Site logo

Teaching Jobs in Australia

Female teacher with the pupils in the classroom with the text Teaching Jobs in Australia

There are some good opportunities for qualified teachers in Australia. Currently, there is a teacher shortage so there are many jobs for overseas-trained teachers at all levels across Australia whether it be in a rural town, coastal town, or major city.

In this article I will provide you with all the information and tips you’ll need to easily get yourself a teaching job in Australia.

Jump Links

1. Overview of Teaching Jobs in Australia

Currently, there is a shortage of teachers throughout Australia and there is a high demand in the public and private schools sector. Teachers are needed for most school levels and abilities and all subjects, including art, science, math, and languages. This need provides you with the perfect opportunity to immigrate to Australia as a teacher.

Teaching is a rewarding and recognized profession but it also provides a pathway to residency in Australia. The curriculum in Australia is very similar to other native English-speaking Countries such as the UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, and the United States so it is very easy if you have experience in these countries to teach in Australia.

All teaching positions are listed on the medium and long-term skills shortage list allowing you to gain a TSS visa and an easier pathway to residency than other work visas. I will cover more details about teaching positions in the next section.

Here in Australia, the average class size is about 24 pupils. We are fortunate that education is widely accessible across the country. Currently, our reading, science, and math results surpass the OECD PISA average. However, student engagement in these critical disciplines is dropping. That’s why Australia is investing in the future by supporting the primary and secondary schooling sectors at a rate that is 6% higher than the OECD average.

2. Most Common Teaching Jobs

There is a wide range of teaching jobs in Australia, I will go through the most common teaching jobs.

2.1 Primary School Teacher – Public or Private

Primary School in Australia runs from ages 6 – 11 and the teacher is responsible for covering a broad range of curriculum including Math, English, Science, and physical education. Australia uses a year-level system for students. Primary school is the first schooling for a child and starts at year level 1 (6 years old) up goes until year level 6 (11 years old). Classes are generally broken up into year levels and assigned 1 teacher for the entire year. Most teachers usually focus on a particular year level for a number of years (sometimes their whole career) but it is possible to change year levels throughout your career.

In Australia, there is a larger focus on sports and outdoor activities compared to other countries. Class trips and excursions throughout the year to various nature reserves and sports activities are quite common.

2.2 Secondary School Teacher – Public or Private

Secondary School in Australia also known as High School runs from Year 7 (11/12 years old) until year 10 (15/16 years old). Teachers at secondary school generally teach one or a few subjects including math, science, english, and social studies.

2.3 Senior-Secondary School Teacher – Public or Private

Senior Secondary School is the last two years of High School being years 11 and year 12. Students choose which subjects they wish to pursue in higher education and the Teachers specialize in a certain subject for example economics, chemistry or music. Senior Secondary Teachers usually have multiple classes (periods) throughout the day teaching different year levels and abilities across years 11 or 12. There is a lot of teaching focus on these year levels to prepare students for ATAR (university admission) and ensure they achieve their HSC (High School Certificate).

2.4 Teacher Aide

A teacher aide often known as an assistant teacher in some countries provides support in the classroom to the teacher. They assist the teacher with classroom activities and provide support or relief where needed when the teacher is occupied. Tasks can vary depending on the school and the teacher in charge. Not every classroom will have a teacher aide. Generally, if the class sizes are too large or some students need extra assistance a teacher aide will be required.

2.5 Relief Teacher

A relief teacher or reliever is a teacher who is on call when a teacher is sick or away on holiday. They take over the teaching of a class at any level and often work at multiple schools. Usually isn’t a full-time position.

3. Qualifications & Experience Needed to Be a Teacher

To teach in Australia you will have qualifications and English proficiency, let’s go through what you will need.

3.1 Qualifications

A university degree and teaching license are generally required to teach in Australia. To be regarded as appropriately qualified as a teacher in Australia, you must have four years of tertiary education (full-time equivalent). This can be either, you have completed a Bachelor of Education (four years) or 3 years of university (any discipline) and 1 year of PGCE/PGDE. Some states require a 2-year Master of Teaching.

3.2 English Proficiency

English proficiency is required to work as a teacher in Australia. In Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States, you must sit the IELTS test if you haven’t studied for at least four years of undergraduate education.

The English proficiency required if you need to sit the IELTS test is as follows:

If you score a higher result you will be awarded more points towards your visa application. More points give you a higher priority than a lower-point candidate when applying for a visa.

Since Australia is an English-speaking country with English curricula, ESL certificates are not required unless the teacher wishes to teach an ESL course to speakers of a foreign language living in Australia.

3.3 Visa Options

There are many different visa options for teachers. Here are some of the most common visa options.

