Choosing to work as a teacher can be immensely rewarding as you help shape lives and equip young people with the skills they need to grow as individuals.

Careers in Teaching

Teaching is one of the most popular and sought-after professions available, and an increasing number of graduates are choosing to help others succeed in life and inspire the next generation of children by becoming a teacher. It can not only lead to a fulfilling, lifelong career but also open up other opportunities for personal and professional development.

There are just under a million workers employed in state-funded schools, with teachers making up almost half. The average starting salary for a newly qualified teacher is between £25,000 and £30,000 but can eventually rise to above £40,000 when fully qualified. Every year there are thousands of vacancies and openings in schools across the UK, and a wide variety of support available to help you find the right teaching role for you.

There are typically three main types of teachers in schools:

Early Years Teacher

Teachers working in early years are predominately responsible for children up to the age of five, often in preschool settings and primary schools.

Primary School Teacher

Commonly working with children from Foundation Stage up to Key Stage 2, primary school teachers design lesson plans and schemes of work for a variety of subjects, usually working with just one class throughout the day.

Secondary School Teacher

These teachers can expect to be teaching one or a small number of specialist subjects to multiple year groups, usually to children coming up from primary school to undertaking GCSEs. Time with each class is limited, but commonly allows time between classes to resolve any issues or conflicts that may arise.

Graduates with a teaching degree also have other options available to them; these can include:

  • Teaching Assistant
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Welfare Officer
  • Nursery Worker
  • Careers Advisor
  • Sports Coach

Routes into Teaching

There are many pathways that lead to becoming a teacher. Some may study a teaching degree at university, whilst others may choose to build on knowledge and qualifications in an unrelated subject before moving into teaching in later life. Before deciding to enter the profession, however, it is important to do your research into what it takes to become a teacher, and the options available to you.

To become a teacher, you will need to focus on gaining your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There are several education providers that offer teacher training in order to achieve your QTS. Most courses will take approximately one year of study and can be applied for via UCAS Teaching Training (UTT).

The minimum requirements to start training as a teacher are commonly:

  • A degree at 2:2 or above, relevant to the subject you want to teach for secondary school teachers
  • GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent in English and Maths, and often a science subject
  • A full check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

The next stage for Graduates

Graduates with QTS are required to complete a year’s induction to become fully qualified and must use this time to demonstrate they meet the Teachers’ Standards. In Wales, this is known as Practising Teacher Standards, whilst in Scotland, this is known as the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) where it guarantees a one-year teaching post in a local authority school.

There is plenty of support available to graduates looking for work, and a role within the sector can be secured in several ways. Here are just some of the ways you can apply for jobs as a teacher

  • Apply directly to schools – Check your university jobs board or talk to the staff at the school you’re currently in to find out if there any openings
  • Teacher recruitment agencies – Some agencies that specialise in helping teachers into work who know where there are open vacancies and can help you prepare your application
  • Local Authorities – Councils and local authorities often advertise for roles on their website and have databases of newly qualified teachers that schools can use to select candidates

Teaching positions abroad – Some graduates choose to spend their induction year overseas, however most recruiters abroad prefer candidates to hold at least a master’s degree.