Why do individuals all over the world choose to become school teachers? What motivates them to become educators of young people, and how committed are they to this cause when they enter their teacher education courses? Considering that teacher motivation and commitment have been identified as crucial factors for the future success of education and schools (Huberman, 1993; Manning & Patterson, 2005; Rikard, 1999), these are important questions for policy makers and societies to address. This paper provides a systematic and conceptual review of empirical research studies exploring student teachers career motivations and commitment in 23 countries from 5 continents. A variety of motivating factors are explored, their relative importance in student teachers career decisions is discussed, and differences between various subgroups and cultural contexts are highlighted. Attention is drawn to methodological limitations as well as recent developments in this important area of research.