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Who Makes What - Salaries List

Some people rake it in. Others eke by. And lots of people fall somewhere in between. Presenting a peek inside the paychecks of more than 250 Chicagoans, from athlete to Zen Buddhist priest, exterminator to lifesaver, fat cat to publicity hound. And, of course: Oprah

Ask someone about his job, and you’re likely to get an earful. But ask him about his salary, and he’ll probably clam up faster than Jeremy Piven sidestepping questions about his recent flap with his pal John Cusack. (Piven wouldn’t tell us what he makes, either.) Still, we did find plenty of other Chicagoans willing to fess up when we asked them about their pay.

Among our findings were some eyebrow-raising couplings: A West Town bartender made more dough than an up-and-coming Bucktown restaurant owner. One hairdresser came up significantly short compared with a local dog groomer. The former head of the Greater Chicago Food Deposi-tory edged out Mayor Daley. And apparently the glass ceiling transcends technicalities: a well-known female impersonator earned way less than a male adult-film actor. Then there was the completely predictable: once again, no one raked in more than Oprah.

In assembling this report, we conducted personal interviews, tracked down public records, and pored over published articles (we cite the articles). Some sources requested anonymity, but every entry in this survey denotes an actual person, and all figures represent 2006 pay unless otherwise noted. For those who keep nontraditional work schedules, such as a freelance puppet builder and a romance novelist, we asked for explanations of how they calculate their income. And some on this list who eke out a pittance—think musicians and artists—may have other ways of making ends meet beyond what we include. Others may not.

Oh, and though we were snubbed by Piven, we did turn up his mother’s pay stub. Find it, and the wages of more than 250 other Chicagoans and suburbanites, in our salary survey.

