How To Become An English Teacher In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become a high school English teacher in Australia.


Do you love English, have a passion for teaching, and enjoy working with students of all ages? If yes, a career as an English Teacher could be perfect for you.


English teachers teach students how to speak, read and write English in high school. They create and analyse texts, poetry, and literature to improve student's learning and communication skills.


To work as an English Teacher in Australia, you need a four-year ITE-approved undergraduate teaching degree in English. Alternatively, complete a tertiary qualification focusing on two or more curriculum subjects and a two-year postgraduate teaching degree. State-level teacher registration is also needed.


Explore the English teacher job profile in this blog, including duties, required skills and qualifications, courses, national average salary, job outlook, employment opportunities, and more.



1. What Is An English Teacher?


English teachers are registered Secondary School Teachers who specialise in teaching the English language to students aged 12 to 18 years. They teach high school students a broad curriculum of literature, grammar, and writing skills.


Based on their specialty and the student's needs, English teachers might work with specific grades or teach a mix of standard and advanced classes to students of different grades.



2. What Are ESL Teachers? 


English as a second language teacher, or ESL teacher, works with Australian immigrants from different nationalities with little to no skills in the English language.


They design teaching aids and coursework to help children and adults to become proficient in English. These can be in TAFEs, universities, public and independent schools, intensive English centres, and private colleges for overseas students.


Public schools and private companies "in Australia and abroad" hire ESL teachers to teach a small group of people lessons. Some ESL teachers also work freelance and provide private tuition to their client base.


3. What Are TESOL Teachers?


TESOL teachers assist children, migrants, overseas students, refugees, or adults from non-English speaking backgrounds to learn English.


They help them enhance their English language abilities in the classroom and online while teaching "within the country." Moreover, TESOL teachers guide learners on the country's norms and culture to help them confidently settle into their local community.


Schools, TAFEs, universities, and private English language colleges are familiar employment places for TESOL teachers. 



4. What Does An English Teacher Do?


English teacher perform the following duties and responsibilities:


  • Plan English lessons for secondary school students based on county curriculum requirements and student's instructional needs

  • Prepare learning resources, including English language books, games, and flashcards.

  • Deliver English learning and teaching programs to students in one-on-one, classroom, or group settings using various materials and learning styles.

  • Teach classes remotely through e-teaching platforms or communications applications like Zoom, etc. 

  • Assign homework to students.

  • Conduct role-play and conversation sessions to assist students in practising their English. 

  • Instruct students in different writing types that include essays, speeches, and book reports

  • Facilitate discussions about short stories, poems, or novels.

  • Describe literary themes and methods.

  • Prepare students for English exams.

  • Use assessment tools such as book projects, tests, and essay questions to assess students' learning, development, and progress concerning their English knowledge, skills, and achievement.

  • Grade individual students on their English language abilities

  • Compile reports on student performance and discuss them with their parents and educational support staff to form action plans for students.

  • Tutor students who require specialized instruction

  • Stay updated on the newly introduced English teaching methods and lesson plans.



5. What Skills Do You Need To Become An English Teacher In Australia?


Employers usually look for various skills in a teaching professional. Some of the essential skills include:



Technical English Skills


  • Native English-speaking skills - An excellent understanding of the English language, including grammar, vocabulary, tenses, spelling, and pronunciation.

  • Proficiency in teaching how to read, write, and speak the English language

  • Good knowledge of lesson planning

  • Able to prepare engaging lessons to teach different types of students.

  • ESL teachers prefer a basic knowledge of foreign languages to help them converse with their students.



Soft Skills


  • Enjoy teaching students from diverse backgrounds

  • Strong Interpersonal and communication skills

  • Good organizational and planning skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Confidence and Public speaking skills

  • Able to work well with small groups

  • Cultural sensitivity

  • Time Management

  • Critical thinking

  • Mentoring skills

  • Understanding

  • Flexible to adjust their plans to meet student's needs

  • Presentable

  • Diplomacy

  • Aptitude for languages



6. English Teacher Qualifications In Australia


You need a relevant tertiary degree and a state/territory-level registration with "Teacher Registration Authority" to work as a Secondary English Teacher in Australia.


