Want to go back to school?
If you’re passionate about teaching and love helping people learn, a job in the education sector could be the perfect career move for you. Not sure what routes are available to you?
Here are some roles you could consider, and some of our top tips to help you get there:
What they do: Deliver instructional talks to help listeners expand their knowledge of a subject. Lecturers often teach students at universities, but can also be employed for private talks, in museums, art galleries and a whole host of other settings. Lectures are often conducted as part of a further or higher education qualification, allowing lecturers to continue with independent research around their subject of choice.
What you need: Excellent oratory skills, and complete confidence when speaking publically. You’ll also need to be passionate and engaging about your subject matter in order to hold your audience’s attention, something which can be easier said than done in a stuffy auditorium full of students.
What you can earn: Starting salary will be around £30,000, although senior lecturers can look to earn £50,000+.
Perfect for: People who like to talk. A lot.
Our advice: It goes without saying that to be successful as a lecturer, you’ll need to a confident public speaker, regardless of audience size. Some people are born to be in front of a crowd, others find it a little trickier to sell themselves on the stage. However, there are a number of courses available to improve your presentation or public speaking skills, and these are definitely worth considering for anyone seriously considering a career as a lecturer.
What they do: Take care of young children while their parents or guardians are at work, or otherwise engaged. This could be in a privately owned nursery, or in a public nursery owned by the local government. Typical duties will include teaching basic skills, supervising the children and helping them learn through stories and educational play.
What you need: A caring and nurturing approach, and the ability to build strong bonds with the children in your care are all pre-requisites. An openness to mess and general chaos will probably help too. A degree may not be necessary, although you will need a recognised qualification in childcare.
What you can earn: £14,000 for a first or trainee position, rising to around £20,000.
Perfect for: People who live for nap-time.
Our advice: If you’re serious about becoming a Nursery Nurse, try starting out as a Nursery Assistant, Childminding Assistant or similar. Entry requirements are usually less restrictive, and it will also allow you time to study to do the job on a permanent basis if you enjoy the work.
What they do: Teach school children the essential (and possibly some not-so-essential) knowledge needed for their future education or careers. This could mean working as a multi-subject specialist with children up to the age of 11, or teaching one or two subjects to secondary school and A-Level-aged pupils. Whatever age group you work with, the main goal remains the same: to inspire and inform the next generation.
What you need: The ability to teach is pretty much a no-brainer (the clue is kind of in the name). This includes enthusiasm, excellent communication skills and creativity. Patience and the ability to stay calm in case of crisis will also be virtues (we’re looking at you unruly children).
What you can earn: This will depend on your location and experience level. As a general guideline, initial salary may start at around the £20,000 mark, rising to just over £30,000 for more senior professionals.
Perfect for: People who loved The Dead Poets Society (or other, similarly themed film).
Our advice: If you’re serious about becoming a Teacher, you’ll need to have the relevant qualifications. Initial Teacher Training (ITT), either through university led training (e.g. a degree) or through work placements (usually post PGCE), is an absolute pre-requisite. Once this has been completed you may gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Teaching English Abroad
What they do: Teach English to people as a foreign language. You could be teaching adults who are looking to broaden their horizons, or working with children as part of their general education. You could also be based in a wide range of locations, making it a perfect career choice for those looking to travel.
What you need: A good understanding of the English language is a start (verbs/pronouns/past participles/’i’ before ‘e’ except after…* etc.). Language skills for your prospective country are often not necessary if you’re looking to work away. However, you will need a teaching qualification (see: TEFL/ESOL) to get started.
What you can earn: Somewhere around £24,000 as a basic salary.
Perfect for: People who want to immerse themselves in a new culture… (and also, do a little bit of work).
Our advice: Be open to any opportunity that comes up. There are many great companies out there (Disney anyone?) looking for people around the world to start teaching English, and although competitive, good teachers are always in demand. The important thing is to demonstrate on your CV why you see this as the perfect position for you. Learning some basic skills in a second language will also definitely help sell yourself to potential recruiters.
What they do: Provide classroom support to a teacher, helping to lighten their workload by supervising students. This could be on a one-on-one basis, or be geared towards the whole group. For some students, this extra assistance is absolutely essential to help them get the most out of their education.
What you need: A friendly and approachable nature is absolutely essential, as is a motivational personality. You will often be working with children who misbehave or those lack confidence, so patience is similarly essential. A degree is not necessary, although you will need some qualifications specific to the industry or work placement to get started.
What you can earn: Typically around £12,000 as a starting salary, rising to the £20,000 mark with a little more experience.
Perfect for: People who want help out on the frontline.
Our advice: If you’re looking to become a Teaching Assistant but feel you lack the previous experience, try looking for voluntary positions first. Many local schools look for people to come in and help supervise the children, allowing you to build up your knowledge and put it to practical use.
What they do: Provide one-to-one tuition to students. This could be in a range of different subjects, and to students of all ages and abilities, either from your own home, your student’s home, or even over Skype to students looking to learn worldwide.
What you need: Excellent motivational and communication skills are the key to success as a private Tutor. A bachelor degree in your specialism is usually necessary, although some people may employ tutors based on smaller qualifications or a good track-record of previous experience.
What you can earn: Many tutors work on an hourly basis. Typical rates average at around £20 per hour, depending on subject studied and qualification desired.
Perfect for: People who think classrooms are too big.
Our advice: Start tutoring in a private capacity to begin building your profile. Advertise in your local area first, offering discounted or trial rates. Once you’re comfortable teaching and have some experience, you can begin applying for permanent tutoring positions or work with agencies.
Other jobs in education to consider: Adult Education Tutor, Head Teacher, SEN Teacher, Supply Teacher.
Here are some of our top tips for finding a job in the education sector:
- Be focused – Where do you want your career to take you? Are you looking to specialise in a particular subject, or are you looking for a more general approach? Saying you want to become a teacher is a good start. Knowing what sort of teacher you want to become is better.
- Be knowledgeable – If you’re set on a particular subject or field, make sure you know the industry inside out. Interviewers have a tendency to go off the beaten track. Having an excellent general knowledge about your chosen discipline could mean the difference between being hired and being forgotten.
- Be passionate – Teaching is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers there is. Bring this positivity, passion and enthusiasm through with you to any interviews you have. Because no-one wants to hire a teacher whose only expression is a frown.
- Be smart – Not just in general demeanour (although this will also help), but in the way you search and apply for jobs. Tailor your CV to the role and school in question using the job description as a guide. Read it thoroughly, and you’ll soon learn what qualities make up their perfect candidate.
- Be open to opportunities – No matter how big or small they are, always be open to learn more about your field of work. Remember: you’re pupils aren’t the only ones who never stop learning.
*reed.co.uk would like to point out that this rule does not always work, despite what your own English teacher might have told you. For more information, please consult the nearest dictionary.
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