On the other hand, however, most White House jobs come with an ungodly number of perks that seem to encourage candidates to overlook their lack of compensation. Take a look at what White House jobs pay and how they compare to those paid under presidents in the past.
The President In Office — $400,000
Every president since 2001 has received an annual salary of $400,000, along with a $50,000 expense account. The position also comes with a number of perks, including $100,000 for travel and $19,000 for entertainment, both tax-free. Each family also receives a decor allowance of $100,000 upon moving into the White House, to make it feel more like home.
Then, of course, there are the perks of having a full staff on hand to handle the cooking, cleaning, landscaping, and even their medical needs.
The First Lady — $0
Despite the amount of work required of the First Lady (or First Gentleman) while their partner is in office, they do not receive a salary. Some of their titles include SVP of Communications and Strategic Planning, Head of Program Management, and VP of Global Affairs, all of which are estimated to be worth more than $173,000 in the job market.
Several recent First Ladies who’ve supported their husbands in the White House have actually left behind successful and lucrative careers to do so, including Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
The Vice-President — $230,700
The Vice-President receives an annual salary equivalent to those who hold the position of the chief justice of the United States and the speaker of the House. They’ve been paid $230,700 per year since 2010, which occasionally increases with cost-of-living.
On top of access to a private plane, the Vice-President gets to move into a 33-room house located just three miles from the White House, in the U.S. Naval Observatory. Some have said that the Vice-President’s quarters are nicer than those at the White House, and many media events are held there.
Acting Chief of Staff — $203,500
Nicknamed “The Gatekeeper,” the Acting Chief of Staff is responsible for managing the president’s schedule, overseeing the White House staff, and ultimately deciding who gets to meet with the president. While it’s not a requirement that the sitting president appoints someone to this position, most of them find that the role is essential.
The Chief of Staff earns $203,500 per year. The salary of this position has increased dramatically in the past years, and in 2016 it was only $176,461. Looks like the people who are delivering the dollars are starting to respect the importance of this position.
Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy — $183,000
Formerly the Director of the White House National Trade Council, this role was renamed under Trump’s presidency to the Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. The objective of those in this position is to protect American workers and domestic manufacturers while also advising the president on trade and manufacturing policy.
Whoever stands under this definition receives an annual salary of $183,000. Not bad for a recently newly defined job.
Chief of Staff to the First Lady — $183,000
The First Lady (or First Gentleman) may not get a salary for all of the work they do, but they do have a staff to assist them with their required duties. With a dozen or so staff members on the payroll, the Chief of Staff to the First Lady’s first responsibility is to manage them all. Additionally, the person in the role handles the First Lady’s schedule and day-to-day operations.
The Chief of Staff to the First Lady earns $183,000 per year. This is slightly more than what former people under this position earned, a modest sum of $176,461 per year.
Deputy Director of the National Economic Council — $168,000
The National Economic Council is responsible for advising the president on domestic and global economic policy. The President can have several employees in this sector, and the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council manages them all.
The lucky person in this role receives a salary of $168,000 per year. The salary of this position has increased over the years, just like all major positions in the government.
Director of the National Economic Council — $183,000
The Director of the National Economic Council is the person responsible for giving the president sensible advice on economic policy matters outside of those relating to domestic policy. He is also responsible for creating the Economic Report of the President each year, along with other staff members working for the National Economic Council.
Whoever is chosen to take this role, earns a salary of $183,000 per year. A lot of dollars for a lot of responsibility.
Director of White House Information Technology — $168,000
Imagine what it would be like working in IT at the White House under the President. Your phone would be ringing at all hours of the day and night with radical demands from citizen No. one. The position, which was first created by President Obama, is paid $168,000 per year.
This is quite a bit more than the salary offered in 2016 when the position was first introduced. David Recordon made at the time just $121,752 while he was the Director of White House Information Technology.
Director of White House Travel Office — $92,400
Compared to the rest of the salaries for White House employees, the Director of the White House Travel Office is definitely getting ripped off. He is responsible for booking travel accommodations for all of the White House press corps members.
