Yep. You're the one who has chosen to single out teachers... And as for your second paragraph there...as I've already pointed out, the "average" doesn't point out the very real cap on salary that you hit around 70k (in CA) that you would not find in other professions. When you're working in the public sector, there is usually a ceiling. Not so in the private sector. Is working for 15 years as a teacher to get to the highest pay category and make around 70k for the rest of my life worth it, when I could go to work for Northrop and be making 70k within the next 6 years easily, and then continue to advance? And, I've tried to keep the subjectivity out of this as much as possible....but to claim that most other professionals work as hard as teachers do every day, especially when it comes to unpaid overtime, is just complete bullshit. Teaching requires your full engagement with your work all day. If you work on spreadsheets all day and you let your attention lapse....no one knows or cares. If you let your attention lapse in the classroom....things go very wrong very quickly. People like you who don't appreciate what teachers go through ought to volunteer at a public school. Just go for an hour a week. Come talk to me after a couple months of that. Middle school teachers.....get away with not doing much? Lol. Elementary is great, and high school is fine. Middle will steal your soul. PS: For the record, I am not a teacher myself, though I come from a family of them and have volunteered extensively on various fronts of public education for the past 6 years.