Most cities pay city council members less than $20,000 annually, according to the National League of Cities. NLC does not calculate an overall average. Hours worked and pay ranges vary widely, depending upon city size and state statutes, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The League of Cities collects salary data based on city size. In small cities with a population of 25,000 to 70,000, city council members work an average of 20 hours per week, earning less than $20,000 in 98 percent of the cities. In 93 percent of medium-sized cities with a population of 70,000 to 200,000, city council members receive less than $20,000 annually for an average work week of 25 hours. In large cities with populations of more than 200,000, 75 percent of council members earn $20,000 or more for an average work week of 42 hours. Some small towns make the position unpaid but cover work expenses.