While this salary is hardly worthy of the work this position requires, it's still much more than what it was in 2016, a mere $77,625.
Director of Stenography — $95,500
While most White House positions have a turnover that aligns with the president’s term, the Director of Stenography is one of the few jobs that don’t have a political agenda. This position is responsible for a team of stenographers who take notes on all official White House meetings for the press.
Up until 2016, the annual salary for this role was $117,846 per year, and it seems that the ranking has dropped over time, as today, only $95,500 are earned.
Social Secretary — $168,000
Considered the least controversial job in the White House, the Social Secretary is basically a glorified event planner. They’re responsible for executing all of the social events held in the White House, such as the Christmas tree lighting and the Easter egg roll. A great position in our opinion!!!
The role pays $168,000 per year, which is far more than what the Secretary made in 2016. The position paid at the time $119,723 which in our opinion, is not rewarding enough for the person behind the staff's morale.
Press Secretary — $183,000
The Press Secretary is probably the toughest job in Washington DC. For this reason, it’s also one of the highest-paid gigs. The Press secretary is basically a spokesman. The person behind this role is responsible for collecting information about acts held by the White House and delivering them to the global press.
The position received a slight salary bump since it was held by Josh Earnest in 2016. Back then the role only paid $176,461 per year.
Advisor to the President & Senior Advisor — $0
The advisor to the president and senior advisor is responsible for advising the president on strategic planning. This position can have two people performing under the same role (like in the good old Trump days) when Ivanka was responsible for policies regarding women's issues. We suppose it's best a woman handles woman's issues.
They don't get paid much for this role. In fact, the annual salary is $0 as this role is usually performed by people with zero experience working in government.
Executive Assistant to the President — $120,000
The Executive Assistant to the President is responsible for reading and responding to all of the president's correspondence, scheduling meetings, arranging certain functions, and welcoming visitors to the White House.
As the president's right-hand person, the role pays $120,000 per year and likely deserves every penny.
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs — $183,000
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs is responsible for advising the president on national security issues. Additionally, they serve on the national security council, which often produces sensitive intelligence information.
The one who holds this position earns $183,000 per year. For some reason, the White House salaries seem to increase while the working-class salary has been the same for years. We wonder why that is.
Director of Media Operations for the Office of the First Lady — $72,700
The Office of the First Lady is run by the First Lady and has its own set of staff. The annual paycheck for this position is $72,700. The Director of Media Operations is relatively a new position and is responsible, as you may have thought, for all media-related issues of the first lady.
This role was only introduced in 2016, and the first ladies up until then would manage and handle their media independently. Of course, they had advisors, this is the White House we are talking about, but there was never a person dedicated only to this.
Chief Calligrapher — $99,400
As one of the more unique jobs in the White House, the Chief Calligrapher at the White House earns $99,400 per year. They’re responsible for writing out invitations, certificates, place cards, programs, and other documents in calligraphy. The person who holds this position has two other workers working beneath them.
The salary falls within a reasonable range of those who held this position in the past. In 2016, the Chief Calligrapher under Obama made $100,110 per year.
Director of Presidential Personnel — $168,000
When applying for a job in the White House, all applicants first go through the Presidential Personnel Office. The office reviews potential candidates and will recommend someone to the president or to the Senate when a position needs to be filled. Many positions require candidates to be approved by the Senate before they can be offered.
The Director of Presidential Personnel runs this office and can actually reject a president’s request for a specific candidate. This position pays a salary of $168,000. When we think of it, it's basically the Recruitment and placement manager of the White House, just with a respectful salary.
Ethics Counsel — $151,633
Having to provide the President with legal advice on ethics matters is no simple task! The Ethics Council has a lot of responsibility as this person is responsible for giving the best legal advice, if the president might need it, not only for state affairs but also when concerning personal matters making.
The going rate for this position is $151,633 per year. Former President Barack Obama had two attorneys on staff with the title of Ethics Counsel. The higher-paid employee earned $123,406, in 2016, so the salary has increased since.
Deputy Director of Communications — $168,000
The Deputy Director of Communications is basically a glorified marketing manager. They’re responsible for developing long-term strategies to promote the goals and accomplishments of the organization.
