It took me 5 years to barely stumble through a B.S. in Physics (God I wish I'd gone engineering), and nothing for a few years after that when grad school didn't seem feasible for any number of reasons, followed by some part-time tutoring. At the moment I'm a high school physics teacher. To be frank I find it rather unfulfilling, and I'd much rather be doing something else if I could figure out what the hell that should be. Though to be even franker, given the opportunity, I'd gladly take doing nothing whatsoever.
Mongoose, if it is any consolation, my high school physics teacher was a true inspiration for both myself and my classmates who had the privilege of learning with him. While it may be an unfulfilling position for yourself (and if you are truly unsatisfied then by all means do what you need to do), it has likely opened the door to greater understanding of the physical world to those whom you teach.
Seconded. My high school AP physics teacher is the reason I'm an engineer today. And really thinking about it, a large part of why I'm good at it and also good at teaching our candidates (if they actually care to learn). That class is where I first had to/learned to think about what I do
know to reason out what I don't
know. How to learn and adapt, basically. And now I use those same methods to try to force the 'kids' as I think of them (fresh hires right out of college) to actually understand the stuff on a base level and be able to figure things out rather than just memorize a lot of book knowledge. A skill which seems to be getting rarer with every passing year.
I'm actually kinda mad they passed me up for an instructor spot, opting to hire new, unknown, inexperienced and for the most part unqualified people to fill the spots instead. I'm certain I could have done a LOT of good for the division's overall and long-term health (which is staggeringly awful), but the way our training program is ACTUALLY shaping up, I'll be surprised if we don't implode in the next 5 years.