Q&A: How Much Does a Board of Supervisors Make?

  • By: Josh Palmer
  • March 13, 2023
How Much Does a Board of Supervisors Make
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Several factors determine compensation, such as location, experience, and education.

A board of supervisors exercises executive, legislative, and quasi-judicial powers, similar to a city council. The difference between the two is that cities are municipal corporations, while counties are administrative divisions of a state. Therefore, the board of supervisors implements and refines the local application of public policy and state law.

A board of supervisors oversees county government operations in six U.S. states: Arizona, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mississippi, and Virginia. Additionally, 16 counties in New York have a board of supervisors. The remaining states have equivalent agencies with different names.

You may be wondering, “So, how much does a board of supervisors make?” Read on to learn how much members of a board of supervisors make, factors influencing their compensation, and how to join a board in your county. We’ll also look at the ways board portal software facilitates advanced meeting preparation, seamless collaboration, and effective governance.

Board of Supervisors’ Compensation

According to Comparably, the average U.S. county supervisor makes $239,479, while the average bonus for county supervisors is $51,086, or 21% of their salary. 

The salaries of board of supervisors’ members typically range from $68,600 to $321,547, while the median salary is $254,048. Additionally, the middle 57% of supervisors make between $254,235 and $276,224, while the top 86% make 321,547.

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Factors Influencing Board of Supervisors' Compensation

Determining the right compensation for a board of supervisors can be tricky because several factors influence individual take-home salaries. 

Often, the county board of supervisors determines the annual compensation for each member. However, the exact method for determining salaries varies among counties, with some requiring a ballot or referendum. For example, California subjects any increase in board salaries to a referendum.

The following three factors typically influence a board of supervisors’ compensation.

1. Experience

Similar to most boards, such as nonprofit boards and corporate boards, experienced members earn a higher total take-home compensation package compared to less-experienced members.

2. Education

Education affects the total compensation of virtually all public and private economic sectors in the U.S., with jobs requiring higher education levels and skills paying higher compensation. The county board of supervisors is no exception to this norm, as members with higher education levels receive a bigger salary.

3. Location

The cost of living is a major factor when determining take-home compensation packages. The cost of living is primarily dependent on location and the cost of housing. It’s one of the reasons why pay packages in large urban areas are usually higher than salaries for similar positions in rural locations.

However, the surge in remote work has seen many employers shift to role-based compensation as opposed to location-based. Despite this, many county supervisors live in the counties and communities they oversee, which means their location still largely influences their total compensation.

How to Join a Board of Supervisors

Different counties have varying processes for joining the board of supervisors and other local boards and committees. See below for the typical process.

  1. Start by looking at the list of vacancies and expected vacancies, along with their qualifications and other details, such as compensation. You can often find an updated list on the board of supervisors’ website, at the county’s public library, and from the office of the board’s clerk.
  2. Submit your application within the stipulated time.
  3. If the vacant seat you are applying for requires the board’s confirmation, you will appear before the rules committee (tasked with reviewing your application) to answer questions, speak on your qualifications, and state your interest in joining the board.
  4. If the rules committee makes a recommendation, it forwards it to the county board of supervisors for approval.
  5. Once appointed, you will take an oath of office before assuming your official duties.

Board of Supervisors' Meetings Powered by OnBoard

Several factors influence the board of supervisors’ compensation, such as years of experience, education, and location. If you decide to join a board of supervisors, you’ll need to apply to the board and appear before the county rules committee for review. A recommendation from the rules committee leads to your board approval and appointment.

Investing in software to improve board of supervisors’ meeting effectiveness can save time, increase productivity, shorten approval processes, and boost organizational communication and collaboration. 

OnBoard software improves board governance with tools for agenda creation, file distribution, remote communication, and more. A key feature of OnBoard’s meeting management software is the ability to create customizable agendas, which ensures all necessary items receive coverage and meetings stay on track. OnBoard also enables easy file distribution so meeting attendees can browse all relevant materials before the meeting.

OnBoard comes equipped with the following board management features, among others:

  • Industry-leading security, compliance, and data protection that’s certified and accredited
  • Agenda Builder and Minutes Builder for simplified meeting administration
  • Secure Messenger and Zoom Integration to enhance communication
  • Board Assessments to empower boards to measure their performance against the organization’s goals

And for help organizing your next meeting, check out our free Board Meeting Agenda Template today.

Free Tool

Efficiently track and document board decisions with our Meeting Minutes Template

About The Author

Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer serves as OnBoard's Head of Content. An experienced content creator, his previous roles have spanned numerous industries including B2C and B2B home improvement, healthcare, and software-as-a-service (SaaS). An Indianapolis native and graduate of Indiana University, Palmer currently resides in Fishers, Ind.