Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Celebrities - Who should be paid more?

This is an example of an IELTS Writing Test Task 2 essay question asked this month with some ideas to help you write your essay. If you need help structuring your essay try using an IELTS essay template until you feel comfortable with planning your essay.

Doctors, nurses and teachers make a great contribution to society and should be paid more than entertainment and sports celebrities. Do you agree or disagree?

Points to consider [doctors, nurses, teachers]

  • Doctors and nurses have the ability to save lives

  • Doctors are required to spend many years studying and training in order to do their job

  • Teachers have the ability to shape future generations

  • Some teachers are able to inspire students to become better people (long-term effect on the life of a person)

Points to consider [celebrities]

  • A celebrity has the ability to reach an audience of millions (globally) whereas a doctor, nurse, teacher reaches a relatively small number of people

  • Soccer players, musicians, etc. have a worldwide impact on other people

  • Celebrities [sports, entertainment, etc.] all have the ability to inspire young people (similar to teachers but in a different way)

The logic of the argument

  • The type of contribution to society by doctors, celebrities, etc. is quite different - so cannot be directly compared

  • Doctors, nurses, teachers provide a service [social]

  • Celebrities and sports stars provide entertainment services [commercial]

  • There is no direct correlation between how important we think a job is and how much that job pays

  • We think doctors, firefighters and other essential jobs are important but we do not demand that these jobs have a higher salary than a Wall Street banker or a high-tech entrepreneur

  • Earning power of the individual is not related to the importance of the job to society

  • Earning power is related to how much money can be generated from the ‘individual’ by other organizations which invest in that person; TV stations, sports teams, etc.

  • Clearly doctors, nurses, teachers do not directly generate income or jobs for other organizations in the same way that an international TV personality, sports celebrity or similar can do

The economics of the argument

  • The labor market generally works on the basic principle of supply and demand

  • There is no governing body which dictates what each job is worth

  • Market forces and other factors influence what each job is worth – if there are too many doctors, the pay for doctors will decrease – if there are too few doctors, the pay will increase

  • In the case of celebrities and sports stars, for example, if more people were able play soccer as well as the top three international soccer players, then those three would not receive as much money – it is the rarity of their skills which dictates how much they are paid

  • Doctors, nurses and teachers do not work for commercial enterprises

  • Sports stars and celebrities on the other hand usually have sponsors or are paid a salary by, for example, a sports team, a media network, etc.

  • Sports stars and celebrities earn money for other organizations. They can be the reason people go to watch a soccer match or pay to view a game on TV, they can sell seats in stadiums, raise advertising revenue and help sell merchandise

  • All these activities help provide employment for other people – so these ‘stars’ generate income for the organizations they are associated with and also create jobs for many other workers

  • There are many doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. in each country, but there is only one champion in any sport or one most popular entertainment celebrity in a particular category [music, film, etc.] so there are fewer individuals – which results in higher pay for their services (supply and demand)

  • Any doctor, nurse, teacher is free to not work in that profession if they consider the salary to be too low