Here are the steps to qualify for the role:


  1. Over 17 years of age

  2. Complete your Secondary School Certificate at high school. 

  • Complete a four-year Initial Teacher Education approved undergraduate teaching degree course specialising in English like a Bachelor of Education (Secondary). Otherwise, if you already have a tertiary qualification focusing on two or more curriculum subjects recognised by the schools in Australia, then complete a two-year Master of Teaching (Secondary).

  • Apply for teacher registration in your state.



7. ELS Teacher Qualifications In Australia


Looking for more than a traditional teaching career tutoring non-native English speakers? You must meet ELICOS Teacher Qualifications:


  • Obtain an ESL qualification by undertaking courses at TAFE colleges through a Master's program at university. The qualification equips you with the knowledge and skills to teach English as a second language.


  • These include a Master of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), a Graduate Certificate in TESOL, or a Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).


  • Once you have a suitable ESL qualification, you can decide whether you want to work at home or overseas. If you're going to work abroad, you must meet the minimum educational requirements of the country you wish to work in. Professionals planning to work in Australia must complete a National Police Certificate and a Working With Children Check before applying for jobs.



8. Steps To Become An English Teacher In Australia


Though each state has its requisites for becoming an English teacher, most require completing a teaching degree specialising in the English language and gaining a teacher registration with your state.


Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start teaching English in Australia:



Step 1: Get Qualified


Schools and private English teaching firms usually seek candidates with native proficiency in the English language and a qualification in English, English language and teaching or English literature.


While some universities offer courses comprising necessary instructions to teach the English language to secondary students, others offer bachelor's courses in education with an English major.


Such courses equip you with the knowledge in the following areas:


  • Grammar

  • Linguistics

  • Phonics

  • English literature, poetry, and drama

  • Technical and professional writing

  • Educational psychology

  • Teaching techniques


Here are the three learning pathways to qualify as an English teacher:


  1. Complete a bachelor's degree in secondary education with a major in English. For example, Undergraduate Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education) (major-English) 

  2. Complete a double or combined degree that gives you the necessary teaching skills in English. For instance - Bachelor of Arts/Master of Teaching (Secondary) 

  3. Complete a bachelor's degree in education and teaching or another relevant area, like creative arts, arts, and humanities, followed by a separate Master's degree in teaching. For example, Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Literature) and Master of Teaching (Secondary) – English Education



Step 2: Gain Field Experience Or Complete A Teacher-Training Program


Most education degree programs comprise a teacher-training program, where you may aid an English teacher in a classroom at a local high school while completing your degree.


You may also observe how your lead teacher prepares lesson plans, lead classes, and grade assessments.



Step 3: Earn Teacher Certification


After completing the degree course, you can take your state-level Teacher Certification examination that evaluates your knowledge and professional skills on the below topics:


  • Oral communication

  • Literature

  • Media literacy

  • Reading comprehension


State licensing boards usually require candidates to pass a national criminal background check to take the test.



Step 4: Earn A Graduate Certification


Many schools recruit entry-level English teacher candidates with a relevant bachelor's degree.


However, schools that need specialist English teachers to teach advanced courses or for a department head role require candidates with a master's degree or graduate certifications in English or education.



Step 5: Apply For English Teacher Positions


Armed with the necessary qualification and field experience, you are ready to apply for jobs.


Ensure you write a detailed resume that lists the following:


  • Types of courses you have taught

  • Your classroom teaching experience

  • Types of textbooks used

  • Languages you are proficient in

  • The average number of hours led per week 

  • One or more references in your employment record


When applying for jobs, it is vital to research the recruitment process in the district of your selected school. It is because some counties allow qualified teachers to apply via the district and choose from school options with vacancies. Others permit candidates to apply for the jobs directly in the school they choose to work in.


State-wide teachers' job board is a centralized platform that can help you find open jobs in your area. Furthermore, district hiring managers often advertise jobs online on job portals like Indeed's job search. It is an excellent resource to find and apply for relevant jobs.



