Mona Shield Payne
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | 2 a.m.
More than 27,000 people work for various local governments in Southern Nevada, collectively affecting every aspect of life in the valley.
Whether they’re police officers patrolling the streets, an inspector checking a building for compliance or a lifeguard at the local recreation center, they all can be found on the payrolls of local municipalities.
Each year, these local governments release summary data listing the salary and benefits each employee received in the past year.
The Sun collected this data from five of the largest local public agencies — Clark County, Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and Metro Police — and analyzed it to examine the size and scope of government in Southern Nevada.
Our results, including what you’d expect an average government worker to earn and which cities pay the most in overtime, are below. We’ve also compiled a list of the 500 top-paid public employees.
It’s important to note the data offer a snapshot of compensation in 2012. Several large salaries are the result of one-time payouts to employees who were retiring and cashing out benefits or receiving a severance package.
Salary data for Clark County do not include University Medical Center employees.
For more insight into what governments spend and what their employees make, click through the slides below:
Total number of employees
The four municipalities employed a combined 27,721 people in 2012 in jobs that range from lifeguards to the director of McCarran International Airport. The municipalities and their workforces:
Clark County: 13,369
Las Vegas: 3,485
North Las Vegas: 1,751
Metro Police: 5,683
Total amount spent on compensation:
Between salaries, overtime pay and benefits, the four municipalities and Metro spent nearly $2 billion on employee compensation in 2012.
Clark County: $677.6 million
Las Vegas: $312.8 million
Henderson: $238.7 million
North Las Vegas: $166.4 million
Metro Police: $588.5 million
Because of the large number of hourly government employees who received only a few hundred dollars in total compensation in 2012 — a group that includes about 3,000 poll workers in Clark County’s Elections Department — only employees who received at least $1,000 in pay were included when calculating median salaries.
Clark County: $44,532
Las Vegas: $61,409
North Las Vegas: $58,589
Metro Police: $63,169
Firefighters in each of the municipalities generally take the most overtime because officials believe it is more efficient and cost-effective than hiring additional personnel. Here’s the totals:
Clark County: 4,655 employees received overtime pay worth a combined $18 million
Las Vegas: 1,510 employees received overtime pay worth a combined $18 million
Henderson: 1,113 employees received overtime pay worth a combined $6.5 million
North Las Vegas: 947 employees received overtime pay worth a combined $5.4 million
Metro Police: 3,722 employees received overtime pay worth a combined $12.1 million
Part-time or temporary employees
Each municipality classifies their non-full time employees differently, with two listing them as “temporary” workers, one as “part-time” and another as “hourly.”
Clark County: 5,946 temporary employees
Las Vegas: 957 hourly employees
Henderson: 1,458 part-time employees
North Las Vegas: 435 temporary employees
Employees making less than $1,000
A total of 3,906 government employees received less than $1,000 in pay in 2012. Many of these people work as part-time instructors or staff at recreation facilities or were poll workers for the 2012 election.
Clark County: 3,505 (including 3,151 employees of the Elections Department)
Las Vegas: 116
North Las Vegas: 86
Metro Police: 40
Largest and smallest departments:
A look at the largest and smallest departments in each municipality, and the average pay each employee receives.
Elections Department — 3,538 workers with an average pay of $1,123 per person
North Las Vegas Constable — Three employees with an average pay of $32,094
Parks and Recreation — 998 employees with an average pay of $11,541
Mayor’s Office — Four employees with an average pay of $77,377
Parks and Recreation — 1,375 employees with an average pay of $8,259
Cultural Arts & Tourism — Nine employees with an average pay of $46,333
North Las Vegas:
Police department — 718 officer and civilian employees with an average pay of $55,561
City Clerk — Five employees with an average pay of $69,740
Number of executives/managers
Each municipality classifies their executives and managers differently. Salary data submitted by Clark County and Metro Police did not include this distinction.
Las Vegas: 100 executives with an average salary of $110,582
Henderson: 157 managers with an average pay of $122,984
North Las Vegas: 12 departmental directors with an average pay of $136,689 and 20 assistant department directors with an average pay of $117,776
Largest employee groups/unions
Salary data from Clark County and Metro Police did not include information on collective bargaining units.
Las Vegas: City Employees Association — 1,212 members with an average salary of $58,354
Henderson: Teamsters Union — 783 members with an average salary of $54,989
North Las Vegas: Teamsters Union Non-supervisors — 456 members with an average salary of $52,024.
A breakdown of the range of salaries municipalities are paying their employees.
0-$50,000: 9,048 employees
$50,000-$100,000: 4,006 employees
$100,000-$150,000: 261 employees
$150,000-$200,000: 54 employees
$200,000+: 1 employee
0-$50,000: 1,381 employees
$50,000-$100,000: 1,947 employees
$100,000-$150,000: 142 employees
$150,000-$200,000: 15 employees
0-$50,000: 1,754 employees
$50,000-$100,000: 1,375 employees
$100,000-$150,000: 274 employees
$150,000-$200,000: 29 employees
$200,000+: 1 employee
North Las Vegas
0-$50,000: 740 employees
$50,000-$100,000: 903 employees
$100,000-$150,000: 102 employees
$150,000-$200,000: 4 employees
$200,000+: 2 employees
0-$50,000: 1,425 employees
$50,000-$100,000: 4,094 employees
$100,000-$150,000: 151 employees
$150,000-$200,000: 13 employees
$200,000+: 0 employees