How Much Do They Make?


How’s this for an ideal job: Call hundreds of Sacramentans and ask them, “How much money do you make?” After doing it for two months, I’ve learned one thing: Doughnut makers are a grouchy bunch.

The nice ones just hung up on me midsentence; the nasty ones screamed at me. I must’ve caught them on a sugar low.

Some people were forthcoming, others less so. When I called one television station and asked how much its top anchor made, the personnel director laughed at me like I was an idiot.

Looking at all these different jobs became an exercise in mental dress up. “Hey, I could make more money as a coroner! I’ve watched ‘CSI’; it doesn’t look so hard.” But sometimes reality hits. “Chris Webber makes $15 million for shooting baskets? I curse my normal-sized parents!”

Then there’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Because the governor says he’ll donate his $175,000 salary back into the general fund, that means he’s making $0 this year from the state.

And now a word about our methodology; We used public records for the federal, state, county and city jobs; Securities and Exchange Commission filings for the salaries of top executives of public companies. Where general occupations and salaries are listed without company affiliations, we used statistical “mean annual wages” and salary ranges for the Sacramento region provided by the state Employment Development Department and the Department of Personnel Administration. We searched the classifieds, called up hundreds of businesses and surfed the Internet. We also called lots of people and asked them how much they make.

For the most part, we’ve stuck to a flat salary, without including commissions, bonuses, overtime and “long-term incentives.” But in some cases, the salary was indistinguishable from these income elements.

Also, while a given job may have a certain salary cap, “regular” overtime can sometimes more than double the take-home pay. Benefits and perks vary dramatically and for the most part are not addressed here.

We’ve endeavored to be as accurate as possible, but sometimes, people, job titles and salaries shift. And sometimes the salaries listed were tough to confirm. For example, the salaries for the Kings players came from an Internet sports site; the Kings organization would not confirm the contract salaries, despite repeated calls.

The hardest part of this survey was knowing when to wrap it up. “Do we have a salary for racing-dog jockey?” After culling through 600 different professions, we winnowed it down to the 200 jobs that offered the broadest picture within the Sacramento region.

Local Government Jobs

Information provided by city and county personnel departments,
in many cases presented as a salary range for that particular position

County of Sacramento
County Executive Terry Schutten, $159,544–$175,893
District Attorney Jan Scully, $159,096
Sheriff  Lou Blanas, $148,956
Chief Financial Officer Geoff Davey, $132,776–$146,390
Public Defender Paulino Duran, $127,660–$140,752
Assessor Ken Stieger, $123,648

Placer County
Executive Officer Jan Christofferson, $155,132–$197,988
District Attorney Brad Fenocchio,
Director of Health and Human Services Ray Merz, $107,461–$137,148
Sheriff, Coroner and Marshall
Edward Bonner, $105,000–$134,004
Director of Planning Fred Yeager, $90,702–$115,752

Yolo County
Psychiatrist, Medical Director George Graman, $130,644–$158,796
Sheriff and Coroner Edward Prieto, $111,679
Public Defender Barry Melton,$92,400–$126,216
Supervising Deputy Coroner Mary Koompin-Williams, $75,000–$85,000
Information Technology Division Manager Kevin Yarris, $38,000

City of Sacramento
City Manager Bob Thomas,$171,876
City Attorney Samuel Jackson, $157,819
City Treasurer Thomas Friery, $146,754
Police Chief Albert Najera, $103,307–$154,960
Fire Chief Dennis Smith, $96,826–$145,239
Mayor Heather Fargo, $95,000
City Councilmember, $50,000

City of Roseville
City Manager Craig Robinson, $192,784 
City Attorney Mark Doane, $164,712 
Police Chief Joel Neves, $145,758 
Parks, Recreation and Library
Director Michael Shellito, $143,596
Fire Chief Ken Wagner, $139,928

