15 highest Paid State Employees in Georgia |2022

Georgia is one of the nicest states in the country. With thriving cities and lovely villages, gorgeous landscapes linking mountain vistas with white-sand beaches, and a moderate climate giving all four seasons, it’s easy to see why the state is one of the nicest places to live.

Throughout the state, there is world-class entertainment, professional and recreational sports, and restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world.

In addition, the state is one of the greatest locations to work. The decision to work in the state government is a big one. The state government provides an interesting and diverse work environment for its workers, allowing them to pursue personal and professional goals while taking satisfaction in providing services that contribute to Georgia’s success.

All Georgians’ quality of life concerns, including economic development, environmental quality, education, housing, and health, are impacted by state employees’ work. Georgia’s approximately 71,000 state employees play a critical role in fostering a culture of government that is customer-focused and results-driven.

Employees receive a Total Rewards package that fits their needs in exchange for their hard work. The Highest Paid state employees in Georgia are proof of such benefits. This post will review the Top paid state employees in Georgia and what the employee benefits are like in Georgia.

Also read: 15 Best Esthetician Schools in Georgia | 2022

What are the state employee benefits in Georgia?

The Georgia Department of Labor provides a competitive incentive plan with direct and indirect benefits. Georgia offers a wide range of universal health and flexible benefits to qualifying state employees at low prices. Furthermore, state employees can save even more money by selecting benefits with pre-tax premiums.

Employees who choose to pay pre-tax have no federal, state, or FICA taxes deducted from their paychecks to pay for benefit alternatives. As a result, when compared to paying the same premiums using after-tax money, employees have higher take-home income.

Vacations and leave

As a state employee in Georgia, you are eligible for paid leave, vacations, and sick leave. Georgia provides its employees three (3) weeks of paid vacation, sick leave, and twelve (12) paid holidays yearly.

Retirement plan

The Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia (ERSGA) runs separate and unique cost-sharing, multiple employer-defined benefit pension systems. It also has defined contribution plans and a life insurance plan, for several employer agencies in the State of Georgia.

Georgia State Employees Pension and Savings Plan offer a defined benefit and a 401(k) plan (k). Unlike other hybrid plans, the Georgia plan permits members to withdraw from the defined contribution section at any time.

Health care

Depending on the employee’s location, the State Health Benefit Plan provides various healthcare alternatives. In reality, every effort is to provide quality health care services to members while protecting the plan’s budgetary integrity.

Dental insurance, an essential component of an employee’s comprehensive health coverage, covers anything from semiannual teeth cleanings to dentures. State employees may choose vision insurance to get a variety of eye care treatments, an option not usually provided by companies today.

Also read: 10 Best Military Colleges In Georgia 2022

What is the average pay in Georgia?

The average yearly salary in Georgia for the Average jobs category is $50,097 as of July 12, 2022. This equates to around $24.09 per hour, $963 per week, or $4,175 per month. 

While you may find wages as high as $118,387 and as low as $16,249, the bulk of salaries in Georgia now range between $38,301 (25th percentile) and $58,032 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $77,377 each year.

The average pay range for an Average job ranges substantially (up to $19,731), implying that there may be several prospects for development and improved income based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

Also read: Georgia HOPE Scholarship

15 Highest paid state employees in Georgia

Georgia closed the most recently completed fiscal year with a record surplus, thanks to a robust economy and federal expenditure. Some of its leaders also had a nice year. 

Several state workers earned more than $1 million in fiscal 2021, ranging from academics and coaches to pension fund investors.

#1. Kirby Smart

Kirby Paul Smart is a former player and coach in American football. He is the present head football coach of his alma matter, the Georgia Bulldogs. 

He led the 2021 Bulldogs to their first national championship triumph since 1980.

Smart began his coaching career as an administrative assistant at the University of Georgia in 1999. He became the University of Georgia’s 26th head football coach on December 6, 2015. Kirby Smart led the Bulldogs to an 8-5 record in his first season as head coach in 2016. 

Kirby has a $6.9 million yearly salary and is one of the Highest Paid state employees in Georgia.

#2. Geoff Collins

William Geoffrey Collins is a former player and coach in American football. Collins became Georgia Tech’s head coach on December 7, 2018. 

He previously served as the head coach at Temple University and defensive coordinator at the University of Florida and Mississippi State University.

Collins had three wins in his first three seasons with the Yellow Jackets, including a historic loss to FCS school Citadel, who played the triple option that Collins has criticized. Collins’ losing run versus FCS opponents ended in 2021 when Georgia Tech beat Kennesaw State. 

With an annual salary of $3.52 million, he is one of Georgia’s Highest Paid state employees.

#3. Josh Pastner

Joshua Paul Pastner is the current head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the United States. 

Pastner became Georgia Tech’s new head coach on April 8, 2016. He was also named the school’s 14th head basketball coach.

Pastner was a 1997 Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball national championship team member and a University of Arizona assistant coach. Josh Pastner was the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 2017 and the 2013 Sporting News Conference USA Coach of the Year. He is one of Georgia’s highest-paid state employees, earning $2 million a year.

#4. Dan Lanning

Dan Lanning is the current head coach of the University of Oregon and a former player in the NFL. From 2019 to 2021, he was the defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at the University of Georgia.

Georgia hired Lanning as the outside linebackers coach in 2018. Lanning was promoted to defensive coordinator in addition to his duties as outside linebackers coach. 

Following Georgia’s Sugar Bowl victory, Lanning’s salary increased to $1.25 million. 

He is one of Georgia’s highest-paid state employees, earning $1.49 million.

