Ch-ch-ch-changes! Mathalicious is now Citizen Math . Please visit www.CitizenMath.com for the real-world math lessons you know and love. Alternatively, you can continue to access Mathalicious.com until the end of the school year, at which point Mathalicious will ride off into the sunset. For more details about the transition to Citizen Math, please click here.
Why do different jobs pay so differently? top-paid teacher earns in a year. On one hand, this seems unfair. On the other hand...it still seems unfair. But there’s a reason some jobs pay so much better than others.

In this lesson, students use unit rates to compare how much different professions make per year/day/hour and discuss ways to possibly equate compensation with social contribution.

Students will

  • Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real world problems
  • Calculate daily and hourly unit rates
  • However, in other professions that generate value for society at large – e.g. a teacher increases students’ future earnings, the President boosts economic performance – that value is often not reflected in compensation.

Before you begin

Students will find rates throughout this lesson. If they aren't familiar with the concept of a unit rate, they can reason their way through answers; simply adjust the timings to allow for lots of discussion of the mathematical reasoning.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices


All the teachers getting paid a fraction of the value they create.