If you had to guess, you’d probably think the governor would be the highest paid public employee in any state. In the vast majority of states, though, a college football or men’s basketball coach is the highest-paid employee. After coaches, the next highest-ranking official is typically either a medical official or a dean of a university.
Click through to see the highest- and lowest-paying jobs in government.
Alabama — Nick Saban
2017 Salary: $11,132,000
Nick Saban has received resounding success as the head coach of the University of Alabama men’s football team — a title he’s held since 2007. With five national championships with Alabama, it’s easy to understand how his paycheck increased from $225,000 to more than $11 million today. See how money influences the college football playoffs — of which Alabama is a perennial participant.
Alaska — Keith Meyer
2016 Salary: $750,000
Keith Meyer is the president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation and has served since June of 2016. While Although his base salary is $550,000, Meyer is eligible to earn an additional $200,000. The previous president made $366,000 at his departure.
Meyer is doing well, but Alaska is still suffering from the effects of the Great Recession.
Arizona — Sean Miller
2017 Salary: $2,600,000
Forbes has called Sean Miller one of the best bargains in college basketball — but make no mistake, the University of Arizona basketball coach is doing quite well for himself. Miller extended his contract through 2022, with his base salary growing annually by $100,000 through 2020. That means he’ll make at least $2.9 million.
Thanks to a low cost of living, even people not making millions of dollars a year can get by in Arizona.
Arkansas — Chad Morris
2017 Salary: $3,500,000
The University of Arkansas named Chad Morris the head football coach in December 2017. Along with his six-year commitment, Morris will pocket $3.5 million annually. His agreement also notes he’ll be eligible for additional compensation through retention payments and incentives.
California — Jim Mora
2017 Salary: $3,570,000
Jim Mora was coach of UCLA football for six years until he was paid nearly $12 million to go away. Mora was canned after the Bruins lost their third game in consecutively to USC. Mora had a base salary of $3.57 million — nearly three times that of his predecessor, Rick Neuheisel.
Colorado — Mike MacIntyre
2017 Salary: $3,250,000
The Colorado University football coach signed a contract extension to remain CU’s coach through the 2021 season. Mike MacIntyre will earn $16.25 million over the next five seasons. His former contract only had a $2 million base salary.
If a raise isn’t on the horizon for you, here’s how to engineer a pay boost for yourself.
Connecticut — Kevin Ollie
2017 Salary: $2,700,000
Kevin Ollie, the University of Connecticut basketball coach, extended his contract in 2017 for a base salary of $400,000, but with public relations, consulting and media fees, he received $2.7 million in payment for the 2016-17 season. He was recently fired by UConn for cause, but is contesting the termination.
Delaware — John Evans
2016 Salary: $263,005
John Evans is the Division of Forensic Science Director for Delaware and is the highest paid out of thousands of Delawareans who received state salaries in 2016. This income included $143,000 in combined salary from his positions with the state police and the Division of Forensic Science, and also roughly $120,000 in a retirement payout.
Florida — Willie Tagart
2017 Salary: $5,000,000
Willie Tagart became head football coach for Florida State in 2017 and will be compensated $5 million a year over six years. Also up for grabs? A dozen bonuses, including $500,000 if he wins a national championship.
Georgia — Kirby Smart
2017 Salary: $ 3,753,600
Kirby Smart is the University of Georgia head football coach. As of 2017, he makes $3,753,600 per year and can make up to $1.8 million in bonuses. Prior to this role, Smart was the defensive coordinator for Alabama, where he made $1.28 million.
Hawaii — David Engle
2016 Salary: $786,000
You can make mega bucks as a staff surgeon for Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. David Engle, who holds this position, made $786,000 in 2016. According to Civil Beat Honolulu, the 25 highest paid state employees are all part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation.
The highest-paid job in each state is frequently a surgeon.
Idaho — Bryan Harsin
2017 Salary: $1,350,000
The Boise State men’s football coach had a $1,350,000 salary in 2017. Over the course of his contract, which expires in 2022, Harsin will earn $9,750,000. There’s also a $250,000 national title bonus.
Illinois — Brad Underwood
2017 Salary: $3,000,000
Brad Underwood tripled his salary when he left Oklahoma State for the University of Illinois men’s basketball coach position last year. The six-year contract is worth $18 million, including $600,000 in bonuses if stays.
Indiana — Archie Miller
2017 Salary: $3,350,000
Archie Miller signed a new contract as the Indiana University men’s basketball coach last year for a whopping $3,350,000. The seven-year agreement could also pay him $1 million in bonuses each year.
Iowa — Kirk Ferentz
2017 Salary: $5,000,750
As the University of Iowa’s head coach, Kirk Ferentz was the highest-paid state employee in Iowa in 2017. His contract runs through 2026 and is eligible for a number of bonuses, including $500,000 for winning 8 or more regular season games.
