15 Highest Paid State Employees Washington

There are many high-paying jobs in many different fields in Washington. And, of course, they come with a lot of perks. Your paycheck is just one part of what you get paid for. The highest-paid state employees in Washington have access to a competitive set of benefits. They can access health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid time off.

In this article, you will find the highest-paid state employees in Washington. You would also find the average pay in Washington, amongst others. Keep reading.

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What are the Top Cities In Washington Where Average Jobs Pay the Most?

There are 4 cities in Washington where an average job pays more than the national average in Washington.

Renton is at the top of the list, followed closely by Bellevue and Tacoma.

Tacoma is 3.6% higher than the average in Washington, and Renton is another $7,052 (9.7%) higher than the $72,698.

Lastly, another thing to think about is that the average salary for these top 10 cities doesn’t change much from Renton to Federal Way. The difference is only 15%, which shows there isn’t much room for wage growth.

When deciding where to live and how much to pay for an Average job, the possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best thing to look at.

The top cities in Washington that pay the most are-

  • Renton- $79,750
  • Bellevue- $75,402
  • Tacoma- $75,298
  • Kirkland- $75,245
  • Spokane Valley- $71,824
  • Yakima- $71,551
  • Marysville- $70,624
  • Seattle- $70,250
  • Everett- $68,185
  • Federal Way- $68,092

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What Are The Top Jobs In Washington That Pay The Most?

We found at least 5 Average jobs that pay more per year than the average salary in Washington for an Average job. The top jobs in Washington that pay the most are-

  • Chief Executives- $206,560
  • Nurse Anesthetists- $192,690
  • General Pediatricians- $192,280
  • Podiatrists- $181,780
  • Coaches- $180,020
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists- $179,140
  • Computer Programmers- $167,920
  • General Dentists- $167,030

15 highest-paid state employees in Washington

#1. Mike Leach

Salary: $3,964,600.00

Michael Charles Leach is the head football coach at Mississippi State University. He was born on March 9, 1961. Mike Leach also came up with the “Air Raid” offense, which set a record in the NCAA.

He was the head coach at Texas Tech University from 2000 to 2009, where he won the most games of any coach in the school’s history. From 2012 to 2019, he was the head coach at Washington State University. There, he won the third-most games of any coach in the school’s history.

Leach is popular for putting together strong offenses. Leach’s offenses broke many schools and NCAA records. He is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

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#2. Petersen Christopher

Salary: $3,949,600.00

Christopher Peterson was the Arthur F. Thurnau professor of psychology and organizational studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also the former chair of the field of clinical psychology.

He was the science director of the VIA Institute on Character and a co-author of Character Strengths and Virtues. 

He was on the Positive Psychology Steering Committee and the board of directors for the International Positive Psychology Association. 

Petersen Christopher is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

#3. Rolovich Nicholas

Salary: $3,196,500.00

Nicholas Robert Rolovich is an American football coach and former player. He was most recently the head football coach at Washington State University. 

Rolovich was born on February 16, 1979. (WSU).

Rolovich got his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Hawaii and master’s degree in economics from New Mexico Highlands University. 

He was the quarterback for the Arena Football League’s Las Vegas Gladiators. Got fired by WSU in October 2021 because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Nicholas Rolovich is currently one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

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#4. Michael Hopkins

Salary: $2,838,800.00

In 1984, under the direction of Mark Mahowald, he got his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. His thesis was “Stable Decompositions of Certain Loop Spaces.” In 1984, he also got his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, where Ioan James was his advisor.

He has been a math professor at Harvard University since 2005. Before that, he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for fifteen years. He also taught for a few years at Princeton University, worked for one year at the University of Chicago, and was a visiting lecturer at Lehigh University.