3.4 Skills Assessments

A majority of the time, teacher candidates who complete their qualification and 45 days of supervised training can qualify for assessment through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Some qualifications, however, are not immediately recognized in Australia. Therefore, a candidate may be required to complete a skills assessment to evaluate whether their degree is similar to an Australian degree.

The evaluation might take up to two months. It may take longer if validating your degree is challenging.
The more points you have, the more likely you are to get invited. Those with more points will be invited first. For instance, those with 85 points will be preferred over those with 65 points. If you have a lower score it may take up to two years.

4. Where are the Teaching Jobs?

Map of Australia with state names
Teaching positions are available across metropolitan, rural, remote, and coastal areas in Australia. Australian schools vary in size 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.

The bigger cities such as Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Darwin will generally provide the most opportunities as they have larger populations and more schools.

5. Teaching Employment

There are a few different employment types in Australia which may be different from your country of residence. I cover common employment types in Australia below.

Full-Time Employment

This is the most common type of employment as a teacher in Australia. You will most likely be paid a salary which is based on an average 38-hour working week. Here in Australia, the legal requirement for full-time employees is to receive the following benefits:

Part-time Employment

Full-time in Australia is 38 hours, therefore part-time is anything less than 38 hours. There should be a set number of hours specified in the employment contract that states the amount of hours you are employed to work every week and the employer must give you a minimum of the stated hours.

Part-time employees are paid at an hourly rate or salary depending on the school.

The benefits are similar to full-time employment listed above with the difference being that paid leave days are worked out on a pro-rata share of full-time employment. For instance, if you are contracted to work 20 hours a week you will receive a pro-rata share of paid leave based on 38 hours. As an example, if you work 20 hours per week multiply it by 52 weeks (total number of weeks in a year). Four weeks multiplied by 1040/1880 is equivalent to 2.19 or two weeks to round off.

Casual Employment

This is more common for relief teachers who work when required or teachers who work for a short-term period. A casual employee is under a casual employment contract but does not receive paid leave or sick leave. Instead, they are paid a casual loading of 25% higher salary to account for not receiving paid leave. Casual employees are usually paid per hour.

6. Earnings for Teachers

Teachers’ pay in Australia has steadily increased over the past 15 years. Currently because of the demand for teachers the pay is very good compared to other countries.

I have provided a breakdown of the teacher salary range in $AUD as a guide as to what to expect.

Position Annual Salary
Teacher $78,000 - $104,000
Senior Teacher $81,600 - $111,000
Experienced School Teacher $87,000 - $118,500
Highly Accomplished Teacher $120,000 - $126,000
Lead Teacher $130,000 - $138,600
Head of Department $136,000 - $139,000
Deputy Principal $145,000 - $155,100
Principal $135,000 - $228,600

Here in Queensland, casual teachers can be paid $88 per hour.

As you can see from the table above teachers are paid well in Australia and there is a lot of pay progression as you become a more experienced teacher.

7. How to Get a Teaching Job

You have numerous options available to get a teaching job in Australia but first, you must secure a visa. Below I cover the different visa types:

7.1 Visa Options

There are many different visa options for teachers. Here are some of the most common visa options.

7.2 Applying for an AITSL Skills Assessment

AITSL is an abbreviation for the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership. A skills assessment is generally required to secure a teaching position in Australia. You need to register online using the application portal. To begin your application visit the AITSL website. Once you arrive at the website follow these steps:

  1. Select the Migrate to Australia in the menu option.
  2. There will be a pull-down menu. Select Applicant Portal.
  3. Go to a login page. However, to log in, you must first have registered. Click on it.
  4. You may now log in after creating a username and password.
  5. After that, you’ll be brought to an application dashboard where you may examine critical information such as the application date and status.
  6. Select Start New Application.
  7. Choose an occupation
  8. Enter the applicant’s information.
  9. Enter your qualifications.
  10. Enter your English Language Proficiency.
  11. Examine the application
  12. Pay and submit your application.

Once you have applied it will generally take 2-6 months for an assessment to take place. Once you have received your certificate you will need to register an expression of interest. Overall the process takes approximately 1-2 years for most people once you start your application.

7.3 Searching for a Job

Here in Australia, there are a number of job searching websites and recruitment agencies that are extremely useful in finding a job. Here I list the most common:

These are the most popular job searching sites where many immigrant teachers find a job.

8. Best Time to Apply

You can apply for a job at any time throughout the year. The Australian school year runs from February until December every year. There is a 6-8 week gap over the Australian summer.

While you can apply at any time throughout the year, some schools prefer to hire during the summer break for a new teacher to start when school returns in February.

It is common for teachers who are resigning or moving to a different school or position to complete the full school year and start the new year at the new school or position. Therefore this is a big hiring window for many schools filling these positions.

Forgot Password