A Fun Analysis: How Much Do White House Employees Make?

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Since 1996, the White House has been required by Congress to disclose a list of staff and their salaries. I recently downloaded this data from Kaggle to find out just how much White House employees get paid. The data includes the names and 2017 salaries of 377 White House employees for the Trump Administration.

So, what is the median salary for these employees? What percentage make $100k or more? What positions pay the highest? To answer these questions, let’s dig into the data!

White House Salaries: A Summary

Each of the 377 people on this list are classified as a “detailee” or an “employee.” Employees are people who get appointed directly or indirectly by the president and the max salary they can receive is $179,700. Detailees are people who are civil servants in some other agency of the Executive branch, but who are temporarily assigned to work under the president until his or her term is over. 

The highest paid person on this list is Mark House, who is classified as a “detailee” and holds the title of Senior Policy Advisor. He earns a salary of $187,100

The lowest paid person on the list is a tie between Ivanka Trump (Donald Trump’s daughter), Jared Kushner (Ivanka’s husband), and Reed Cordish (whose wife is supposedly friends with Ivanka), who holds the title of assistant to the president for intergovernmental and technology initiatives. All three are technically on staff at the White House but receive a salary of $0.

Among employees who actually receive a salary, the lowest paid employee is John Cohn, who earns a salary of $30,000. Don’t feel too bad for John, though. According to the New York Times:

“Gary Cohn, a former Goldman executive, is among the wealthiest White House employees. Mr. Cohn, who until late last year was the No. 2 executive at the investment bank Goldman Sachs, has assets worth $252 million to $611 million…”

Tied with Gary Cohn for the lowest salary is Chris Liddell, a former Microsoft Executive, who also receives a salary of $30,000. His estimated net worth is above $100 million, so this salary isn’t exactly a dealbreaker for him either.

Among the 377 people on the list, 22 receive the maximum salary of $179,700. All of these people hold a title that begins with “Assistant to the president.” This includes press secretary Sean Spicer, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, and chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

In total, the salaries of these 377 people add up to $35.7 million, with a median salary of $89,000.

Visualizing White House Salaries

The following histogram shows the salary breakdown for all employees and detailees:

40.5% of all people on this list make at least $100,000 per year.

12.2% make at least $160,000 per year.

24.9% earn between $40,000 and $60,000 per year. Many of the individuals in this salary range hold titles like “research analyst”, “records management analyst”, “staff assistant”, and “scheduler.”


For those who are interested, here’s the complete list of 377 people along with their title, sorted by salary:

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