Hopkins’s work is mainly about algebraic topology, especially stable homotopy theory. He is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

#5. Lake Jimmy

Salary: $2,208,100.00

James Paul Lake is an American football coach. He was born on December 17, 1976. From 2020 to 2021, he was the head coach at the University of Washington. Lake has been a coach in both the National Football League (NFL) and college football. He mostly worked with defensive backs in both settings.

Lake went back to coaching in 2000 when Eastern Washington hired him to take Randy Hanson’s place as defensive backs coach. Lake stayed at Eastern Washington until 2004 when he got hired as the defensive backs coach at the University of Washington. He became one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

At Washington, he coached under Phil Snow, the defensive coordinator. Lake called Snow a “defensive back guru.” The Huskies only won one game in 2004, so head coach Keith Gilbertson and his staff got fired.

Lake went to Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.

#6. Reistad Garth

Salary: $719,400.00

Garth Reistad is the Deputy Chief Investment officer at UW Endowment/Investment Management. He is one of the highest-paid employees in Washington.

He was also a senior fellow at the Positive Psychology Center and taught at the University of Pennsylvania for the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program.

Garth worked for Oxford University Press as the co-editor of Applied Psychology. He is popular for his research on optimism, health, character, and well-being.

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#7. Kent Ernest

Salary: $1,406,300.00

Ernest Kent is an American college basketball coach. He was born on January 22, 1955. He was the head coach of the Washington State University men’s basketball team. He was the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Oregon and Saint Mary’s before coming to Washington State (CA).

Kent used to be an assistant coach at Stanford University, and he also coached in Saudi Arabia. Kent was a commentator for the Pac-12 Network who talked about college basketball games.

Washington State University hired Kent on March 31, 2014, to replace Ken Bone as the Men’s Basketball Coach.

He was nowhere near as successful at Washington State as at Oregon. In five years, the Cougars never had a winning season and never finished higher than eighth in the Pac-12.

Kent is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

#8. Smith Kyle

Salary: $1,367,500.00

Smith Kyle is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington. Kyle Smith is an American critic, columnist, and author born in 1966.

In his “Farewell” post on July 15, 2022, Smith said he was leaving National Review. There, he had written for 15 years and was most recently a “critic-at-large,” to become the film critic for The Wall Street Journal.

He is still writing about theater for The New Criterion. He used to review movies for the New York Post and write for The Wall Street Journal, People, New York, Forbes, and The New York Times.

#9. Ferguson Keith

Salary: $1,209,000.00

Keith Ferguson is an American who was born on February 26. He is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington. 

He is popular for voicing Bloo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Basch fon Rosenburg from Final Fantasy XII, Marluxia from Kingdom Hearts, Lord Hater from Wander Over Yonder, Lord Saladin from Destiny and Destiny 2, and Reaper from Overwatch.

He also voices characters that sound like others, like Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Indiana Jones on Robot Chicken and Lightning McQueen in the Cars series. He studied acting and creative writing at the University of the Pacific and Southern California.

Ferguson worked behind the scenes in daytime television production while occasionally acting in local plays and improv groups. He is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

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#10. Cohen Jennifer

Salary: $1,149,500.00

Jennifer Cohen is a fitness personality, author, and body image consultant born on September 16, 1976. She lives in Los Angeles, California. 

Cohen is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Cohen Jennifer is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

She has degrees in psychology from the University of Manitoba and a diploma in sports marketing from George Brown College in Toronto. She also holds several fitness certifications.

Cohen started as a personal trainer, where she focused on workouts outside of a gym with little or no equipment. She still follows this philosophy of making fitness a part of everyday life.

Her articles and quotes have been in Redbook, People, and the fitness-focused website FitPerez. Perez Hilton runs it.

#11. Gregory Robert

Salary: $931,100.

William Robert Gregory MC was an Irish flying ace who died on January 23, 1918. He was born on May 20, 1881, and died on January 23, 1918. He was also a good cricket player and painter. W. B. Yeats wrote several poems about his death to remember him.