Step 6: Consider Specialisation


After securing an English Teacher job, you can specialise in specific teaching areas, such as teaching children, special-needs children, mature students, or young adults, and progress in your career.


You may consider studying further to expand your knowledge and skills to enjoy several career progression opportunities, including:



Industry bodies




9. English Teacher Courses In Australia


Here are some of the standard courses that can help you qualify for an English teacher role in Australia:


  • Undergraduate Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education) (major-English) - Curtin University

  • Undergraduate Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major- English) - The University of Southern Queensland

  • Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major - English) - The University of Sydney

  • Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major: English) - Edith Cowan University

  • Bachelor of Education (Secondary)(major: English) - QUT university

  • Bachelor of Arts/Master of Teaching (Secondary) - Deakin University



10. Working Conditions Of English Teachers


English Teachers usually work in traditional classroom settings in government and private schools. They are mainly work outside standard school hours to attend parent-teacher interviews and staff meetings and monitor extracurricular activities.


It is common for English teachers to work on public holidays and weekends to prepare students for competitions and participate in school functions and events.



11. Career Pathways For An English Teacher In Australia


Studying for an English degree can lead you to various roles:




12. Job Outlook Of English Teachers In Australia


ANZSCO ID - 2493 (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)


English is the official language of trade and business in Australia. It is also among the most widely spoken languages across the globe.


Due to its popularity and widespread use, countless people want to learn or enhance their English. It translates to a greater demand for proficient English language and TESOL teachers in several areas, including:


  • Public education system

  • Private and public language schools 

  • Hospital schools

  • International schools 

  • Flexi school delivery

  • Community colleges

  • Community-based government organizations

  • Human services

  • Recreation and tourism industries



Working Arrangements


Around 37% of employed teachers work full-time for an average of 41 hours per week.



Main Industries of Employment


Education and training is the top teacher recruiter, with around 89.7% of teachers currently work in the industry. Some also work in:


  • Professional, Scientific And Technical Services 

  • Health Care And Social Assistance

  • Arts And Recreation Services



Employment Percentage throughout Australia


Out of the total employed teachers, 82% of them live in capital cities. Victoria has a large percentage of employment concerning its population size. The employment percentage of teachers in major cities is as follows:


  • New South Wales - 33.3%

  • Victoria - 28.6%

  • Queensland - 18.9%

  • South Australia - 7.3%

  • Western Australia - 8.2%

  • Tasmania- 1.1%

  • Northern Territory - 0.7%

  • Australian Capital Territory - 1.9%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


The average age of teachers is 49, and most are between 45 and 54 years. Females constitute 76% of the workforce which is 28 percentage points more than the average of all jobs, i.e., 48%.



13. How Much Do English Teachers Get Paid In Australia?


The average English teacher's salary of a full-time, salaried English teacher in Australia usually depends on various factors such as:


  • Skillset and qualification

  • Level of experience 

  • Number of hours taught

  • Location

  • Employer



14. Can You Make a Living as an English Teacher?


Yes. Qualified and skilled English teachers earn handsome salaries with various incentives and perks. According to Indeed, an average English teacher in Australia earns $90,956 annually.


Besides annual income, they may be entitled to multiple benefits, including paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and health insurance.


The average ESL teacher's salary is $41.11 per hour. Their salary may differ if they work remotely or in the classroom. Those working abroad may be eligible to get alternative benefits, such as language lessons in the country they work in or complimentary flight tickets home.


Which cities pay the most for English teachers? Highest paying cities for English Teachers are:


  • Brisbane - $92,083 per year

  • Port Augusta - $90,096 per year

  • Charters Towers - $89,287 per year

  • Sydney - $87,366 per year

  • Adelaide - $79,297 per year

  • Perth - $72,136 per year

  • Melbourne - $64,160 per year

  • Canberra - $57,904 per year

  • Mt Lawley - $54,690 per year


Top employers for English Teachers in Australia include:


  • NSW Government: $117,537 per year

  • University of Sydney: $93,751 per year

  • Department of Education: $91,309 per year

  • Holmesglen Institute: $95,699 per year

  • Command Group: $94,488 per year

  • Schoolhouse: $91,872 per year

  • Brisbane Catholic Education: $94,576 per year



15. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



How To Become an English Teacher Abroad?