Melissa Turner
Fashion czar (director of fashion arts and events), Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Joseph Mapes
Sales manager, Balani Custom Clothiers
plus commission
Kalinda Piper
Salesclerk, Fashion Tomato
(25 to 30 hours a week)
Mark Valenti
Concert pianist
Bryan Y. Schulz
Freelance music teacher, Bryan Y. Schulz Studios
(15 hours per week)
Nick Wright
Musician/record label owner, Mission Label
Jay Congdon
Event DJ/president, Fourth Estate Audio
Ed Gadberry
Trombonist/drummer/vocalist/keyboardist with Dime A Dozen, a blues-rock cover band
Vicente Perez
Car-alarm installer/owner, SouthSide Vic's Kustoms
Approx.  $85,000
Daniel J. Schmidt
CEO, WTTW Channel 11
Torey Malatia
President and general manager, WBEZ 91.5 FM/Chicago Public Radio
Reporter with three years' employment
Chicago Sun-Times
Art director
Chicago Free Press
Section editor
Red Eye
Fouzia Najar
Resource development coordinator, Community TV Network
Average vendor, Streetwise
(sells between 40 and 50 papers a week)
Approx. $1,521
Super seller, Streetwise
(sells between 200 and 400 papers a week)
Approx. $10,140
Bert Gieseman
Self-employed entertainment lawyer
Larry Ciupik
Astronomer, Adler Planetarium
THE AIR UP THERE (Radio personalities who make more than $1 million; source: Robert Feder, Chicago Sun-Times)
Spike O'Dell
Morning host, WGN 720 AM
Ed Volkman  ("Eddie")
Morning host, WBBM 96.3 FM
Joe Bohannon ("JoBo")
Morning host, WBBM 96.3 FM
Jonathon Brandmeier ("Johnny B.")
Morning host, WLUP 97.9 FM
Eric Ferguson
Morning host, WTMX 101.9 FM
Mike North
Morning host, WSCR 670 AM
Roe Conn
Afternoon host, WLS 890 AM
Steve Dahl
Afternoon host, WCKG 105.9 FM
Upscale Streeterville restaurant
Nicole Alexander
Bartender, Five Star Bar & Grill
Nazario Odeste
Nightclub promoter, Entice Chicago
Lion Head Pub
Beer promoter
Major American label
Humboldt Park bar
(all from gratuities; working one night per week)
Lowest-paid mover
Burrows Moving Company
($10 an hour, 25 hours per week)
Highest-paid mover
Burrows Moving Company
($17 an hour, 40 hours per week)
Calvin Kitten
Dancer, Joffrey Ballet
Gail Rastorfer
Actor (theatre, commercials/part-time administrative position at Acting Studio Chicago)
Jim Vincent
Artistic director, Hubbard Street Dance Company
Keith Prisco
Master carpenter, Joffrey Ballet
Meredith Miller
Puppet designer and builder
"Approx.  $25,000
Michael C. Reynolds
Master electrician, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Adriana Wolfer
Program director, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Brian Pudil
Artistic director, Shattered Globe Theatre
Joyce Piven
Artistic director, Piven Theatre Workshop
Thrisa Hodits
Freelance director
(for most recent show, Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company's H.M.S. Pinafore  at Mandel Hall)
Rachael Mason
Training center director, iO (formerly improvOlympic) Chicago Theater
"Approx.  $35,000
Thelma Cura
Nutritionist, Chicago Department of Public Health
Stephanie Izard
Owner and executive chef, Scylla
Two-star restaurant in River North
Head baker
Lincoln Park bakery and sweet shop
Sara Salzinski
Chef/instructor/developer of curriculum and recipes, The Chopping Block
Line cook
Quince at The Homestead   
Whole Foods
"Approx.  $18,720
Ricky Sinz
Adult-film actor, model, and co-owner of holeandaheartbeat.com, an adult Web site
Michelle L'amour
Burlesque performer/instructor/ choreographer/producer, The Lavender Cabaret
Coya Paz
Coñartistic director, Teatro Luna
Adam Kline
Aspiring screenwriter and former senior copywriter
Civil design engineer
Co-director, area engineering firm
Molly Gallagher
Personal assistant, Gal Friday Chicago
Kathy Speers
First-year wedding planner, KJS Weddings
"Approx.  $30,000
Nafees Ahmed
Deputy commissioner of finance, Chicago Department of Aviation
Kathleen Davis
Window washer, Chicago Department of Aviation
Richard Rucker
Elevator inspector, Chicago Department of Buildings
Elizabeth Smith
Chief curator, Museum of Contemporary Art
Ces·reo Moreno
Visual arts director, National Museum of Mexican Art
Douglas Druick
Prince Trust curator, Art Institute of Chicago
Gabe Lanza
Artist, Lanza Studio
1. Alfonso Soriano
Outfielder, Chicago Cubs
$17 million
($9 million salary plus $8 million signing bonus)
(Source: Chicago Sun-Times)
2. Ben Wallace
Center, Chicago Bulls
$16 million
(Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
3. Aramis Ramirez
Third baseman, Chicago Cubs
$14.6 million
(Source: Chicago Sun-Times)
4. Jim Thome
