Karine Jean-Pierre Is Set to Make Around $180,000 a Year as White House Press Secretary

Karine Jean-Pierre will be replacing Jen Psaki as White House press secretary. Here's what the average salary for that position looks like.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

May 18 2022, Published 1:01 p.m. ET

Karine Jean-Pierre
Source: Getty Images

Working for the White House isn't exactly a low-stress job, especially when you're considered the "face" of the United States government, at least where the media is concerned. It's easy to forget that the concept of a free press is one of the core fundamentals of how the United States functions.

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When performed properly, journalists are watchdogs presenting facts and asking questions of our leaders to ensure citizens' interests are best represented without any tomfoolery.

The press secretary's job is to answer those questions. What type of salary does the White House press secretary earn?

Megan Rapinoe WhiteHouse Press Secretary
Source: Getty Images
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What's the average salary for a White House press secretary?

Since the White House press secretary is always in the spotlight, their salary is often a point of interest. Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki reportedly earned at least $180,000 while she was in the role, probably not including other perks like travel/housing allotments and stipends.

Her replacement, Karine Jean-Pierre, is said to be eligible for an annual salary package worth $185,000, which would make her one of the highest if not the highest-paid White House press secretaries of all time.

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There are other sources that put her salary at $180,000 a year, but if she does make $185,000, it's still important to note that there is inflation to adjust for. Also, this salary is more or less akin to what other press secretaries in recent history have earned.

Trump's press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, for example, earned approximately $183,000 per year.

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$1 in 2019 is worth $1.13 in 2022 (as of this writing) according to CPI Inflation Calculator. Technically speaking, with inflation, both Jen Psaki and Karine Jean-Pierre are being underpaid when compared to what White House staffers were earning just three years ago.

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There are several resources one can access to see just how much members of the U.S. government are earning for their positions in the White House. Here's a list of what White House staffers earned under President Donald Trump's administration. And here's current reporting from the White House itself that delineates all of the current administration's salaries (updated to 2021) under President Joe Biden.

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Looking at past White House press secretaries and their salaries, it's safe to say that one can expect to make around $180,000 annually. One statistic that Biden's White House staff can boast is that there is about a 1 percent pay gap between female and male staffers, something the administration claims is one of the narrowest in history.

So which White House staffer has the highest salary in Joe Biden's administration?

As of 2021, the Policy Advisor for Immigration, Molly M. Groom, holds that distinction. C-Span writes she "is a Chief for the Refugee and Asylum Law Division in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services." Her salary is $185,656.

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