143,341

$140,559

$184,742

2002

45

 

$65,000

$113,580

$115,089

$145,226

 

$86,275

$150,756

$152,758

$192,759

2003

45

 

$81,000

$114,406

$110,750

$148,978

 

$105,116

$148,468

$143,723

$193,332

2004

45

 

$86,500

$122,278

$124,000

$151,974

 

$109,342

$154,567

$156,744

$192,105

2005

45

 

$70,196

$129,013

$130,000

$156,827

 

$85,825

$157,736

$158,944

$191,743

2006

45

 

$94,000

$135,327

$133,180

$159,828

 

$111,337

$160,286

$157,743

$189,306

2007

45

 

$96,833

$138,937

$141,652

$159,828

 

$111,517

$160,005

$163,132

$184,063

2008

45

 

$93,508

$145,683

$149,972

$163,795

 

$103,705

$161,569

$166,327

$181,657

2009

45

 

$42,708

$133,877

$134,344

$168,411

 

$47,535

$149,007

$149,527

$187,443

2010

45

 

$98,500

$143,697

$147,000

$168,411

 

$107,862

$157,355

$160,972

$184,418

2011

45

 

$103,124

$146,853

$150,833

$168,411

 

$109,470

$155,890

$160,116

$178,775

2012

45

 

$98,220

$143,040

$144,000

$168,411

 

$102,151

$148,765

$149,763

$175,151

2013

45

 

$90,501

$142,480

$143,800

$168,411

 

$92,764

$146,043

$147,395

$172,622

2014

45

 

$89,401

$140,803

$138,968

$168,411

 

$90,067

$141,851

$140,003

$169,665

2015

45

 

$114,173

$147,650

$146,561

$168,411

 

$114,173

$147,650

$146,561

$168,411

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-8.47%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-7.09%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

4.27%

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 5. District Director

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$49,538

$70,062

$72,844

$101,624

 

$66,792

$94,464

$98,215

$137,019

2002

45

 

$45,000

$73,706

$72,925

$106,487

 

$59,729

$97,831

$96,794

$141,340

2003

45

 

$44,400

$76,558

$76,045

$122,450

 

$57,619

$99,352

$98,686

$158,907

2004

45

 

$42,500

$77,877

$77,100

$116,568

 

$53,723

$98,442

$97,459

$147,350

2005

45

 

$49,583

$83,325

$83,904

$123,500

 

$60,623

$101,877

$102,584

$150,996

2006

45

 

$53,000

$86,077

$84,501

$141,100

 

$62,775

$101,953

$100,086

$167,124

2007

45

 

$50,000

$90,807

$86,631

$148,500

 

$57,582

$104,577

$99,767

$171,018

2008

45

 

$52,042

$89,141

$87,599

$138,083

 

$57,717

$98,862

$97,152

$153,141

2009

45

 

$60,000

$90,238

$88,274

$120,450

 

$66,781

$100,436

$98,250

$134,062

2010

45

 

$48,100

$95,323

$92,545

$136,003

 

$52,672

$104,384

$101,341

$148,930

2011

45

 

$68,000

$99,733

$93,519

$165,000

 

$72,185

$105,871

$99,275

$175,154

2012

45

 

$52,500

$91,280

$88,795

$163,564

 

$54,601

$94,932

$92,348

$170,109

2013

45

 

$48,333

$90,637

$87,247

$162,600

 

$49,542

$92,903

$89,429

$166,666

2014

45

 

$45,000

$93,519

$88,500

$144,667

 

$45,335

$94,215

$89,159

$145,744

2015

45

 

$59,433

$97,911

$95,167

$162,600

 

$59,433

$97,911

$95,167

$162,600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-4.14%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-4.91%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-3.10%

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. Executive Assistant

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$27,583

$56,922

$53,136

$104,167

 

$37,190

$76,748

$71,642

$140,447

2002

45

 

$21,667

$54,469

$52,667

$111,517

 

$28,758

$72,297

$69,905

$148,017

2003

45

 

$27,354

$58,093

$55,500

$113,500

 

$35,498

$75,389

$72,024

$147,292

2004

45

 

$27,446

$55,603

$51,933

$87,602

 

$34,694

$70,286

$65,647

$110,734

2005

45

 

$27,000

$60,504

$54,837

$97,275

 

$33,011

$73,975

$67,047

$118,933

2006

44

 

$34,167

$65,704

$61,672

$109,617

 

$40,468

$77,822

$73,046

$129,834

2007

45

 

$33,513

$67,000

$62,542

$145,849

 

$38,595

$77,159

$72,025

$167,964

2008

44

 

