How to become a Secondary School Teacher in Australia?

If you’re aspiring to be a teacher, you have dozens of options available to you: English lit educator, a musical instructor, a mentor of early childhood, etc. Regardless of what you teach, you will have the power to influence the younger generations, shape their minds, and provide a support system that they may not have at home.

Becoming a teacher in Australia is a wonderful opportunity to grow professionally and on a personal level. However, the process of teaching in Australia has its own challenges. With so many responsibilities that come with this occupation, you must be well-trained and well-educated.

As a teacher, you will be responsible for a multitude of things, for example: promote and cultivate an inclusive learning environment, create lesson plans, and ensure that your lectures, instructional practices, and tasks fulfill the educational standards of your specific state.

Now that we covered the basics, let’s get into it: how to become a teacher in Australia?

What are the Qualifications Needed to Become a Secondary School Teacher?

To start working as a teacher in Australia, you must have a university degree. There are two options:

  • You have a 4-year teaching degree (depending on how and where you graduated). This allows you to be an early education or grade-school teacher and, in most cases, a high school teacher,


  • You have a bachelor’s degree in a particular discipline such as physics or literature and a postgraduate master’s degree.

You should earn a Bachelor of Education diploma in an undergraduate Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) program. This is the most common route for aspiring primary school teachers. However, some institutions provide secondary-level programs for some areas of specialization in speeding up how to become a teacher in Australia.

Teaching in Australia as a high school educator, you are in charge of learners between Years 7 and 12, ranging in age from 12 to 18. Hence, you must finish an undergraduate degree or an accredited degree in education, including a Master’s in teaching, regardless of the state or region, you choose to work in.

A combination of undergraduate and postgraduate programs enables you to advance your education. It’s crucial to understand that a Master’s in teaching qualifies you for teaching in a broader field than your undergrad degree. It will also affect your salary. A teacher salary in Australia can vary between $37,000 to $85,000 per year.

You must provide 45-day instructional teaching in the certification as a minimum qualification for training with students.

The English qualifications for becoming a teacher in Australia are very tight. You must have documentation for any of the following:

  • You must provide your educational certification of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a rating of Reading and Writing of at least 7.0. Plus, a Listening and Speaking score of at least 8.0.

  • Optionally, you can do at least 4 solid days of higher education study in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, or in the United States of America.

You should complete your teaching education with an equivalent qualification to the educational standard of an Australian college degree or higher with a recognized initial teacher training credential. 

Here are the teaching qualifications accepted in Australia:

  • 4-year Bachelor’s degree from one of the following fields: early childhood, primary, middle years, secondary school, or any other teaching specializations

  • Or a 3-year degree supplemented by a post-graduate program or Master in teaching for a specific field, such as early childhood, primary, or high school. Any post-graduate or pre-service teacher education course, including the post-graduate diploma (level 8) or Master’s degree, must be submitted at the Australian Qualifications Framework Level 8 or higher (level 9).

Are Secondary School Teachers in Demand in Australia?

Reports confirmed that high school math and science teachers are in the highest demand in Australia. Also, there is a significant increase in the need for trained teachers to serve in rural and remote areas of Australia. In fact, most fresh Australian education graduates are relocated to rural regions of the country to pursue their first job. Female teachers in big cities are perhaps the least in demand.

Here are some of the listed in-demand teaching fields in Australia’s secondary schools:

  • Science (physics) teacher

Science teachers must deliver science as an interactive discipline to students in Years 7–10, including different science classes to students in Years 11–12, such as biology, chemistry, environmental and earth sciences, physics, and general science.

Teachers in science who are eligible to teach physics are in high demand by most public schools.

  • Mathematics teacher

Mathematics teachers focus on offering a class to students in Years 7 to 8 and several lessons to students in Years 9 until 12.

  • Technology and applied studies (TAS) teacher

Agricultural production, industrial technology, architecture and technology, computer studies, food science, and data science are some of the topics taught in TAS.

  • Special education teacher

Special education teachers have special training to educate children with additional student development and support needs (Kindergarten through Year 12). They create and develop specialized instructional plans for students with various physical and or cognitive disabilities.

  • School counselor

They are experienced teachers with a psychology degree and postgraduate education in school counseling. From kindergarten through Year 12, they deal with children of all ages since they provide counseling and psychological assessments of students with specific social guidance needs.

School counselors must be eligible public or private school teachers who’ve also conducted accredited psychology studies.

Can You Become a Teacher in Australia without a Teaching Degree?

The simple answer is no. As mentioned earlier, Australia is very particular in honing the future of their young ones. Thus, if you want to start working as a teacher in Australia, you must secure a related teaching degree.

However, if you’re already a science major or math-related graduate, you can still pursue your teaching heart career. All you need is further enhancement of your teaching skills and certifications.

Alternatively, you may even get a degree in a subject you choose to specialize in, such as algebra, chemistry, or English, and then enroll in a postgraduate teacher education program, and earn a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

You must have a degree in the subject you want to teach or a closely related field, plus a teaching certificate to continue teaching in Australia.

Teacher Exchange Programme Australia

You can switch teaching jobs and personalized accommodations with an equally positioned overseas instructor for a year. This program began last January 2021 with the International Teacher Exchange Program (ITEP) of the Department.

The choice of exchange is indeed a competitive process. Applicants will be evaluated based on their qualifications. The process will have a basis on:

  • Granting prioritization to exchanging candidates who have shown excellent experience and highly suggested by their Director or Administrator.

  • Providing a great reference from their director or administrator about their technical and personal worthiness for such an exchange

How to get Sponsored Visa to teach in Australian Schools as a Foreigner?

Please keep in mind that all Secondary School Teachers or Early Childhood Teachers are included on the Immigration and Border Protection Medium to Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Ensuring that if you have the necessary qualifications for such teaching jobs, you will be eligible to qualify for individual general professional migration and get it by yourself (permanent working visa).

However, if that doesn’t sound appealing, you can opt to use a sponsorship visa. The sponsorship visa is based on a work proposal.  This visa is also known as the 482 Visa.

To know more about the details of these programs, you can seek out professional services. Like UIS Australia, they will work on your behalf and ensure that you’ll reach your teaching career with Australian teacher registration authorities.

Let UIS Australia Help You

The Australia immigration process can become complex, depending on your goals and circumstances. If you require assistance understanding what Australian visas you qualify for, and what immigration path you should take, you can use the assistance of our immigration professionals.

Our legal consultants, migration support agents and licensed consultants are here at your disposal. Book a consultation today for the opportunity to get an Australian visa and start teaching in Australia.

Ron Ford

Ron Ford immigrated with his family to Australia in 2005 to work as a social worker. Following their difficult immigration process, he slowly turned to blogging and creating content about immigration: "…As a family of 5, we struggled to make ends meet. I was working around the clock and Clarissa was working in housekeeping any time she could spare. The move to Australia completely changed our lives, but it cost us a lot of money, time, and tears. Ever since I've wanted to help others on their journeys the way I wished someone had helped us".

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