All congressional offices are not created equal — especially when it comes to how much they'd pay you.
A new LegiStorm analysis showed that Democrats pay an average salary of $52,142, while Republicans average $51,490.
The highest-paying member of Congress is Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass., whose office has a median salary of $81,491. His office is also the only one where the median salary reaches the $80,000 point.
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Rounding out the rest of the top five are:
- Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Ind. ($78,665)
- Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas (74,795)
- Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. ($73,123)
- Rep. Macy Clay, D-Mo ($73,000)
And if you left the top-paying offices to work at one of the lowest-paying ones, you'd take more than a 50% pay cut.
At the lowest paying congressional office, Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont, pays a median salary of just $35,925. His is the lowest paying office by almost $3,000.
The rest of the bottom five in the low-paying category are:
- Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. ($38,567)
- Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind. ($39,000)
- Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif. ($39,241)
- Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind. ($39,996)
If you're looking to make a top salary on Capitol Hill, becoming a chief-of-staff is your best bet. The median salary for that role is $154,634. A district/state chief-of-staff trails behind with $136,443 as its median salary, followed by state directors, information technology directors and chief counsels, all of which have six figure salaries.
Staff assistants make the lowest median salary at $35,480. Following are district/regional coordinators, fellows, press assistants and research assistants.
You also might have a better shot at a high-paying job depending on the state your boss represents. In the House, the highest median salaries (at $66,454) are from Utah's delegation. Utah is closely followed by Idaho and Alaska as the only three state delegations with a median salary of more than $60,000.
For the Senate, Rhode Island pays the most, at a $65,735 median salary. Kansas ($65,520) and Mississippi ($64,594) are the next highest-paying.
LegiStorm notes that while median salaries are useful for analyzing trends, several factors influence the final number, like the composition and size of office staff. For example, some offices might have a high number of low-ranking employees, while other offices have mainly highly-paid, high-ranking employees.