How To Become A Vocational Education Teacher In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become vocational education teachers in Australia.


Do you have industry experience, vocational skills and qualifications, and want to share your knowledge and skills? If yes, a career as a Vocational Education Teacher could be worth exploring. 

Vocational Education Teachers train tertiary students on subjects within an official vocational education and training curriculum. They teach vocational courses at government institutions like TAFE, polytechnics, and private registered training organisations in Australia. 

To work as a Vocational Education Teacher in Australia, you usually need a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, an appropriate teaching qualification, and extensive industry experience to work in this role.


This blog explores the Vocational Education Teacher profession and how you can pursue this role in Australia. Find job responsibilities, skills and qualifications, study pathways, national average salary, employment opportunities, skill assessment, job outlook, and more in this blog.



1. What Is A Vocational Education Teacher?


Vocational Education and Training (VET) teachers teach vocational courses linked to specific work areas to assist people to join or re-join the workforce.


They teach one or more subjects within the official study curriculum at polytechnics, technical and further education institutes (TAFE), and other training institutions.


2. Vocational Education Teacher Job Description


A typical work day of VET teachers/lecturers may include the following tasks and duties:


  • Research, plan, design, and develop course curriculum and instruction methods.

  • Provide fundamental and detailed knowledge on a technical topic.

  • Educate students through several teaching methods, such as typed notes, demonstrations, model patterns, and diagrams.           

  • Teach students in workshops or classrooms, delivering theory and practical training via discussions, multimedia aids, practical demonstrations, lectures, laboratory sessions, and computer tutorials.

  • Evaluate a student's needs, competencies, and progress over time and create engaging learning options to fulfil these needs.

  • Set and mark assignments, papers, and examinations and provide constructive feedback to students about their progress. 

  • Perform admin tasks, such as keeping records of students' attendance, training activities, and progress, ordering teaching materials, and arranging timetables. 

  • Advise students on career or personal issues, or direct them to counsellors.

  • Attend meetings or liaise with individuals, education sectors, and industry to ensure the provision of relevant services and programs.

  • Consult with education managers, student counsellors, librarians, and other support staff.



3. Personal Requirements To Become A VET Teacher 


Employers in Australia usually seek the following skills in a candidate for a VET teacher role:


  • Enjoy working with youths and older adults

  • Zeal for teaching and their chosen field

  • Effective and clear communication skills

  • Good organizational skills

  • Patience while dealing with students of varying cultures and abilities

  • Understanding

  • Creative design engaging training aids for a practical learning experience

  • Good listening skills

  • Intuitive

  • Confident

  • Leadership skills to maintain discipline in the classroom



4. Qualifications To Become A VET Teacher In Australia


You must have recent and relevant industry experience in your area of expertise to become a VET teacher in Australia.

This ensures that teachers and trainers can provide the essential skills, valuable industry advice, and insights to succeed in this profession.


Here is how you can qualify for a vocational education teacher role:


  • Aspiring vocational education teachers should consider completing an entry-level training and assessment course like a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.


  • Work experience has immense importance in getting started in this role. Most Australian VET courses include on-site learning in an actual or simulated workplace that gives real-world experience and the confidence to showcase your skills in your chosen industry.


  • Consider studying for a Diploma or Bachelor's Degree in Vocational Education and Training, like a Diploma of Vocational Education and Training or a Diploma of Training, Design, and Development, to advance your Training and Assessment career.



5. Steps To Become A Vocational Teacher In Australia


To become a VET lecturer, you need an approved qualification and work experience in the field you wish to teach, such as a trade, craft, profession, or vocational area.


Once done, study for appropriate teaching or training qualifications to qualify for a vocational education teacher role.


Candidates with industry experience in their subject area can follow the steps below to get started in this role.



Step 1: Complete A VET Teacher Training Program


You can improve your entry into a vocational education teacher role by completing a VET qualification in any of the below areas:


  • Training and assessment

  • Training design and development

  • Vocational education and training


Certificate IV in Training and Assessment is the perfect qualification to start as a TAFE teacher, community college teacher, RTO trainer, enterprise training professional, and any other professional who wishes to teach nationally recognised training in Australia.