Kansas — Bill Self
2017 Salary: $4,800,000
The Kansas men’s basketball coach is in the top 10 for highest paid college football and basketball coaches. He’s number one, however, for state employee salaries with $4.8 million per year at Kansas where he’s coached for 15 years.
Kentucky — John Calipari
2018 Salary: $7.75 million
John Calipari, The University of Kentucky coach, signed a two-year extension with the school last year for an enormous paycheck. The contract runs through 2024, in which the last six years of it he’ll make $8 million annually at Kentucky.
Louisiana — Ed Orgeron
2018 Salary: $3,500,000
Although the Louisiana State University men’s football coach is making exceptional pay at $3.5 million, it’s actually on the lower end of South Eastern Conference (SEC) salaries, according to CBS Sports. What makes up for it is his buyout clause that reads Orgeron would receive $12 million.
Maine — Mark Flomenbaum
2016 Salary: $230,656
Mark Flomenbaum was appointed in 2014 as the Chief Medical Examiner for the state office of the Attorney General. His 2016 pay makes him the top earner as a state employee.
Learn More: 20 Hot Jobs That Pay More Than $150K
Maryland — Mark Turgeon
2018 Salary: $2,600,000
It would take 35 people at the median income of $74,551 in Maryland to make what Market Turgeon makes in a year’s pay at the University of Maryland. The men’s basketball coach extended his contract through the 2022-2023 season. Turgeon also has the possibility to make up to $425,000 in annual bonuses.
Massachusetts — Michael Collins
2017 Salary: $1,043,225
The highest paid employee in Massachusetts is the UMass Medical School chancellor and senior vice president for health sciences Michael Collins. He made more than $1 million last year — an 11 percent pay increase from the $938,000 he took home in 2016, according to The Boston Globe.
Michigan — Jim Harbaugh
2017 Salary: $7,004,000
Jim Harbaugh has been the football coach at Michigan since 2015. According to USA Today, Harbaugh’s salary in 2017 included $200,000 for a previous year’s bonus.
Minnesota — Richard Pitino
2018 Salary: $1,600,000
Last year, Richard Pitino extended his contract as the Minnesota men’s basketball coach through 2021-22 season to include $1.7 million in bonuses on top of his $1.6 base salary. He’s one of the highest-paid Big Ten coaches.
Mississippi — Matt Luke
2018 Salary: $3,000,000
The Ole Miss Rebels football coach will receive $12.6 million over the course of his contract. His base salary for 2018 is $3 million and will receive an additional $100,000 yearly through 2021. He’ll also receive $150,000 for each regular season win against a Power 5 opponent.
Missouri — Barry Odom
2018 Salary: $2,400,000
Barry Odom, the head football coach at the University of Missouri, extended his contract through the 2022 season last year. His salary and performance-based bonuses remained unchanged.
Montana — Clayton Christian
2016 Salary: $300,000
Clayton Christian is the Higher Education Commissioner for the Montana University System and is paid $300,000 annually.
Nebraska — Scott Frost
2018 Salary: $5,000,000
Scott Frost was hired last year as the University of Nebraska’s new head football coach. In a seven-year deal, he’ll be paid $35 million, which ranks him as the third-highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.
Nevada — Eric Musselman
2018 Salary: $1,000,000
Eric Musselman’s five-year deal with the University of Nevada as the head basketball coach makes him the highest paid public employee — as well as highest-paid coach in Wolf Pack sports history. The contract was finalized last May.
New Hampshire — Mark Huddleston
2017 Salary: $492,000
According to 2016 state salaries, the President of the University of New Hampshire, Mark Huddleston, is the highest paid public employee with a salary of $492,000. Huddleston plans to retire in June 2018.
New Jersey — Chris Ash
2017 Salary: $2,100,000
The Rutgers University head football coach was paid $2.1 million last season. This marked the second year as coach for Chris Ash. His $11 million contract runs through February 2021.
New Mexico — Craig Neal
2017 Salary: $950,000
Craig Neal is the former University of New Mexico men’s basketball coach who was let go after a disappointing season. In 2017, he earned $950,000 in salary, which made him the highest-paid public employee in the state. He has also received a $1 million buyout fee for his departure.
New York — Lewis Pasternak
2016 Salary: $673,596
In New York, the highest paid public employee is not only an anesthesiologist but also a CEO of Stony Brook University Hospital. Lewis Pasternak makes well over a half a million dollars annually.
North Carolina — Roy Williams
2017 Salary: $2,100,000
The University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach, Roy Williams made $2.1 million for the 2016-17-basketball season. He is also being compensated via personal contracts with Nike and Learfield Sports, so you can bet he’s getting paid a lot more.
Dive Deep: See The Money Behind March Madness
North Dakota — Joshua Wynne
2016 Salary: $674,600
Joshua Wynne is the Dean of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Based on 2016 salary, Wynne is the highest paid public employee in North Dakota.
Ohio — Urban Meyer
2017 Salary: $6,400,000
Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer has a successful record which gives merit for the lucrative pay. According to USA Today, he is the fourth-highest paid coach in the country. His contracted buyout is worth over $21 million.
Oklahoma — Lincoln Riley
2017 Salary: $3,100,000
Oklahoma men’s football coach Lincoln Riley is contracted through 2022. The salary breaks down as $2.275 million in additional income plus his $325,000 base salary. There’s also an automatic raise of $200,000 each February.
Oregon — Mario Cristobal
2018 Salary: $2.5 million
Mario Cristobal is the University of Oregon’s 34th football coach. He was hired from Alabama as Oregon’s co-offensive coordinator and promoted to head coach in December 2017. Cristobal will be paid $12.5 million through 2023 when his contract expires.
Pennsylvania — James Franklin
2018 Salary: $5,800,000
James Franklin received a raise in a new contract deal after the Penn State football coach lead the team to its first Big Ten title since 1994 and a Rose Bowl trip. The six-year contract will pay him about $5.8 million per year with a $2 million buyout.
You don’t have to win the Big Ten to get a raise — use your body language to win mentors and earn raises.
Rhode Island — Dan Hurley
2018 Salary: $300,000
Dan Hurley, the University of Rhode Island basketball coach, signed a new last year that extends his tenure through the 2023-24 season. His base salary is $300,000 but will be paid $1.1 million by the time his contracts expires. According to the Rhode Island’s transparency portal, other payments put his salary over $600,000.
South Carolina — Will Muschamp
2018 Salary: $4,200,000
The South Carolina Gamecocks head football coach received a salary increase after last season’s performance. His salary shot up to $4.2 million in 2018 from $3.1 million he made prior. This includes a $200,000 increase every year, putting him on track to make $5.2 million in the 2023 season.
South Dakota — Mary Nettleman
2016 Salary: $577,700
The highest paid public employee is the Dean of the University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine, Mary Nettleman. She’s also the vice president for Health Affairs. She’s been at the school since 2012 — earning over a half a million.
Tennessee — Jeremy Pruitt
2018 Salary: $3,800,000
Jeremy Pruitt signed a six-year agreement as the new football coach at the University of Tennessee. The contract will pay him $3.8 million a year with a lot of incentives such as $300,000 if the team wins the SEC Championship. He is making nearly triple what he made as the Alabama defensive coordinator.
Texas — Tom Herman
2017 Salary: $5,000,000
As the University of Texas at Austin football coach, Tom Herman not only is the highest paid state public employee, but the eighth highest-paid coach in college football for the 2017 season. In addition to the $5.5 million salary, his buyout clause is a whopping $20.4 million.
Utah — Kyle Whittingham
2017 Salary: $3,300,000
Kyle Whittingham is the football coach for the University of Utah with a $3.3 million per-year contract through 2021. He’s been with the team since 1994.
Vermont — Frederick Morin
2017 Salary: $559,600
The Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Frederick Morin, is the highest paid public employee as of 2017 — making over a half a million. He became dean in 2007– although last August he announced his retirement.
Virginia — Bronco Mendenhall
2016 Salary: $3,250,000
In 2016, the University of Virginia’s football coach, Bronco Mendenhall, was the highest paid of new coaches with a salary of $3.25 million with a five-year contract. His previous salary was $3.1 million.
Washington — Chris Petersen
2018 Salary: $4,875,000
Chris Peterson is paid $4.8 million as the head football coach at the University of Washington. He’ll earn at least $34.125 million through the 2023 season.
West Virginia — Bob Huggins
2018 Salary: $3,750,000
The West Virginia men’s basketball coach recently extended his contract another four years with an option to step aside or continue coaching after the 2021-22 season. His agreement includes a $100,000 pay raise each year.
Wisconsin — Paul Chryst
2017 Salary: $3,200,000
Paul Chryst is the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin where his pay was recently raised to $3.2 million. Under his contract extension, he also will have a $100,000 pay increase annually.
Wyoming — Craig Bohl
2017 Salary: $1.4 million
Craig Bohl is contracted through 2023 as the head coach of the University of Wyoming’s football team. His pay is $1.4 million as of January 2017 with an agreement to extend his contract another five years. The old contract had his pay at $1,255,750.
Click through to see the highest-paid coaches of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament.
The most-recent known salary is stated for each employee. In some instances, the employee has been fired in the past year but is still the highest-paid in the state.
Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only. As a result, some of the photos might not reflect the specific employee listed in this article.