So, great marketing people such as Jennifer Psaki, and Jessica Ditto held this position at the time, earning an annual income of $168,000. To be in this position, you have to know how to sell and promote basically anything.
Acting Director of White House Visitors Office — $95,800
As one of the biggest attractions in the country, the White House receives an average of 6,000 visitors each day. The White House Visitors Office organizes tours and maintains the areas visitors get to explore, while the acting director manages the office staff.
This position is not always related to the President in office and can be acted by the same individual for several terms. Dana Hurtik has been the White House Visitors Office acting director since 2017, earning $95,800 per year. The same position was held by Ellie Schafer in 2016, with a higher salary of $116,679 per year.
Senior Videographer — $72,700
The White House keeps a videographer on staff to ensure all of the president’s biggest moments are caught on film. Sometimes there could be more than one, and up to three Videographers, each responsible for specific fields.
The Videographer earns $72,700 per year, which is just a few thousand dollars less than what the position paid in 2016.
Speechwriter — $120,000
Some of the most essential White House employees are the speechwriters. Some presidents can have a number of Speechwriters on staff with salaries reaching $120,000. Some presidents seemed to like to go off script, and without the insistence of some Speechwriters, speeches would be even more disastrous than what we have witnessed in the past.
When Obama was in office, he had nine speechwriters on staff, with salaries that ranged from $42,613 to $176,461 back in 2016. Getting the right words and the right time costs a lot of money.
West Wing Receptionist — $48,800
While a secretarial job may not sound very thrilling, working as the West Wing Receptionist has got to be interesting. It's the perfect entry-level position for someone looking to move up in politics, the role is currently filled by
One of the former West Wing Receptionists started her life in the White House as an intern and gradually worked her way up. The salary may not go through the roof, but sometimes it's worth starting low and taking the steps slowly.
Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor — $183,000
One of the highest-paid White House employees is the Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor, earning a salary of $183,000. While it’s not clear what tasks this position requires, the one holding this position spends most of the time clarifying the things the president says to the public and tweeting.
Former President Obama didn’t have an employee working under this title while he was in office, and his highest-paid employees earned $172,200 in 2009. So things have changed since the Obama days.
Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff for Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement — $239,595
During the Trump days, John Czwartacki was by far the highest-paid White House staffer. With a salary of $239,595, he even made more than his boss, Mick Mulvaney. As a Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff for Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement, his job was to advise and report to Mulvaney.
As the former chief communications officer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Czwartacki brought valuable knowledge to the job. While no one with this title worked in the White House during Obama’s administration, the highest salary in 2009 was $172,200 per year.
Director of the Presidential Gift Office — $58,200
One of the more peculiar jobs in the White House is the Director of the Presidential Gift Office. The person holding this position is responsible for keeping track of all of the gifts presented to the sitting president. This is essential, as anything gifted to the president is put into the National Archives.
If he wants to keep it for himself, he must buy it at market value after his term is up. The job pays $58,200 per year. In 2009, a similar position was filled during the Obama administration, and the Assistant Director of Correspondence for Gifts earned $50,000 per year.
Director of Youth Correspondence — $58,200
The President of the United States receives letters from all over the country, including many from children. Perhaps you remember being assigned by a teacher to write to the sitting president back when you were in school. Unfortunately, the president likely never set eyes on your letter, as it is the job of the Director of Youth Correspondence to reply to them.
The Director of Youth Correspondence earns $58,200 per year. The only comparable role we found from former governments, was the Assistant Director of Correspondence For Student Correspondence, who earned a salary of $50,000 in 2009.
Director of Volunteers, Comment Line, and Greetings for Presidential Correspondence — $64,400
The White House has a comment line that allows people to call in, likely with their complaints. Volunteers answer the phones, taking the brunt of these calls without ever seeing a paycheck. The Director of Volunteers, Comment Line, and Greetings for Presidential Correspondence manages these volunteers as well as the correspondence that should get passed on to the president.