The course will teach you how to design training programs to fulfil client needs, plan, organise, deliver training, and plan and execute assessment activities. Learning these areas will help you build a strong portfolio for future employment.


Students can complete the above qualification via distance learning or online through TAFE. Most VET institutes assist casual and part-time staff while they study for these qualifications.



Step 2: Complete A Tertiary Qualification


To work full-time, you must also earn a tertiary qualification in tertiary teaching; adult, vocational, and workplace learning; or education, majoring in applied learning.


Most recognised Australian institutions run bachelor's degree and postgraduate courses in these areas.


However, you must earn a relevant bachelor's degree and meet specific prerequisites to enter a postgraduate course.


Once you have industry experience and an approved teaching qualification from an accredited institution, you are ready to apply for a vocational education teacher role.



Step 3: Progress Your Career


Experienced VET teachers/lecturers can consider specialising in their preferred niche to pursue senior roles such as:


  • Adult Education Teacher

  • TAFE Teacher

  • Workplace Trainer and Assessor

  • TAFE Lecturer



Industry Bodies:




6. Vocational Education Teacher Courses In Australia


The Certificate IV in Training and Assessment is a versatile qualification for all those looking to make a career in teaching accredited courses in Australia.


The qualification covers curriculum development, teaching methods, educational psychology, and classroom management. It prepares individuals to apply for a VET role at a TAFE institute or an RTO.


Consider completing this course if you relate to the following:


  • Have a vocational background and want to become a trainer/ assessor within their area of experience, 

  • Looking to change careers and get afresh in the VET or RTO sector

  • Already employed in the delivery of assessment and training of competence in a workplace but require formal training and qualification.

  • Do you want to re-enter the workforce? The Australian Government, via its Skills and Training Incentive, provides up to $2,200 to fund training to assist older Australians in updating their skills and staying in the workforce longer. 


Here are the top training institutes offering this course in Australia:




7. Employment Opportunities For A VET Teacher / Lecturer In Australia


Some of the familiar places to look for vocational education teacher jobs in Australia are:


  • VET institutes

  • Regional colleges 

  • Corporate training centres 

  • Private colleges 

  • Workplaces


Some of the latest job VET openings on Indeed Australia:


  • Teacher of Early Childhood Education and Care 

  • Teacher of Management (Higher Education)

  • Secondary Teacher

  • Teacher Technology

  • Teacher, Library (ATTP)

  • Biology Teacher

  • EAL/AMEP Teacher

  • Teacher Special/Inclusive Education (ACIP)

  • Teacher Personal Development, Health & Physical Education

  • Teacher of Health and Nursing

  • Teacher Aide

  • Teacher Mathematics

  • Teacher Special/Inclusive Education

  • Head Teacher Mathematics 

  • Teacher Learning & Support

  • Teacher - Secondary - Design Technology and Health & Physical Education 



8. Working Conditions For A VET Teacher/Lecturer In Australia


VET lecturers usually work indoors in a classroom setting. They may train students during the day, late evenings, and weekends.


They must regularly revise their knowledge of their chosen subject and perform student and industry surveys to ensure their designed course content and teaching techniques are current.



9. How Can Overseas Vocation Education Teachers Work In Australia?


Qualified vocational education teachers looking to migrate to Australia to live and work in Australia must obtain positive vocational education teacher skill assessment.


VetAssess classifies Vocational Education Teachers under "Group A occupations ." As per the skill assessment criteria of Group A occupations, you should have:


  • Qualification(s) evaluated at Bachelor's degree in Australia or a higher degree with a highly relevant field of study, 

  • One or more years of Master's qualification, and 

  • Highly relevant employment in the last five years.


With a positive skill assessment, you can apply for subclass 491, subclass 494, subclass 407, or subclass 482 Australian Skilled Migration Visa.



