Teaching in Australia – jobs and important information
There are many rewarding opportunities for qualified teachers in Australia. A shortage of teachers in Australia means there are many jobs for overseas-trained teachers at all levels and in all different environments across the country. From jobs teaching in rural Australia in a small primary school, a secondary school in a coastal town, or a primary and secondary college in a major city.
Top 2 ways to get a teaching job in Australia
- Use a recruitment agency BEFORE you arrive (best - so that you can discover what is available)
- Use a recruitment agency AFTER you arrive
Applying to a recruitment agency (from free listings or directly to recruitment agencies) is the best way to get a job as a teacher. In Australia, the States and each school has different recruitment needs and agencies manage those needs on an ongoing and even daily basis. Agencies have established relationships with individual schools but necessarily all, so be prepared to apply to more then one.
Note: You will also need a working holiday visa or a permanent or temporary sponsored visa and relevant teaching qualifications.
Click on these headings for information below:
- What kinds of teaching jobs and education jobs are available in Australia?
- What teaching qualifications and experience do I need?
- Where can I teach in Australia?
- How much can I earn as a teacher in Australia?
- How do I get a teaching job?
- When is the best time to apply?
What kind of teaching work is available in Australia?
There are permanent, temporary, casual and contract teaching positions available for overseas-trained teachers all across Australia in all types of schools. This means there is a teaching opportunity in Australia to suit your individual interests, talents and lifestyle.
Most permanent jobs teaching in Australia are full-time. You could also get short-term teaching contracts lasting from as short as a week to a full school teaching term. Casual/relief-teaching positions which are great for working travellers mean that you could be ‘on call’ to fill positions on a daily basis where required.
You could teach at pre-primary level (children aged up to 5 years), primary school level (children aged around 4-12 years) or secondary level (students aged around 11-18 years). Some teaching jobs require you to teach across a broad range of subjects, while some teaching positions require you to specialise in one particular area. There are schools for academically gifted students and other specialist schools such as performing arts and sports high schools.
Check with the education department of the state or territory where you would like to teach to find out the areas of greatest need. For example, if you would like to teach in New South Wales, permanent teachers are needed most in western and south-western Sydney and non-coastal rural areas. Teachers are generally required across all subject areas and specialties in all states and territories.
Currently the areas of greatest need in Australian schools are for teachers of mathematics, science, technological and applied studies and the specialist teacher area of special education.
What teaching qualifications and experience do I need?
Each state and territory in Australia governs it’s own education system. To work in Australia as a teacher you must meet the requirements of the education department within the state/territory you would like to work and be registered as a teacher with the relevant regulatory body.
You will generally be required to have the equivalent of three or four years of tertiary training including a teaching qualification recognised by regulatory body in the state or territory you will be working in. You may also need to undergo a criminal record check, and if necessary, an assessment of your English language skills.
You will also need an Australian education visa or working visa.
Where can I teach in Australia?
Teaching positions are available across metropolitan, rural, remote and coastal areas in Australia. Australian schools vary in sizes from just a few students to hundreds of students. Some state/territory governments have an agreement with the Commonwealth Government of Australia to sponsor overseas-trained teachers for permanent teaching positions in areas where teaching staff are especially needed. Check with the education department within the state/territory you would like to work in to find out more.
How much can I earn as a teacher in Australia?
The rate of pay for teachers in Australia depends on the level of teaching experience and the type of position, and also which state/territory the position is held within.
A casual teacher with three to four years experience could earn $220-$290 per day. Casual teachers with less experience could earn $95-$120 per day.
Salaries for permanent teachers may be around $33,000-$45,000 per year for teachers with a few years experience and can go up to $55,000-$70,000 for teachers holding much more senior positions. Teacher salaries in private schools may be higher than in public schools, which are run by the government.
How do I get a teaching job?
The states across Australia have separate government bodies and the application process for teaching positions will vary between schools and different states, so it is a good idea to register with education recruitment agencies for details and assistance. Education recruitment agencies can provide shortcuts for applying to teaching jobs and will provide direct links to schools. Some schools will have specific criteria that will need to be met and your teaching recruitment agency will be able to provide assistance with these conditions.
When is the best time to apply for education positions?
The Australian school year usually has four terms, with the first term beginning in late January/early February (in the middle of the Australian summer) and term four finishing in December. Schools terms usually last from 8 to 12 weeks with holidays at the end of term and a six-week break over the summer/Christmas holidays.
The best times for applying for teaching positions will be from early September for the start of the next teaching year. However, there are many teaching positions (term, semester, full year and permanent) that become available throughout the year.