Whatever your interest area, you're passionate about inspiring the next generation of Australians, and you're drawn to the diverse employment prospects of the education industry.
Where to from here? To work as a teacher in Victoria, you need to have university qualifications and be registered with the relevant state authority – then you're all set to search for a job.
Here's everything you need to know about how to become a teacher in Victoria.
FAQs About Teacher In Melbourne
Graduates in Victoria applying to become teachers has dropped sharply by nearly 40 per cent in a year. Graduates in Victoria applying to become teachers has dropped sharply by nearly 40 per cent in a year. The plunge has raised concerns about a potential shortage of teachers in the coming years.
It may take a total of six years to become a teacher in Australia if you get both an undergraduate and graduate degree in teaching. This is because you may also require one or two years of classroom experience as a teacher.
To become a teacher without a degree is certainly possible, although you're going to have to acquire some training, experience or qualifications. This article discusses the possibilities of becoming a teacher without a degree, the teaching qualifications you can acquire, and the different schools you might work at.
Generally, suppose you already possess a tertiary qualification. In that case, you can use it to apply for credit towards a Master of Teaching or Graduate Diploma in Education, both of which take between one and two years to complete.
Excellent job security and an abundance of vacancies in this profession make now a great time to consider teaching as a career. Queensland graduate teachers have one of the highest starting salaries in Australia.
Teaching Is A Great Career
As a new teacher, you'll get the professional development and support you need to succeed.
You'll be connected with a state-wide network of peers and enjoy hands-on training with the latest technology. As a teacher, you will work directly with students, sharing your passions and skills and passing on the knowledge they will need to thrive.
A career in teaching will give you the chance to build professional, collaborative relationships with your colleagues.
Get Qualified To Become A Teacher
To become a school teacher in Victoria, you need to:
- Study and get the right qualifications
- Register as a teacher in Victoria
- Apply for teaching jobs
You'll need university qualifications to work as a teacher in Victoria. There are two common pathways: complete a four-year Bachelor of Education – which qualifies you to become an early childhood or primary school teacher and, in some circumstances, a secondary school teacher – or an undergraduate degree in a specific discipline like science or music plus a two-year Master of Teaching.
It's also possible to fast-track your studies with a combined undergraduate and postgraduate course.
It's important to note that a Master of Teaching prepares you to teach in the same discipline as your undergraduate degree. So, for example, let's say you've done an undergraduate degree in English and drama, then a Master of Teaching. You can't change your mind and decide to be a physics teacher – you have to be an English and drama teacher.
Figuring out what to study at university isn't always easy, and, thankfully, one option isn't better than the other.
If you don't have a degree and want to be a teacher, the Bachelor of Education is for you. However, if you have a degree, the Master of Teaching is your ticket to becoming a teacher.
Study The Right Course
Most people will need to study for four years full time at a higher education institution. It is usually a university, but can also be some TAFEs and private providers. You can also study part-time, which will take longer.
Your study must include an approved teaching course. It is known as Initial Teacher Education courses or ITE.
Most ITE courses specialise in becoming either a primary or secondary school teacher, but some courses cover both.
There are three ways you can structure your qualification:
- Study a four-year teaching degree that has ITE approval. These are often called a Bachelor of Education.
- Study a double degree, which is two degrees at the same time. One of the degrees will be an approved ITE degree. Most universities offer this option over four years.
- Study a single degree first, like a Bachelor of Science or Arts. Then study for a two-year postgraduate course that has ITE approval.
If You're In School
Teaching degrees have entry requirements that are different for each university. You may need to study certain VCE subjects to start the degree you want.
Your school's careers adviser can help you select the right subjects and tell you how to apply to university.
Entry requirements will be on the university or provider's website.
If You Have Vocational Experience
There's an option to become a secondary school teacher if you:
- have a certificate of technology or vocational trade
- Also have substantial industry experience of six to eight years.
In this case, you can study an approved secondary teaching course, lasting at least two years. They are sometimes called an 'industry entry program'.
If You're A Graduate, Professional Or Want To Change Careers
- If you already have:
- a bachelor degree, or
- a diploma or higher education studies lasting at least three years
Then you can study an approved two-year postgraduate course in education to get the qualifications you need to become a teacher. Your previous study must be in an area that has links to the Victorian curriculum.
Types Of Teaching
Primary School Teaching
Primary school teachers walk their students through their first steps at school.
As a primary school teacher, you will spend most of your time with one class, building positive relationships with your students.
