PARADE'S What People Earn: TV vs. Reality

what people earnPARADE

On The Office, Jim Halpert livens up his mundane job by pulling pranks on co-worker Dwight Schrute. But what is it like to actually be a salesman in Scranton, Pa.? We found a few Americans who have the same real-life jobs as your favorite prime-time stars.

- PARADE's What People Earn 2011

- Celebrity Salaries Revealed




Sales Executive

Scranton sales exec Ross McArthur works from 7 a.m.to 6 p.m.daily, making calls and meeting with clients for auto marketing company Net Driven. He may not work with paper, but he thinks his office life is remarkably similar to Jim Halpert's. "Sales is sales," McArthur says. "We just don't have Steve Carell cracking jokes all the time. And I don't have an archnemesis like Dwight."

Ross McArthur, 26

Sales Exec for Net Driven

Scranton, Pennsylvania

$70,000




Superintendent, Parks & Recreations

Chris Johnson hasn't seen a lot of NBC's Parks and Recreation, but he sounds just as enthusiastic about his work as Amy Poehler's perky Leslie Knope. "I keep reminding myself this is parks and recreation. We're supposed to have fun."

Chris Johnson, 63

Superintendent of Parks & Recreation

Portage, Indiana

$58,500




Police Officer

"Police work has its own challenges. It's the nature of the job. When other people are watching Mike & Molly, there have to be policemen on the street," says Roger Fieser. Still, he and his wife love the show, on which Billy Gardell plays a Chicago cop.

Roger Fieser, 39

Police Officer

Chicago, Illinois

$77,238




Choir Director

Glee may be winning TV awards, but real-life Lima, Ohio, choir director Stephen Popa hasn't noticed any change in his group's popularity. "When the show came on the air, we all thought, 'Great! This is going to get some mileage for the choir,'" he says. "No. We get the same attendance at our concerts. We get the same sort of commentary when other people listen to us as we always did. The dialogue hasn't changed much." Even so, Popa struggles just like Matthew Morrison's Glee character, Mr. Schuester. "The frustrations of a music teacher are the same ones any teacher has. We just have the added pressure of public performances and one shot to make an impression. And you don't do that in many classes."

Stephen Popa, 41

Choir Director

Lima, Ohio

$48,601




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