The Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) oversees the compensation plans for all Virginia state employees. Policies are developed by a group that includes 53 human resource personnel from 32 state agencies, colleges and universities. Each state job is classified into one of nine pay bands; wages are higher in northern Virginia than in the rest of the state.


The Virginia state government divides its occupations into occupational families, where jobs share similar characteristics. For example, the administrative services family has positions in general administration, financial services and human resources; the public safety family covers law enforcement, emergency services and public safety compliance. Within each family are career groups, which divide each jobs into pay band ranges. ,Office specialists in administrative services fall into ranges one to three, while general administration managers fall into ranges four through eight.

Pay Bands

As of 2010, Virginia state jobs fall into nine pay bands, with the same minimums but different maximums for two regions: the state as a whole and northern Virginia. Pay band number one starts at a minimum of $15,371 per year, but has a maximum of $31,548 for the state and $41,012 for northern Virginia. Pay band five starts at $40,959, but continues on to $84,062 and $109,280 for the two areas, respectively Finally, pay band nine ranges from a minimum of $119,308 to maximum market rates.

Industry Comparisons

With almost no exceptions, Virginia state employees receive an average annual salary that is over 20 percent lower than for comparable jobs in private industry. The greatest deviation is the 46 percent difference for light truck drivers. In private industry, they are paid $28,135, and in the state they receive $19,266, as of September 2010. Staff registered nurses get $61,900 in private industry and $47,366 from the state, a difference of 30.68 percent. The only exception is for medical lab techs who get $42,094 from the state, which is 2.12 percent more than the $41,200 received in private industry.


As part of their compensation, Virginia state government workers receive 12 paid holidays and vacations ranging from 12 days per year for less than five years to 27 days per year for 25 years or more. Health plans, life insurance and long-term insurance are also given as benefits. Workers are automatically enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System, which pays benefits based on years of service, age and salary. They may also save for retirement with a voluntary deferred compensation plan.