This position's pay is shorter than the title and is $64,400 per year. A similar position was held by Darren Martin during the Obama administration, paying much less at $50,500, in 2015.
Digital Content Producer — $72,700
This is a position created only in recent years, titled the Digital Content Producer, who is responsible for creating and sharing content online. This includes everything from what’s on the White House website to its social media channels.
Some presidents are really fond of the new social media world, however, others are less enthusiastic about it. The lucky person to have this role earns $72,700 per year, which is a bump in salary from 2017 when the position paid $63,125.
Social Aide — $0
A Social Aide is a military official who attends major functions at the White House in uniform. They’re there as an added security measure to make guests feel more comfortable, but they are welcome to mingle and enjoy the party.
Often they get to meet big celebrities, which may be why so many officers in the military are eager to volunteer. This job doesn’t pay anything, but the perks make it worth it for many.
Deputy Assistant to the President for Operations and Personal Aide to the President — $158,000
Often referred to as the President's "Body Man," the Deputy Assistant to the President for Operations and Personal Aide to the President is responsible for being the president’s every man. Whether it’s a pen or a newspaper, their job is to meet the president’s immediate needs, and they often become good friends.
The annual fee for this position is $158,000, which is higher than the President's first body man, who made $115,000 in 2017.
Director of Oval Office Operations — $145,000
As a glorified receptionist, the Director of Oval Office Operations is one of the only White House employees with complete access to the Oval Office. No one can get inside to see the president without their approval, as they’re considered the gatekeeper.
The lucky person to succeed in this position earns $145,000 per year. Brian Mosteller held the position under Obama and is known for never leaving his side while he was in Washington. In 2015, he earned significantly less in the role, with a salary of just $102,000.
Records Management Analyst — $66,900
The Records Management Analyst is quite a dull job that requires those in this role to basically scan and file documents. Something that could potentially make this job interesting is having the freedom to read some of the documents throughout the day.
The position doesn't pay that much ($66,900), however, the ones performing under this title (and like all positions in the White House) must be security classified and sworn to secrecy.
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination — $30,000
The Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the president’s policy process. Basically ensuring things run smoothly, and that there aren't any hiccups along the way.
In 2009, Mona Sutphen held a similar position under Obama’s administration, with a significantly higher salary of $172,200. Maybe Sutphen had other matters he was responsible for, as we can't explain how the salary of this position has increased dramatically.
Counsel to the President — $183,000
The Counsel to the President is the top lawyer in the White House who informs the president what they can and cannot legally do in office. Understandably, this job can be quite complex and often involves analyzing what the president is most likely to get away with.
The current position owner earns $183,000 per year. In 2015, the position contributed $ 173,922 to the position owner's bank account. What another $10,000 between you and me.
Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs — $183,000
With hundreds of senators and members of the House of Representatives, the president needs help maintaining relationships with them. This task is assigned to the Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, who makes sure everyone is happy so they’re more likely to agree with the president’s agenda.
This position pays $183,000 which is a little more than what it paid less than a decade ago. Basically, whoever does this job, is the so-called mediator between all people in the government and all people who hold influential positions. The president can afford internal hassle.
A Former President — $207,800
A president isn’t financially cut off the moment they leave the White House. In fact, the benefits a president receives only improve when their term is up. They receive a lifetime pension in the amount equal to the salary of the head of an executive department. Currently, that amount is $207,800 per year. They also receive funding to help them transition out of the White House for seven months after their term ends, to help pay for office space, a staff, and any other necessities.
On top of that, the former president and their families receive protection from the Secret Service for life, free medical treatment, annual reimbursement for travel expenses up to $1 million, and an honorary funeral.
Former First Lady — $20,000
Even though the First Lady (or First Gentleman) doesn’t receive a salary for her work while living in the White House, they do have the option to receive a pension.
They can receive $20,000 per year as long as they’re not receiving a pension from elsewhere. Additionally, they can be reimbursed up to $500,000 a year in travel expenses. You have to know who to marry.
Homeland Security Secretary — $179,000
The Homeland Security Secretary is a relatively new position in the White House, created as a result of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. In charge of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the individual offered this position is in charge of the safety of U.S. citizens.
