Graduate jobs in teaching
Your career options in teaching and education
You need qualified teacher status (QTS) to work as a teacher in state-maintained schools in England and Wales, apart from academies and free schools. To achieve QTS you'll need to complete a period of training, such as a one-year Professional or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
There are also many other careers open to you in education, from tutoring and careers guidance to family support and advocacy. Our advice on alternative careers in education sets out some of the options, which could see you working outside the school system.
How do I get a job in teaching and education?
You can find out more about how to succeed in your applications from our advice on where to find teaching vacancies and when to apply. You'll also find a guide to different kinds of schools you could teach in.
When do I need to apply to train to teach?
If you want to apply to train to become a teacher, for university or college-led PGCEs, SCITTs and School Direct programmes in England and Wales you apply through UCAS Teacher Training, which opens from late September. Teach First releases vacancies in June and recruits on a rolling basis. You'll need to decide the age range of students you wish to teach before applying.
What are the different routes to qualifying as a teacher?
Our guide to postgraduate teacher training routes sets out the different types of programme that lead to QTS in England. Here's a broad overview.
Some first degree courses include QTS, such as the BEd, which is particularly popular with would-be primary teachers. There are also some BSc and BA courses that include QTS. In England, you have to pass professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before you start your teacher training.
- University-led Postgraduate or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Full-time courses usually last one year and you'll spend at least 24 weeks on placement in at least two schools.
- School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT). Training is offered by a consortium of schools and colleges. Most SCITTs also offer a PGCE, with training provided by university staff.
- School Direct training programme. School-led training run by a lead school in partnership with a university or SCITT and other schools, which may lead to a PGCE.
- School Direct training programme (salaried). Graduates with three or more years' experience in any career since graduation can apply for this scheme, which involves being employed as an unqualified teacher.
- Teach First. Two-year employment-based leadership development programme based in primary and secondary schools that are in challenging circumstances. Graduates on this programme start as unqualified teachers and work towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), which includes credits at masters level.
- HMC Teacher Training. This is a two-year programme that offers a PGCE and is based in secondary independent schools belonging to HMC (the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference).
- Assessment Only route. This is mainly intended for experienced teaching assistants or unqualified teachers with two years of experience working in at least two schools who wish to attain QTS.
Bursaries for teacher training
Non-repayable bursaries are available for trainee teachers on some primary and secondary PGCE courses, SCITT programmes and School Direct programmes. These vary depending on your degree background and result. There are also teacher training scholarships available in some subjects. If you're not eligible for a bursary or scholarship, you may be able to apply for a loan to cover tuition fees for your teacher training course, and you may also be able to take out a maintenance loan to help with living expenses.
How much do you earn as a newly qualified teacher?
Newly qualified teachers in state-maintained schools in England and Wales usually start on the minimum rate of the main teachers' pay scale, currently £22,467 outside of London and £28,098 in inner London.
Can you become a teacher from any degree background?
Yes, you can enter the profession from any degree background. However, some training providers may prefer particular subjects, depending on the age group of the children you wish to teach and the course you are applying for.
- Primary teaching: a degree in a national curriculum subject may be preferred.
- Secondary teaching: you are likely to need a degree in, or closely related to, the subject you wish to teach.
If you wish to teach a shortage subject and don't have a relevant degree, you may be able to take a subject knowledge enhancement course.
If you want to teach in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, there are different routes to qualifying and finding work.
- How to get a teaching job in Scotland
- How to get a teaching job in Northern Ireland
- How to get a teaching job in Wales