How Much Money Do Ambassadors Make?


Quick Answer

In 2012, the minimum pay for U.S. Ambassadors was $119,554, and the maximum pay was $179,700. An ambassador's salary can exceed the maximum pay for special assignments or merit reasons, but it cannot exceed the annual salary of the Vice President of the United States, which was $230,700 in 2011.

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Full Answer

Besides their base salary, ambassadors can receive various allowances such as cost of living allowance if the receiving country is expensive, or hardship allowance, depending on the amenities available in the foreign country as compared to the United States. Ambassadors can also receive danger pay depending on how dangerous the country is. They also receive residences free of charge in the country they are stationed in and receive benefits such as vacation, health insurance and even educational expenses for their family.

U.S. Ambassadors represent the President of the United States in foreign matters. The President chooses them with guidance from the U.S. Department of State. When choosing ambassadors, the President gives preference to members of the U.S. Foreign Service, but ambassadors can also be personally recommended from elsewhere. In addition, ambassadors must receive approval from the receiving country, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a full vote of the Senate.

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