by Amanda Griffin-Johnson
Using our transparency website, IllinoisOpenGov.org, I found that in 2008, the Illinois Department of Transportation paid 19 deck hands a total of $956,372.48 in wages. The deck hands received average annual wages of $50,388.03, but there was a great deal of variance in the wages they earned. That year, the highest paid deck hand received $84,581.99 in wages and six people received wages of less than $20,000. These six deck hands making significantly less than the others may have started working late in the year or may be part-time employees.
According to the Department of Central Management Services, a deck hand “performs a variety of duties as required in the operation of ferries and in the maintenance and upkeep of boats, ferries, ferry landings, ferry equipment and associated buildings and grounds; this includes a variety of work below the skilled level in the mechanical and building trades.” The requirements for the position include “knowledge, skill and mental development equivalent to the completion of eight years of elementary school” and “elementary knowledge of boat and ferry operations and river traffic regulations.”
To find this information on the IllinoisOpenGov site, go to “Payroll” and search for “Deck Hand” in the “Position” field. To download the information, click on the CSV or Excel icon below the search results.