$26,750

$60,839

$59,231

$107,037

 

$29,667

$67,473

$65,690

$118,709

2009

45

 

$30,000

$58,062

$57,500

$108,047

 

$33,390

$64,623

$63,998

$120,257

2010

45

 

$20,500

$67,102

$64,500

$134,278

 

$22,448

$73,480

$70,631

$147,041

2011

37

 

$27,000

$67,839

$69,750

$138,000

 

$28,662

$72,014

$74,043

$146,493

2012

39

 

$28,000

$61,871

$58,500

$122,609

 

$29,121

$64,347

$60,841

$127,516

2013

21

 

$33,750

$61,167

$53,500

$121,109

 

$34,594

$62,696

$54,838

$124,137

2014

30

 

$32,000

$55,748

$54,750

$89,167

 

$32,238

$56,163

$55,158

$89,831

2015

38

 

$21,000

$55,918

$54,917

$92,426

 

$21,000

$55,918

$54,917

$92,426

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-25.83%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-24.82%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-23.35%

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. Field Representative

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$22,131

$38,242

$35,500

$75,275

 

$29,838

$51,562

$47,864

$101,492

2002

45

 

$24,720

$41,209

$40,500

$66,333

 

$32,811

$54,697

$53,756

$88,044

2003

45

 

$21,344

$41,594

$40,775

$74,501

 

$27,699

$53,978

$52,915

$96,682

2004

45

 

$26,017

$42,892

$39,472

$78,967

 

$32,887

$54,218

$49,895

$99,819

2005

45

 

$25,805

$43,791

$40,750

$72,000

 

$31,550

$53,540

$49,823

$88,030

2006

45

 

$24,750

$47,080

$45,743

$90,454

 

$29,315

$55,763

$54,179

$107,136

2007

45

 

$25,928

$45,483

$42,901

$66,502

 

$29,859

$52,380

$49,406

$76,585

2008

44

 

$26,750

$60,839

$59,231

$107,037

 

$29,667

$67,473

$65,690

$118,709

2009

45

 

$34,033

$47,299

$45,000

$81,917

 

$37,879

$52,644

$50,085

$91,174

2010

45

 

$28,917

$48,932

$48,033

$77,311

 

$31,665

$53,582

$52,599

$84,659

2011

45

 

$21,000

$46,732

$45,450

$72,992

 

$22,292

$49,608

$48,247

$77,484

2012

45

 

$30,167

$47,153

$46,920

$79,159

 

$31,374

$49,040

$48,798

$82,327

2013

45

 

$32,125

$47,466

$48,783

$77,988

 

$32,928

$48,653

$50,002

$79,938

2014

45

 

$25,750

$48,428

$47,667

$94,625

 

$25,942

$48,789

$48,022

$95,330

2015

45

 

$22,100

$49,031

$46,544

$100,000

 

$22,100

$49,031

$46,544

$100,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-3.53%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-14.09%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-2.76%

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. 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. Legislative Assistant

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$30,154

$43,493

$41,092

$70,000

 

$40,656

$58,641

$55,403

$94,380

2002

45

 

$29,068

$44,295

$43,333

$61,296

 

$38,582

$58,793

$57,517

$81,358

2003

45

 

$29,025

$45,828

$42,542

$121,750

 

$37,667

$59,472

$55,208

$157,998

2004

45

 

$30,081

$46,008

$43,750

$95,585

 

$38,024

$58,158

$55,303

$120,826

2005

45

 

$29,542

$50,609

$45,208

$104,290

 

$36,119

$61,877

$55,274

$127,509

2006

45

 

$35,994

$50,584

$48,750

$69,631

 

$42,633

$59,914

$57,741

$82,474

2007

45

 

$32,750

$50,261

$45,600

$120,136

 

$37,716

$57,882

$52,515

$138,353

2008

45

 

$35,267

$53,668

$49,389

$94,841

 

$39,113

$59,521

$54,775

$105,183

2009

45

 

$34,000

$49,982

$50,500

$63,500

 

$37,842

$55,630

$56,207

$70,676

2010

45

 

$37,637

$54,346

$51,427

$114,814

 

$41,214

$59,511

$56,315

$125,727

2011

45

 

$32,500

$50,506

$48,863

$96,400

 

$34,500

$53,614

$51,870

$102,333

2012

45

 

$29,000

$49,916

$49,250

$78,833

 

$30,161

$51,914

$51,221

$81,988

2013

45

 

$29,500

$48,395

$47,917

$72,802

 

$30,238

$49,605

$49,115

$74,623

2014

45

 

$31,333

$50,854

$49,219

$90,833

 

