How To Become A Teacher In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how to become early childhood, primary and secondary school teachers in Australia without a teaching degree.


Are you interested in pursuing a career as a teacher? If so, you may want to work in early childhood education, specialise in music, or become a high school English teacher.


If you are drawn towards the diverse career opportunities offered by the education industry and enthusiastic about inspiring the future generation of Australians, becoming a teacher is the right choice.


The post below will discuss everything you need to become a teacher in Australia to make your dream come true.



1 . What Do Early Childhood Teachers Do?


Early childhood educators teach young children, prepare numeracy and literacy classes, and build a child's confidence via creative activities such as drama, storytelling, and art. They help children with special needs acquire social skills and ensure they are a part of the curriculum.


The critical aspects of this role also include keeping track of and reporting the child's growth and interacting with their parents.


Overall, early childhood teachers foster self-expression, interest in learning, and a sense of individuality in each child. To work as an early childhood teacher in Australia, you will need a relevant tertiary qualification.


Early childhood teachers usually work in government-run preschools, community kindergartens, and childcare centres. Additionally, they monitor, assess, and report a child's progress, help them with personal hygiene, and ensure their health and safety.


Early childhood educators also supervise children in the playground and classroom and work to resolve conflicts and disciplinary concerns positively. They may work with experts, such as child psychologists and speech pathologists.



2. Major Duties and Tasks of Early Childhood Teachers



  • Devise learning programs

  • Supervise children on excursions

  • Structure art and craft activities

  • Encourage diversity

  • Comfort sick or distressed children



3. What Do Primary School Teachers Do?


Primary school teachers in Australia teach students between 5 to 12 years of age, generally from Year 1 through Year 6. They follow a government-mandated curriculum that aims to improve children's literacy and numeracy skills while fostering social and emotional development. 


Some subjects taught by a primary school teacher include English, math, technology, physics, social science and humanities, arts, and health and physical education.


Primary School Teachers engage children in the learning process using various techniques and technologies, depending on their age, level of ability, and individual requirements.


They assist students in developing their problem-solving skills and creative and reasoning abilities, allowing them to prepare for high school education.


Primary school teachers also regularly assess and evaluate their students' development and update administrators and parents.



4. Major Duties and Tasks of a Primary School Teacher


  • Prepare long-term and daily lesson plans as per the curriculum guidelines.

  • Use computers to assist with teaching, lesson preparation, and reporting.

  • Teach various subjects, including personal development, technology, health and physical education, science, English (writing, reading, listening, and speaking), mathematics, creative arts, society and environment.

  • Discuss educational issues and take part in joint-discussion making.

  • Carry out administrative duties.

  • Help with organising school concerts, sporting activities, and excursions.

  • Attend staff meetings, development sessions, and other training programmes.

  • Maintain and develop discipline in classrooms and good working habits.

  • Discuss students' concerns and progress with administrators and parents.

  • Supervise students during classes, breaks, and at other times in school.

  • Develop children's coordination, abilities, and interests by indulging them in creative activities like music, art, and sports.

  • Attend and prepare for parent-teacher meetings and other events.

  • Evaluate and assess students' progress in oral and written work. 



5. What Do Secondary School Teachers Do?


Secondary school teachers assist students with their academic growth and progression through high school.


They help create a welcoming school environment, which can sometimes be challenging, especially when working with teenagers. Teachers in secondary schools may even use lesson plans to teach specific topics to students.


They also ensure that their teaching techniques, lectures, and assignments comply with their state's or territory's curricular standards. You will require a relevant tertiary qualification to become a secondary school teacher in Australia.


Furthermore, secondary school teachers may opt to work exclusively with senior or younger students within the high school and specialise in one or more subjects. Teachers at secondary schools also provide homework, organise lessons, grade students' work, and interact with guardians and parents. 


They work in a setting that encourages creativity and critical thinking and provides students with the assistance and guidance required to work harder.



6. Major Duties and Tasks of a Secondary School Teacher


  • Prepare long-term teaching programmes and daily lessons per state or territory guidelines and curriculum.

  • Conduct exams, tests, assignments, projects, and homework.

  • Correct and mark assessments, and sort the results.

  • Coordinate the work of non-teaching staff in schools and administrative support programs.