He was great at bowls, boxing, horseback riding, cricket, and other sports. He was good enough at cricket to play once for the Ireland team against Scotland in 1912.

 Then, he took 8/80 with his leg spin bowling in a first-class match. He didn’t score a run.

With a bowling average of 10.22 in first-class cricket for Ireland, he is the second-best bowler in the country. Gregory Robert is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

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#12. Cauce Ana

Salary: $859,700.00

Ana Mari Cauce is the 33rd and current president of the University of Washington. She was born in the United States on January 11, 1956, and is a psychologist, college administrator, and college president.

Cauce is the first permanent woman president of the University of Washington. She was named president in 2015, making her the 33rd president. She is also one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

Cauce first taught at the University of Delaware as a lecturer. She moved to Seattle in 1986 to work as an associate professor at the University of Washington. In 1990, she had a tenure at the university.

In 1996, she got named head of the department of American Ethnic Studies. Then, Cauce was in charge of the Honors Program. She later became the head of the College of Arts and Sciences.

#13. Romar Lorenzo

Salary: $852,700.00

Lorenzo Romar is an American coach and player born November 13, 1958. He was the head men’s basketball coach at Pepperdine University from 1996 to 1999, and he took that job back in 2018.

Romar was also the head men’s basketball coach from 1999 to 2002 at Saint Louis University. And 2002 to 2017 at the University of Washington. He is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

Romar got credit for turning around the basketball program at the University of Washington. For the first time in five years, Washington went to the NCAA Tournament in 2004.

In 2005, Washington won the Pac-10 Tournament and went into the NCAA Tournament as the top seed. The Huskies made it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1998, but Louisville beat them and sent them home.

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#14. Murray Christopher

Salary: $805,000.00

Christopher Murray is a doctor, health economist, and researcher in global health from the United States. He is Chair of Health Metrics Science and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. There, he teaches as a professor (IHME).

Murray used to be the Director of the Harvard Initiative for Global Health. He was also the Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Evidence and Information for Policy Cluster. He got his degree from Harvard University in 1984 and then went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. There, he got his DPhil in International Health Economics.

In 1988, he returned to Harvard, where he got a Medical Doctorate and specialized in internal medicine. Since then, he’s worked on measuring health and health care results. He worked on a project called Disease Control Priorities. He is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

#15. Brandenburg Lisa

Salary: $783,300.00

Brandenburg Lisa is a senior healthcare executive with a clear vision and a track record of leading clinical and business teams. She makes transformational plans and puts those plans into action with the help of doctors, staff, and business partners. Lisa has expertise in making plans, growing programs, improving processes, and managing money.

A leader with a lot of experience and an advocate for Lean/CPI methods throughout the organization. 

Recognized as a creative and innovative leader who can inspire staff and peers to find, she is one of the highest-paid state employees in Washington.

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In conclusion, these highest-paid state employees in Washington have made names for themselves in different parts of Washington. They have worked hard and created legacies for themselves.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Washington State government worker who makes the most money?

Gov. Jay Inslee. He made $1,799,600.

Who is the state worker who gets the most money?

Dabo Swinney is a politician from South Carolina. Swinney got $9.3 million. Since 2008, Swinney has been the head coach of the Clemson Tigers. In those 12 years, he has made a lot of money.

What does being a state employee mean?

A “state employee” is someone who works for an agency in any part of the state government.

How much do people who work for Washington State get paid?

The average salary in the State of Washington ranges from $44,046 per year for a Resident Agent to $127,779 for a Director of Operations. The average monthly salary in the State of Washington ranges from about $3,111 for a Fiscal Technician to $7,524 for an IT Project Manager.

What is a good wage in the state of Washington?

The average salary in Washington in 2019 was $56,618. The lowest average wages were in Okanogan and Pacific counties, which came in at $35,719 and $38,877, respectively. At $92,095, King County had the highest average wage. The average wage in no other county was at or above the state average.



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