As the year wound to a close, you couldn't swing a financial analyst around your head without hitting a news story about the derailing economy, dwindling retirement stocks, and the climbing unemployment rate. There were endless comparisons to recessions and stock market crashes of days gone by, and lots of hand-wringing about the future.
Such times call for cheap, voyeuristic distractions. Like, say, peeking into the pockets of your neighbors. Who can resist? Clearly, not us. We pestered people, picked through public filings, and scoured salary surveys to compile our latest list of what people are earning in the greater Baltimore area.
What we learned: People get really, really uncomfortable when you ask them what they make. As in foot-shuffling, eye-lowering, would-rather-wax-my-back-hair-than-reveal-what-I-earn kind of uncomfortable. Oh yeah, and also, Michael Phelps is extremely wealthy. There's more, too. Read on…

Politicos
Governor
Martin O'Malley
$150,000

Lt. Governor
Anthony G. Brown
$125,000

U.S. Senator
Barbara Mikulski
$169,300

U.S. House of Representatives
John P. Sarbanes
$169,300

Anne Arundel County Executive
John Robinson Leopold
$125,000

Baltimore City Mayor
Sheila Dixon
$151,700

Baltimore County Executive
Jim Smith
$150,000

Harford County Executive
David R. Craig
$99,317

Baltimore City Comptroller
Joan Pratt
$100,450

Baltimore City
Council President
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
$100,450

Baltimore County Council Chair (part-time)
Kevin Kamenetz (outgoing)
$60,000

Harford County Council Member
James "Capt'n Jim" McMahan
$34,205

Carroll County Commissioner (part-time)
Julia W. Gouge
$45,000

Average Personal Annual Earnings

All of U.S.: $49,527
Chicago: $58,593
Los Angeles: $51,240
New York: $56,834
Philadelphia: $53,348
Washington/Baltimore: $60,846

Source: Watson Wyatt analysis of BLS' 2008 Current Population Survey

Fire, Police, and Law

Superintendent, Maryland State Police
Terrence Sheridan
$166,082

Maryland State
Fire Marshal
William E. Barnard
$96,501

Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Secretary
Gary D. Maynard
$166,082

Anne Arundel County Sheriff
Ron Bateman
$128,064

Harford County Sheriff
L. Jesse Bane
$104,042

Baltimore Police Commissioner
Frederick H. Bealefeld III
$193,900

Baltimore City State's Attorney
Patricia C. Jessamy
$229,500

Baltimore County State's Attorney
Scott D. Shellenberger
$194,276

Harford County State's Attorney
Joseph I. Cassilly
$104,032

Public Defender for State of Maryland
$52,950 (to $85,017)

Maryland judge, District Court
$127,252

Maryland judge, Circuit Court
$140,352

Maryland Chief Judge, Court of Appeals
Robert M. Bell
$181,352

State Gigs

Maryland Public Television President and CEO
Robert J. Shuman
$198,048

Maryland Secretary of the Office of Housing and Community Development
Raymond A. Skinner
$148,778

Corporate Bigwigs
Unlike the average Joe, when it comes to executive compensation, salary is just a piece of the total pay puzzle. Total pay is made up of a mix of base salary, bonuses, stock options and grants, and other miscellaneous payments. And there's a reason for that, says Lemma W. Senbet, a University of Maryland professor of finance.
"When things are good, you actually structure your compensation in a way to make someone aggressive or conservative," says Senbet. So what happens when the stock market tanks? "You have seen some dramatic declines in the value of CEO compensation," Senbet says of the 2008 gyrations. "If you have option grants and equity grants, [the total compensation value] is going to decline with the market value."
Still, most executives are still well-compensated and those who get the boot are usually able to bail out with generous severance packages that stoke the ire of shareholders. But Senbet expects changes in executive compensation are ahead.
The federal government is adding new compensation controls to companies it's bailed out. And under pressure from shareholders, compensation committees are likely to become more independent in the future, which may drive down executive pay, says Senbet. Here's what some area top execs earned in the past two years:

Black & Decker
Nolan D. Archibald

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Salary: $1,500,000
Bonus: $400,000
Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,350,000
Gains from exercising options: $23,739,656
Gains from stock vesting: $6,219,598
All other compensation: $620,888
Total compensation: $33,830,142