  • Supervise extra classes during the absence of teachers.

  • Use information technology to assist with teaching, lesson preparation, and reporting.

  • Network with other teachers.

  • Participate in activities like school council and parent-teacher nights in partnership with the school committee and parents.

  • Carry out relevant administrative duties.

  • Teach using different techniques, including experiments, formal lessons, excursions and assignments, practical activities, discussions, and projects, and considering the differences between individual students. 

  • Coordinate industry programs.

  • Supervise students in the yard during breaks or lunchtime.

  • Collaborate with other staff members to update the school's policies and curriculum, meet government initiatives, and cater to the changing students' needs.

  • Attend educational conferences, staff meetings, and other professional development activities.

  • Report and evaluate students' progress, and discuss individual concerns and performance with both parents and students.

  • Participate in distance education (for instance, teaching using television transmission, radio, audiovisual, correspondence, and other multimedia resources).

  • Help with organising camping trips, sporting events, and other excursions.

  • Establish and maintain discipline throughout the school, including good working habits.



7. How to Become an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia?


When it comes to developing a child's social skills, language, numeracy, and vocabulary, early childhood teachers (ECTs) have a crucial role to play. ECTs often need specialised qualifications due to the fragile nature of young children. These qualifications may include the following:


  • Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education

  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Education


The NQF (National Quality Framework) has established a national standard of care for children not enrolled in school (aged five and under) or primary school children registered under out-of-school-hours care. 


According to the NQF, you must have an authorised diploma-level certification in education to work in a centre-based education and care service with preschool or kindergarten children.


Additionally, depending on the state or territory in which you intend to teach, you may also be required to complete teacher accreditation or registration.



8. How To Become a Primary School Teacher In Australia


Primary school teachers in Australia teach Prep, Kindergarten, and Year 1 to Year 6 students — children aged between 5 and 12 years. The minimum education qualification to become a primary school teacher in Australia is completing a bachelor's degree, which typically takes four years. 


Upon completing your studies, you must apply for teaching registration to become a fully qualified teacher.


Here are some common steps you must follow to become a primary school teacher:


  • Step 1: To gain the knowledge and skills to teach topics and understand and engage kids, you must complete a primary education degree, such as a Bachelor of Education (Primary). Scheduled work placements may also provide you with valuable experience.


  • Step 2: You can also go for a postgraduate degree, such as a Master of Teaching focusing on Primary Education, if you already hold a Bachelor's degree in another discipline. This will allow you to gain significant work experience and excel in your field.


  • Step 3: You must register yourself with your state's Teacher Registration Authority to find work in a school and become a qualified teacher. Get in touch with your state's relevant authority for additional information on the specific criteria for registration.



9. How To Become a Secondary School Teacher in Australia?


Regardless of the state or territory you choose to teach in, you will need a suitable tertiary degree to become a secondary school teacher in Australia.


Secondary school teachers are responsible for teaching students in Years 7 through 12, who are generally between the ages of 12 and 18.


These typically include four-year courses for individuals with a good Universities Admission Index (UAI) score and who have completed Year 12. The courses combine practical and theory to give a well-rounded teaching experience. 


Here are some common steps you can take to become a secondary school teacher in Australia:


  • Step 1: Obtain a bachelor's degree in the area of education. This usually incorporates a Bachelor of Education (Secondary). You can also complete a two-year Master of Teaching. It is for students who have previously attained tertiary qualifications.


  • Step 2: You must fill out an application for teacher registration in your state to start working as a secondary school teacher.


Note: Secondary school teachers can advance their careers in various ways, including leading teachers, special education teachers, principals, or assistant principals.



10. How Long Does It Take To Become A Teacher in Australia?


It may take six years to become a teacher in Australia if you get both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree. You may also require one or two years of classroom experience as a teacher.


Whether you are teaching kindergarten, primary, or secondary schools, the minimum qualification to become a teacher in Australia is completing a bachelor's degree, which may take up to four years.


You must apply for and maintain teacher accreditation or registration once you have completed your teaching degree. This occurs with the appropriate state or territorial body.



