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June 30, 2015

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Municipalities’ combined payroll of nearly $2 billion puts nearly 30,000 to work


Mona Shield Payne

A team of firefighter cadets prepares to enter a tower for training drills at the Clark County Fire Training Center Tuesday, October 31, 2012.

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

      Henderson: 3,433

      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

    • Median salaries

      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

      Henderson: $52,397

      North Las Vegas: $58,589

      Metro Police: $63,169

    • Overtime pay

      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

      Henderson: 199

      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.

      Clark County:

      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

      Las Vegas:

      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.

      Clark County

      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

      Las Vegas

      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

      $200,000+: None


      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

      Metro Police

      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

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    1. STRANGE focus on this article. What are we getting for our money? How much can they tax out of us and LIMIT our life and life style simply to pay excessive amounts to public servants? Let's get back to reality and realign pay scales to what the jobs (the services provided) are worth. Sure, termination / retirement affects individual comp for that year but the overall averages also include people who worked part of a year.

    2. Warrior, how about a comparison of totals / averages of each city, to school district, to UMC, to UNLV....?

    3. I keep wondering Roberta Anderson.

      When you were a government employee did you complain they were paying you to much and demand a cut in pay?

    4. Anyone else scared or concerned by the large difference between employees in NLV and other cities? No wonder there's so much crime there, it's a free for all, they're police force insanely understaffed.

      Perhaps Henderson could give NLV a lesson in number crunching. Ouch!

    5. I'm Thinking the residents have gotten a bargain. Who? paid the most tax was it the tourist? Or was it all just property tax and how much of the fund came from State Income tax? It seems that everyone claims tax money paid as if the residents paid it all.

      I just booked a trip to Vegas and the rental car charge was like $156.00 then all the taxes and fees carried it to $245.00
      So you may have gotten a bargain if only 1/3 of the tax fund came from you.