President’s Pay for Presidents’ Day

You can't run for President now, but heck, 2036 is right around the corner.


Being President of the United States will be quite an accomplishment and a ton of work.   But, how is the pay?  Does the job pay millions per year like the pay of some athletes, actors and musicians?

The table to the right gives presidential annual salaries back to 1789. There have only been 5 salary raises EVER for the president.  The president's salary is not adjusted annually for a cost of living increase.  An act of Congress is required to change his/her  salary (only his so far).Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 3.20.43 PM

So, how much should you expect to make as President in 2036?

Students can check out how much various presidents have earned and try to create a graph of this very strange salary schedule ... no cost of living increases ... ever.

Then students learn a little about the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as they calculate the value of those salaries in today's dollars.

The Consumer Price Index can help us compare the salary of past presidents like Washington and Lincoln with presidents like Bush and Obama.  How does Obama's salary (or Bush's) compare to the salaries of past presidents? Does the current president deserve a raise?  Student's also consider how much money they will make when they eventually become president.  Technology: Consider our Desmos graphing calculator for this lesson.  The data is graphed and ready to be analyzed and modeled.  Or discuss Presidential Pay over time using the interactive graphs at the bottom of this post.

The activity: Presidents-pay2020.pdf

For members we have an editable Word docx, an Excel sheet of our data and graphs, and solutions.

Presidents-pay2020.docx   presidents-salaries2019.xlsx  Presidents-pay2020-solution.pdf

CCSS: 6.SP.4, 6.SP.5, 7.RP.3, 7.EE.4, 8.F.4, 8.F.5, HSA.REI, HSF.IF.4

See our graphs on

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.