Lead, educate and inspire future generations
If you’re a hands-on, lifelong learner with a passion for uplifting others, a career in education could be your calling. Whether your dream is to lead from the front of the classroom, design innovative approaches to learning or shape future syllabuses, your work will help future students unlock their full potential.
Becoming a teacher all starts with an engaging, industry-aligned degree. To become qualified, you’ll need to complete a recognised teaching degree, which typically takes four years to complete. You’ll study a range of subjects to prepare you for work after graduation and most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your teaching skills during professional placements.
Being a teacher is about more than simply delivering a curriculum to a classroom of students. It’s about supporting each individual to learn in a way that works best for them; it’s about guiding young people to explore their curiosity and learn by doing; it’s about preparing the next generation of young minds to solve the challenges of tomorrow.
Working as a teacher can expose you to life-changing experiences, like working overseas or in remote Australian communities. You might work with disadvantaged youth or with children who need additional support, knowing your positive impact will be felt for years to come. Alternatively, you may take a focus on Gifted Education for students who excel beyond their years. It can also lead you to other fulfilling future roles across education, advocacy and childcare.
The journey to becoming a teacher in Australia requires an open mind and a passion for learning. Between university, professional placements and accreditation, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop your individual teaching style. You’ll also unlock opportunities to take your teaching career overseas. Here’s an overview of how to become a teacher.
The first step to becoming a teacher is to gain a university qualification, like a bachelor's or master's degree. At UNSW, our undergraduate education degrees prepare you to pursue a career in primary or secondary school. You'll experience a mixture of lectures, coursework and placements, where you’ll get to plan and teach lessons in a real classroom setting.
For our secondary teaching degrees, you’ll choose from six double degree options to help you learn the foundational knowledge to work as a teacher while specialising in your chosen field. With our primary education programs, including the Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Honours), you'll grow your knowledge in the six key learning areas of the primary curriculum, including English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, History and Geography, Creative Arts, and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.
In primary and secondary, you’ll develop an understanding of educational priorities in Australia. This includes understanding how to best support Indigenous students or students with English as a second language, and how to meet their unique needs across the curriculum.
If you already hold a relevant undergraduate degree but you’d like to move into teaching, you can gain a Master of Teaching (Primary) or a Master of Teaching (Secondary) in less than two years. Our accelerated masters degrees are the only two of their kind in Australia, allowing students to work as teachers after just one year of full-time study.
During your studies, you’ll put your knowledge into practice in a real-world classroom.
At UNSW, we provide 80 days of supervised work experience in a school, where you’ll develop lesson plans, teach entire classes and work alongside students from a range of different backgrounds. Unlike many other Australian universities, you’ll gain classroom experience from year one in our primary teaching degrees, such as the Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Honours), so you can get a true feel for the profession and begin carving out your unique teaching style.
You might also find part-time or casual work during your studies.
As an undergraduate student, you might consider getting experience in the classroom as a Learning Support Officer, working with children with learning difficulties or physical disabilities. With our Master of Teaching degrees, you can begin working as a teacher after just one year of full-time study.
During this time, you can begin to build your professional network to help you land a job after graduation.
UNSW has strong partnerships with the Department of Education, Catholic Schools and the Association of Independent Schools, which you can leverage to unlock job opportunities during and after graduation.
Once you’ve completed your degree, you’ll be ready to launch your teaching career. At UNSW, our education courses are accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), so all you’ll need to do is register with your state teaching authority and start looking for a job.
At UNSW, we’re ranked #1 in Australia for employability*. That’s because we build our courses around practical experience and professional skill development to ensure you graduate career-ready. Our employability services can help you kick off your teaching career with coaching, mentorship programs and a job board with opportunities from partners in Australia and around the world.
* 2024 QS World University rankings
Working as a teacher in Australia can be both challenging and rewarding. Qualified teachers are in high demand due to the country’s fast population growth. Both private and public schools are increasingly offering generous incentives to entice teachers to take on positions in remote or disadvantaged communities to ensure everyone has access to quality education.
As for salary, a 2022 report benchmarks Australian teachers among the highest paid, earning 22-36% more than the average across OECD countries. Even higher salaries can be unlocked at the school executive level, with the average Australian principal earning $154k.
Beyond the classroom, there are plenty of alternative career pathways within the education sector. From leading the school as its Principal to writing and updating academic curriculums, you’re bound to uncover a wide range of opportunities.
With a double degree, you might also consider pursuing a career in your chosen specialisation.
Future jobs in teaching and education:
At UNSW, you’ll learn from world-class educational researchers and experienced practitioners in a supportive and inspiring environment. Through hands-on learning and evidence-based teaching, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge to become a confident educator in the classroom and beyond.
Unlike many Australian universities, our education degrees give you the chance to step into a classroom with a minimum of 80 days of practice teaching in more than one school. You’ll fast-track your skill development and get a feel for the profession right from the beginning.
We’re the preferred provider of professional development and training for the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). Our courses are designed to align with industry standards and evolve in line with the teaching landscape in Australia.
We’ve been recognised as one of the top-performing universities in the world for Education, according to the 2023 QS World Rankings by Subject. Our research-led approach means we’re constantly exploring new theories to advance teaching practices and policies across the globe.
UNSW is ranked 1st in Australia for employment outcomes (2024 QS World University Rankings) and has been awarded the AFR’s Most Employable University four years running (2020-2023).
The roles and responsibilities of a teacher are far-reaching and can vary based on their school, position and department. This will give you a general idea:
According to the NSW Department of Education, the median annual salary for degree-qualified graduates entering their first year of full-time teaching is $73,737.
Most undergraduate education degrees take 4-years of full-time study. If you study part-time, it may take a little longer to become accredited. However, you might be able to work in a school as a learning support officer during your studies to gain exposure to classroom teaching.
Yes! We welcome hundreds of international students to study our education programs every year. The Australian Government has also announced that international students who study teaching may be eligible to extend their visa and work in Australia.
The entry requirements for international students vary between degrees. You must meet the minimum English language requirements and hold a recognised high school qualification. Check the individual degree pages for a full list of entry requirements.
The cost of a degree in education is based on a number of factors, including whether you’re completing a bachelors or masters degree. At UNSW, domestic students are offered a Commonwealth Supported Place for our teaching degrees. As an example, an indicative first-year full fee for the Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Honours) is $8,600. Estimated costs for all our domestic and international student fees can be found on each degree page.
Your teaching career starts here. Explore our education degrees to find a specialisation that suits your interests.