If you’d like to make top dollar in the state of Hawaii, should you pursue a career as:

A. Office Assistant
B. Pest Control Aid
C. Library Assistant

The answer? None of the above, we’re afraid.

These are among the lowest-paid positions in the state, with pay as low as $21,948 and as high as $36,516, depending on experience.

The lowest-paying positions were found in an analysis of a list of 14,027 state employee salaries obtained from the Department of Human Resources under the state open records law. The list includes all departments except for the Hawaii Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Judiciary, and the Legislature. In the cases of those in unions, the state provided salary ranges, instead of exact salaries, as outlined in Hawaii Revised Statutes 92F-14.

Given that the state is not required to share actual salaries for union workers, it’s impossible to know the exact lineup. But the data provided to Civil Beat shows that the lowest paid employee in the state is almost certainly an Office Assistant I at the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The pay for that job ranges from $21,948 to $33,756. (A single employee earning the a salary at the lowest end of the range would be eligible for federal nutrition assistance of up to $314 a month.)

There are four employees in the state’s second lowest pay range, which spans from $22,776 to $35,064. They work as Library Assistant IIs in the state library system.

Forty employees fall into the third lowest pay range, all Office Assistant IIs, who make from $23,688 to $35,516.

(These salaries are before the furloughs that went into effect for nearly all state workers on July 1. Those 24 days off will cost 9.23 percent of these salaries, meaning that the lowest salary could actually be $19,922.)

Of these 45 employees:

  • Four are in the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Four are in the Department of Accounting and General Services
  • One is in the Department of Defense
  • One is in the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
  • Twenty-four are in the Department of Health
  • Two are in the Attorney General’s office
  • One is in the Budget and Finance Department
  • One is in the Department of Human Services
  • Two are in Department of Transportation
  • One is in the Department of Public Safety
  • Four work in libraries

Some 1,006 state workers fall into the bottom four salary ranges in the state, the vast majority of which are office assistants and library assistants.

Here is a breakdown of pay ranges and corresponding positions:

  • Office assistant I: $21,948 to $33,756
  • Office assistant II: $23,688 to $35,064
  • Pest Control Aid I, Social Service Aid II, Telephone Switchboard Operator II, Microphotographer II, Library Assistant III, Receptionist, * Engineering Aid I: $24,648 to $37,968
  • Clerk III, Customer Service Representative, UP Mobile Services Agent, Clerk Typist II, Office Assistant III, Data Entry Operator I, Account Clerk II, Laboratory Assistant II: $25,668 to $39,480

When all is said and done, the lowest salary the state can pay is nearly 13 times as little as the highest salary, $21,948 versus $280,500.

To look at the complete list of salaries, go to this related article. Learn about the highest paid employees and how I was included in just such a list when I was a state government employee in California.