How Much White House Staffs Have Been Paid for the Past 18 Years

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whitehouse_shutterstock_106049390

The White House employs hundreds of staffers every year to fulfill roles ranging from staff assistant, which is typically among the lowest-paid positions, to counsel to the president, which is usually among the highest-paid White House roles. Even though these government salaries are never extremely high — in 2020, the highest-paid White House staffer earned $183,000 — with hundreds of people on the payroll, the total staffing costs range from $35 million to upwards of $47 million under any given presidency.

Find Out: How Much Does the President Make?

GOBankingRates found the total White House payroll under every president from 2003 to 2020 and adjusted all figures to 2020 dollars to account for inflation. Keep reading to find out which president’s staff cost the most.

Last updated: Jan. 6, 2021

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA/Shutterstock (7623511b)Us President George W Bush with Us Secretary of State Colin Powell(l) Us National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice(2nd L) and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card Walks Accross the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Dc After Stepping Off Marine One Tuesday 24 June 2003 the Foursome was Returning From the Presidential Retreat Camp David where President Bush Met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Epa Epa Photo/epa/shawn Thew United States WashingtonUs Washington Bush Return - Jun 2003.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA/Shutterstock (7623511b)Us President George W Bush with Us Secretary of State Colin Powell(l) Us National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice(2nd L) and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card Walks Accross the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Dc After Stepping Off Marine One Tuesday 24 June 2003 the Foursome was Returning From the Presidential Retreat Camp David where President Bush Met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Epa Epa Photo/epa/shawn Thew United States WashingtonUs Washington Bush Return - Jun 2003.

2003: George W. Bush

  • Number of staffers: 435

  • Payroll total: $28,620,231

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $40,477,251

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): N/A

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $93,052

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $73,684

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chris Kleponis/EPA/Shutterstock (7832260a)Chairman of the Us Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers (l-r) American Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and U S President George W Bush Salute the Colors at a Memorial Day Service at Arlington National Cemetery in Suburban Washington Dc On Monday 31 May 2004 While Speaking Later Bush Praised the Efforts of Those That Have Given Their Lives For the Country and Those That Serve in the Military TodayUsa Memorial Day - May 2004.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chris Kleponis/EPA/Shutterstock (7832260a)Chairman of the Us Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers (l-r) American Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and U S President George W Bush Salute the Colors at a Memorial Day Service at Arlington National Cemetery in Suburban Washington Dc On Monday 31 May 2004 While Speaking Later Bush Praised the Efforts of Those That Have Given Their Lives For the Country and Those That Serve in the Military TodayUsa Memorial Day - May 2004.

2004: George W. Bush

  • Number of staffers: 431

  • Payroll total: $28,909,236

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $39,825,419

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -2%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $92,403

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $74,008

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA/Shutterstock (7887280e)U S President George W Bush with His Cabinet Including Secretary of Homeland Security Micheal Chertoff (r) Secretary of Education Alphonso Jackson (2-r) Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt(5l) Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez (4-l) Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao (3-l) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (2-l) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B Meyers Speaks to the New Media After a Task Force On Hurricane Katrina Recovery Meeting in the Cabinet Room in the Rose Garden of the White House Wednesday 31 August 2005 President Bush Said That It Will Take Years For the Recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast RegionUsa Bush Hurricane Katrina - Aug 2005.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA/Shutterstock (7887280e)U S President George W Bush with His Cabinet Including Secretary of Homeland Security Micheal Chertoff (r) Secretary of Education Alphonso Jackson (2-r) Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt(5l) Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez (4-l) Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao (3-l) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (2-l) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B Meyers Speaks to the New Media After a Task Force On Hurricane Katrina Recovery Meeting in the Cabinet Room in the Rose Garden of the White House Wednesday 31 August 2005 President Bush Said That It Will Take Years For the Recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast RegionUsa Bush Hurricane Katrina - Aug 2005.

