Career prospects in teaching


When thinking about progressing your career in teaching, you will be at an advantage if you know more about your chosen career path, such as the potential salary of your next preferred role and the steps needed to get there.


If you are currently in an entry-level teaching role, such as a Learning Support Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Cover Supervisor or Tutor, you should consider what other type of teaching roles there are available to progress your career in education.


Depending on your teaching preference, you can choose to work as an Early Years Teacher, Primary School Teacher, Secondary School Teacher, or as a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Teacher. 

Early Years and Primary Teachers


These teachers work with age groups ranging from 3 to 11 years old, covering Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stages 1 and 2. The focus of primary education is to facilitate pupils with their verbal, numerical and cognitive skills.


Qualifications needed for this role include Qualified Teacher Status, an undergraduate degree, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). You can expect to earn up to £32K per annum, depending on the geographical area.


Skills required include lesson planning, creating classroom displays, administration, effective use of a mix of teaching methods and resources, and establishing good relationships with your pupils, their parents, and other staff members.


A positive personality and enthusiasm for teaching will feature highly in employers’ candidate preferences. You should consider being a Primary School Teacher if you are a good communicator, patient, calm, well organised, and flexible in your approach to teaching.


Read our Primary Teacher Job Description to find out if you are suited to this role.  

Secondary Teachers


Will work with children ranging from 11 to 16 years old, covering Key Stages 3 and 4. You would need to choose a specific subject to teach, such as English, Maths, Science, Art, or Geography.


The qualifications needed include Qualified Teacher Status, an undergraduate degree, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and you can expect to earn up to £34K per annum, depending on where the school is based.


Your required skills would include clear communication, demonstration and instruction, the ability to adapt teaching methods and materials to bring your subject matter to life, be able to complete administrative tasks such as marking and report writing, and effective lesson planning that inspires your pupils to develop their critical thinking, formulate their own ideas and advance their reasoning strategies.


You would be well suited to becoming a Secondary Teacher if you have the desire to assist your pupils to reach their full potential, the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, and are highly organised and committed to achieving excellent results through creative and engaging teaching methods.


Click here to start your Secondary Teacher job search. 

SEND Teachers


Will work with pupils aged between 5 and 16 years old who have special educational needs and disabilities. In this role you would teach all subjects at the appropriate level to the learning abilities of your pupils, focusing on cognitive, verbal, and numerical reasoning, social skills, and classroom participation.


The required qualifications and experience for this role include a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Qualified Teacher Status, an undergraduate degree, and previous in-school teaching experience. You can earn up to £30.5K per annum, depending on the geographical location of the school.


Your skill set will need to include the ability to vary your teaching methods and adapt your materials and lesson plans to motivate learning of all subjects at all levels, excellent verbal, and non-verbal communication skills, work well with colleagues, and a good knowledge of the myriad of educational needs of children with disabilities.


SEND Teachers need to be passionate, committed, flexible, have a positive outlook, be resilient, inspirational, cope well with change and when under pressure, compassionate and extremely patient.


Click here to find out more about working as a SEND Teacher. 

How to take the next step in your teaching career


When taking the next step in your teaching career, you should consider the type of school setting you would like to work in, or continue to work in. Think about what ethos, religious affiliation, curriculum, pupil numbers and age range, catchment area, salary rate, and the educational goals your ideal school should have.


Primary schools can vary from large schools based in residential areas, to small village schools in rural locations. They may have a faith affiliation, such as Church of England, or a Private Boarding School teaching their own curriculum.


As a Primary Teacher, you can expect to be very busy and surrounded by lots of noise, activity, and excitement from your young pupils. You will be expected to create a positive classroom environment that facilitates and stimulates learning.


Secondary schools tend to cater for larger pupil numbers than primary schools and pupils move between classrooms for each lesson or period. The curriculum, teaching style and methods can vary greatly between the many types of secondary schools. For example, Community Schools are local authority run, whereas Academies are run by a trust.


As a Secondary Teacher, you will be expected to ensure that your pupils are timely, well behaved and engaged in the specific subject you teach. Classroom discipline may feature highly, as you strive to inspire teenagers and young adults to find their voice and determine their own path. 

SEND schools can often look very different to mainstream schools, as they will have been designed and built to accommodate the specialist needs of the pupils, such as wide doorways and easy access to allow for wheelchairs.


As a SEND Teacher, the health and safety of your pupils is paramount, as children and teenagers with special educational needs can often have complex health issues and be highly vulnerable. Creating a calm and positive classroom environment will be essential to your pupils’ abilities to learn.


Contact our informed consultants in your local Career Teachers branch, so they can advise you on your next career move. 


Teacher training support


Before taking the next step in your teaching career, take the time to research which skills you need for your desired role. Career Teachers offer various Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses that can help you to gain the skills needed to progress in teaching, which include courses on Safeguarding, Child Protection, Young Carers, and more. Understanding how the required skills and personal qualities differ for each role will help you to successfully choose and progress your teaching career path. 



To help with the next steps in your teacher training, click here for our advice.


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