#5. James D. St. Louis

Dr. James D. St. Louis is a pediatric and congenital heart surgeon. He has managed pediatric cardiac transplant programs for almost two decades.

Dr. James has been chief of the Section of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. 

He previously held the Joseph Boon Gregg Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.

St. Louis also served as the surgical director of Pediatric Cardiac Transplantation and directed the medical school’s Congenital Cardiac Surgery Fellowship Program. 

He is one of the Highest Paid state employees in Georgia, earning $1.35 million per year.

Also read:  10 Best Engineering Schools in Georgia

#6. Richard Lee

With an annual salary of $1.2 million, Richard Lee is one of the Highest Paid state employees in Georgia. In 1988, he graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. He received his M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1993.

Lee worked as an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Division at Saint Louis University School of Medicine from 2003 to 2007. He was the surgical director for heart transplantation at the time and the Director of the Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Outcomes Program.

2018 saw him as the department’s new chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

#7. Todd Monken

American football coach Todd Robert Monken is currently the offensive coordinator and the quarterback coach at the University of Georgia. 

He was previously the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oklahoma State University, and Eastern Michigan University. 

Before this, he was also the head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Monken is one of Georgia’s highest-paid state employees, earning $2 million annually.

#8. Fernando Vale Diaz

Neurosurgeon Dr. Fernando Vale practices in Augusta, Georgia at Augusta University Medical Center. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine with a medical degree and has been in practice for over 20 years. 

The brilliant surgeon has established a solid reputation in the medical field and earned an impressive salary. His yearly salary is $985,500. 

Fernando Vale Diaz is one of Georgia’s Highest Paid state employees.

#9. Angel Carbrera

Angel Cabrera, its 12th president, currently leads the Georgia Institute of Technology. He previously held the positions of Thunderbird School of Global Management and George Mason University President and Dean of IE Business School.

His academic work has focused on management, leadership, and learning. On June 13, 2019, Cabrera took over as President of the Georgia Institute of Technology, he assumed the position on September 15th. Cabrera is the first president of an American university who was born in Spain. 

He is one of Georgia’s highest-paid state employees, making about $980,000 a year.

#10. Charles Cary

Charles Cary is the Teachers Retirement System’s chief investment officer. The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia manages Georgia’s public school employees’ pension funds. 

The Company offers various retirement planning services for its members, such as workshops, seminars, and counseling. Charles is among Georgia’s Highest Paid state employees, earning $1,018,238 annually.

Also read: 10 Best Technical Colleges in Georgia | 2022

#11. Griffith Lynch

At Georgia Ports Authority, Griffith Lynch serves as executive director. 

Lynch’s career started in New York, where he planned container loading for P&O Nedlloyd, an Anglo-Dutch international container shipping company.

 From there, he traveled to Sealand and performed a similar job at ports in the Northeast. Since he first began, the director has advanced significantly in his career. 

With an impressive yearly salary of $873,698, he is currently one of Georgia’s Highest Paid state employees.

#12. Michael Majure

Like Charles Cary, Michael Majure plays a critical role in the teacher’s retirement system. At the Teachers Retirement System, he serves as the chief investment officer. 

The business actively seeks out new investment opportunities and evaluates several potential alternative investments under his management. 

Michael Majure is one of the Highest Paid state employees in Georgia, earning an annual salary of $862,200.

#13. Steve Wrigley

As of January 1, 2017, Dr. Steve Wrigley became the 13th chancellor of the University System of Georgia. With an $8.8 billion annual budget, more than 48,000 faculty and staff, and 320,000 students, he is in charge of 26 public colleges and universities. 

From June 2011 until he was appointed chancellor, Dr. Wrigley served as the University System of Georgia’s executive vice chancellor of administration. 

Steve Wrigley is one of the Highest Paid state employees in Georgia, earning $523,924 annually.

#14. Clifford Pyron

At Georgia Ports Authority, Cliff Pyron serves as a chief commercial officer. He is in charge of providing the business development and trade development activities of the Georgia Ports Authority with strategic leadership. 

His main responsibility is to develop all business operations for long-term profitable growth and market share dominance. 

Cliff has over 40 years of experience in the maritime industry’s liner container shipping, logistics, and port sectors. 

Cliff holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University. 

He is one of the Highest Paid state employees in Georgia, earning an average yearly salary of $498,680.

#15. Edward McCarthy

Ed McCarthy is the Chief Operating Officer of the Georgia Ports Authority. He keeps the organization’s operations expanding and developing profitably while upholding top-notch operating standards. 

He also reports engineering and facilities maintenance, information technology, equipment maintenance, crane and ship operations, container operations, breakbulk and bulk operations, and protective services. 

Edward McCarthy makes an average of $492,066 annually, making him one of Georgia’s Highest Paid state employees.

Also read: 10 Best Engineering Schools in Georgia | 2022

Frequently asked questions

What city in Georgia pays well?

Atlanta has the best salary ratings in Georgia.

What City in Georgia has the best jobs?

Woodstock is one of the best places to get a job in Georgia

Which part of Georgia has the most jobs?

Peachtree with an unemployment rate of 3.92% has the hottest job market.

What jobs are in high demand in Georgia?

Nurses make up one of the most in-demand jobs in Georgia.

Is it easy to get a job in Georgia?

The labor market in Georgia is quite competitive. 


As a state employee in Georgia, you have the potential to earn as much as those listed in this article. The highest-paid state employees in Georgia have excelled in their fields. Some of them hold positions critical to the state’s operation. Overall, Georgia is one of the best places to live, with lower-than-average housing costs, low taxes, and a lower cost of living than many other U.S. cities.



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