The State of Colorado's compensation philosophy is to provide competitive compensation in order to recruit, retain, and motivate a qualified workforce.

Prevailing Total Compensation

The State of Colorado's compensation philosophy is defined in C.R.S. 24-50-104 and requires the State to provide prevailing total compensation to ensure that the State is able to recruit, reward and retain a qualified workforce. Total compensation is a combination of base salary and all employee benefits. This includes both direct and indirect compensation.

  • Direct compensation refers to an employee's annual base salary. It does not include shift differential, overtime pay or call-back pay. For the purpose of this report annual base salary is analyzed using the average of actual salaries (not salary ranges).
  • Indirect compensation refers to compensation that is not paid directly to an employee. Indirect compensation includes medical, dental, disability, life insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, retirement, as well as additional benefits identified for employees.

The Department of Personnel & Administration, Division of Human Resources is responsible for setting and maintaining the State of Colorado compensation plans and follows the annual compensation timeline below.

Annual Employee Compensation Cycle

September 15

In accordance with C.R.S. 24-50-104(4), the State Personnel Director is required to submit an Annual Compensation Report for annual adjustments to the State of Colorado's total compensation package. The Department of Personnel & Administration prepares these findings with data from private and public organizations to compare the total and component values and costs. In order to support the development of this report, the Department contracts with a third-party compensation consultant with actuarial experience every other year to perform the total compensation study.


Following the legislative process, the State Personnel Director announces the final compensation plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

July 1

Implementation of the Annual Compensation Plan occurs at the beginning of the fiscal year.


For more details, see the document: Total Compensation Timeline.

2023 Colorado Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024

  • Minimum Wage: $13.65

  • Tipped Employee Minimum Wage: $10.63

Effective July 1, 2022

  • State Employee Minimum Wage: $15.00