11. Can You Become a Teacher Without a Teaching Degree in Australia?


You must get a university degree to work as a teacher in Australia. There are two common pathways you can follow to qualify as a teacher:


  • Completing a four-year teaching degree allows you to become a primary or early childhood school teacher and, sometimes, a secondary school teacher.

  • You can also undertake an undergraduate degree in a specific discipline, such as music or science, combined with a master's degree in education.



12. What Is The Quickest Way To Become a Teacher in Australia?


In general, it takes four to five years to become a teacher unless you wish to work in one of the states where you require a master's degree to become a teacher. 


This timeline also implies that you can plan to major in education and complete your bachelor's degree in four years.



13. How Much Does a Teacher Earn in Australia?


A teacher's salary in Australia may vary, depending on whether the school is private or public, the subjects taught, years of experience, and more.


However, according to Payscale, the average salary for a primary school teacher in Australia is AU$69,849, and the average salary for a secondary school teacher is AU$72,520.



14. Employment Opportunities For Teachers In Australia


Besides traditional educational settings, graduates from Bachelor of Education courses have the knowledge, experience, and skills to work in private enterprises, government agencies, and community service organisations.


Some of the prospective future employers include:


  • Department of Education and Early Childhood Development 

  • State, independent, and Catholic education sectors 

  • Catholic Education Office

  • Early childhood centres

  • Independent schools

  • Professional associations

  • Cultural organisations

  • Community service organisations


Furthermore, the globally-recognised qualification and transferrable skills you gain enable you to practice as a teacher both within and outside Australia.



15. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



How Long Does A Teaching Degree Take in Australia?  


 The study duration depends on the pathway you take:


  • You can complete a 4-year full-time Bachelor of Education.

  • If you are a high school pass-out. 

  • If you already have an undergraduate degree in another discipline, complete a two years full-time Master of Teaching (Primary and Secondary).



How Do You Get Registered as a Teacher in Australia?


After you complete a relevant teaching degree, you must apply for teacher registration with your state's Teacher Registration Authority to begin working as a qualified teacher in Australia.


Additionally, you must maintain your teacher registration/accreditation with the appropriate state or territorial body.



Can a Foreigner Become a Teacher in Australia?


Yes. International students can become qualified teachers in Australia in just 1 or 2 years if they have a bachelor's degree.



Educational Requirements


As an overseas student, you must get your previous study evaluated by AITSL as equivalent to a minimum of four years of full-time university-level study, which leads to a qualification. Make sure the qualification includes at least 45 days of administered teaching practice with students.



English requirements


Besides academic qualifications, you also need a very high level of English to work as a teacher in Australia.


You must have an IELTS score of at least 7 for Reading and Writing and:


  • A score of 8 for Speaking and Listening, or


  • You have studied for a four-year university degree in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.S., the U.K., or the Republic of Ireland. This study must have led to an award of qualification equivalent to an Australian undergrad degree and higher and include a recognised initial teacher education qualification.



Can Teachers Get PR in Australia?  


Yes. Secondary School and Early Childhood Teachers are on the Immigration Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List.


So, overseas qualified teachers in these areas can apply for independent general skilled migration (permanent work visa – Subclass 189 or State Sponsored Subclass 190).


As Primary School Teachers aren't on this list, overseas-qualified primary teachers can't get a permanent general skilled migration visa.


The only visa they can apply for is an employer-sponsored visa, wherein your school would sponsor their work visa. After three years, the employer-sponsored visa may lead to a PR visa.



How To Become a Teacher in Victoria?


You can undertake teaching courses at the following universities in Victoria.


A Bachelor of Education at RMIT University specialising in:


  • General Primary

  • Early childhood

  • Disability inclusion, or

  • Physical education and sport.


Master of Teaching (Primary) - The University of Melbourne


Master of Teaching (Secondary) – The University of Melbourne



What Type of Teachers Get Paid The Most in Australia?


According to Indeed Australia, The average base salary of a teacher in a variety of roles:


  1. English as a second language teacher: $106,019 per year

  2. Special education teacher: $93,239 per year

  3. Mathematics teacher: $91,896 per year

  4. Primary School Teacher: $91,255 per year

  5. English teacher: $90,957 per year

  6. Secondary School (High School) Teacher: $89,427 per year

  7. Preschool Teacher: $85,396 per year

  8. Substitute Teacher: $84,512 per year

  9. Educator: $81,483 per year

  10. Lead teacher: $75,625 per year

  11. Early Childhood Teacher: $73,532 per year



So, if you want to know what teaching position pays best, working in an "English as a second language teacher" role will earn you the highest salary in Australia.