Constellation Energy
Mayo A. Shattuck III

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Salary: $1,201,923
Bonus: $0
Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $5,500,000
Gains from exercising options: $0
Gains from stock vesting: $3,430,750
All other compensation: $120,386
Total compensation: $10,253,059

T. Rowe Price Group
James A.C. Kennedy

President and Chief Executive Officer
Salary: $350,000
Bonus: $0
Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $5,750,000
Gains from exercising options: $7,865,475
Gains from stock vesting: $0
All other compensation: $281,249
Total compensation: $14,246,724

JoS. A. Bank Clothiers
Robert N. Wildrick
, (transitioning to Chairman of the Board Dec. 21, 2008)
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman
Salary: $1,090,548
Bonus: $0
Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $2,731,293
Gains from exercising options: $0
Gains from stock vesting: $0
All other compensation: $35,784
Total compensation: $3,857,625

Under Armour
Kevin A. Plank

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Salary: $500,000
Bonus: $0
Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,000,000
Gains from exercising options: $0
Gains from stock vesting: $2,580
All other compensation: $28,310
Total compensation: $1,530,890

McCormick & Co.
Robert J. Lawless
(retired Jan. 1, 2008 but continues to serve on board)
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Salary: $1,062,950
Bonus: $0
Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $2,158,618
Gains from exercising options: $4,526
Gains from stock vesting: $416,633
All other compensation: $221,626
Total compensation: $3,864,353


Public Education

State Schools Superintendent
Nancy S. Grasmick
$195,000



Higher Education

Johns Hopkins University, President
William R. Brody (outgoing)
$614,805

Incoming President of Johns Hopkins University
Ronald J. Daniels
Estimated $800,000 to $1.1 million*
*Exact salary not released until late 2009. Estimate by ERI Economic Research Institute

Loyola College, president
Fr. Brian Linnane, S.J.
$0

University of Baltimore, president
Robert L. Bogomolny
$278,700

Towson University, president
Robert Caret
$369,300

Coppin State, president
Reginald Avery
$233,000

MICA, president
Fred Lazarus IV
$310,000

UMBC, president
Freeman A. Hrabowski III
$420,400

University of Maryland, president
Dan Mote
$464,600

Morgan State, president
Earl S. Richardson
$389,258

Baltimore City Community College, president
Carolane Williams
$220,088

At Your Service
Here's the skinny on the going hourly rate for various services:
Housekeeping: $20 to $30/hour
Nanny: $10 to $15/hour
Babysitting: $10 to $13/hour
Massage: $40 to $50/half hour; $65 to $75/hour; $90 to $120/1.5 hour massage
Personal Trainer: $60 to $80 per hour session
Errand running: $25 to $35 an hour, plus mileage, parking, tolls, or other expenses


Medicine

If there is such a thing as a recession-proof field, health care may well be it, thanks in no small part to the ballooning elderly population and our ability and desire to better manage our health. Add it all up and you get lots of demand for people with medical know-how.
In some cases that demand leads to shortages, which can translate to better pay—one example is nursing.
Those with skills in allied health occupations—physicians' assistants and occupational, speech, and respiratory therapists to name a few—are also in high demand. And, of course, there are a host of other healthcare occupations to consider. A look
at what they pay…

Harbor Hospital Center, president
Joseph Oddis
$614,392

Mercy Medical Center, president
Thomas Mullen
$932,420 + $101,054
contributions to employee benefit plan and deferred compensation plan

Franklin Square Hospital Center
Carl Schindelar, president
$746,731

The Good Samaritan Hospital of Maryland
Lawrence Beck, president
$842,568
(includes a $135,993 payment relating to prior years of service)

Union Memorial Hospital
Harrison Rider, president
$828,016
(includes an $11,810 payment relating to prior years of service)

Secretary, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
John M. Colmers
$166,082

Maryland Board of Physicians, BPQA executive director
C. Irving Pinder, Jr.
$106,086

Maryland Chief Medical Examiner
David R. Fowler
$227,660



Nonprofit Types

National Aquarium executive director
David M. Pittenger
$297,674

Abell Foundation president
Robert C. Embry Jr.
$280,070

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, president
Shale Stiller
$599,305

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, executive director
A. Thomas Grazio
$93,000

Baltimore Opera Company, general director
Michael Harrison
$220,040*
* before BOC declared bankruptcy

Baltimore Museum of Art, director
Doreen Bolger
$238,968

Maryland Science Center president and CEO
Van Reimer
$168,257

Out of Options

When stocks soar, options—which give the holder the right to buy at a set price—can be a goldmine. But when a company's stock tanks, not so much. Options aren't money in the bank, but they do give you an idea of what might have been—and what clearly wasn't.