If you are an Australian English teacher, your teaching qualifications are recognised in several English-speaking countries, including the USA and the UK.


Interestingly, countries such as Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa do not require a degree to teach English. They need a bachelor's degree and a recognised TEFL qualification (for overseas English teachers) or a TESOL Certificate (140 hours minimum) with a mandatory teaching practicum to teach in schools.


However, as education systems vary worldwide, you should research available career opportunities if you want to teach abroad.



List of Teaching English As A Foreign Language (TEFL) Courses In Australia


Do you want to know how to become an English teacher online? The following are highly regarded TEFL programs among employers throughout the world. The course is taught at several global locations and offers a detailed curriculum delivered and supervised by knowledgeable teacher trainers.


Learn effective teaching methods while teaching real non-native speakers and implement the skills learned into your lesson plans.



Besides the proper training, you must have a suitable visa to teach abroad. Based on your teaching abroad goals, you may contact an immigration specialist for a 12-month temporary working holiday visa or the one that leads to permanent citizenship.


You can teach for a year or settle permanently in a different country based on your teaching goals. Whatever you use, teaching abroad is an excellent boost to your CV, personal growth, and experience.


Once you become qualified to teach English abroad, you can start to look for abroad teaching opportunities using any of the below ways:


  • Work with an established agency.

  • Apply to schools directly.

  • Participate in a recruitment event wherein you participate in multiple interviews with schools and connect directly with employers abroad.



How Long Does It Take To Get TEFL Certified?


You can complete a TEFL course by ITTT online in just 120 hours. The course doesn't require any previous experience or qualifications. Anyone fluent in English and above the age of 18 years can take this self-paced online classroom course.



How To Become an English Teacher Without a Degree?


Though a teaching degree is a general requirement to work as an English teacher in schools, you can still teach with a bachelor's degree and TEFL certification/TESOL qualification.


TEFL teachers usually work outside of English-speaking nations. A TEFL certification is ideal if you wish to country-hop worldwide while they teach.


On the other hand, a TESOL qualification opens more doors for English teachers within Australia and can lead to further education and career opportunities. Some common employers for TESOL teachers include domestic schools, universities, private English language colleges, and TAFEs.



How Long Does It Take to Become an English Teacher in Australia?


As a formal requirement, you must complete a relevant tertiary qualification to pursue this profession. A 4-year full-time Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education) (majoring in English) is the typical qualification for this career.


Alternatively, if you have a relevant bachelor's degree but not a teaching degree, you can complete a Master's teaching degree to get started in this role. For example, a 4-year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Teaching (Secondary).


So, it takes around 4-years of study to become a qualified English teacher to teach English to secondary students in a high school.



Is Teaching English a Good Side Hustle?


Yes. Considering the increasing influx of overseas students and rising demand for qualified teachers to teach English, English teaching can be a great career choice if you have the proper qualifications, enjoy working with children and teens, and seek a higher-paying job.


Furthermore, the role of an ESL teacher allows you to travel abroad with your work regularly. You have numerous ways to progress in your careers and the flexibility to become freelancers and teach privately at your rates.


The teaching salary scale in Australia is fixed and highly regulated. You can expect to earn between AU$20-$40/hour in language schools to AU$70/ hour at TAFEs and universities, which is higher than the minimum wage of AU$11 per hour.


Thus, a decent pay package, future solid growth projection, plenty of employment and career progression opportunities, and a supportive community of educators makes a career as an English teacher a good side hustle.



Are English Teachers in Demand in Australia?


Every year a significant number of people arrive in Australia from nooks and corners of the world to study, work and live there.


As most of them require support to learn English, there are plenty of career and progression opportunities for aspiring English teachers in Australia. It makes teaching English a rewarding experience wherever you start your career.


