Work in progress
We revisit last year's salary profiles to see what they're banking on this year.
John Waldron, Booker T. Washington High School history teacher
How his job has changed in a year: There’s a new principal; that’s a change. As a public employee, you’re more insulated (from economic change). We are waiting to see what legislators and the school board do with allocations, though.
How the economy has affected his job: Every year teachers get more and more responsibilities. And rest assured that my salary is pretty much the same from last year!
Goal as a teacher: I always want to get students to achieve to their fullest, and to always get the best out of them.
A lesson for others to learn: Hard times show education is more important than ever, and (it) is the best avenue for young people to improve their futures.
Interesting story: My son, Van, was born on Labor Day. I am more committed to the Tulsa community than ever, but I now juggle to balance my work goals with my new family commitments.
Sharon Edd, registered nurse at Hillcrest Medical Center
How her job has changed in a year: Not really!
How the economy has affected her job: It really hasn’t. Well, not my job in particular. But the actual field (of nursing) is still really needing nurses.
Something she wants: I’d like to start on an advanced degree for nursing. I graduated in 1984, and have not pursued updates on (my degree). So, subsequently, I haven’t been able to advance into management. I’m not sure where I’m going, but adult learning is the new thing. There are some accelerated programs out there that I might try.
Something she’s learned: That you really need an advanced degree to further your standing in this field!
Dana Kuehn, associate district judge for Tulsa County
How her job has changed in the past year: That’s a difficult question. I don’t think it’s really changed; I’ve just become more experienced! I also might be switching from a criminal docket to a civil docket, but I’m not sure yet.
How the economy has affected her job: It’s hard to tell with my particular job, because I only see people who are charged with alleged crimes. I haven’t seen a large number of increased crimes, but it’s been busy with robberies, and I think that I would attribute that to the poor economy.
Her goal for the year: To make my docket run more efficiently, and to try jury trials.
What she’s learned: No matter how long you’ve been practicing law, you learn something new every day.
His job then: Account executive, Cubic
His job now: Last summer I took the big leap and opened up a design studio in downtown Tulsa. Black Ops Studio/Left Field Project.
Job title: Creative director.
Job description: Drawing a lot.
One reason you like your job: Our office. It’s fun and pretty. I recommend everyone stop by and say “hi.” I didn’t mean to rhyme; my apology.
How his job has changed in the past year: I’m now focusing on design. One hundred percent of my day is spent on creativity and searching for inspiration.
How the economy has affected his job: We’ve been very fortunate; our business has thrived in the madness.
A goal he has for this year: I’m hoping to direct a music video; it has been in the works for the past six months and I hope it goes into production soon.
Something he’s learned in the past year: That hard work really does pay off.
Interesting story: I was commissioned by the BOK Center to create a gift for Elton John and Billy Joel. It was such an incredible honor to see my artwork in the hands of those legends. The project lead to creating more pieces for Bruce Springsteen, Dane Cook, Taylor Swift, Dave Matthews and hopefully Aerosmith. Working with the BOK center — Casey Sparks, Jerry Goldman and John Bolton — has been a great experience and I am very appreciative of their support.
Other updates: This summer I am launching a new art project that will incorporate new media, randomness, limited edition art and a treasure hunt — kind of. I will be painting 23 jewelry boxes and hiding them in cities around the world. Each jewelry box will contain a bracelet or cuff made by Spexton. The boxes will be very similar to the boxes I created for Elton John, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. It should be a fun project that will actually interact with the person who finds it. I can’t give too much away at this point, but people can learn more about the project by following my blog and Twitter, which will have clues to the whereabouts to the boxes. (Visit www.duanefernandez.com.)
Tulsa’s hot jobs
Occupations with most openings:
- Retail salespersons
- Customer service representatives
- Combined food preparation and serving work
- Veterinary technologists and technicians
- Network systems and data communications analysts
- Computer software engineers
- Personal and home care aides
Source: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Top 10 occupations by highest salary, Tulsa MSA
- Internists, general
- Family and general practitioners
- Pediatricians, general
- Physicians and surgeons, all other
- Dentists, general
- Chief executives
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2008
Tulsa’s leading areas of industry
- Aerospace (both manufacturing and air transportation)
- Health care
- Petroleum and natural gas
- Architectural and structural metals manufacturing
Source: 2009 Economic Profile, posted on www.growmetrotulsa.com
The 2008 feature “What Tulsa Makes” also included a list of salaries from various jobs in Tulsa. Here is an update on a few of them:
Laundry operator: $21,443-$22,361
Petroleum engineer: $93,991-$103,310
Forensic scientist: $45,815-$51,328
Web developer: $72,787-$80,090
Fast food restaurant cashier: $16,720-$18,320
Interior designer: $44,046-$53,393
Financial analyst: $64,104-$71,397
Construction contractor: $86,444- $98,199
Source: Tulsa Metro Chamber
Tulsa fun facts
- No. 1 Place to Live in the U.S. (Relocate America, 2009)
- No. 5 on America's Most Livable Cities list (Forbes.com, 2009)
- Fifth-best metro region in the nation to ride out the U.S. recession (Forbes.com, 2008)
- Second-shortest commute time in the nation
- No. 2 mid-sized city for jobs (Forbes.com, 2009)