This includes enhancing security, securing and managing the United States borders while still facilitating trade and travel, enforcing immigration laws, securing cyberspace, increasing resilience to natural disasters, and providing essential support for national and economic security.
House Of Representatives — $174,000
The House of Representatives makes up the United States Congress and serves each district. States are split into districts based on their population, so larger states all have more representatives. For example, California has the largest number of representatives at 53, while states like Alaska and Delaware only have one.
In total, there are 435 representatives whose job is to vote on whether or not to pass proposed bills. Most members of Congress earn $174,000 per year unless they are in a leadership role.
Speaker Of The House Of Representatives — $223,500
Traditionally, the Speaker of the House of Representatives is elected by the other House of Representatives. They’re likely to belong to the political party with the most members in Congress. As an important position in the United States government, it’s also one of the most difficult.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives is responsible for keeping the house in order as well as assigning committee memberships and chairmanships. This position pays high and reaches $223,500 per year.
Director of The United States Secret Service — $108,000
As the head of the Secret Service, the Director of the United States Secret Service runs the day-to-day operations of the team.
In addition to protecting the nation’s leaders, the Secret Service is also responsible for safeguarding the financial and critical infrastructure of the United States.
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers — $155,500
The Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers is a position that runs the CEA, an agency within the Executive Office of the President. The CEA, or the Council of Economic Advisers, is responsible for doing the research needed to put together the annual Economic Report of the President.
Additionally, it’s their job to advise the president on economic policy. The chairman is nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The chosen one to hold this important position earns $155,500 per year.
Director of Video Production — $86,200
The Director of Video Production is responsible for producing and editing videos for the White House. Likely, these are the videos posted on the official White House social media pages and on their website.
While you might think that working for the president would have perks, the salary is actually on point with the average pay for similar jobs in Washington DC. So if you're a professional video photographer, and love politics, the salary is $86,200 per year.
White House Director of Strategic Communications — $183,000
As a senior position, the White House Director of Strategic Communications reports directly to the president. Created by President Donald Trump in 2016, only three people have held this position. The first was Hope Hicks, followed by Mercedes Schlapp, and Alyssa Farah.
While the responsibilities for this position have never been defined, it’s assumed that they coordinate media appearances, advise the president on messages, and take the necessary steps to ensure everything on the president’s agenda gets done.
Assistant To The President For Strategic Initiatives — $183,000
The Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives works with the president to apply private sector solutions to the nation’s problems.
As part of the White House Office of American Innovation (OAI), the position is new in the White House and receives a salary of $183,000 per year.
White House Deputy Chief Of Staff — $183,000
As the top aide to the White House Chief of Staff, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff is the most senior aide to the president. Those in the position answer to the Chief of Staff and are responsible for keeping the White House bureaucracy running as smoothly as possible.
Some administrations choose to have several people in this position. The Trump administration, for example, had John Fleming as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Chris Liddell as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination, Tony Ornato as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and Dan Scavino as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Six people doing basically the same job.
White House Executive Clerk — $165,417
The White House Executive Clerk works in the White House Office of the Executive Clerk, earning a salary of $165,417 per year. They serve as the middle man for official documents that are sent between Congress and the president.
Additionally, they’re responsible for preparing official documents such as executive orders, bills, and messages.
Director of Strategic Partnerships and African American Outreach — $106,000
The Director of Strategic Partnerships and African American Outreach is responsible for connecting the Black community and the administration. Previously held by reality star Omarosa Manigault Newman, the position remained unfilled for months after she was fired in 2017.
It was temporarily filled by Henry Childs II until he was offered the position of National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. He took care of the responsibilities of both positions at the time. Nicole Frazier was hired in 2019 for this position and has been rolling the role since.
The Director Of Writers For Presidential Correspondence — $72,700
The Director Of Writers For Presidential Correspondence has an important job in the White House. They read hundreds of letters written to the president, choosing roughly ten to be included in the president’s nightly briefing book.
Additionally, they must channel the president’s persona to answer some of the letters. This position has an annual pay of $72,700.
