Originally Posted by Zassk
Teaching is not in fact an arts degree, it is a second 2-year degree (normally compressed into 4 semesters across 12-15 months). Yes, you can certainly take an "easy" first degree to get there, and many teachers do (Phys Ed degrees are my personal pet peeve), but that also restricts which teaching jobs you are qualified to work.
The bottom line is that teachers have attended and paid for more education than most university grads, and should be compared to professions with similar amount of education. The general arts grad running the shift at McDonald's for $32k/year is not comparable and really isn't relevant to this discussion.
Many of the attributes Alex listed about engineers above are actually reserved for Professional Engineers, and are not applicable to new hires in that profession. A P.Eng is significant career development, normally 5-10 years beyond the degree, and I would agree that it's not comparable to a teaching profession. It also pays much better.
I don't think the teaching wage is far off base here. In Ontario, perhaps.
Doing a teaching masters after a 4 year arts degree takes about as long as the average engineering degree. It's also what most people going into teaching take. Most engineers I went to school with took 5 to 5.5 years to graduate.
The only thing that is P.Eng specific is getting sued. As an EIT, you get your supervising P.Eng sued and are covered by their insurance. You still need professional development hours.