By Megan Poinski
While thousands of state employees earn six figures, about a third of the salaried full-time employees working for state government (28,391) are paid $40,000 or less, according to information on salaries from the Comptroller’s Office.
Most of these employees (17,764) work for executive departments. A total of 10,637 of these employees work for the University of Maryland, though the listing may include student employees who are also paid through tuition offsets.
The analysis is based on people who had full-time annual salaries listed on the file from the Comptroller’s Office. People who had no salaries listed, contract employees, and hourly employees were not considered.
According to the analysis, four agencies have average salaries of less than $40,000. They include Department of Health and Mental Hygiene facilities, the Upper Shore Community Health Center and the Holly Center; Department of General Services police; and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Many state government jobs have base salaries that are $40,000 or below. In the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, many kinds of jobs that require college degrees have lower starting salaries. According to job listings posted on the Department of Budget and Management website, alcohol and drug counselors are paid between $28,434 and $44,520. Corrections officers, who must have a high school diploma and pass an entrance exam, are paid between $35,700 and $50,563 to start.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also has some lower starting salaries. Medical care program associates, who work with and process policy work — and may even supervise clerical employees — are paid starting salaries of between $28,434 and $44,520. A dialysis service technician, who either needs to have a year of experience in maintaining and operating kidney dialysis equipment or a bachelor’s degree with a science major, is paid a starting salary of $26,783 to $41,816.
Many of the job ads for DHMH’s other positions focusing on patient care, such as those for licensed practical nurses or direct care assistants, only say that starting salaries are negotiable.