Designated hitter, Chicago White Sox
$14 million
(Source: sports.espn.go.com)
5. Javier Vazquez
Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
$12.5 million
(Source: sports.espn.go.com)
6. Carlos Zambrano
Pitcher, Chicago Cubs
$12.4 million
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
7. Paul Konerko
First baseman, Chicago White Sox
$12 million
(Source: sports.espn.go.com)
8. Kirk Hinrich
Guard, Chicago Bulls
$11.42 million
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
9. Jon Garland
Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
$10 million
(Source: Daily Herald)
10. Mark Buehrle
Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
$9.5 million
(Source: Daily Herald)
Renee Delemore
Meter reader, ComEd
John Scumaci
Water rate taker, Chicago Department of Water Management
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME (Except as noted, all figures are for current or most recent season.)
Staley Da Bear
Mascot, Chicago Bears
plus commission for nongame appearances
Rex Grossman
Quarterback, Chicago Bears
(Source: msn.foxsports.com)
Brian Griese
Backup quarterback, Chicago Bears
$3.67 million
(Source: msn.foxsports.com)
Tank Johnson
Defensive tackle, Chicago Bears
(Source: msn.foxsports.com)
Brian Urlacher
Linebacker, Chicago Bears
$4.3 million
(Source: msn.foxsports.com)
Muhsin Muhammad
Wide receiver, Chicago Bears
$9.34 million
(Source: msn.foxsports.com)
Nikolai Khabibulin
Goalie, Chicago Blackhawks
$6.75 million
(Source: chicagoblackhawks.com)
Kyle Calder
Left wing, Chicago Blackhawks
$2.95 million
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Peter Bondra
Right wing, Chicago Blackhawks
plus bonuses
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Chris Duhon
Guard, Chicago Bulls
$3.02 million
(Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
Lou Piniella
Manager, Chicago Cubs
$3.5 million
(Source: New York Daily News)
Mark DeRosa
Infielder, Chicago Cubs
Approx.  $4.3 million
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Jason Marquis
Starting pitcher, Chicago Cubs
$4.75 million
(Source: espn.com)
Kerry Wood
Pitcher, Chicago Cubs
$1.75 million
(does not include more than $6 million in performance incentives) (Source: Chicago Tribune)
Scott Podsednik
Outfielder, Chicago White Sox
$2.9 million
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Mike MacDougal
Relief pitcher, Chicago White Sox
$6.45 million
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Jose Contreras
Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
$9 million
(Source: Daily Herald)
Ross Gload
Outfielder/first baseman, Chicago White Sox
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Highest-paid player
Chicago Sky, one-year-old WNBA team
Lowest-paid player
Chicago Rockstars, first-year American Basketball Association team
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Senior yoga and pilates instructor
Flow Studio Pilates and Yoga
Ron Kucera
President, Skokie Indians, Little League baseball team
Michael J. Klonoski
President, Butler National Golf Club
Richard M. Daley
Mayor of Chicago
Jacquelyn Heard
Mayor's press secretary
"Joan Coogan
"Assistant to the mayor
John Blaul
Assistant superintendent of maps, Chicago Department of Transportation
Joe Moore
Alderman, 49th ward
Michael Dickinson
Firefighter, Naperville Fire Department
Dorothy Coyle
Director of tourism, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Bert Vescolani
Vice president of education, Shedd Aquarium
Alexis Presseau
Campus tour guide, DePaul University
Lynn Osmond
President and CEO, Chicago Architecture Foundation
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Second-year funeral
director/embalmer North Side funeral home
Rod Blagojevich
Governor of Illinois
Pat Quinn
Illinois lieutenant governor
Lisa Madigan
Illinois attorney general
Jesse White
Illinois secretary of state
Alexi Giannoulias
Illinois state treasurer
A. George Pradel
Naperville mayor (part-time)
plus $5,400 to serve as city liquor commissioner
Bobbie Steele
President, Cook County Board of Commissioners, retired
for four months (plus $136,000 pension in 2007)
(Source: Sun-Times)
William Bell
Chief, Oak Park Fire Department
Marilyn Elder
Sanitation laborer, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation
John Eberhardt
Wastewater maintenance field supervisor, Naperville Public Utilities Department
Richard Figiel
Machinist, Chicago Department of Water Management
Annette Amelkovich
Recycling coordinator, Oak Park Department of Public Works
