Many of us today don't think that we make enough money. Check out what the workers who built Hoover Dam made in the early 1930's. The amounts shown are per hour of work, and the men worked eight-hour days. If you see an entry like .825 it means that person earned eighty two and a half cents per hour.
|Shifters||.875 to 1.00||Miners||.70|
|Muckers||.50||Muck Machine operator||1.00|
|Muck Machine helper||.50||Brakeman||.50|
|Jackhammer men||.625||Compressor operator||.625|
|Pipefitter||.625 to .75||Pipefitter helper||.50|
|Pipemen comp. line||.625||Blacksmith||.625 to .75|
|Blacksmith helper||.50 to .625||Machinist||.75|
|Welder||.625 to .75||Welder's helper||.50 to .625|
|Riggers||.625 to .75||Truck drivers (Ford)||.50 to .625|
|Truck drivers (Intl.)||.625||Truck drivers (Moreland)||.75|
|Cat operator||.75||Shovel operator||1.25|
|Oilers||.625||Carpenters||.70 to .75|
|Carpenter's helpers||.50||Carpenters, rough||.625|
|Boat operators||.625||Steel sharpeners||.75|
|Powder men||.70||Pumpmen||.625 to .70|
|Muck Machine doctor||1.00||American Crane operator||.75|
The lowest wage was 50 cents an hour, and the highest was $1.25. The average for all of the workers at the dam was about 62.5 cents an hour. How does that compare to the rest of the country at that time? It was pretty good, actually. Fifty cents an hour, eight hours per day for a year works out to $1460.00. The average 62.5 cents an hour works out to an annual income of $1825.00, and the highest wage, $1.25, works out to $3650.00 per year.
It still does not seem like much until you compare it to what other people were making at that time. Below is a table showing some comparisons on an annual basis.
|Steel Worker||$422.87||Coal Miner||$723.00|
|Hired Farm Hand||$216.00||Waitress||$520.00|
|Bus Driver||$1,373.00||Civil Service Employee||$1,284.00|
|Lawyer||$4,218.00||United States Congressman||$8,663.00|
Last Reviewed: 6/26/2006