2005: George W. Bush

  • Number of staffers: 407

  • Payroll total: $26,284,243

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $35,022,643

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -12%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $86,050

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $66,623

See the List: The Richest and Poorest US Presidents

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (616211a)President George W.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (616211a)President George W.

2006: George W. Bush

  • Number of staffers: 432

  • Payroll total: $28,478,230

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $36,760,225

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 5%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $86,090

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $66,735

Read More: How Obama, Biden and Other Elected Officials Have Made Millions by Being in Office

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (694145a)Members of the White House speech writing staff, (from left to right) Marc Theissen, Bill McGurn and Christopher Michel with President George W.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (694145a)Members of the White House speech writing staff, (from left to right) Marc Theissen, Bill McGurn and Christopher Michel with President George W.

2007: George W. Bush

  • Number of staffers: 442

  • Payroll total: $30,613,450

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $38,422,063

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 5%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $87,722

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $66,644

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (729554d)United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Geore W.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (729554d)United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Geore W.

2008: George W. Bush

  • Number of staffers: 447

  • Payroll total: $33,193,021

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $40,119,212

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 4%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $89,752

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $66,960

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (11032023b)United States President Barack Obama makes a statement during a meeting with present administration officials and former Secretaries of State and Defense in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (11032023b)United States President Barack Obama makes a statement during a meeting with present administration officials and former Secretaries of State and Defense in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

2009: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 487

  • Payroll total: $39,147,222

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $47,484,781

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 18%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $97,504

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $78,844

Making Big Bucks: Barack Obama’s Net Worth as His Memoir Debuts

President Barack Obama delivers remarks and signs the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, July 21, 2010.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks and signs the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, July 21, 2010.

2010: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 469

  • Payroll total: $38,796,307

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $46,299,685

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -2%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $98,720

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $79,123

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by News Pictures/Shutterstock (1394658d)President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Chief of Staff's West Wing Office at the White House, to discuss ongoing efforts in the debt limit and deficit reduction talks.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by News Pictures/Shutterstock (1394658d)President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Chief of Staff's West Wing Office at the White House, to discuss ongoing efforts in the debt limit and deficit reduction talks.

2011: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 454

  • Payroll total: $37,121,463

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $42,945,337

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -7%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $94,593

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $79,958

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Everett/Shutterstock (10297948a)President Barack Obama meeting with 2nd Term Cabinet, April 26, 2012.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Everett/Shutterstock (10297948a)President Barack Obama meeting with 2nd Term Cabinet, April 26, 2012.

2012: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 468

  • Payroll total: $37,834,589

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $42,882,903

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 0%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $91,630

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $74,430

See the Top Names: The 5 Richest Members of Congress Are Worth a Whopping $773M

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (2296232a)President Barack Obama talks on the phone with?FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on?the explosions that occurred in Boston.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (2296232a)President Barack Obama talks on the phone with?FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on?the explosions that occurred in Boston.

2013: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 460

  • Payroll total: $37,859,780

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $42,291,980

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -1%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $91,939

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $78,195

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Barbara Walton/EPA/Shutterstock (7965549s)Us President Barack Obama Speaks with a Us Staff Member Before His Speech at the 2nd Asean-united States Summit Part of the 25th Association of South East Asian Nations (asean) and Related Summits at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw Myanmar 13 November 2014 Obama Has Been Urged to Speak out About Myanmar's Human Rights Record Specifically Its Treatment of Its Rohingya Minority Population and Push For a Fair Electoral Process in Myanmar's General Election Next Year Myanmar NaypyitawMyanmar Asean Us Summit - Nov 2014.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Barbara Walton/EPA/Shutterstock (7965549s)Us President Barack Obama Speaks with a Us Staff Member Before His Speech at the 2nd Asean-united States Summit Part of the 25th Association of South East Asian Nations (asean) and Related Summits at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw Myanmar 13 November 2014 Obama Has Been Urged to Speak out About Myanmar's Human Rights Record Specifically Its Treatment of Its Rohingya Minority Population and Push For a Fair Electoral Process in Myanmar's General Election Next Year Myanmar NaypyitawMyanmar Asean Us Summit - Nov 2014.

