Who Makes What

How much money does Barack Obama make as a U.S. senator? Find out salary information about him and others in various fields.

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From advertising to zookeeping, from opera to Oprah, we crunched the numbers on pay at more than 190 jobs around town. What’s in your wallet?

Photography by Steven E. Gross

A stenographer who makes more than Barack Obama. A doctor who makes less than a dog walker. And who knew personal shoppers could make more than twice as much as first-year public defenders?

Our survey of annual salaries in Chicago gave us a few surprises-and reams of interesting conversations. To compile our report, we scoured public records and published sources; interviewed human resources personnel, union leaders, and industry experts; and simply asked people about their pay. (When one of our numbers here comes from another published source, we’ve cited the source. Data from public records and interviews are unmarked.) For some workers we annualized income by multiplying their hourly wage by the number of hours they said they worked (if they didn’t say, we assumed 52 40-hour weeks). Many of the struggling artists, athletes, and do-gooders on our list have other jobs that pay the rent. We include income only for the job listed for 2005, unless otherwise noted. Finally, many of these jobs have perks and benefits that we did not quantify, such as getting health insurance, use of the Governor’s Mansion, or a chance to kiss Jennifer Aniston. We only counted the cash (except in the case of Tuna the cat).

Entertainers
Oprah
(Source: Forbes)
$225 million
Vince Vaughn
($12 million for The Break Up, $3 million for Wedding Crashers)
$15 million
Steve Carell
Second City alum
(for The 40-Year-Old Virgin)
$500,000

 

Peter Oprisko
Sinatra-style singer
approx. $175,000
Stephen Sodaro
Magician and psychic entertainer
$35,000
Cassandra Bissell
Stage actress, Short Shakespeare! ‘Macbeth’
$14,000
Actor
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
From $350/week (for smaller stages) to $800/week (for larger stages)
Highest-paid athletes
1) Jim Thome
White Sox designated hitter/first baseman
$14.167 million
2) Tim Thomas
Bulls forward
$13.975 million
3) Paul Konerko
White Sox first baseman
$12 million
4) Javier Vazquez
White Sox pitcher
$11.5 million
5) Kerry Wood
Cubs pitcher
$11 million
6) Aramis Ramirez
Cubs third baseman
$10.5 million
7) Tyson Chandler
Bulls center
$9 million
8) Freddy García
White Sox pitcher
$9 million
9) Greg Maddux
Cubs pitcher     
$9 million
10) Derrek Lee
Cubs first baseman           
$8.667 million

Paid to Play

Ozzie Guillen
Manager, world champion White Sox
$2 million
Dusty Baker
Manager, Cubs
$3.75 million
Nikolai Khabibulin
Goalie and highest-paid member of the Chicago Blackhawks
$6.75 million
Craig Anderson
Backup goalie, Chicago Blackhawks
$450,000
Jerry Azumah,
Cornerback and highest-paid member of the Chicago Bears
$3 million
(base salary; does not include bonus)
Brian Urlacher
Middle linebacker, Chicago Bears
$1.25 million
(base salary; does not include bonus)
Kane County Cougar
First season
$1,100/month, maximum
Luvabull
Chicago Bulls
$40 plus two tickets per game; $90/hour for personal appearances

 

Juanna Rumble
Blocker, Windy City Rollers
$0
Lifeguard supervisor
Chicago Park District
$31,200
(based on $15/hour)
Price of Success

Combined 2005 salaries of Cubs starting pitchers
(Kerry Wood, Greg Maddux, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano, Glendon Rusch)

$27.8 million
Price per win by starters:
$556,200
Combined 2005 salaries of White Sox starting pitchers
(Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia, Orlando Hernandez, Jose Contreras)
$29.4 million
Price per win by starters:
$408,333
Media figures
Diann Burns
News anchor, CBS 2
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
$2 million
Mancow Muller
Radio host, WKQX
(Source: Chicago Sun-Times)
$2 million
Ira Glass
Executive producer/host of This American Life, WBEZ
$105,692
(2004 salary)
Phil Ponce
Host of Chicago Tonight, WTTW
$195,893
(2004 salary)
Advertising executive
Starcom
$47,300
Creative accounting
Sir Andrew Davis
Principal conductor/music director
Lyric Opera of Chicago
$885,624
Chorus member
Lyric Opera of Chicago
$49,000
James Cuno
President and Eloise W. Martin Director, Art Institute of Chicago
$371,985
Deborah Card
President, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association
$391,667
Samuel Magad
Concertmaster, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
$261,402
Robert Chen
Co-concertmaster, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
$235,042
CSO union musician
$106,080
Model
Elite Chicago
$75,000 to $150,000
Hair/makeup artist
Elite Chicago
$60,000
Kevin Eichorst
Portrait photographer
$20,000

