Your gateway into teaching
If you're considering a career in teaching, here's how to get started.
Which best describes you?
Frequently asked questions about teaching
Here are a few additional considerations about starting your teaching career.
- Is teaching right for me?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. If you’re passionate about sharing knowledge, you’ll be a great teacher. If you can explain ideas in a way that others can understand, you’ll be a great teacher. If you have good organisational skills, are patient and have a good sense of humour, you’ll be a great teacher. Teaching is one of the few careers where your hard work benefits and helps progress everyone you work with daily. What could be more rewarding?
- What is a SCITT?
SCITTs (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) are training courses that provide potential teachers with the opportunity to gain their QTS within a school setting. The programmes are run by schools or groups of schools, many of which work in close partnership with universities. This route is salaried and provides more certainty in terms of where you train and as a result of the university partnerships, potential PGCE depending on which program you apply to.
- What kind of salary will I earn as a teacher?
As of 2019 the minimum average salary of unqualified teachers in England was £17,682 with potential career advancement ranging to in excess of £120,000 for some Headteachers. As with most careers, the salary range varies hugely depending on location, qualification and position. Teaching can provide unrivalled career progression, pension schemes and student loan reimbursement compared to other professions… and of course, Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays.
- What core skills do I need to be a good teacher?
Good communication skills are a great asset, express yourself well and you can make learning more engaging and interesting. Hone your organisation skills, they will make your life (and your students’ lives) so much better in the long run. You’re passionate about your subject and teaching others all about it. Critical thinking and being able to tap into your creativity in constructive ways is important and keeps the job fun. Be patient and have a sense of humour, you worked hard to get to the front of the class (literally), now enjoy it.
- How can I get classroom experience without a teaching qualification?
Whether you contact a school directly for work experience or you volunteer in various school programs, classroom experience is invaluable. You will gain classroom experience while you train but having any additional experience is a great bonus. Reach out to schools in your area about your intention to become a teacher and, if you have time, your intention to volunteer. For further information check out Getting School Experience.
- Can you train as a teacher if you have a Foundation degree?
Yes you can, it just takes a little bit more work. You usually need a degree of 2.2 to teach but if you have a Foundation degree you can top this up to an honours degree. Then you can join a teacher training program that best suits you. You can even take your first steps into teaching with no degree at all so be sure to explore all of your options before you commit to one route.
- How do I find a teaching job when I’m qualified?
One of the quickest and easiest ways to find a teaching job is to create an account (for free) on eteach.com. Once you have an account you can search and apply for teaching opportunities as soon as you’re ready. Eteach is regularly updated directly by schools with new vacancies so be sure to set up job alerts for your desired role. Make sure schools can find you by joining Talent Pools and always keep your profile up to date so you can make use of Fast-apply.
- What does “shortage subject” mean?
The term “shortage subject” refers to the subjects which have a shortage of qualified teachers. This can vary depending on where you are based so be sure to research your local area for more information. Generally speaking, in England these include Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computing and Languages. In Scotland these include. Physics, Mathematics, English and Gaelic (or any subject taught in Gaelic). In Wales these include Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Languages.
- What if my degree isn’t focused on a national curriculum subject?
Ideally for secondary level teaching at least half of your university degree should be focused on the subject you wish to teach. However, should you wish to teach a shortage subject such as maths or physics some schools will take your A Level results into account. For primary level you will be teaching a much wider range of subjects so it isn’t as important to have a degree focused on a national curriculum subject.
I'm currently in ITT
If you've already started teacher training course, your next step is to find the right school or college for a fantastic NQT induction experience.
I'm an undergrad of a non-teaching course
If you're due to graduate from any degree or equivalent course in the next few years and you're thinking of starting a teacher training course after that, this is where you'll find all your choices.
I've recently qualified QTS (NQT or RQT)
If you're currently in your induction year, or you've already passed the NQT stage, search here to see what jobs are available to you now.
I'm a graduate with a non-teaching degree
If you already have a degree under your belt, there are a wide range of post-graduate teacher training courses within schools or universities in the UK and worldwide available to you now; check out this route map of your choices.
Schools offering school-centred initial teacher training
Routes into teaching
Have a look at some helpful guides on how to start your teaching career
Teacher training providers
Organisations offering initial teacher training
Articles about teaching
What do education professionals have to say about starting out in their careers?