Mayo A. Shattuck III
Constellation Energy
Total value of stock options holding as of 12/31/07: $83,145,895
Value as of 11/13/08: $0

Robert J. Lawless
McCormick & Co.
(retired Jan. 1, 2008)
Total value of stock options holding as of 12/31/07: $24,252,591
Value as of 11/13/08: $14,814,542

James A.C. Kennedy
T. Rowe Price Group
Total value of stock options holding as of 12/31/07: $42,711,250
Value as of 11/13/08: $12,331,429

Methodology Note: Total stock option holdings data is based on the company's most recent proxy filing and includes all outstanding options held by the executive, but does not include actual gains. Actual gains for 2008 won't be available until early 2009.

Source: Equilar, Inc., an executive compensation research
firm and data provider.

Sports

Here's a get-rich-quick scheme: Invest a decade in perfecting a sport, break records, win medals, then sit back and count your ducats. Easy, right? Well, not exactly.
"The athletes who are making seven figures and above are few and far between," says Howe Burch, a Baltimore-based executive vice president with TBC Advertising who has been involved in sports marketing for much of his career. "You'd be surprised at how little some athletes make considering who they are and what they've accomplished."
You'll sweat less if you just sit back and marvel at what Phelps and other athletes rake in each year…

Michael Phelps
Swimmer
Estimated $25 to $35 million over the next five years

Katie Hoff
Swimmer
Estimated endorsements in the low 6 figures in 2009

Ray Lewis
Ravens linebacker
Ending $50 million, 7-year contract

Brendon Ayanbadejo
Ravens linebacker
$4.9 million over 4 years

Terrell Suggs
Ravens linebacker
$8.5 million (one year)

Joe Flacco
Ravens quarterback
Reportedly worth up to $30 million, with $8.75 million guaranteed (five-year contract)

Brian Matusz
Baltimore Orioles pitcher
Signed a four-year deal worth at minimum $3.47 million (signed in August 2008)

Cesar Izturis
Baltimore Orioles infielder
$6 million (new two-year contract)



Average Joes

Photographer, college instructor
Sam Holden
$59,000

Professional Resume Writer/Outplacement Expert
Beth Colley
$101,000

Real Estate Agent, Long and Foster, Columbia, Baltimore area
R. Scott Swingler
$90,000

Bartender
Rose Kaspar
$4 per hour + tips ($120 to $150 on an average night, $300 to $500 on a really good night)

Valet, Jays Valet Services
Mark DiPietro
$8/hour + tips ($80 on an average night, $150 on a good night)

Wellness Therapist, Radiant Light Center For Integrative Healing
Devakant Kupetz
$29,000

Au pair
Zsuzsanna Solymar
$176.85 per week plus room and board, plus $500 annually for tuition

Pretty Pots, Florist, owner
Joan Rief
$15,000 to $20,000

Home health aide for the elderly
Johnny Price
$18/hour

Freelance makeup artist
Tamika "Meekeyo" Pinckney
$250 for half day, $500 full day

CEO/Producer/director
Frank Marchant, Marchant Media
$120,000-180,000

Owner, Luv My Pet
Jeff Rothschild
$150,000

Owner, BizEbodies Errand Service
Mandy Marie Leeuwen
$80,000

Professional Organizer and owner, Absolutely Organized Professional Organizing Service
Katherine Trezise
$36,000

Baltimore County Fire Dept., fire apparatus driver/operator with 20 years of service
Lawrence Lamon
$73,126

Certified Personal Chef, Owner, Just A Matter Of Thyme
Constance Breeden
$36,000 to $42,000

Inside the cubicle: Hot Skills

If nobody has told you you're hot lately, you're probably just in the wrong job. Turns out, even with the economy in a bonafide slump—or maybe especially because of that—some skills are expected to remain in demand. And in-demand often translates to in-the-money. So, what's hot? The war for talent is still well under way in healthcare, IT, and engineering and sales, according to Jennifer Grasz, senior career advisor with Careerbuilder.com.