10. Job Outlook Of Vocational Education Teachers


Industry experts design Australia's VET courses to ensure you are job-ready with recent industry skills and knowledge. These courses provide an efficient and affordable pathway to employment by offering 'applied' learning opportunities.


Australia's state and federal governments provide VET funding and monitor the sector's quality assurance. Completing a VET qualification can also pave the road to further studies, like higher education degrees.


Identified by high mobility levels and self-directed career behaviour, a career in vocational education leads to job satisfaction and security. As several government institutions like TAFE and private RTOs offer VET qualifications, there is a constant need for workers in the VET sector nationwide.


The "Vocational Education Teacher" occupation belongs to Regional Occupation List. This list comprises careers in high demand in Australian regional states and territories.


According to Labour Market Insights, the government projects that the number of Vocational Education Teachers will grow at a robust rate from 28,000 in 2021 to 40,600 by 2026.



Working Arrangements


Around 58% of employed Vocational Education Teachers work full-time for an average of 42 hours per week.



Main Industries Of Employment


Around 70% of vocational education teachers work in the education and training industry. Other areas of employment include:


  • Public administration and safety

  • Mining

  • Manufacturing



Percentage of Employment Across Australia


Around 60% of Vocational Education Teachers live in capital cities.


  • New South Wales - 31.2%

  • Victoria: 27.3%

  • Queensland: 18.1%

  • South Australia: 6.8%

  • Western Australia: 12.1%

  • Tasmania: 2.2%

  • Northern Territory: 0.8%

  • Australian Capital Territory: 1.4%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


The average age of Vocational Education Teachers is 50, with most between 45 to 54 years. Females constitute 51% of the workforce, three percentage points above the average of all jobs, i.e., 48%.



11. How Much Do Vocational Teachers Get Paid In Australia?


Several factors determine a VET teacher's salary, such as years of experience, specialised skills, role seniority, work location, nature of employment (full-time/part-time), and type of employer.


According to Pay Scale, the average vocational education teacher salary in Australia is AU $30.60 per hour or an annual equivalent of AU $66000.



12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



How Many Vocational Schools Are There in Australia? 


There are around 183 institutions that offer Vocational Education and Training Courses in Australia.     



Who Provides Vocational Education in Australia?


Government institutions, such as TAFE - Technical and Further Education institutions backed by the state and the Australian federal government, provide vocational training in Australia.


Some private RTOs – Registered Training Organizations also offer vocational education training in Australia.


What is Vocational Education Training in Australia?


Vocation education training is short and cost-effective courses with flexible learning options and fewer entry requisites than universities. Completing a vocational course enhances your entry into higher education courses and employment prospects.


You can attend TAFE institutes, polytechnic institutions, or RTO to complete an extensive range of vocational education courses in Australia.



What Is Higher Education vs. Vocational Education?


Most overseas and domestic students prefer studying for a vocational education course over a university degree course for the following reasons:


Area of Focus:


Unlike university courses, vocational education courses train you in areas that industries need in their daily operations, such as business, cybersecurity, nursing, accounting, and more.


With more emphasis on the practical aspect than on the theoretical (academic) part of what an industry does, vocation courses offer a more direct and more skill-based pathway to a job.


On the contrary, higher education institutions like universities strongly emphasise theory and analysis. Where a VET qualifies you for entry roles in your chosen field, a traditional university degree makes you eligible for a PhD.





Studying for a vocational education course is cheaper than a university degree.


For example, if you aspire to pursue a career in hotel and management, a relevant VET qualification like a 1-year full-time Certificate III in Commercial Cookery - The University of Victoria cost you $12,212.5.


On the other hand, if you choose a degree path, then a 4-year Bachelor in Culinary Management – William Angliss Institute, you will have to pay:


  • Semester tuition fee –$6,800, and 

  • Annual placement fee- $3,400 per year. 


So, a 4-year degree course will cost around $68,000.



Study Mode:


Most vocational education courses are available online, allowing students to study for the course at their pace and preferred location. Such flexibility in study hours and location isn't available when you opt for a degree course.