$31,567

$51,233

$49,586

$91,510

2015

45

 

$30,000

$49,860

$48,760

$83,336

 

$30,000

$49,860

$48,760

$83,336

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-5.99%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-15.55%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-11.99%

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 9. Legislative Correspondent

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

31

 

$24,500

$33,552

$31,313

$84,267

 

$33,033

$45,238

$42,218

$113,616

2002

45

 

$25,000

$34,141

$31,983

$52,000

 

$33,183

$45,315

$42,452

$69,020

2003

45

 

$23,958

$36,698

$35,614

$64,077

 

$31,091

$47,624

$46,217

$83,155

2004

40

 

$25,372

$36,524

$34,720

$66,667

 

$32,072

$46,168

$43,888

$84,271

2005

37

 

$26,000

$37,095

$35,250

$60,750

 

$31,789

$45,353

$43,098

$74,276

2006

45

 

$27,583

$39,217

$36,750

$73,315

 

$32,671

$46,450

$43,528

$86,837

2007

45

 

$28,544

$40,299

$39,617

$56,333

 

$32,872

$46,410

$45,624

$64,875

2008

45

 

$28,867

$39,190

$38,500

$55,680

 

$32,015

$43,464

$42,699

$61,752

2009

45

 

$29,085

$41,173

$38,875

$75,917

 

$32,372

$45,826

$43,268

$84,496

2010

45

 

$28,000

$40,366

$38,542

$75,833

 

$30,661

$44,203

$42,205

$83,041

2011

45

 

$28,833

$42,489

$39,600

$86,250

 

$30,608

$45,104

$42,037

$91,558

2012

45

 

$26,000

$39,351

$39,000

$65,000

 

$27,041

$40,926

$40,561

$67,601

2013

45

 

$28,900

$38,589

$37,500

$65,000

 

$29,623

$39,554

$38,438

$66,625

2014

45

 

$30,000

$41,122

$40,233

$63,000

 

$30,223

$41,428

$40,533

$63,469

2015

45

 

$25,000

$41,290

$40,000

$77,000

 

$25,000

$41,290

$40,000

$77,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-4.85%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-8.11%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-5.25%

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 10. Legislative Director

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$47,000

$66,932

$66,250

$91,412

 

$63,370

$90,243

$89,324

$123,249

2002

45

 

$48,399

$71,594

$70,000

$117,000

 

$64,240

$95,027

$92,911

$155,295

2003

45

 

$51,048

$72,020

$70,500

$105,000

 

$66,246

$93,462

$91,490

$136,261

2004

45

 

$51,761

$73,294

$70,300

$124,833

 

$65,430

$92,649

$88,864

$157,798

2005

45

 

$58,963

$75,692

$72,068

$133,833

 

$72,090

$92,545

$88,113

$163,630

2006

45

 

$55,542

$76,599

$74,515

$101,917

 

$65,786

$90,726

$88,258

$120,714

2007

45

 

$58,000

$81,721

$81,667

$102,683

 

$66,795

$94,112

$94,050

$118,254

2008

45

 

$54,500

$82,548

$82,000

$124,333

 

$60,443

$91,550

$90,942

$137,892

2009

45

 

$51,500

$85,883

$84,417

$127,411

 

$57,320

$95,588

$93,957

$141,810

2010

45

 

$61,303

$87,717

$86,167

$118,000

 

$67,130

$96,054

$94,357

$129,216

2011

45

 

$47,075

$85,639

$86,750

$117,500

 

$49,972

$90,909

$92,089

$124,731

2012

45

 

$48,400

$82,327

$80,000

$138,000

 

$50,337

$85,622

$83,202

$143,523

2013

45

 

$50,736

$79,804

$80,000

$106,000

 

$52,005

$81,800

$82,000

$108,650

2014

45

 

$50,417

$87,256

$84,718

$127,000

 

$50,792

$87,906

$85,349

$127,946

2015

45

 

$55,133

$84,862

$86,500

$132,800

 

$55,133

$84,862

$86,500

$132,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-6.07%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-1.99%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-3.16%

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. Office Manager

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$22,949

$44,639

$46,167

$84,750

 

$30,941

$60,186

$62,246

$114,268

2002

45

 

$18,260

$47,760

$45,833

$102,292

 

$24,236

$63,393

$60,835

$135,772

2003

45

 

$22,500

$49,497

$49,673

$76,500

 

$29,199

$64,234

$64,462

$99,276

2004

43

 

$20,024

$52,846

$51,000

$86,650

 

$25,311

$66,801

$64,467

$109,531

2005

40

 

$22,041

$47,198

$43,417

$89,688

 

$26,948

$57,707

$53,083

$109,656

2006

44

 

$29,150

$50,636

$49,352

$89,329

 

$34,526

$59,974

$58,454

$105,805

2007

26

 

$30,750

$51,840

$46,133

$93,389

 

$35,413

$59,701

$53,129

$107,549

2008

35

 

$26,989

$52,321

$50,583

$98,566

 

$29,932

$58,026

$56,099

$109,314

2009

25

 

$29,983

$55,578

$51,818

$106,877

 

$33,372

$61,859

$57,674

$118,955

2010

31

 

$32,250

$51,484

$49,000

$88,333

 

$35,315

$56,377

$53,657

$96,729

2011

21

 

$36,000

$52,858

$47,000

$82,500

 

$38,215

$56,111

$49,892

$87,577

2012

21

 

$30,103

$54,036

$50,319

$91,333

 

$31,308

$56,199

$52,333

$94,988

2013

 

 

2014

27

 

$33,434

$52,283

$46,000

$116,583

 

$33,683

$52,673

$46,343

$117,451

2015

23

 

$35,850

$51,961

$50,000

$85,038

 

$35,850

$51,961

$50,000

$85,038

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

0.22%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-14.46%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-19.67%

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 12. Press Secretary/Communications Director

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$29,000

$54,897

$52,083

$99,020

 

$39,100

$74,016

$70,223

$133,508

2002

45

 

$37,226

$58,411

$57,625

$95,527

 

$49,410

$77,530

$76,486

$126,793

2003

45

 

$32,668

$59,875

$59,000

$93,000

 

$42,394

$77,701

$76,566

$120,689

2004

45

 

$32,378

$59,282

$56,000

$93,500

 

$40,928

$74,936

$70,788

$118,190

2005

45

 

$41,739

$65,916

$65,000

$101,000

 

$51,032

$80,592

$79,472

$123,487

2006

45

 

$29,010

$62,757

$62,500

$111,188

 

$34,360

$74,332

$74,027

$131,695

2007

45

 

$36,281

$67,472

$69,000

$110,000

 

$41,782

$77,703

$79,463

$126,680

2008

45

 

$40,000

$70,609

$69,948

$112,860

 

$44,362

$78,309

$77,576

$125,168

2009

45

 

$40,400

$72,711

$69,174

$128,992

 

$44,966

$80,928

$76,991

$143,569

2010

45

 

$46,000

$72,512

$67,250

$132,596

 

$50,372

$79,404

$73,642

$145,199

2011

45

 

$48,000

$76,528

$76,000

$120,000

 

$50,954

$81,238

$80,677

$127,385

2012

45

 

$29,959

$74,514

$73,167

$121,805

 

$31,157

$77,496

$76,095

$126,680

2013

45

 

$36,439

$70,351

$65,000

$124,861

 

$37,350

$72,110

$66,625

$127,983

2014

45

 

$42,500

$73,199

$72,000

$124,233

 

$42,816

$73,744

$72,536

$125,158

2015

45

 

$43,878

$69,302

$67,000

$108,333

 

$43,878

$69,302

$67,000

$108,333

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-16.95%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-9.49%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-4.59%

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. 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. Scheduler

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

19

 

$34,117

$42,699

$42,286

$57,000

 

$45,999

$57,571

$57,013

$76,853

2002

27

 

$29,500

$44,874

$43,483

$61,375

 

$39,155

$59,561

$57,716

$81,463

2003

31

 

$26,833

$47,053

$44,393

$104,367

 

$34,822

$61,062

$57,610

$135,440

2004

25

 

$30,625

$50,838

$45,100

$104,367

 

$38,712

$64,262

$57,009

$131,926

2005

37

 

$28,625

$44,975

$44,090

$69,250

 

$34,998

$54,988

$53,906

$84,668

2006

42

 

$30,167

$50,781

$47,817

$83,000

 

$35,730

$60,147

$56,636

$98,308

2007

29

 

$32,000

$55,354

$52,167

$93,162

 

$36,852

$63,747

$60,077

$107,288

2008

45

 

$32,625

$51,427

$50,481

$82,674

 

$36,183

$57,036

$55,986

$91,690

2009

41

 

$32,000

$52,879

$52,450

$93,000

 

$35,616

$58,855

$58,377

$103,510

2010

41

 

$31,547

$51,968

$47,000

$110,750

 

$34,545

$56,907

$51,467

$121,277

2011

26

 

$35,000

$53,293

$49,309

$90,942

 

$37,154

$56,573

$52,344

$96,539

2012

36

 

$34,533

$49,421

$46,333

$80,500

 

$35,915

$51,399

$48,188

$83,721

2013

26

 

