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7 Types of Teaching Careers in Australia

Teaching comes in many forms, with each type of teaching role appealing to different people for different reasons. Some prefer the challenges and triumphs of teaching young children, while others enjoy educating adults. Others may prefer not to teach directly but offer support to students and teaching staff. No matter your goal for your teaching career, there’s a type of teaching suited to you. Let’s take a look at five teaching careers available in Australia. 

Early childhood educators (pre-primary school)

Early childhood educators teach children at pre-school institutions (children aged six months to five years). They play a strong role in helping children develop basic skills such as vocabulary, numeracy, and physical and social skills. These teachers must have a comprehensive understanding of the child brain, cognition and behaviours.

Key work responsibilities of early childhood educators include planning hands-on, creative activities, developing vocabulary and communicating moral lessons through mediums of storytelling, arts and music, promoting concepts of good health and hygiene, detecting signs of emotional disturbance or developmental disorders and observing and recording each child’s development and progress. 

The median earnings of early childhood educators are $1,666 a week.

Education aides

While education aides aren’t technically teachers, they play an extremely important role in the education sector. They typically perform non-teaching duties, such as caring for and supervising young children, preparing teaching materials and supporting students’ learning of social skills. Education aides also tend to provide extra support to students struggling with intellectual, physical or behavioural difficulties that affect their schooling.

The median earnings of education aides are $1,137 a week.

Primary school teachers

Primary school teachers teach students from kindergarten to Year 6. Primary school lessons are under broad curriculum requirements; teachers must customise these and create daily lesson plans for the class. Primary school teachers in Australia are expected to teach a wide range of subjects to their allocated class, such as English, mathematics, science, arts and environmental studies. Often, teachers will specialise in a certain year group area, such as Years 1-2 or 5-6. This is because students have different brain structures and behaviours at these ages; therefore, teaching styles must be modified accordingly.

Key responsibilities of primary school teachers include preparing and delivering lesson plans, assigning homework and discussing students’ progress and development with their parents. Supervising students during break time and organising excursions is sometimes also required.

The median earnings of primary school teachers are $1,984 a week.

Private teachers and tutors

Private teachers and tutors are responsible for educating students in private training establishments, typically in the practice, theory and performance of specific subjects, such as art, dance, drama and music. 

Core duties of private teachers and tutors include planning programs of study, assessing students, offering encouragement and criticism based on performance, and reviewing curricula. A very high skill level is typically required to fill this type of position.

Secondary school teachers

Secondary school teachers are typically responsible for teaching one or more subject areas to students in Years 7-12. Often, teachers will specialise in either teaching the ‘junior years’ (Years 7-9) or ‘senior’ (Years 10-12). Secondary school teachers can specialise in a range of subjects, including but not limited to: mathematics, science, technological studies, English, creative and performing arts, languages and more.

Secondary school teachers are expected to prepare and deliver lesson plans and set homework tasks and assessments. Teachers also have the responsibility of marking these assignments, providing feedback to students, and meeting with the students’ parents to discuss their progress. Since secondary school teachers are a bit more specialised, they sometimes network with other teachers who teach the same subjects to discuss the curriculum and any pedagogical developments.

The median earnings of secondary school teachers are $2,052 a week.

Special needs and inclusive education teachers

Special needs and inclusive education teachers work with students with disabilities or learning difficulties. Their key work duties include creating tailored lesson plans and individual plans, and liaising with students, parents, other teachers and well-being professionals such as psychologists. These teachers are responsible for creating safe and secure environments for vulnerable students to flourish and achieve their full potential. 

The median earnings of special needs teachers are around $1,600 a week.

University lecturers and tutors

University lecturers and tutors are responsible for providing highly specialised education to adults who have completed their primary and secondary schooling. This is one of the most prestigious levels of teaching; to work in this role, you typically must hold a doctorate degree (PhD). 

Key responsibilities of a university lecturer or tutor include preparing and delivering lectures, advising students on academic matters and guiding class discussions.The median earnings of university lecturers and tutors are $2,682 a week.