As an economics teacher, the most frequently asked question by my students is (apart from can I have more time for my homework?) - Why did you become a teacher, when you could have gone to the City and earned lots more money?
Well, three pretty good reasons for being a teacher are July, August and December. This August holidays, I am in the US again, so posts may be limited over the next week.
When I finished University, I had a pretty good idea what I didn't want to do. Quite high up on the list was working long hours in an office - whatever the monetary renumeration may have been. Therefore, I choose a type of teaching which enables part time work. Basically, in my case I placed a higher value on leisure time than most of my fellow graduates. Later, I felt a certain smug satisfaction as they recounted how they found themselves working a 70 + hours a week in their law firm and having no time to spend all the money they were earning.
We always have choices and there are certainly drawbacks to choosing lower paid jobs. But, as I try to teach my ambitious students, maximising their quality of life is not necessarily synonymous with finding the highest paying job...