Even in other fields, companies generally are willing to pay for anyone with the skills to either generate revenue or cut costs, says Renee Whalen, district president for global staffing giant Robert Half. In the technology sector—Whalen's specialty—network administrators and people with skills in voice-over IP and Microsoft.net "are really hot," she says. Healthcare organizations, schools, and high-tech companies are likely to be particularly on the hunt for techie types.

Some positions within finance and accounting are also expected to remain in demand, says Joe Gonzales, a Robert Half regional vice president. What employers most want: staff and senior accountants with a CPA and at least three years of experience, tax accountants, and public accountants, says Gonzales.

Still, an economic downturn is likely to affect pay even in some of the hot fields. In finance and accounting, "we're looking at probably a 3.4 percent increase in salaries over the next year," says Gonzales. In technology, "we're not expecting big raises in 2009—anywhere from 3.5 percent to 4.8 percent," says Whalen.

A look at what office jockeys are making, from the cubicle to the corner office:

Finance and Accounting
Commercial lender (1 to 3 years experience):
$50,470 to $77,507
Financial analyst: $47,122 to $68,237
Portfolio administrator: $46,865 to $66,435
Controller (midsize company): $77,765 to $104,545
General accountant (midsize company, one to three years' experience): $41,457 to $54,847
Tax accountant (midsize company, senior level): $52,530 to $71,842

Technology
CIO: $136,475 to $222,171
Database manager: $94,245 to $130,295
Senior Web developer: $81,627 to $115,875
Network manager: $79,310 to $105,060
Data security analyst: $82,915 to $112,527
Help desk manager: $70,040 to $97,592

Office Staff
Receptionist: $22,145 to $29,870
Executive assistant: $36,822 to $48,667
Entry-level administrative assistant: $24,720 to $30,385
Human resources recruiter: $33,732 to $45,320
Medical transcriptionist: $31,930 to $39,140
Medical receptionist: $24,205 to $29,870
Dental receptionist: $26,007 to $34,247

Source: The Robert Half International 2009 Salary guide, adjusted for the Baltimore metropolitan area.

We shuffled through local and state government records, independent compensation research, occupational association data, and many other sources to find out what Baltimoreans are making in several dozen fields. Some are local industry averages and some are exact salaries as established by government compensation boards.

Medicine

Family medicine doctor
$172,000

Ob-Gyn
$255,000

Emergency
medicine doctor
$240,000

Cardiologist
$392,000

Dentist
$126,920

First-year Resident
University of Maryland School of Medicine, internal medicine
$43,919

Media/Arts

Fine artist
$39,640

Graphic designer
$45,960

Choreographer
$52,360

Reporter
$64,910

Web designer
$52,242

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musician
$76,700

Police/Fire

Police officer
Baltimore City
$41,058 (starting)

Police officer
Baltimore County
$45,783 (starting)

Correctional officer
Maryland Division of Corrections
$35,700 (starting)

Helicopter pilot
Baltimore County
$44,735 (starting)

Firefighter
Baltimore City
$32,999 (starting)

Captain
Baltimore City Fire Dept.
$67,826 (starting)

Public Schools

Public school teacher
Baltimore City
$41,128 (starting)

School principal
$94,614

Public school teacher with master's degree Baltimore City
$46,188 (starting)

Kindergarten teacher
$49,850

School clinician
with master's and 15 years experience
$66,689 (starting)

Librarian
$53,680

Trades

Carpenter
$42,300

Electrician
$45,360

Locksmith
$44,350

Tailor
$26,420

Plumber
$48,810

Security and fire alarm installer
$38,630

Professionals

Architect
$72,130

Starting lawyer
$92,550

Aerospace engineer
$90,270

Marriage and family therapist
$42,570

Veterinarian
$93,980

Real estate broker
$53,730

Local Government

Executive secretary
Baltimore County
$38,889 (starting)

Accountant
Baltimore City
$32,303 (starting)

Construction building inspector
Baltimore City
$28,630 (starting)

Dock master
Baltimore City
$31,009

Social worker
Baltimore City
$33,657 (starting)

911 operator
Baltimore City
$26,702 (starting)

Services/Sales

Customer Care Associate for debt-counseling firm Ascend One
Columbia headquarters
$32,660

Call Center Technical Support
Verizon Wireless,
Baltimore area
mid-$30,000's (starting)

Nordstrom salesperson
$39,000

Private investigator
Absolute Investigative Services
$20 to $30 (hourly)

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier
$42,000
(based on average hourly wage)

United Parcel Service driver
$70,000