White House Travel Manager — $58,200
The President of the United States travels quite often, and he needs to take a decent-sized staff with him most of the time. In the position of White House Travel Manager, those appointed are responsible for making travel arrangements and itineraries for the White House staff.
You can look at it, as being the travel agent of the White House, earning $58,200 per year.
White House Research Assistants — $48,000
There are currently five research assistants working in the White House, likely each with different duties. They’re responsible for collecting data, conducting statistical analysis, creating presentations, and including the most recent academic findings in policies.
As they support different offices within the White House, their salaries range between $43,000 and $57,510.
Junior Digital Designer — $43,600
The Junior Digital Designer at the White House handles much of the graphic design work. This can include anything from the White House’s social media posts, images on the website, campaign posters, and newsletters.
If you were to have this job, you would earn $43,600 a year and have great added value to your CV.
Stenographer — $70,500
There are currently three stenographers working at the White House. They’re responsible for recording everything the president says, especially when talking to the press or the public.
These recordings are intended for the presidential archives to prevent any confusion or miscommunication. The highest paying stenographers earn $70,500 per year.
Secret Service Uniformed Division — $63,970
While most people are familiar with the Secret Service, most people aren’t aware of the organization’s Uniformed Division. Made up of about 1,300 officers and technicians, it’s considered a more dangerous position than most. They’re responsible for screening White House visitors for weapons and patrolling the exterior.
So, when you hear stories about someone hopping the fence at the White House, the Uniformed Division is responsible for tackling them on the lawn.
Associate Writer — $43,600
When other staffers in the White House need help to respond to the hundreds of letters the president receives each day, they turn to the Associate Writer.
They might also lend a hand to the speechwriters and content producers as well, lending an extra set of eyes to projects. There is usually more than one person with the title Associate Writer in the White House, each earning a yearly salary of $43,600.
Special Assistant to the President For Presidential Appointments And Scheduling — $120,000
As the title suggests, the Special Assistant To The President For Presidential Appointments And Scheduling is in charge of managing his schedule.
These aren’t the president’s dentist and salon appointments, but meetings, phone calls, and more that are part of the president’s duties. The position holder earns a salary of $120,000 per year.
Lead Press Advance Representative — $80,000
The Lead Press Advance Representative is responsible for preparing for any events or activities the president must attend. This includes press cooperation, security interaction, and negotiating foreign press access.
The position pays $80,000 per year and is considered a very popular choice for those who wish to work within the White House walls. It's being a project or event manager, on a much higher scale.
Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor — $180,000
As governments change, new roles are introduced or kept updated all the time. Domestic Policy Advisor is one that is constantly kept updated and refreshed. The domestic policy council is the principal forum for considering domestic policy matters, excluding economic affairs, and the salary earned is on the high side at $180,000.
While the Domestic Policy Council was first established by President Regan in 1985, the position has been around in some form since 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson was in office. The council also ensures coordination and communication among the heads of relevant federal offices and agencies.
Assistant to the President and Director of Communications — $180,000
Also known as the Assistant to the President for Communications, this role is part of the senior staff in the White House. The person who holds this role is responsible for developing and promoting the agenda of the president and leading the president's media campaign, including television appearances and social media.
The director and their staff work on major political speeches such as the inaugural address and State of the Union address. It's fairly common for a president to employ several directors over a four-year term – Trump for example had six! For this role, an annual pay of $180,000 is received.
White House National Climate Advisor — $180,000
As a new position created under President Biden, the National Climate Advisor is the president's chief advisor on domestic climate change policy and helps lead the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. The first National Climate Advisor ever appointed was Gina McCarthy, who was the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama.
McCarthy earned $180,000 a year for her role, and she was assisted by Ali Zaidi as the deputy National Climate Advisor. Zaidi was previously the New York deputy secretary for energy and environment.
Director of the Office of Administration — $180,000
The Office of Administration is within the Executive Office of the President (consider it a small division of a company) and is tasked with overseeing the general administration of the entire Executive Office.