The type of vocational education course you undertake determines its duration. It may range from 6 months (entry-level qualification) to 36 months (advanced-level qualification).


University degree courses, on the other hand, range from a 3–4-year Bachelor's undergraduate program to a 2-year Master's degree.


As vocational education courses are short and affordable and offer flexibility in the study and more personalized attention through small classes, they make a great alternative to traditional 3-4-year degree courses in Australia.



How Long is a Vocational Course in Australia?


According to the Australian government, vocational courses range from four-levels of Certificates (Certificates I, II, III, IV) Diplomas, Advanced diploma courses, Graduate certificates, and Graduate diplomas.


The length of a vocational education course depends on the type, of course you wish to pursue.


Vocational Education Type Duration Study Hours (In Hours)
Certificate I 0.5 - 1 year 600-1200
Certificate II 0.5 - 1 year 600-1200
Certificate III 1 - 2 years 1200-2400
Certificate IV 0.5 - 2 years 600-2400
Diploma 1 - 2 years 1200-2400
Advanced Diploma 1.5 - 2 years 1800-2400
Graduate Certificate 0.5 - 1 year 600-1200
Graduate Diploma 1 - 2 years 1200-2400



How Much Does a Vocational Course Cost in Australia?


The costs of studying for a vocational course in Australia vary widely based on the following:


  • The course you choose

  • In which city you undertake the course

  • The type of school you got admitted to study the course (a full-fee paying place or a government-subsidized place).



The fee of a vocational education course ranges from AU$ 4,000 to AU$ 22,000 per year (inclusive of training materials). High-level courses tend to be expensive.



Is Vocational Education the Same as TAFE?


Technical and Further Education, or TAFE, is a form of vocational education and training (VET) education that government-run education providers offer in Australia.


Vocational education courses are highly diverse. You can study for some of these courses related to business, agriculture, building design, tourism, and hospitality at TAFE.



What is an Example of a Vocational Qualification?


The most popular vocational education courses provide vocational training, field-specific knowledge, and practical skills to pursue various careers.


  • Diploma in Nursing, TAFE Queensland

  • Diploma of Hospitality Management, TAFE Queensland

  • Diploma of Business, TAFE Queensland

  • Diploma of Information Technology – Advanced Networking and System Administration, TAFE Queensland 

  • Diploma of Information Technology, TAFE NSW



What Qualifications Do I Need to Teach at TAFE NSW?


To become a teacher of vocational education in TAFE NSW, you must meet the requirements of the VET Quality Framework, as set out by the Australian Skills Quality Authority. It includes:


  • Complete a formal training course, i.e., a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment at an accredited institution. TAFE NSW now offers this course via flexible online delivery mode.


  • Earn at least five years of industry experience. 


Suppose you have already completed the Cert IV course. In that case, you may require updating your qualification with literacy and numeracy skills and addressing adult language.



Can You Become A Teacher Without A Teaching Degree in Australia?


TAFE teachers typically require "Vocational Competency," or the ability to showcase considerable experience in the course they wish to teach.


Though Certificate IV is the required formal qualification, industry professionals can enter the role without a TAE skillet, i.e., Cert IV, by teaching under supervision at a TAFE/ RTO.


To train students under supervision, you must still complete one of the needed TAE' Skill Sets' (a couple of units from the total qualification).


With a TAE Skill Set, you can work under the direction of someone else who has completed Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.



What Visa Can You Apply for as a Vocation Education Teacher in Australia?


As this occupation is listed on the Regional Occupation List, you may be eligible to apply for the below Vocational Education Teacher visa in Australia:


  • Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) - State or Territory nominated

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa (subclass 494)

  • Training visa (subclass 407)

  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) Medium-term stream



13. Conclusion


There is a great demand for industry-experienced teachers in the Australian VET sector who can teach tertiary students on a specific subject.


If you have recent industry qualifications and experience, then there is no better way to widen your professional horizons and share your knowledge than by training students through the preparation, delivery, and evaluation of vocational programs.


Though teaching at government institutions like TAFE can be challenging, the rewards far outweigh the difficulties.


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