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State Salary Survey


Washington State Employee Compensation Report

Note: Data collection for the 2020 surveys occurred in July 2019, before the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak in 2020. Therefore, the survey results should be considered in relation to COVID-19's effect on short- and long-term changes to Washington's economy.

The Office of Financial Management – State Human Resources is required by law (RCW 41.06.160) to conduct a salary and benefits survey. The survey's goal is to compare the state's compensation and fringe benefits (these are benefits outside of your pay) to other public and private employers within Washington.

We use benchmark jobs to compare base pay among our competitors. A benchmark job is the state's version of a comparable job in the market. We also collect information about pay practices (such as pay premiums and paid time off), retirement benefits, and health care benefits.

The state considers retirement and health care benefits valuable components of total compensation. These benefits provide important context to Washington's compensation practices, especially when we compare state employees to other government or private employers.

Our state government must attract a diverse, inclusive, and talented workforce to best serve Washington. This means our workplace needs to focus on competitive employee flexibility, mobility, engagement and compensation.

This report does not define the appropriate compensation level for our workforce. Instead, state leaders can use it as a tool to find the appropriate balance among:

  • Containing government operations costs
  • Compensating state employees fairly
  • Competing for specialized employees in the job market

2020 Survey Results

Section 1: Executive Summary (prepared by State HR)
Section 2: 2020 State Salary Survey Findings (prepared by Segal Waters Consulting)
Section 3: 2020 IT Professional Structure Survey Findings (prepared by State HR)
Section 4: Study Methodology
  • The 2020 WSECR Result Dashboards provide interactive views of the State Salary survey and IT Professionals Structure survey results found in the 2020 WSECR report.

If you have additional questions about the survey, contact us at

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