Since 1977, it has overseen the administrative functions of the entities of the Executive Office, mostly by providing administrative services. It seems like the person who holds the role has a lot on their hands, but don't feel sorry for them as they earn $180,000 each year.
Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor — $180,000
It's not unfair to say national security is one of the more important tasks of the president, which is why the National Security Council is so stacked with members. The Principal Deputy National Security Advisor is responsible for being the Executive Secretary to the National Security Council Principals Committee and the chairman of the National Security Council Deputies Committee.
The role does tend to change depending on what is needed in the council. There are often numerous deputies – there's a lot of work to do. For all that work, this role commands the price of $180,000 per year.
White House Counsel — $180,000
Officially known as the Office of Counsel to the President and Vice President, this role was created in 1943 and is responsible for advising on all legal aspects of policy questions, legal issues, ethical questions, financial disclosures, and quite a bit more. With all that big responsibility, comes an even bigger check of $180,000 per year.
Although this role is to offer legal advice to the president and vice president, the counsel is in an official capacity without serving as an attorney for the White House. However, some amount of controversy has arisen due to attorney-client privileges.
Chimney Sweep — $0
Yes, really. The White House has a lot of chimneys, and while they might be used less these days than when the structure was originally built, the big building still requires plenty of heating to stay warm during those cold East Coast winters. Jeff Schmittinger was the White House chimney sweep since he started in the Clinton administration. He refused to accept any money for the gig all the way up until his retirement in 2017.
He kept an old-fashioned chimney sweep costume in case someone wanted the full, classic experience. Jeff's website features a picture of him in full regalia, on the White House roof, holding an American flag.
Portrait Artist — $500,000
The White House portrait artist might not take down an annual salary, but they still get plenty of work, since they will often paint presidents, first ladies, vice-presidents, and second ladies. They are commissioned per portrait, and it's a weird gig.
President Theodore Roosevelt destroyed the first painting Theobald Chartrand presented, stating it wasn't masculine enough. For the Teddy Bear, that's a pretty easy mistake to make. President John F. Kennedy's portrait was done posthumously, so painter Aaron Shikler had to piece it together from photographs of Kennedy's face, and used his brother Ted as the body.
Executive Pastry Chef — $100,000
No, there isn't anything that much strange about a pastry chef, but if you're a chef in the White House, you need to be the best. You might be tasked with making birthday cakes for kings, queens, presidents, or popes. You might have to build a five hundred pound gingerbread house, and you have to be ready to jump into action at all times, in case the prez needs something to nosh on or there's an emergency meeting that needs catering.
The Executive Pastry Chef also maintains the White House beehive. Like, the kind that has bees inside them. In case there is a honey cake on demand.
Head Gardener – Unknown
For some strange reason, the salaries of the head gardener of the White House have never been revealed. Is it a lot? A little? Regardless, there's a lot of landscaping that needs to be done to keep the White House lawns, bushes, and everything else looking as good as possible.
The longest-running head gardener of the White House, Irvin Williams, passed away in 2018, after working on the lawns ever since First Lady Jackie Kennedy hired him to handle the eighteen-acre property. There is more than one person that keeps this famous place looking good, but the head gardener is in charge of it all.
Barber – Varied
Presidents have to have their manes tamed just like the rest of us. For a long time, the White House had a private barbershop, and for a long time, the man in charge of the room was Milton Pitts, who provided cuts to Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.
He was well-known for speaking his mind, having told Nixon he should do something about his nose, and once remarked to Gerald Ford that his ties were too loud. Pitts must not have charged that much for presidential haircuts since he was furious Clinton had paid the princely sum of two hundred dollars to another barber.
Engineer – Unknown
When we say engineer, we really mean a maintenance guy, but engineer sounds way cooler. Nevertheless, the role is the same – he or she keeps the systems of the White House – cooling, heating, moisture control – working properly. Temperature control is a big part of the job since there are lots of priceless pieces of art that would become damaged in too much heat or cold.
The weirdest part is the Engineer's Shop, located two floors under the White House's main floor, past an endless maze of tunnels and pipes. It's the only office in the building that operates 24/7. They even have a computer that displays the temperature of every White House room.