$31,883

$51,910

$47,500

$85,833

 

$32,681

$53,208

$48,688

$87,980

2014

45

 

$29,667

$53,342

$50,000

$96,950

 

$29,888

$53,739

$50,372

$97,672

2015

45

 

$33,000

$51,932

$47,917

$96,418

 

$33,000

$51,932

$47,917

$96,418

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-8.46%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-15.39%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-15.96%

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 14. Staff Assistant

 

 

 

Nominal $

 

Constant $

Year

Observations

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

 

Minimum

Average

Median

Maximum

2001

45

 

$21,667

$33,302

$31,000

$79,516

 

$29,213

$44,900

$41,797

$107,210

2002

45

 

$24,500

$34,378

$33,000

$62,317

 

$32,519

$45,631

$43,801

$82,713

2003

45

 

$20,000

$37,518

$35,917

$74,394

 

$25,955

$48,688

$46,610

$96,544

2004

45

 

$21,200

$35,866

$36,227

$52,750

 

$26,798

$45,336

$45,793

$66,680

2005

45

 

$22,000

$38,296

$34,375

$105,950

 

$26,898

$46,822

$42,028

$129,539

2006

45

 

$21,834

$38,120

$35,167

$63,830

 

$25,861

$45,151

$41,653

$75,603

2007

45

 

$24,486

$39,808

$38,400

$60,790

 

$28,199

$45,844

$44,223

$70,008

2008

45

 

$25,500

$40,657

$36,156

$73,300

 

$28,281

$45,091

$40,098

$81,293

2009

45

 

$20,175

$37,829

$37,504

$67,333

 

$22,455

$42,105

$41,742

$74,943

2010

45

 

$25,000

$42,084

$39,750

$93,750

 

$27,376

$46,084

$43,528

$102,661

2011

45

 

$26,250

$38,681

$34,833

$87,500

 

$27,865

$41,061

$36,977

$92,885

2012

45

 

$22,000

$41,076

$35,767

$167,411

 

$22,880

$42,720

$37,198

$174,111

2013

45

 

$21,095

$37,726

$34,986

$67,167

 

$21,623

$38,669

$35,861

$68,846

2014

45

 

$21,067

$37,176

$36,250

$88,058

 

$21,224

$37,452

$36,520

$88,714

2015

45

 

$25,950

$37,958

$34,857

$69,500

 

$25,950

$37,958

$34,857

$69,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

5 Years, 2011-2015

-5.73%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Years, 2006-2015

-16.31%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Years, 2001-2015

-16.60%

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."

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 Member offices has been $168,411. 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 Member office staff since 2001 are available in Table 1.

2.

For discussion of resources available to Members to carry out their official duties, see CRS Report RL30064, Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief, by [author name scrubbed].

3.

ICF International, 2010 House Compensation Study: Guide for the 112th Congress, prepared for the Chief Administrative Officer, House of Representatives (Washington: 2010).

4.

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.

5.

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

6.

http://www.legistorm.com/.

7.

For a discussion of staff roles in Members' offices, see, CRS Report RL34545, Congressional Staff: Duties and Functions of Selected Positions, by [author name scrubbed].

8.

Other job titles which may indicate similar duties, and for which pay data were collected for this category, include Constituent Services Representative and Federal Caseworker.

9.

Another job title which may indicate similar duties and for which pay data were collected for this category, was Communications Director.

10.

The brief reporting period accommodates accounting of the Member Representational Allowance (MRA), which authorizes expenditures from January 3 to January 2 of the following year. For a discussion of MRA usage, see CRS Report R40962, Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage, by [author name scrubbed].

11.

Obtaining the salaries of every congressional staff member listed in the SOD was beyond the capacity of available resources. Each year, a different, random sample of Members' offices was taken for each position. The large random sample of each position means that a full accounting would be unlikely to yield significantly different results. At the same time, a study that examines pay data based on different job titles, or which combines pay data from positions of similar titles or duties (e.g., legislative assistant and senior legislative assistant, or executive assistants, schedulers, and executive assistant/schedulers), could result in findings that are different from those provided here.

12.

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

13.

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.

14.

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.

15.

Staff of all Members who serve an entire calendar year may be included in the data. For information on the number of first-term Members in each Congress, see CRS Report R41283, First-Term Members of the House of Representatives and Senate, 64th - 113th Congresses, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

16.

Some offices reported pay data that excluded the January 1 and 2 period, or included those days in reports including the period from October 1 of the previous year.

17.

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

18.

Member pay data are taken from CRS Report 97-1011, Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables, by [author name scrubbed].

19.

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.

20.

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

21.

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