Other reasons behind the growing popularity of the English teaching profession in Australia:


  • Job stability 

  • Work-location flexibility (ESL teachers can work online, on a casual or part-time basis)

  • Long-term opportunities

  • High demand sector

  • Versatility as the teaching skills is valued in various areas except for traditional classroom settings, including human services, recreation, and tourism industries, and community-based government organizations

  • ESL teachers can work in schools or overseas, such as in China, the UAE, etc., where students wish to enhance their English skills. 

  • With approximately three hundred colleges registered to deliver courses to overseas students within the English language, or ELICOS, sector, you will find plenty of job opportunities constantly.



How to Teach English to Immigrants in Australia?


Suppose you want to develop and improve the English language skills of non-native English speakers arriving in Australia to live, work or study. In that case, becoming a TESOL teacher is a great career move.


TESOL stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages. Teachers trained in TESOL qualification can instruct overseas students, refugees, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to build their English language abilities in the classroom and online and help them confidently settle into their local community.


Here are the steps to start your TESOL career:

  1. Earn an undergraduate degree in education and teaching or another relevant area.

  2. Complete an online or full-time postgraduate TESOL certification, like a Master of TESOL or a Graduate Certificate in TESOL.

  3. Consider completing a course covering business English if you want to offer specialist language skills to your potential clients or employers.


Below are the popular online TESOL degrees. However, you will need a bachelor's degree in any discipline for these postgraduate courses


  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) – Curtin University

  • Master of Arts (TESOL) – Bond University

  • Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics) – Curtin University

  • Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - Griffith University


Moreover, TESOL Australia offers an International TESOL Certificate course that enables you to teach English online from anywhere (with a laptop and internet connection). The course includes your teaching practicum and work experience with overseas students to prepare for real-world teaching from the comfort of your home.


Having completed a TESOL certification, you can work in various settings, including a one-on-one or small group of students, as a:


  • English language teacher

  • Education policy adviser

  • Teacher educator

  • Researcher in language teaching and learning

  • Literacy educator 

  • English as a second language curriculum developer



Is it Worth It To Teach English Abroad?


Yes. Teaching English abroad opens the door to several exciting and lucrative work opportunities making it a worthwhile experience. We share some fantastic benefits that make English teaching abroad one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have.


  • You learn about different cultures and a new educational system, making it a fascinating experience.

  • You may end up in ex-pat central, a small district where you are the only foreigner, a state-of-the-art apartment, or a loft inside an elementary school with basic amenities. The range of experiences you get by living in various destinations can tell you many things about yourself: how patient you can be, how flexible you can be in and out of the classroom, how independent you can be, etc. 

  • Living abroad gives you the means to travel without requiring time or money. 

  • You gain an invaluable insight into yourself and the world that surrounds you.

  • It can be highly lucrative.

  • Working with different types of students, colleagues, and educational communities, makes you more adaptable, tolerant, and a better teacher.

  • You develop valuable teaching skills and a boost to your resume.

  • Teaching abroad can get you an ESL teaching job in a non-school setting in your home country later. 



How Hard is a TEFL Qualification?


TEFL courses were designed for high school graduates, so they have that level of study material. If you are a native English speaker and hold a degree, you will be able to manage the course load.


However, the grammar lessons are technical and harder to understand, so that is an area you need to put in extra effort to avoid failing a TEFL course. In addition, personal attributes such as emotional instability, arrogance, and a lack of commitment can also become a roadblock to success in the exam.


To succeed in a TEFL exam, you must have good time management skills to take time daily for the TEFL coursework, follow through on course assignments, and meet deadlines.


A willingness to learn, a flexible approach, a focused mind, and a supportive community of online learners increase your chances of becoming TEFL certified.



16. Conclusion


Becoming an English teacher is a beautiful way to share your love of English literature and language with students. The emotional fulfilment you get by working with people of different cultures and equipping them with a skill set that benefits them personally and professionally makes the profession worth trying.


If you are looking for an in-demand role where you can live your passion of teaching English to young people at home and abroad, then following the above steps and information will help you realize your dream.


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