City of Folsom
City Attorney Steven Rudolph,
Police Chief Sam Spiegel, $132,348–$153,480
Fire Chief Eric Dutton, $116,976–$136,660
City Clerk Christa Schmidt, $78,792–$91,380
City of Auburn   
City Manager Robert Richardson, $110,489
Police Chief Nick Willick, $106,766
City of Citrus Heights
City Manager Henry Tingle, $116,842–$140,210
City Engineer Diane Nakano, $84,668–$101,601
City Clerk (Vacant) $61,009–$73,211

City of Davis   
City Manager James Antonen, $127,296
Fire Chief  Rose Conroy, $120,654
Police Chief Jim Hyde, $120,654

City of Elk Grove   
City Manager John Danielson, $240,000
City Clerk Peggy Jackson, $60,493–$88,568

City of West Sacramento
City Manager Toby Ross, $149,277
Fire Chief Fred Postel, $87,540–$118,200
City Engineer Caroline Quinn, $83,460–$101,436
Acting Chief of Police Thomas Hoffman, $79,308–$96,384
City Planner Steven Rikala, $77,112–$93,708
Human Resources Manager Ellen Nakata-Harper, $69,540–$84,516

Making Sales
Mean annual total compensation reported, includes commission
Real Estate Sales Agent, $60,817
Insurance Sales Agent, $48,153
Retail Salesperson, AT&T Wireless, $33,000–$38,000
Numbers Crunchers
Accountant, Teichert Construction, $58,800
Insurance Underwriter, $56,787
Insurance Claims Adjuster, $55,220
Loan Officer, $52,439

Techies and Other Scientists
Computer Software Engineers, Applications, $77,537
Civil Engineer, Teichert Construction, $74,000
Mechanical Engineer, Teichert Construction, $68,000
Computer Programmer, $66,429
Agricultural Scientist, $59,421
Forensic Science Technicians, $44,268
Computer Support Specialist,
Teichert Construction, $38,000

Running the Machine
Digital Print Operator, University of California, $43,824–$51,588
Tool and Die Maker, $39,084
Machinist, $37,913
Offset Press Operator, California State
University, $29,736–$38,796
Welder, $28,336

Higher Minds
Librarian, California State University,
High School Math Teacher, $52,005
Elementary School Teacher, $48,535
School Crossing Guard, Sacramento City
Unified School District, $7.52/hr.
Hospitality Committee
Travel Agent, $25,879
Tour Guide, $22,637
Hotel/Motel Housekeeper, $17,121
Hotel Bellhop, $16,104

Evening TV News Anchor, $140,000–$440,000
Starting TV News Reporter, $30,000–$45,000
Cleaning Up the Mess
Sanitation Worker I, City of Sacramento, $27,300–$38,424
Chimney Sweep Vernon Zimmerman, Chim Chimney,  $36,000
Janitor/Custodian, California State University, $24,672–$32,028
Team Captain Ana Elias, Merry Maids of
Folsom, $20,000
Construction Site Cleaner Gary Carter,
Labor Connection, $7/hr.

Sacramento Kings Players
2003–2004 Contract
Rodney Buford, $221,226
Darius Songaila, $366,931
Jabari Smith, $638,679
Gerald Wallace, $764,600
Tony Massenburg, $1,070,000
Bobby Jackson, $2,925,000
Predrag “Peja” Stojakovic, $6,180,566
Doug Christie, $6,500,000
Brad Miller, $7,000,000
Mike Bibby, $9,500,000
Vlade Divac, $12,051,510
Chris Webber, $14,520,833

Pharmacist, Kaiser Permanente, $102,211
Optometrist, Kaiser Permanente, $71,202–$90,682
Registered Nurse, Sutter Health, $62,400
Physical Therapist, Kaiser Permanente, $53,400–$63,800
School Psychologist, $58,678
Radiological Technician, Sutter Health, $51,000
Mental Health Social Worker, Sutter Health, $41,000
Marriage and Family Therapist, $49,495
Massage Therapist Patti Camatti, Touch-N-Time Day Spa, Rio Linda, $45/hr.
Owner/Stylist Terry Van Ooyen, Theodora’s Salon, Fair Oaks, $25,000
Counselor Erin Plank, FamiliesFirst, Davis, $20,655

