Hey, I’d take it.
At this point, almost everyone knows being president of the United States comes along with a pretty hefty paycheck — but what about being the vice president? After all, being second-in-command does mean a ton of responsibility, so the position is bound to come with a nice payday (or so you’d think). So, how much do vice presidents make in office? This salary expectation may not be as shiny as you’d expect, but it’s still a pretty sweet deal.
Although the vice president’s salary has changed over time, as of 2021, it’s currently frozen at $235,100. While that may not seem like much compared to the U.S. president’s annual salary, which tops out at $400,000 a year, it’s still a lot more than the average American worker makes. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the VP’s salary is almost $182,000 more than “the annual mean wage for a full-time wage or salary worker in the United States,” which is just $53,490 per year.
However, the VP’s pay can increase, but only if Congress approves it. The vice president’s annual salary has remained the same since before 2014, when lawmakers in Washington, D.C. agreed to freeze pay rates during President Barack Obama’s second term in office. Although House Republicans aimed to increase the vice president’s salary under the Trump administration, their proposal was never approved by both chambers of Congress. Still, Vice President Kamala Harris broke boundaries as one of the highest-paid women in the White House when she was inaugurated into office on January 20, 2021.
Of course, the pay comes with a lot of work. Though vice presidential roles vary, the veep is always expected to take on the work of being an adviser and partner to the president, as well as presiding over the U.S. Senate. In 2021, Harris herself has taken on a portfolio of complicated issues including voting rights and immigration.
However, money isn’t everything: The vice president’s position comes with plenty of unique and luxurious amenities, such as a $10,000 taxable expense allowance, free housing, free transportation, a private office, and a personal staff of about 80 workers. In fact, once inaugurated, vice presidents have the privilege of moving into a 9,150-square-foot Victorian mansion right around the corner from the White House. So if you’re worried about whether or not Harris is struggling to survive in an area with one of the country’s highest costs of living, rest assured that she’s well taken care of.
While the vice president may not receive the prettiest penny in the White House, the position still comes with a ton of presidential perks — and hey, who knows? Maybe Harris will make another run for the presidency, and get the chance to experience all the perks of being in the Oval Office.