Kevin Stein
Poet laureate of Illinois

$1,500
(sum he spent to promote Poetry Now, a project to attract audiences for poetry )

Food and drink

Executive chef
Italian restaurant in the Loop
$57,000
Daniel Speer
Chef, Morseland
$31,200
Kate Wimbiscus
Barista, Starbucks, Michigan Avenue and Huron Street
$17,680
(based on $7.50/hour, $1/hour in tips)
Al Mroz
Bartender, Woodlawn Tap
$31,980
(based on $6/hour plus $60 to $90/night in tips)
Robert Adams Jr. and Robert Adams Sr.
Co-owners, Honey 1 BBQ
$20,000 (each)
 
Abby Witt
Cocktail waitress, Mad Jack’s  
$5,980
(based on $100 to $130/night, one night/week)
Yana Dubinsky
Cocktail waitress, Rockit Bar & Grill      
$43,680
(based on $3.80/hour, $200 to $300/night in tips, three nights a week)
John Wills
Dairy Queen cashier
$8,450
(based on $6.50/hour, 25 hours/week)

 

Sharone Mitchell
Sales consultant, Judge & Dolph, liquor distributors
$55,000
Style around town

Brian Sutcliffe
Stylist, Siren Salon, North Side

$48,000
Joe Giacobbe
Barber, University Barber, South Side
$25,000
(estimate based on range)
Edith Slawniak
Aesthetician, Renu Day Spa, North Shore
$57,000

Living with the law

 

Christopher Esbrook
Second-year associate, Kirkland & Ellis
$145,000
Dan Webb
Überlawyer, Winston & Strawn(Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
$1 million
Chris Nathan
First-year public defender, Cook County
$43,222
Mara Georges
Corporation counsel, City of Chicago
$159,276
Entry-level legal secretary
Gardner, Carton & Douglas
$38,000
Patrick Fitzgerald
U.S. attorney, Northern District of Illinois
$143,000
Richard Posner
Federal judge, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
$175,100
(does not include income from writing or from teaching at the University of Chicago Law School)
Rebecca Pallmeyer
Federal judge, Northern District of Illinois
$165,200

The skin trade

Exotic dancer
Admiral Theatre Gentlemen’s Club
$300 to $1,000 /night
Cara Zavaleta
Miss November 2004, Playboy
$25,000
(for Playmate of the Month pictorial)
Christie Hefner
CEO, Playboy
$1.44 million
(Source: Chicago Sun-Times)

Tough guys

Lance Corporal James Craven
U.S. Marine Corps
$31,000 plus $1,750 hazard pay for tour of duty in Iraq
Bouncer
Gold Coast bar
$37,000
(based on $10 to $13/hour plus up to $100 in tips/night)

Crime doesn’t pay

Street-Level Drug dealer
$1,776
(after gang dues; source: Freakonomics)

Animal people

Stuart D. Strahl
President and CEO, Brookfield Zoo
$258,750
Jennifer Hunt
Lead zookeeper, Habitat Africa! (Savanna), Regenstein Wolf Woods, Brookfield Zoo
$48,000
Ted A. Beattie
President and CEO, Shedd Aquarium         
$464,848
Veterinarian
North Side clinic
$50,000 to $75,000
Steven Heard
Moo & Oink poultry department
$10,192
(based on $7/hour, 26 to 30 hours/week)
Tuna
Feline actress (fee: $800 a day), Amazing Animals by Samantha
$533
(value of 104 cans of tuna, 52 cans of salmon, 26 containers of Pounce cat treats, 12 catnip mice, 6 feather wands, and health insurance)