2014: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 456

  • Payroll total: $37,776,925

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $41,525,798

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -2%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $91,065

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $77,716

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (5304372e)United States President Barack Obama, center, walks through Lafayette Park with White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough, right, and Legislative Affairs Director Katie Fallon, left, in Washington, DC.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (5304372e)United States President Barack Obama, center, walks through Lafayette Park with White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough, right, and Legislative Affairs Director Katie Fallon, left, in Washington, DC.

2015: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 474

  • Payroll total: $40,225,595

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $44,165,045

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 6%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $93,175

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $77,624

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP/Shutterstock (10721799a)President Barack Obama looks to Vice President Joe Biden, left, as National Security Adviser Susan Rice, sits right, before he speaks to media during a meeting with Combatant Commanders and Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP/Shutterstock (10721799a)President Barack Obama looks to Vice President Joe Biden, left, as National Security Adviser Susan Rice, sits right, before he speaks to media during a meeting with Combatant Commanders and Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

2016: Barack Obama

  • Number of staffers: 472

  • Payroll total: $39,753,551

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $43,103,021

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -2%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $91,320

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $79,206

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President Trump in a staff meeting
President Trump in a staff meeting

2017: Donald Trump

  • Number of staffers: 377

  • Payroll total: $35,766,744

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $37,971,377

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): -12%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $100,720

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $94,486

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US President Donald J. Trump and White House Staff
US President Donald J. Trump and White House Staff

2018: Donald Trump

  • Number of staffers: 374

  • Payroll total: $35,248,194

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $38,528,660

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 1%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $97,671

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $87,500

You’re Fired! How Much These Former Trump Staffers Made

President Donald Trump signs act repealing Dodd Frank act
President Donald Trump signs act repealing Dodd Frank act

2019: Donald Trump

  • Number of staffers: 418

  • Payroll total: $41,284,244

  • Payroll total (2020 dollars): $42,022,544

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total (2020 dollars): 9%

  • Average salary (2020 dollars): $100,532

  • Median salary (2020 dollars): $94,052

Keep Reading: How Much Is President Donald Trump Worth?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock (11006047a)President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport, in Traverse City, Mich.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock (11006047a)President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport, in Traverse City, Mich.

2020: Donald Trump

  • Number of staffers: 412

  • Payroll total: $39,740,636

  • Year-over-year change in payroll total: -5%

  • Average salary: $97,643

  • Median salary: $86,200

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Methodology: GOBankingRates reviewed the White House’s Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff every year from 2003 to 2020 to analyze the White House’s payroll over the past 18 years. For each year, GOBankingRates found: (1) the total number of staff retained by the White House, (2) the total annual payroll amount for all staff paid on a yearly basis (this exclude four staffers retained on a per diem basis in 2006 and 2007), (3) the total annual payroll adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars, (4) the year-over-year change in the total annual payroll in 2020 dollars, (5) the average salary paid to White House staffers, (5) the average salary paid to White House staffers adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars, (6) the year-over-year change in the average salary paid to White House staffers in 2020 dollars, (7) the median salary paid to White House staffers, (8) the median salary paid to White House staffers adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars, and (8) the median salary paid to White House staffers in 2020 dollars. Annual Reports to Congress for 2017-2020 were sourced from the current White House website, 2012-2016 reports were sourced from the archived White House site under Barack Obama, 2011 was sourced from the Los Angeles Times archives, 2010 was sourced from FedSmith, 2009 was sourced from Public Intelligence, and 2003-2008 reports were sourced from Dan Froomkin’s archived releases on The Washington Post. All inflation calculations were performed through the U.S. Inflation Calculator, which uses CPI data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All data was gathered on and up to date as of Dec. 17-18, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Much White House Staffs Have Been Paid for the Past 18 Years