For the Animals
Veterinarian, $78,478
Curator, Sacramento Zoo, $54,255–$81,383
Zoo Attendant I, Sacramento Zoo,
Animal Care and Control Worker, $28,721
Veterinary Assistant, $16,306
Fire and Crime Fighters
Fire Inspector, $53,262
Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician, $41,152
Probation Officer, $66,253
Patrol Officer, $56,648
Police Dispatcher, $41,907

Food Service
Mixer, Sacramento Sara Lee Bakery Group, $20.04/hr.
Server, Cinnabon, $6.75/hr.
Server Samantha Cox, Leatherby’s Family Creamery, $6.75/hr.
Home Makers
Landscape Architect, $65,485
Architect, $65,077
Carpenter, $42,789
HVAC Technician, $44,368
Brick Mason, $41,044
Plumber, $39,757
Roofer, $37,694
House Painter, $30,262
Around the Office
Senior Network Architect Tyrone Benson, Robert Half Technology, Natomas, $100,000
CFO Joseph Westover, Robert Half Management Resources, Davis, $127,000
Staffing Supervisor Chris O’Brien, O’Brien
Employment Services, Sacramento, $50,000
Staff Accountant Wendy Feth,
Accountemps, Sacramento, $42,525
Graphic Designer Heather Hannold,
GraphXStaff, Sacramento, $39,500
Administrative Analyst, Entry Level,
California State University, $35,340–$56,532
Clerk Typist, Entry Level, University of California, $20,976–$25,344
CEO Luis Miguel, Ph.D., AvantPage
Translation, Davis, 6–20 cents/word

Public Companies
Source: Securities and Exchange Commission, 2002 Compensation Disclosure

The McClatchy Company (Sacramento)
Gary Pruitt, Chairman, President, CEO, $1,611,243
Patrick Talamantes, CFO, VP, Finance, $517,721
Robert Weil, VP, Operations, $699,705
Frank Whittaker, VP, Operations, $714,829
Waste Connections (Folsom)
Robert Evans, Exec. VP, General Counsel, Secretary, $1,210,000
Ronald Mittelstaedt, Chairman, President and CEO, $457,000
Steven Bouch, CFO, Exec. VP, $285,000
Darrell Chambliss, COO, $224,000
SureWest Communications (Roseville)
Brian Strom, President, CEO, Director, $539,948
Michael Campbell, CFO, Exec. VP,
Treasurer, $402,035
Bill DeMuth, VP, CTO, $256,350
Western Sierra Bancorp (Cameron Park)
Gary Ball, President, CEO, Director, $495,335
Douglas Nordell, Director, President, CEO,
Lake Community Bank, $178,986
C. Frederick Rowden, President, CEO,
Central California Bank, $165,581

Unify Corporation (Gold River)
Todd Wille, Chairman, President, CEO, $268,789
Frank Verardi, VP, Technical Services, $237,222
David Glende, VP, Strategy, CTO, $174,263
Integrated Surgical Systems Inc. (Davis)
Ramesh Trivedi, Ph.D., President, CEO,
Director, $318,967
Leland Witherspoon, VP, Engineering, $142,600
GenCorp (Rancho Cordova)
Robert A. Wolfe, Retired Chairman, $1,880,982
Michael F. Martin, President, Aerojet, $557,434
Terry Hall, Chairman, President, CEO, $452,538
Joseph Carleone, President, Aerojet Fine Chemicals LLC, $439,666
InsWeb Corporation (Gold River)
Mark Guthrie, President, CEO, COO,
Director, $263,485
Hussein Enan, Chairman, $255,904
L. Eric Loewe, Sr. VP, General Counsel, Secretary, $205,796
William Griffin, CFO, $202,077
Humboldt Bancorp (Roseville)
Robert Daugherty, President, CEO,
Director, $521,021
Patrick Rusnak, CFO, Exec. VP, $395,895
Mark Francis, Exec. VP, Director of
Commercial Banking, $178,333