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How much money did SLO County and city workers make in 2017? Here’s your guide

What are SLO County’s highest paid jobs?

Test your local job knowledge and find out which professions pay the most in San Luis Obispo County.
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Test your local job knowledge and find out which professions pay the most in San Luis Obispo County.

We all want to know what other people make — especially when it comes to government employees whose salaries are paid out of our tax money.

To scratch that itch, here’s your guide to the top-paid workers across San Luis Obispo County, from the Five Cities to North County.

First, let’s look at the broad numbers:

The California Controller’s office, which releases public employee compensation reports annually, said 5,199 public officials were paid a grand total of $313.4 million in San Luis Obispo County last year. This included all city, county and Superior Court employees.

Workers from the County of San Luis Obispo represented the largest piece of the pie, with $210.2 million going toward wages for 3,428 county employees in 2017.

The city of San Luis Obispo followed with $36.9 million spent on wages for 444 workers in 2017. The smallest slice in the county goes to Grover Beach, where 75 employees were paid a total of $5.02 million.

Looking at SLO County as a whole, most of the highest paid officials were either county employees, Superior Court Judges and firefighters.

The latter had some of the highest wages in the county last year largely because of overtime payments fighting the numerous blazes that burned destructive paths around the state.

Notably, only three of the city managers from the county’s seven cities — Pismo Beach, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo — were included in the top 20 highest-paid workers, while only one — Pismo Beach — cracked the top 10.

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San Luis Obispo County government building. San Luis Obispo County

A closer look

So how do the county’s finances look at the smaller levels?

This guide spans from the Five Cities area, where police employees are some of the highest paid, to San Luis Obispo, where last year’s lengthy and destructive fire season had firefighters in some cases earning more overtime than other people’s entire salaries.

It stretches to Morro Bay, where major staff turnover in recent years has impacted the city’s finances, and to North County, where Paso Robles’ salaries kept pace with SLO and Pismo for some of the highest in the county.

We’ve also included a roundup of SLO County government employees, where two medical directors made more than $350,000 and $410,000 a piece, largely due to on-call hours picking up the slack amid a mental health staff shortage.

For the highest paid in each city, or for county employees, click the links below:

SLO County:

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San Luis Obispo:

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Pismo Beach:

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Grover Beach:

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Arroyo Grande:

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Morro Bay:

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Paso Robles:

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Atascadero:

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How do they compare?

Want a quick comparison of some of each city’s top positions?

The highest paid

Here are the top 20 highest-paid positions across the entire county, including all seven cities and the County of San Luis Obispo, for 2017:

1. Behavioral Health Medical Director, SLO County: $410,957

Regular pay: $286,031

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $124,926

Total retirement and health contribution: $95,737*

*Total retirement and health contributions not factored into total wages.

2. Staff Psychiatrist, SLO County: $350,294

Regular pay: $256,555

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $93,739

Total retirement and health contribution: $28,167

3. Fire Captain, San Luis Obispo: $241,713

Regular pay: $96,015

Overtime pay: $125,091

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $20,607

Total retirement and health contribution: $44,015

4. Police Officer, Grover Beach: $234,632

Regular pay: $74,581

Overtime pay: $7,598

Lump-sum pay: $142,501

Other pay: $9,952

Total retirement and health contribution: $53,957

5. County Counsel, SLO County: $231,172

Regular pay: $217,911

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $4,282

Other pay: $8,979

Total retirement and health contribution: $85,294

6. Fire Captain, San Luis Obispo: $229,122

Regular pay: $97,021

Overtime pay: $111,864

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $20,237

Total retirement and health contribution: $44,337

7. Fire Battalion Chief, San Luis Obispo: $227,744

Regular pay: $131,738

Overtime pay: $84,202

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $11,804

Total retirement and health contribution: $41,571

8. District Attorney, SLO County: $224,380

Regular pay: $210,437

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $13,943

Total retirement and health contribution: $88,611

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The San Luis Obispo County Government Center, where the county Board of Supervisors meets. Joe Johnston The Tribune

9. Public Health Administrator/Health Official, SLO County: $218,930

Regular pay: $212,472

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $6,458

Total retirement and health contribution: $85,851

10. City Manager, Pismo Beach: $218,476

Regular pay: $208,364

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $1,025

Other pay: $9,087

Total retirement and health contribution: $48,524

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Pismo Beach City Hall. Joe Johnston The Tribune

11. Judge, Superior Court: $217,882

Regular pay: $197,200

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $20,682

Total retirement and health contribution: $15,949

12. Fire Captain, San Luis Obispo: $217,722

Regular pay: $100,033

Overtime pay: $105,922

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $11,767

Total retirement and health contribution: $42,952

13. Fire Captain, San Luis Obispo: $215,900

Regular pay: $99,680

Overtime pay: $99,818

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $16,402

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $36,068

14. City Attorney, San Luis Obispo: $214,832

Regular Pay: $187,584

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $16,988

Other Pay: $10,260

Total retirement and health contribution: $65,259

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San Luis Obispo City Hall. File photo

15. Fire Captain, San Luis Obispo: $213,808

Regular pay: $97,711

Overtime pay: $108,014

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $8,083

Total retirement and health contribution: $41,586

16. City Manager, Paso Robles: $213,779

Regular pay: $201,000

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $2,996

Other pay: $9,783

Total retirement and health contribution: $72,721

17. Judge, Superior Court: $212,961

Regular pay: $192,969

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $19,992

Total retirement and health contribution: $16,641

18. City Manager, San Luis Obispo: $211,978

Regular pay: $171,450

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $26,724

Other pay: $13,804

Total retirement and health contribution: $58,991

19. Judge, Superior Court: $193,673

Regular pay: $193,673

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $18,072

Total retirement and health contribution: $15,124

20. Judge, Superior Court: $210,219

Regular pay: $191,795

Overtime pay: $0

Lump-sum pay: $0

Other pay: $18,424

Total retirement and health contribution: $22,741

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