School days are meant to be the best days of your life, maybe not for the teachers though. Stacks of marking, unruly children and a menacing amount of bureaucracy and red tape to adhere to can make it a difficult job. So why do people become teachers? The long holidays are undoubtedly a huge pull and bar becoming a WAG, it’s the only way a graduate can ever hope for such a decent amount of time off work. Whether teaching nursery children the alphabet or stroppy thirteen-year-olds Pythagoras’ theorem, people choose to teach because they enjoy seeing and helping children and seeing young people learn.
What age and subject you teach depends
on personal preference and your higher education route. Those who have studied education to a degree level choose a specialist subject as part of their degree, but are trained to teach all subjects at primary level. Graduates in other subjects do a one year postgraduate course (PGCE) to qualify as a subject teacher at secondary school level, while lecturers at college and university will have to have spent more years studying and specialising in their chosen subject field. On top of the traditional teaching roles, there are jobs as educational advisors, administrators, librarians and teaching assistants in the sector.
Teaching is also proving a popular career choice thanks to the “pay to train” bonuses that are offered to future teachers. Eligible trainees on postgraduate initial teacher training courses in England are now entitled to a tax-free training bursary worth £6-9,000 plus possible “golden hellos” of up to £5,000 when they start work.
The average salary for teachers is £29,000 (salarytack.co.uk) with almost no-one exceeding £35,000. That said ‘Superheads’ – headmasters running several schools at once – can earn 6 figure salaries. Because it is a public sector job, there is also an extra allowance for working in London.
This article was produced in association with Kingston University Careers & Employability Service