Tong Tran
Deputy chief administrative officer, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
Philip Cline
Superintendent, Chicago Police Department
Vincent Gortner
Lieutenant, Naperville Police Department
Julie Schwerdtner
Sergeant, Oak Park Police Department
James Gillingham
Law clerk for the Hon. Judge Martin S. Agran, Cook County
Assistant public defender (level 2)
Office of the Cook County Public Defender
Ronald Mohammed
Paralegal, Chicago Department of Law
Margo Ely
Attorney, Naperville Legal Department
Joshua Martin
Lawyer/partner, J. M. Martin & Associates
Daniel Vasquez
Evidence technician, Chicago Police Department
Percy Allen Jr.
Latent fingerprint examiner, Chicago Police Department
Stephen Strzepek
Forensic investigator, Chicago Police Department
Kelly McMullin
Explosives technician, Chicago Police Department
Kay Argo
Compensation/benefits manager, Naperville Human Resources Department
Briana Billingslea
Ethics investigator, Chicago Board of Ethics
JoAnn Newsome
Director of human-rights compliance, Chicago Department of Human Relations
Sam Blake
Program manager, Oprah Winfrey Foundations
Joseph Podlasek
Executive director,  American Indian Center
Michael Mulqueen
Former president and executive director, Greater Chicago Food Depository
Michael Halligan
Senior vice president of logistics and purchase programs, America's Second Harvest
Linda Novick O'Keefe
Executive director, Common Threads, a nonprofit that teaches children about cooking, culture, and nutrition
Rev. Sid Mohn
President, Heartland Alliance, a human-rights-focused social-service agency
Barry Axler
Executive director, Loretto Hospital Foundation
John Sirek
Director of citizenship, Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation
Account supervisor
International public-relations and marketing firm
Boutique public-relations and marketing firm
Associate art director
International advertising agency
Betty Tunstall
Blacksmith, Chicago Department of Fleet Management
Elizabeth Riordan
Canine handler, Chicago Police Department
Brian Dent
Chief veterinarian, Anti-Cruelty Society
Frank Kruesi
President, Chicago Transit Authority
Patrick Daly
Vice president of Security & Safety, Chicago Transit Authority
David Reuter Jr.
Track welder, Chicago Transit Authority
Michelle New
Red Line rapid transit operator, Chicago Transit Authority
Eric Pickett
Bus operator, Chicago Transit Authority
Gregory Magruder
Bus repairer, Chicago Transit Authority
Steve Kaliski
Floriculturist, Garfield Park Conservatory
Stephanie Wynne
Tree trimmer, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation
Thankgod Omenazu
Supervising environmental engineer, Chicago Department of Environment
Patti Sauntry
Assistant forester, Naperville Department of Public Works
Gloria Salas
Psychiatrist, Chicago Department of Health
Michael Tootelian
Personal trainer/owner of 1 on 1 Fitness Training
William Gerstein
Former principal, School of Entrepreneurship at South Shore High School
Zoila Garcia
Principal, Whittier Elementary School
English teacher
Park Forest Academy (a private behavioral-disorder school)
Tara Volbrecht
Self-employed tutor, A+ Tutoring Services
Approx.  $15,600
(averaging $35 an hour, 10 hours per week)
Mollie Godfrey
All-but-dissertation Ph.D candidate, University of Chicago
$13,000 stipend
(plus $4,500 for teaching, approx. $3,500 for an archiving job, and $3,000 as a research assistant)
Paula McQuade
Associate professor of English, DePaul University
Ingrid Dorer Fitzpatrick
Academic dean, Latin School of Chicago
M. C. Roderick
President and director, National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Larry Goodman
President and CEO, Rush University Medical Center
Gwendolyn Moton
Operating room nurse, University of Chicago Hospitals
Staff nurse
North suburban hospital
Saul Ayala
Communicable disease control investigator, Chicago Department of Health
Karen Washington Jone
X-ray technologist, Chicago Department of Health
Teresita Hogan
ER physician, Resurrection Medical Center
James Vasilakis
Physician, Swedish Covenant Hospital
Second-year internal medicine resident
West suburban hospital
Jennifer R. Moran-Ferguson
Cosmetic dentist/owner, Water Tower Dental Care
(practicing one day a week)
Wendy Jordan
Reiki master (reiki is a Japanese stress-relieving technique akin to massage), Wendy Jordan Reiki 
Heather Pisano
Massage therapist, Beauty on Call
Angela Hartman
Stylist/owner of Twisted Scissors salon
Approx.  $30,000
(not including gratuities)
Image consultant
The Image Studios
Penny Dawn
Romance novelist
(35 percent royalty on all sales)
Jaime Marie Stepp
Party host (also a model and actress), Jaime Stepp and Company
Approx.  $80,000
(depending on number of events)
De Kuan Xie
Foster grandparent, Chicago Department on Aging
(20 hours per week)
HIRE LEARNING (Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Warrick L. Carter
President, Columbia College Chicago
Anthony E. Jones
President, School of the Art Institute
Rev. Michael J. Garanzini
President, Loyola University Chicago
(undisclosed compensation is paid to the president's religious order)
Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider
President, DePaul University
(undisclosed compensation is paid to the president's religious order)
David Gwartney
Lead pastor, the Church of Wrigleyville
Senior rabbi
Area synagogue
Catholic priest
Inner-city parish associate pastor, Archdiocese of Chicago
(plus room and board, car and health care allowances, and "stole fees" for weddings and funerals)
Godfrey J. Catanus
Associate pastor of student ministries, Northwest Filipino Baptist Church,  Elk Grove Village
THE BOYS' CLUB (Jordan's 2006 salary, Forbes; all others, 2005, Chicago Tribune)
Timothy R. Schwertfeger
CEO, Nuveen Investmentsn
$6.32 million
Miles D. White
CEO, Abbott Laboratories
$4.78 million
Melvin J. Gordon
CEO, Tootsie Roll Industries
$4.39 million
Gregory C. Case
CEO, Aon
$3.93 million
Robert W. Lane
CEO, Deere
$3.6 million
Robert L. Parkinson Jr.
CEO, Baxter International
$3.16 million
G. Allen Andreas
CEO, Archer Daniels Midland
$3.08 million
James W. Owens
CEO, Caterpillar
$2.57 million
Edward M. Liddy
CEO, Allstate
$1.82 million
Richard C. Vie
CEO, Unitrin
$1.61 million
Glenn F. Tilton
CEO, United Airlines
$1.12 million
Joe Mansueto
CEO, Morningstar
Michael Jordan
Former athlete/endorser
$32 million (2006)
Accounting manager
Small Skokie-based medical equipment distributor
Global tax operations analyst
Account manager
CDW Corporation
Approx.  $50,000
(including commission)
Jonathan Wysaski
Self-employed S&P 500 options trader
$100,000, minimum
Insurance  consulting firm
(plus bonus, 15 to 30 percent of salary)
Marine subrogation representative (claim handler, cargo division)
Insurance company
Area Starbucks store
Approx. $16,562
(including gratuities; 30 to 35 hours per week)
Chicago-based coffee company
Eric Kiander
Video game programmer, Midway Games
"Approx.  $70,000
Steven Danan
PC technician, Abbott Laboratories
Thomas Van Housen
Computer consultant/owner, PC/Mac Guru Ltd.
Ryan Wolff
Flash designer/digital video editor and producer, Harmony Joyride Productions
Veronica Velez
Freelance QuickBooks guru
"Approx. $14,950
Hector Hernandez
Librarian (level 4), Chicago Public Library
Joshua Kotin
Editor, Chicago Review, a journal of poetry and fiction
Robert Karrow
Curator of special collections and maps, Newberry Library
Sabrina Guzman
Parking enforcement officer, Oak Park Department of Public Works
Annette Stacey
Booter, Chicago Department of Revenue
Jeffrey Weiner
Traffic engineer, Chicago Department of Emergency Management and Communications
Debra Carolan
Crossing guard, Naperville Police Department
Limo driver
Town & Country Limousines, Inc
(including gratuities)
City Service
(including gratuities)
First-year female veterinarian,
Lake View vet clinic
First-year male veterinarian (and fiancé of vet above),
Lake View vet clinic
Barack Obama
U.S. senator and author
Senate salary plus $1.2 million partial payment on $1.9-million three-book deal
Michelle Obama
Vice president for community and external affairs, University of Chicago Hospitals
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Casey Deja
Self-employed graphic designer
Approx.  $50,000
Peter R. Deja
Loan officer, Diversified Mortgage
Airida and Valdas Judys
Florists/owners, SunFlowerGallery
John Maloof
Realtor, Century 21 Grande
(down from $156,000 in 2005)
Daniel Deja
Real-estate sales agent, Cross County Realty
"Approx.  $50,000
Ari Elliott
Realtor, Chicago Apartment Finders
Midsize apartment management company
Joseph F. Braun
Exterminator/manager, Rose Pest Solutions
(plus a bonus of up to $8,000)
Gus Martinez
Carpenter/owner, All Affordable Construction
Tim Ramey
Electrician/owner, T & R Electrical


Who Makes What - Salaries List

Who Makes What - Profiles

Who Makes What - Comparisons

Who Will Do Better?

The $18-Million Headache

Where Does It All Go?

The Bucks Start Here

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