Teaching and Education School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Can you think of a teacher you've had who really stands out in a positive way from the others? What was it that made them so special - did they get you really interested in a particular subject? Did they make lessons fun? Did you feel like you could talk to them about things outside of class?Teaching and education

If the answer's yes, congratulations - you've come to the right place! Now all you need to decide is what exactly you want to teach, and to which age group.

What’s it all about? TOP ^

People of different ages need different kinds of instruction, and you can specialise in certain areas so you'll know the best way to teach your age group. The Training and Development Agency for Schools has some very useful information to help narrow down this decision.. You can also find out how to visit a school to see what teaching is like, or volunteer and start building up experience.

If teaching sounds a bit daunting, but you fancy the idea of working in a school, you can become a teacher's assistant by helping to prepare the classroom for each lesson, or help individual students who might be having trouble with what?s being taught. You can also be a science technician, helping out with lab exercises and managing the equipment. Or, you can take up an administrative role, using your secretarial skills to tackle the office admin, or assist the headmaster.

Teaching is an intense, demanding, at times frustrating, yet hugely rewarding career. It's not for everyone, which is why it's a good idea to get some experience through volunteering or working with kids in some way first so you're sure it's something you really want to do. There's a lot of training to go through in the beginning, but that will give you the confidence and experience you need to start your career on the right foot.

What will I earn? TOP ^

A teacher just beginning their career will earn a minimum of £21,588 (£27,000 in inner London), and their salary can increase to over £30,000. Teaching assistants can start off earning around £12,000, and can make up to £17,000 with experience - higher level teaching assistants will earn a bit more.

Where can I work? TOP ^

To qualify as a teacher, you'll first need at least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including ones in Maths and English. If you're teaching a particular subject, you'll need a degree in that along with a teaching qualification. All teachers need Initial Teacher Training (ITT), where you'll start getting experience with the age group and subject you want to teach. You can do this while you're getting a degree.

The next step is to become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), and eventually a Qualified Teacher (QT). You can find specific information about what you need to do to teach at different levels at the Training and Development Agency for Schools website.

You don't need any qualifications to become a teaching assistant, but you will need experience working with the age group you’re hoping to help. Teaching assistant jobs are competitive though, so having a qualification or significant experience may help you stand out that little bit more.

After this, you will be able to apply for roles in schools.

What skills will I need in teaching and education? TOP ^

People with all different kinds of personalities can be amazing teachers, but there are a few key skills you'll need. These include patience when dealing with difficult students, tact in dealing with tricky situations and an ability to build relationships easily. You'll also need loads of passion for what you do - this is how you'll get your class excited and engaged in what they're learning.

When working in education, in whatever sector or role, you will be in a position of responsibility and will be looked up to by those that you are teaching. For this reason, the skills required by teachers are similar across the board.

Skills typically required by teachers in all fields include:

What entry level jobs can I do in teaching and education? TOP ^

If you want to become a teacher, you will need to continue in education and get a degree. This is true whether you want to be a primary school or secondary school teacher. It’s well worth gaining experience through volunteer work at schools or in organisations working with children.

Some entry level jobs in the teaching and education sector include:

  • Play worker
  • After school assistant
  • Teaching assistant
  • Nursery worker
Browse all Teaching and Education jobs for this guide