The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 2, 2013
What California state workers earn: Doctors and dentists

RDB090.JPG By Amy Gebert and Jon Ortiz

Licensed medical staff are generally among the highest paid state employees, so it's no surprise the members of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists earned more on average than any other group of rank-and-file employees in 2011 and 2012.

Last year, for example, UAPD members' median wage of $229,000 more than doubled the $106,000 median paid to the runner-up group, state legal employees such as attorneys and administrative law judges.

The numbers:

Number of employees in 2012: 1,353
2012 average pay: $209,739
2012 median pay: $229,070

Number of employees in 2011: 1,451
2011 average pay: $195,240
2011 median pay: $215,605

2012 Largest job class: Dentist, Correctional Facility (241)
Highest paid job class (2012 average): Senior Psychiatrist (Specialist) ($244,411)
Lowest paid job class (2012 average): Public Health Medical Officer III-Epidemiology ($88,349)

This chart shows the average and median pay for Bargaining Unit 16 in 2011 and 2012.

With talks and ratification votes for new state employee contracts on the agenda over the next few weeks, The State Worker is taking a first-ever look at what unionized workers earned over the last two years by bargaining unit.

The numbers feeding the series come from the State Controller's payroll database. The figures include only regular pay issued to full-time employees represented by the 21 bargaining units that negotiate contracts with the state. The number of employees includes only full-time workers who were paid during the calendar year. University of California and California State University employee earnings are not included in these figures. The data covers calendar 2011 and 2012.

PHOTO: Dr. Sasan Salmi examines an inmate at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


Now on the State Worker column

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives