Modest Pay, Decent Benefits in Alexandria

Modest Pay, Decent Benefits in Alexandria

A look at public school employees’ pay and benefits.

Overall, public school employees make less than the workforce at large, although their benefit packages add back some value.

On average, school system employees make $66,900 per year, based on a roster of some 2,500 employees obtained last week.

That compares to about $90,100 citywide and $71,000 region-wide for all workers, according to the American Community Survey (ACS) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), respectively.

“The success of our compensation program is contingent on our ability to appropriately compete with surrounding school divisions and external labor markets,” according to the schools’ salary placement guidelines.

Region-wide annual wage averages for education professionals from the BLS:

  • Education administrators, elementary & secondary: $111,800
  • Secondary school teachers (except special & career/technical ed.): $78,300
  • Middle school teachers (except special & career/technical ed.): $77,600
  • Elementary school teachers (except special & career/technical ed.): $77,100

And a sampling of private sector professionals:

  • Chief executive: $250,700
  • Financial manager: $171,000
  • Human resources manager: $154,300
  • Administrative services manager: $124,200
  • Network and computer systems administrator: $102,000
  • Budget analyst: $99,400
  • Office & administrative support worker supervisor: $69,200

Here are some rules of thumb that estimate the value of benefits (FICA, health, pension, disability, life insurance), according to schools spokesperson Helen Lloyd:

  • Professional (e.g., teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators): add 39 percent
  • Non-professional (e.g., bus drivers, custodians, school nutrition): add 44 percent

Compare similar rules of thumb reported by the city government earlier this year:

  • General schedule employees: add 36 percent
  • Sheriff’s deputies and medics: add 53 percent
  • Fire and police: add 74 percent

These averages don’t apply uniformly to every employee. A given compensation package depends on variables specific to the individual.

Across the Mid-Atlantic and all industry groups, the private sector paid workers about 30 percent on top of salary for comparable benefits, according to recent figures from the BLS.

See chart of all public school employees’ salaries over $100,000, in the 6/12/19 Alexandria Gazette Packet, page 4: