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).

(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)


Peter Oprisko
Sinatra-style singer
approx. $175,000
Stephen Sodaro
Magician and psychic entertainer
Cassandra Bissell
Stage actress, Short Shakespeare! ‘Macbeth'
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
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
Chicago Bulls
$40 plus two tickets per game; $90/hour for personal appearances


Juanna Rumble
Blocker, Windy City Rollers
Lifeguard supervisor
Chicago Park District
(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:
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:
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
(2004 salary)
Phil Ponce
Host of Chicago Tonight, WTTW
(2004 salary)
Advertising executive
Creative accounting
Sir Andrew Davis
Principal conductor/music director
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Chorus member
Lyric Opera of Chicago
James Cuno
President and Eloise W. Martin Director, Art Institute of Chicago
Deborah Card
President, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association
Samuel Magad
Concertmaster, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Robert Chen
Co-concertmaster, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
CSO union musician
Elite Chicago
$75,000 to $150,000
Hair/makeup artist
Elite Chicago
Kevin Eichorst
Portrait photographer

Kevin Stein
Poet laureate of Illinois

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

Food and drink

Executive chef
Italian restaurant in the Loop
Daniel Speer
Chef, Morseland
Kate Wimbiscus
Barista, Starbucks, Michigan Avenue and Huron Street
(based on $7.50/hour, $1/hour in tips)
Al Mroz
Bartender, Woodlawn Tap
(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  
(based on $100 to $130/night, one night/week)
Yana Dubinsky
Cocktail waitress, Rockit Bar & Grill      
(based on $3.80/hour, $200 to $300/night in tips, three nights a week)
John Wills
Dairy Queen cashier
(based on $6.50/hour, 25 hours/week)


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

Brian Sutcliffe
Stylist, Siren Salon, North Side

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

Living with the law


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

The skin trade

Exotic dancer
Admiral Theatre Gentlemen's Club
$300 to $1,000 /night
Cara Zavaleta
Miss November 2004, Playboy
(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
Gold Coast bar
(based on $10 to $13/hour plus up to $100 in tips/night)

Crime doesn't pay

Street-Level Drug dealer
(after gang dues; source: Freakonomics)

Animal people

Stuart D. Strahl
President and CEO, Brookfield Zoo
Jennifer Hunt
Lead zookeeper, Habitat Africa! (Savanna), Regenstein Wolf Woods, Brookfield Zoo
Ted A. Beattie
President and CEO, Shedd Aquarium         
North Side clinic
$50,000 to $75,000
Steven Heard
Moo & Oink poultry department
(based on $7/hour, 26 to 30 hours/week)
Feline actress (fee: $800 a day), Amazing Animals by Samantha
(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
Bill Hybels
Senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
Susan B. W. Johnson
Senior minister, Hyde Park Union Church
Alan Taylor
Minister, Unity Temple, Oak Park
Archdiocese of Chicago
(plus room, board, meals, health insurance, car insurance)
Hearse driver
Four years' experience

Stock options

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

Jobs that still make house calls

Swimming pool salesman
American Sales
Pizza deliveryman
Aurelio's Pizza
(based on $500 to $570/week)
James Casara
(based on $20/hour)

Power players

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

Jobs you can't miss

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
(based on $25.35/hour)


Bonnie Muran
First-year third grade public school teacher, Grayslake
James L. Madara
Dean of the biological sciences and vice president for medical affairs, University of Chicago
Third-year teacher at a North Side Catholic school
Keith Majeske
12th-year English teacher, Morgan Park High School
Henry S. Bienen
President, Northwestern University
Don Randel
President, University of Chicago
Randy Walker
Football coach, Northwestern University
Dipak C. Jain
Dean, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Kerensa Peterson
Adjunct professor, City Colleges of Chicago


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

A butcher, a baker, a candle-stick maker

Stefan Zajczenko
Butcher, Dorfler's Meat Market
Gracie Gamero
Baker, Medici
Brad ZasAda
Candlestick maker, Melting Point
(based on $9/hour)

Union workers

Local 130, Chicago Journeymen Plumbers
(based on $38.40/hour)
Local 181, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters
(based on $35.32/hour)
Local 21, United Order of American Bricklayers and Stone Masons
(based on $33.25/hour)

Nose jobs

Freelance perfumer
Major department store
Theresa Montana
Florist, City Scents
Dana Hammett
Florist's employee, Cattails
(based on $9/hour)
Garbage truck driver
Waste Management
$60,000 to $80,000
Sewer worker
Chicago Department of Water Management
(based on $30.15/hour)
Bath & Body Works
(based on $8/hour)
Leonel Lopez
Cashier, Dunkin Donuts
(based on $6.75/hour)

Old economy

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


Tina Alfaro
Stenographer, Victoria Court Reporting
Cook County state's attorney's office
Neil Massey
Sword maker, Rogue Steel
$30,000 to $35,000
Kevin Statz
Kelley Rutherford
Personal companion
Steve Kazmier
Typewriter repairman, Independence Business Machines

New economy

Software engineer
Online travel Web site
Jessa Crispin
E-zine editor ( writer
Roy Shay
Party DJ
(based on $200 to $800/month)
Information technology worker
Entry level

People behind the people

Executive assistant
Five years' experience, Lakeshore Staffing
$80,000 to $100,000
Executive assistant to CEO
Lakeshore Staffing
Lakeshore Staffing
$24,000 to $43,000
Kristin Thompson
Teacher, Gymboree Play & Music


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

Caring a lot

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

Mayoral suite

Richard M. Daley
Mayor, Chicago
Adrienne Hiegel
Assistant to the mayor, Chicago
Frank Van Buer
Mayor, DeKalb
Joyce Stupegia
Village president, Villa Park

Our taxes at work

Richard Mell
33rd Ward alderman, Chicago
Rod Blagojevich
Governor of Illinois and Mell's son-in-law
Judy Baar Topinka
State treasurer of Illinois and gubernatorial candidate

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

Lisa Madigan
Illinois attorney general and daughter of the Speaker

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

Forrest Claypool
Cook County commissioner
Patrick Quinn
Lieutenant governor of Illinois

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

Barack Obama
U.S. senator from Illinois
Dennis Hastert
U.S. representative, 14th District of Illinois, Speaker of the House

Donald Rumsfeld
U.S. secretary of defense

Emil Jones Jr.
Illinois senator, senate president
Frank Watson
Illinois senator, senate minority leader

Tom Cross
Illinois representative, House minority leader

Nancy Majeske
Postal clerk
James Laski
Former city clerk; resigned in February after indictment

Cortez Trotter
Chicago fire commissioner

First year, Chicago
Philip Cline
Chicago police superintendent

Police officer
First year, Chicago

Police sergeant
(median salary)
Paul Volpe
Budget director, City of Chicago

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

Traffic signal repairman
Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation
Library page
Chicago Public Library
(based on $8/hour)
Hydrant inspector
Department of Water Management, Chicago

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




Some people get a fruitcake; others get 396 percent of their annual income. We scoured SEC filings and other sources to find out what a few bigwigs made in bonuses.

Kraft Foods
Starting pitcher,
Chicago Cubs
President and CEO,
Laidlaw International**
DeVry Inc.
WMS Industries***
$6.45 million* (2006)
$9 million (2007)
$1.89 million
$1.71 million
$1.23 million
$1.3 million
$5 million
$5.15 million
$4 million
$1.23 million
16-slice packages of Kraft American Singles:
16-ounce cups of Old Style at Wrigley Field:
Roundtrip Greyhound bus tickets between Chicago and Milwaukee:
Semesters (tuition only) at DeVry University's Illinois campuses:
25-cent plays on a Hot Hot Super Jackpot slot machine:

* Does not include award of restricted stock worth between $3.1 million and $8.8 million. (Additional source: Chicago Tribune) (Additional sources: Chicago Tribune, **Naperville-based holding company for Greyhound bus lines   ***Waukegan-based gaming company. (Additional source: Daily Herald)




Forty years ago, a Daley helmed City Hall (Richard J.), a pro sports franchise finished the regular season first in the regular season first in its league (the Blackhawks), and teacherse eked by on a slender income ($6,000). To see how things have changed, we took a look at a few salaries over time.

Median U.S. wage for women
(2005 – most recent year available)
Median U.S. wage for men
(2005 – most recent year available)
Average major league baseball player
(White Sox player Joe Crede came the closest locally at $2.68 million in 2006; he'll make $4.94 million in 2007)
Evanston District 65 teacher
Brian Stone, business education teacher, Evanston Township High School
Average faculty member, Northwestern University
(Source: Time)
Entry-level nurse 
Chicago Department of Health
Entry-level police officer, Chicago Police Department
Director of a City of Chicago mental health center
John M. Fusco
Entry-level librarian
Chicago Public Library
Evanston mayor
Lorraine Morton
(2005 – most recent year available)
Average entry-level college grad with a degree in science or engineering
Stephanie McNee, cognitive science research assistant, University of Chicago

*Adjusted to 2006 rate using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index.
**Source: Chicago Tribune




It's been some time since most multimillionaires laid eyes on a timecard-or saw a nine-to-five workday, for that matter-but in an effort to wrap our heads around the salaries of a few folks hauling down the big bucks, we broke down their paychecks into hourly wages, based on a 40-hour workweek.

Median hourly wage of a U.S. worker: $18.62 (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Harpo Inc.
Boeing Company
President and CEO,
Archer Daniels Midland
Sara Lee
Senior vice president and CFO,
Fortune Brands
President and COO,
Treehouse Foods
Executive vice president,
Corus Bank N.A.
SALARY (2006)
Approx. $225 million*
$4.87 million**
$3.57 million**
$1.67 million***
$1.43 million**
*Source: Forbes. ***Source: Chicago Tribune. ***Source: Crain's Chicago Business 2007 Book of Lists




We pitted several Chicagoans one-on-one against each other to measure performance-of a sort.
Running back, Chicago Bears
Salary: $5.67 million*
Dollars per yard rushed
(2006 season):

Running back, Chicago Bears
Salary: $1.85 million*
Dollars per yard rushed
(2006 season):

Guard, Chicago Bulls
Salary: $3.86 million*
Dollars per point scored
(2005-06 season):

Guard, Chicago Bulls
Salary: $3.19 million*
Dollars per point scored
(2005-06 season):

President and trustee, Field Museum
Salary (2005): $434,534
Pay per visitor (2005):
33 cents
President, Museum of Science and Industry
Salary (2005): $371,392
Pay per visitor (2005):
21 cents
President, Northwestern University
Salary (2006-07): $650,500**
Dollars per undergraduate student enrolled (fall 2006):
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Salary (2006-07): $321,000**
Dollars per undergraduate student enrolled (fall 2006):
Superintendent, Community Unit School District 200, Wheaton
Salary (2005-06): $380,227***
Pay per student:
CEO, Chicago Public Schools
Salary (2005-06): $208,316***
Pay per student:
49 cents




Charting success versus salaries for leaders of Chicago teams shows you don't always get what you pay for.






Holly Ridings, 22
Pierre Colorado, 37
Renee Delemore, 41
Model, Elite Chicago
Hours per week:
24 to 32
Time at current job: Three years with Elite
Annual vacation allotment: About two weeks (in August, modeling's off-season)
First job: Waitressing in Rockford, age 15, $5.15 an hour, plus tips
Fantasy job: "I always kind of wanted to be on CNN. Or something artistic. Or working at a magazine."
Creative director, Blake Standard clothing design
Hours per week: 55
Time at current job: One and a half years
Annual vacation allotment: Three to four weeks
First job: Assistant designer for a women's clothing company, age 22, $24,000 a year
Fantasy job: "Historian-seriously"
Meter reader, ComEd
Hours per week: 40 on average, occasionally 48
Time at current job: 16 years
Annual vacation allotment: 24 days
First job: Salesclerk for a clothing boutique, age 18, $3.35 an hour (the minimum wage)
Fantasy job: Home remodeling




Julie Michaels, 34
Bert Gieseman, 51
Ryan Tsang, 24
Dog groomer, Barking Lot
Hours per week:
72 on average
Time at current job: One year
Annual vacation allotment: One week
First job: Dog bather, age 16, $6 an hour
Fantasy job: Veterinarian
Self-employed entertainment lawyer
Hours per week: "Not enough"
Time at current job: Two and a half years
Annual vacation allotment: None
Other job: "Musician, but it doesn't pay."
First job: Paperboy, age 11, $12 a month
Fantasy job: Buddhist monk or professional surfer
Web application developer/analyst, Technology Services Group
Hours per week:
Time at current job: One year and seven months
Annual vacation allotment: Two weeks, plus comp time for overtime hours
First job: Clerk at health foods store, age 14, $6.25 an hour
Fantasy job: Geneticist




Emmett Miller, 45
Melinda Rodriguez, 34
Shivani Saigal, 26
Magician/CEO, Windy City Wizard Productions
Hours per week:
40 to 50

Time at current job: First paid gig was 31 years ago; full-time for about five years
Annual vacation allotment: 30 days, usually a working vacation
Other jobs: Father and husband ("I have a colorful past: I've been everything from a social worker to a network engineer.")
First paid magic show: age 14, $50; first hourly job: theatre usher, age 16, $3.50 an hour
Fantasy job: Insurance or real estate
Owner/master stylist, Roque Salon
Hours per week:
50 to 60
Time at current job: Six years in August
Annual vacation allotment: About three weeks
Other job: Owner of The Lashe Spot, a mini-salon specializing in eyelash extensions
First job: Apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon, age 19, $4 an hour
Fantasy job: "If I couldn't do hair, I would be teaching, in fashion design, or I'd own another business."
Art and marketing specialist, ColorBurst,
a screen-printing company
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Three years
Annual vacation allotment: Three weeks
Other job: Graphic designer/owner of Envision Eight, a graphic and Web design firm (earning about $20,000 for 15 to 20 hours a week)
First job: Perfume sales associate in a mall, age 17, $7 an hour plus commission
Fantasy job: "I don't see myself doing anything besides graphic art."




Cinda K. Lester, 33
Lon Thomas, 50
Mariah Sheriff, 22
Architect, 12/12 Architects & Planners
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Three years and eight months
Annual vacation allotment: Four weeks
Other job: Instructor of computer-aided design and interior design at Westwood College's DuPage campus (making $32,000 for 25 hours a week)
First job: Planner for Illinois Tollway, age 22, $10 an hour
Fantasy job: Kindergarten teacher
Handyman/owner, Ask Lon!, a handyman-for-hire business
Hours per week:
Time at current job: 16 months (after 20 years in the health care industry)
Annual vacation allotment: "My goal is two weeks."
First job: Gas station attendant, age 13 or 14, $2.25 an hour
Fantasy job: "I have a permanent smile slapped across my face; I'm doing exactly what I love."

Middle-school teacher at Ariel Community Academy, a Chicago public school
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Eight months
Annual vacation allotment: 12 weeks
First job: Receptionist at doctor's office, age 16, $8.50 an hour
Fantasy job: College professor

*includes grant for Teach for America




Jim Matson, 61
Michael Tootelian, 49
Miss Foozie, 48
Zen Buddhist priest, Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Four years
Annual vacation allotment: None-he volunteers
Other job: Owner of Chicago Railroad Supply, a Bridgeview-based company that sells equipment to railroads
First job: Golf caddy, age 15, $5 for 18 holes
Fantasy job: College professor
Personal trainer/owner, 1 on 1 Fitness Training
Hours per week: 15 to 20
Time at current job: Opened own studio 18 months ago; in the business 20-plus years
Annual vacation allotment: Whatever he wants, usually two to four weeks
Other job: Real-estate broker
First job: Burger King employee, age 15, $2 an hour
Fantasy job: Real-estate builder
Self-employed female impersonator
Hours per week:
Six on average
Time at current job: Ten years
Annual vacation allotment: Miss Foozie takes working vacations roughly every other month to cities including New York and Washington, D.C.
Other job: Miss Foozie's alter ego works full-time at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
First paid gig: The weekly stage show Miss Foozie and Her Floozies, age 37, $30 per show
Fantasy job: To be Miss Foozie full-time

Reasearch by Megan Lovejoy, Alexis Mattera, Carrie Napolilli, Nora O'Donnell, Corina Quinn, Brendan Shea, Pauline Shih, Brigid Sweeney, and Jennifer Wehunt

Photography by Kevin Banna. Photo assistant: Steve Rischow, Digital tech: Mike Shimer, Styling: Leslie Pace, Hair and makeup: Angela Brasington, Hair and makeup (Holly only): Cindy Adams/Elite Chicago




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
Edited by Jennifer Wehunt


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, 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

3. Aramis Ramirez
Third baseman, Chicago Cubs

$14.6 million
(Source: Chicago Sun-Times)

4. Jim Thome
Designated hitter, Chicago White Sox

$14 million

5. Javier Vazquez
Pitcher, Chicago White Sox

$12.5 million

6. Carlos Zambrano
Pitcher, Chicago Cubs

$12.4 million
(Source: Chicago Tribune)

7. Paul Konerko
First baseman, Chicago White Sox

$12 million

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


Brian Griese
Backup quarterback, Chicago Bears

$3.67 million

Tank Johnson
Defensive tackle, Chicago Bears


Brian Urlacher
Linebacker, Chicago Bears

$4.3 million

Muhsin Muhammad
Wide receiver, Chicago Bears

$9.34 million

Nikolai Khabibulin
Goalie, Chicago Blackhawks

$6.75 million

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

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

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