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Our New Public Health Officer $$

2. Myth: Nevada County’s Public Health Officer (PHO) salary is inconsistent with other counties ($90K was quoted for the City of Sacramento’s PHO).

Fact: The hourly rate for the Nevada County Public Health Officer is approximately $211.00/hour. As a comparison the following is a summary of the average billable rates for professional service contractors.

  1. Attorney $164 - $422

  2. Engineer $130 - $180

  3. Account $229

  4. Computer Programmer $350 - $850

The County of Nevada attempted to recruit a permanent PHO twice before finding Dr. Cooke. Her rate is consistent with other recently negotiated Public Health Officer salaries and reflects current market rates. This is an exceptionally challenging time to hire physicians, particularly those with specialties such as Public Health.

The City of Sacramento does not have a PHO – all local public health duties in California are performed by 61 local health jurisdictions, consisting of 58 counties and 3 cities – Berkeley, Pasadena and Long Beach. The current salary for the Sacramento County PHO tops out at $264,444 per year for salary only, not including benefits, overhead or ancillary costs such as travel, which are expenses directly incurred by contractors, and thus are factored into hourly rates. When you factor in a rate of 35% to 50% for benefits, the compensation of the Sacramento County PHO rises to $357,000 to $396,667 per year. This still does not include travel and overhead but, clearly, the cost of Sacramento County’s PHO is significantly more than $90,000 per year.

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