Soul people

Funeral director
First year of licensure
$59,334
Bill Hybels
Senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
$115,000
Susan B. W. Johnson
Senior minister, Hyde Park Union Church
$72,381
Alan Taylor
Minister, Unity Temple, Oak Park
$65,000
Priest
Archdiocese of Chicago
$25,000
(plus room, board, meals, health insurance, car insurance)
Hearse driver
Four years’ experience
$46,749

Stock options

Brad Aubuchon
Stockbroker, NYTC LLC
$1.13 million
Stockhandler
Chicago Public Library
$21,770

Jobs that still make house calls

Swimming pool salesman
American Sales
$30,000
Pizza deliveryman
Aurelio’s Pizza
$27,820
(based on $500 to $570/week)
James Casara
Handyman
$41,600
(based on $20/hour)

Power players

Electrician
Local 134, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
$73,112
(based on $35.15/hour)
John Carson
Project consultant, LTK Engineering Services
$102,000
John W. Rowe
CEO, Exelon Corp.
$11.5 million
(Source: Forbes)

Jobs you can’t miss

Bagpiper
Chicago Stockyard Kilty Band
$150/visit; $200/visit on St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve
Jun Cameron
Drummer, Michigan Avenue
$25 to $150/day
Errol Ragsdale
Street solicitor, Save the Children
$8/hour plus commission
Vehicle booter
City of Chicago Department of Revenue
$52,728
(based on $25.35/hour)

Educators

Bonnie Muran
First-year third grade public school teacher, Grayslake
$39,143
James L. Madara
Dean of the biological sciences and vice president for medical affairs, University of Chicago
$758,940
Third-year teacher at a North Side Catholic school
Chicago
$26,845
Keith Majeske
12th-year English teacher, Morgan Park High School
$60,226
Henry S. Bienen
President, Northwestern University
$593,250
Don Randel
President, University of Chicago
$501,714
Randy Walker
Football coach, Northwestern University
$516,833
Dipak C. Jain
Dean, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
$754,986
Kerensa Peterson
Adjunct professor, City Colleges of Chicago
$7,488

 

Antonio Micheletti
Private Italian tutor
$14,040
(based on $30/hour, 9 hrs/week)
Teaching assistant
Northwestern University
$18,000
(teaching fellowship)
Brian Gillis
Ph.D candidate in political science, University of Chicago
$30,000
($24,000 fellowship, plus $6,000 for admissions test prep tutoring for The Princeton Review)
Self-employed chess teacher
$40,000

A butcher, a baker, a candle-stick maker

Stefan Zajczenko
Butcher, Dorfler’s Meat Market
$35,000
Gracie Gamero
Baker, Medici
$32,000
Brad ZasAda
Candlestick maker, Melting Point
$18,720
(based on $9/hour)

Union workers

Plumber
Local 130, Chicago Journeymen Plumbers
$79,872
(based on $38.40/hour)
Carpenter
Local 181, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters
$73,465
(based on $35.32/hour)
Bricklayer
Local 21, United Order of American Bricklayers and Stone Masons
$69,160
(based on $33.25/hour)

Nose jobs

Freelance perfumer
Major department store
$25,000
Theresa Montana
Florist, City Scents
$125,000
Dana Hammett
Florist’s employee, Cattails
$18,720
(based on $9/hour)
Garbage truck driver
Waste Management
$60,000 to $80,000
Sewer worker
Chicago Department of Water Management
$62,712
(based on $30.15/hour)
Salesclerk
Bath & Body Works
$16,640
(based on $8/hour)
Leonel Lopez
Cashier, Dunkin Donuts
$14,040
(based on $6.75/hour)

Old economy

Seth Zurer
Travel agent, Select Italy
$35,000
Riley Johnson
Shoe shiner, Cell Block
$2,600
(based on $5/hour, one 4-hour shift/week, $30/night in tips)

 

Tina Alfaro
Stenographer, Victoria Court Reporting
$175,000
Stenographer
Cook County state’s attorney’s office
$27,346
Neil Massey
Sword maker, Rogue Steel
$30,000 to $35,000
Kevin Statz
Jouster
$500/weekend
Kelley Rutherford
Personal companion
$25/hour
Steve Kazmier
Typewriter repairman, Independence Business Machines
$60,000

