President Barack Obama has for the past five years fought to protect the jobs of public sector employees, regularly warning that cuts to public funding could be disastrous.

Find the Data: The Top 20 Best Paid Public Employee in the United States

President Barack Obama has fought to protect the jobs of public sector employees throughout his administration. (Getty Images)

“Teachers matter. Most work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies,” Obama said in 2009. “States should be making education a priority in their budgets, even in tough fiscal times. And Congress should be willing to help out — because this affects all of us.”

In 2011, he specifically urged members of Congress to “vote on putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, cops back on the streets, and firefighters back on the job.

And this year, Obama warned that automatic spending cuts that took effect in March would lead to layoffs of public employees, leaving “our communities vulnerable.”

With all this talk of public sector employees, government salaries, budget cuts and the important role government workers they play in society, we got to wondering: just how much do public sector employees make anyway?

Using the database found here on TheBlaze, we dug a little and found some numbers.

With a mean full-time annual salary of roughly $116,000, the highest-paid public sector employees in the U.S. are California firefighters. “Higher education instructional employees” in New Jersey come in second with a mean full-time annual salary of roughly $113,492.

The following public sector salary statistics, which are based on data supplied annually by the U.S. Census Bureau, measure the number of federal, state, and local civilian government employees, and their gross payrolls for the pay period including March 12, the database explains.

The survey looks at a number of factors including full-time and part-time employment, part-time hours worked, full-time equivalent employment, and payroll statistics by governmental function.

Here are the top 20 highest paid public sector employees in the U.S.:

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Featured image Getty Images.

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