Average Salaries of Municipal Officials

A survey of the average salaries of full-time municipal officials was conducted in 2009 by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Local government salaries are affected by several factors, including population, size of the city, individual expertise and education, the form of government, the city's metro status (urban, suburban, or rural) and the number and complexity of services delivered.

A city's geographic region also affects pay levels, as trends continue to show that the highest salaries nationwide are found in the West. In addition, cities that maintain ports, military bases, high levels of union representation, universities or are full-service jurisdictions will typically pay higher salaries. For example, a 2007 survey of librarian salaries reveals that the salaries of librarians with a Masters of Library Science range from $22,048 to $225,000.   The data cover twenty-three positions that are presented here in alphabetical order.

 

Position Average Salary
Chief admin officer / city manager $106,408
Chief elected official $51,918
Chief financial officer $87,173
Chief law enforcement official $82,015
Chief librarian $67,101
Clerk $56,565
Economic development advisor $83,261
Engineer $90,570
Fire chief $83,009
Health officer $71,247
Human resources director $80,336
Human services director $76,683
Information services director $88,312
Parks and recreation director $76,587
Parks superintendent $58,946
Planning director $80,852
Primary assistant manager / CAO $98,439
Public safety director $87,997
Public works director $80,214
Purchasing director $69,037
Recreation director $64,926
Risk manager $73,751
Treasurer $60,576

 

For more information about individual professions, consult professional associations. For example, the American Library Association provides many resources, including the responsibilities and salaries of librarians.

Sources

American Libraray Association. "Survey of Librarian Salaries 2007." Accessed March 25, 2011.http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/salarysurvey/index.cfm

Waters, Rollie O. and Joyce C. Powell. "Salaries of Municipal Officials, 2009." In The Municipal Year Book 2010. Washington, DC: International City/County Management Association, 2010.