New economy

Software engineer
Online travel Web site
$140,000
Jessa Crispin
E-zine editor (Bookslut.com)/freelance writer
$35,000
Roy Shay
Party DJ
$6,000
(based on $200 to $800/month)
Information technology worker
Entry level
$50,000

People behind the people

Executive assistant
Five years’ experience, Lakeshore Staffing
$80,000 to $100,000
Executive assistant to CEO
Lakeshore Staffing
$120,000
Receptionist
Lakeshore Staffing
$28,500
Maid
$24,000 to $43,000
Kristin Thompson
Teacher, Gymboree Play & Music
$24,000

 

Katherine Raz
Dog walker, Danny’s Dog Walkers
$26,000
(based on $400 to $600/week)
Personal shopper
Major department store
$110,000
Personal trainer
Oak Brook Park District
$18 to $25/hour
Aerobics instructor
Oak Brook Park District
$11,648
(based on $28/class, 8 classes/week)
Bridget Walsh Sebek
18-year-old babysitter
$10/hour

Caring a lot

Cassandra Firkins
Foster care case manager supervisor, Little City Foundation
$41,500
Registered Nurse
General practitioner’s office
$40,000
Policy analyst
Public health nonprofit
$40,000
Nurse
Private specialty practice, four to five years’ experience
$60,000
Dr. Mark Macumber
Family physician and founder of Patients First, a practice dedicated to affordable health care
$17,000
Kathleen Belan
Psychotherapist, Challenge Healthcare Corp.
$58,000
Senior policy analyst
Public health nonprofit
$50,000
Office manager
Nonprofit
$30,000

Mayoral suite

Richard M. Daley
Mayor, Chicago
$216,210
Adrienne Hiegel
Assistant to the mayor, Chicago
$124,440
Frank Van Buer
Mayor, DeKalb
$25,000
Joyce Stupegia
Village president, Villa Park
$4,400

Our taxes at work

Richard Mell
33rd Ward alderman, Chicago
$98,125
Rod Blagojevich
Governor of Illinois and Mell’s son-in-law
$150,691
Judy Baar Topinka
State treasurer of Illinois and gubernatorial candidate
$115,235

Michael Madigan
Illinois legislator, 22nd District, Speaker of the House

$81,007
Lisa Madigan
Illinois attorney general and daughter of the Speaker
$132,963

John H. Stroger Jr.
President, Cook County Board of Commissioners

$170,000
Forrest Claypool
Cook County commissioner
$85,000
Patrick Quinn
Lieutenant governor of Illinois
$115,235

Jan Schakowsky
U.S. representative, 9th District of Illinois

$165,200
Barack Obama
U.S. senator from Illinois
$165,200
Dennis Hastert
U.S. representative, 14th District of Illinois, Speaker of the House
$212,100

Donald Rumsfeld
U.S. secretary of defense

$183,100
Emil Jones Jr.
Illinois senator, senate president
$81,007
Frank Watson
Illinois senator, senate minority leader
$81,007

Tom Cross
Illinois representative, House minority leader

$81,007
Nancy Majeske
Postal clerk
$42,630
James Laski
Former city clerk; resigned in February after indictment
$133,545

Cortez Trotter
Chicago fire commissioner

$164,100
Firefighter
First year, Chicago
$40,416
Philip Cline
Chicago police superintendent
$182,016

Police officer
First year, Chicago

$42,258
Police sergeant
Chicago
$75,102
(median salary)
Paul Volpe
Budget director, City of Chicago
$148,476

Dorothy Eng
Executive director, Board of Ethics, City of Chicago

$106,980
Traffic signal repairman
Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation
$72,696
Library page
Chicago Public Library
$16,640
(based on $8/hour)
Hydrant inspector
Department of Water Management, Chicago
$82,416

Top dollars
(pay for fiscal 2004; source: Forbes)

Glenn F. Tilton
CEO, UAL Corporation
$1.2 million
Alan J. Lacy
CEO, Sears Holdings
$1.5 million
James A. Bell
CEO, The Boeing Company
$1.6 million
Miles D. White
CEO, Abbott Laboratories
$4.4 million
Edward J. Zander
CEO, Motorola
$6.5 million
Edward M. Liddy
CEO, Allstate
$26.7 million
W. James Farrell
CEO, Illinois Tool Works
$32.6 million

 

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