Which State in Australia Has The Highest-Paid Teachers?


According to Indeed, Townsville in Queensland pays the highest average salary of $103,040 per year to teachers in Australia.



How Many Hours Do Teachers Work in Australia?


According to Labour Market Insights, around 76% of Secondary School Teachers work full-time for an average of 46 hours per week.


Around 65% of Primary School Teachers work full-time for an average of 45 hours per week.



Which Teachers are Most in Demand in Australia?


Science and Math secondary school teachers are the most in-demand teachers in Australia.


Additionally, as the population density is low nationwide, most teaching opportunities will be in rural schools.


Due to this, there is a strong demand for qualified teachers to work in regional and remote areas. Most recent teacher graduates in Australia must find their first employer in regional Australia.


There is also an apparent shortage of teachers for special needs students. On the contrary, female primary school teachers are the least in-demand teachers in major cities.



Is Being a Teacher Stressful in Australia?


Yes. Stress has become common among teachers, and it is worsening with time. It is due to the three main reasons:


  1. Workload stress

  2. Student behaviour stress 

  3. Expectation stress (from parents and professional/registration bodies that place unrealistic expectations on them.)


It is worth noting that teachers' stress is not just an individual issue, as certain schools are more stressful places to work.


So, besides teachers' responsibility to manage their stress, schools should also contribute to developing a workplace that helps reduce their teachers' stress.



How Do You Become a Teacher in Australia with a Degree?


The minimum education qualification to become a primary school teacher in Australia is a four years full-time Bachelor of Education (Primary or Secondary).


Suppose you already have a Bachelor's degree in another discipline. In that case, you can complete a postgraduate degree, such as a Master of Teaching in Primary/Secondary Education. The qualification will help you develop considerable work experience to progress in your field.


Certain schools hire teachers without a teaching degree if they have a concentration in applicable secondary subjects within their degree. In such a case, a teaching certificate can help improve your teaching skills and pursue a teaching career in Australia.



Are Teachers in Australia Well Paid?


A teacher in Australia usually earns a moderate wage sufficient to live reasonably. In addition to annual salary, teachers also receive other perks such as superannuation, leave entitlements, etc.


As the cost of living in Australia is high, working in rural areas is cheaper and may help you save money. While some states, like NSW, also provide small-city incentives to encourage teachers to work in these areas.


The starting teacher's salary in Australia is competitive compared to other professions. However, the pay increases little with expertise or age. That's why most young teaching graduates keen to pursue this profession are turned off by the financial sacrifices teaching involves.



Do Teachers Get Paid More in Private Schools in Australia?


Government-run schools are losing teachers to private schools as most private schools pay higher salaries and perks like long-service leave after five years, making them more attractive employers over public schools.


However, the salary difference is due to three main reasons:


  • Private school teachers usually have a higher level of education than public school teachers 

  • Private schools often charge higher tuition fees, leaving them with more funds to invest in their staff.

  • Government schools have inadequate budgets to compete with a national teacher shortage.



Is it Difficult to Get a Teaching Job in Australia?


Teaching jobs can be very competitive and challenging, particularly for newly qualified teachers when it comes to gaining employment.


Understanding the Australian education system is beneficial as it will help you make more informed and targeted efforts when applying for jobs.


Around 2/3rd of children attend government schools, and the remaining percentage attend Catholic education and independent schools.


As most government schools lie in rural and isolated areas, you will find abundant employment opportunities for various teachers in rural, isolated regions and only a few in urban areas. It means the job search in rural and remote areas will be easier than in capital cities.


Furthermore, to boost recruitment of teachers in rural areas, NSW's Department of Education offers a variety of incentives to teachers who relocate to rural areas in the state.


So, when hunting for teaching jobs, targeting rural areas will benefit you with more job opportunities and higher earnings due to cheaper living costs and small-city incentives.


Now that you've learnt how to become a teacher in Australia, you are ready to embark on your teaching journey!


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