Tour Guide — $22.57 per hour
The White House is, in a way, a big museum full of history that you can practically reach out and touch (though you aren't supposed to). They can't just allow people to wander through the president's home unaided, however, which is why there are tour guides.
Yes, you can see the Lincoln bedroom and the many portraits of past leaders, but don't go anywhere you aren't supposed to go. Just like any other member of the White House staff, this role has to be properly vetted and investigated to make sure there are no issues. Currently, tour guides earn almost twenty-three dollars an hour. Not bad.
Executive Chef — $100,000
Getting paid a hundred grand a year to make food sounds like a dream come true for a lot of people in culinary school right now, but there are a lot of stipulations. There's no paid overtime, and you're going to be working a lot of nights. From peckish presidents to late-night policy meetings to emergency war rooms, there are plenty of possible reasons why you'd be busy at work.
In 2005, Cristeta Pasia has held the position, and she has been queening the cooks ever since, so we bet she can whip up some bomb cookies.
Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy – Unknown
That's quite the mouthful, and usually, this kind of title wouldn't land on most lists, but this role was special for the Obama administration. The president admitted to creating the role for one reason – to get Dhanurjay Patil into the White House in a way that would make him useful. Patil analyzed data that had improved the way the White House and the general public were able to see and understand it, allowing for better communication and clarity.
It's unknown how much Patil brought down for his short-lived role (a successor was never appointed) but we can estimate it's somewhere in the range of a hundred thousand and above.
Housekeeper — $90,000
Count this as one of the places where a maid or janitor can make big bucks. The White House employs almost a hundred men and women who are tasked with keeping the place spick and span everywhere. With a total of 132 rooms, they have their work cut out for them. Not only do they have to hold themselves to the highest standards, but they have to have high-security clearance, and additionally are paid to stay discreet and out of the way.
They're also tasked with keeping a low profile and not spreading around that they're in the White House – security reasons, you see. They never clean a room if a member of the First Family is inside, so they take their time.
Chief Official White House Photographer – Unknown
Since John F. Kennedy's term in office, the White House has had a Chief Official Photographer, whose job it is to snap the best pics of the prez, whether he's in the oval office, talking with the staff, or out on the lawn. In this modern age, there are lots of pictures that get taken.
This role is responsible for a number of famous pics, such as President Nixon with Elvis Presley, President Johnson being sworn in on Air Force One, Clinton playing the saxophone, and numerous others. If you land this gig as a photographer, it's hard to be less well-known in the world of photographs. These artisans have commanded both high and low prices, and the current amount is unknown.
Head Chauffeur — $95,000
If you love driving and want to help the most powerful person in the world get to the next destination, you might want to think about applying for the head chauffeur. Thing is, this job comes with a lot of stress – you have to be ready to act at a moment's notice during an emergency.
You have to ensure the president's safety, and you're privy to top-secret information that you can never divulge. For almost a hundred thousand a year (on average) you'll not only ferry the president, but the entire First Family, special guests, cabinet members, and other high-profile names.
Chief Floral Designer – Unknown
Since 2015, Hedieh Ghaffarian has been the White House Chief Floral Designer – before her, there were a mere two others. Before that, the role was largely relegated to other employees. It's unknown what Ghaffarian brings down, but it's likely a good amount.
She's in charge of floral decorations in every room, but that's not all – she also oversees larger decorations, perhaps most importantly the large Christmas tree that takes its place inside the building every year. If you've ever seen a picture of it, you know it looks immaculate – it's all thanks to Ghaffarian and her predecessors.
Director of the White House Military Office — $110,000
It should be pretty obvious that the White House has a military presence – the secret service, the generals, the uniformed division – it all needs a leader. That person is the Director of the White House Military Office, who makes a hundred and ten grand a year.
The role is responsible for providing and managing military support for white house functions, presidential transport, medical support, and more. Having the president's safety on your mind at all times has got to be a tough task, especially with all the weirdos on social media these days. Still, it's an important job, it deserves the salary and someone has got to do it.