Primary school teaching is a great career choice for anyone who loves learning and inspires that attitude in others. In primary schools, you'll get to teach students across an array of learning areas, including:
- Physical Education
- the Arts
- studies of society and environment
Secondary School Teachers
Secondary school teachers prepare their students for life ahead.
In this role, you can inspire young people to see the world's possibilities around them. Secondary school teachers use their expertise to create innovative, exciting and challenging opportunities for their students to excel. You can specialise in one or two subjects as a secondary school teacher.
It will give you the chance to focus on subjects you are passionate about and inspire students along the way. You can also teach a range of classes through to the VCE level if you want to.
Flexibility is an important part of careers in education.
Early Childhood Teachers
Kindergarten teachers help children unlock their imagination through play-based learning.
As a kindergarten teacher, you will play a key role in helping children's learning and development, better preparing for school and their future.
Kindergarten teachers plan and deliver programs to enhance children's learning and develop their sense of identity, well-being, and communication skills.
If you're passionate about making a lasting impact on the lives of young children, you can become a kindergarten teacher working in an early childhood service.
Teach For Australia
You can get teaching qualifications through the Teach for Australia program if you:
- have a bachelor degree or will be awarded one soon
- don't already have a teaching degree.
In this program, you teach for two years full time in a low socioeconomic area. You receive full pay, professional development and coaching.
At the end of the two years, you are awarded a Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Professional Practice).
Initial Teacher Education
To be registered to teach in a school setting, applicants are required to have completed an approved initial teacher education (ITE) program in one of the following configurations.
- four (4) years of full time or equivalent higher education study, including an approved initial primary and initial secondary teaching qualification of at least one (1) year's duration
- an approved Certificate of Proficiency / Completion in trade, together with
- relevant industrial experience combined with a period of apprenticeship that totals no less than eight (8) years
- an approved trade technical course or an approved equivalent program of post-apprenticeship studies
- an approved course of teacher education, or
- an approved Certificate of Technology, together with
- a minimum of six (6) years of approved industrial experience
- An approved course of secondary teacher education.
Early Childhood Teaching
To be registered to teach as an early childhood teacher (ECT), applicants are required to have completed an early childhood teaching qualification that is approved or recognised by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) in one of the following configurations.
- an ACECQA approved ECT qualification (listed on the ACECQA website at the ECT level)
- an ACECQA recognised ECT qualification (for example, a qualification from overseas that ACECQA has assessed as equivalent against the Australian standards)
- an early childhood teaching qualification recognised by a former teaching authority, or
- an ACECQA approved early childhood Diploma, together with
- current registration as a teacher in Australia
- An approved ITE program is specialising in primary teaching.
If an applicant completed one or more of their qualifications outside of Australia or New Zealand, VIT must assess these qualifications to ensure equivalency to an approved ITE program. For example, those applying for early childhood teaching must apply to ACECQA to confirm the equivalency of their qualification.
To enable VIT to assess the equivalency of a qualification, the applicant must provide official academic transcripts and evidence of completion that include
- number of days of supervised practice teaching (sometimes referred to as student teaching), and
- The school setting (primary or secondary) where you completed the supervised practice teaching.
If this is not listed on their official academic transcript, they must provide an official letter from their education provider containing this information.
Graduates from Australian ITE programs are required to demonstrate they have high levels of literacy and numeracy competency by providing evidence that they have met the standard of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) completed as part of their program. It supports quality teaching in Victorian schools.
Suppose an applicant has completed any ITE or early childhood program studies outside Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, or Ireland. In that case, they must complete an English language competency test.
Providing Evidence Of Qualifications
Applicants are required to provide details of their qualifications, including
- an official academic transcript for each qualification, and
- evidence of completion, which includes one of the following
- a graduation certificate or academic transcript listing the completion date, or
- a letter from the education provider lists the completion date.
Applicants that have completed an ITE program (or overseas equivalent) must also provide evidence of the duration of their supervised practice teaching – sometimes referred to as student teaching. Suppose this is not listed on the applicant's transcript. In that case, they will be required to provide a letter from their higher education provider containing this information, which you must upload to their application.
Applicants will also be required to provide information about their specialisations covered during their supervised practice teaching. This information is gathered for statistical purposes, and applicants are requested to provide it to the best of their abilities.
Registering Your Expertise
The teaching requirements in Victoria are strict, and once you've completed your studies, it's time to register with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
Fresh graduates apply for provisional registration and within two years need to satisfy the criteria for full registration.
And here's the kicker – you'll need to maintain your registration for the duration of your teaching career.
Schools can't employ teachers without registration,' he says. 'It's a bit like car rego – there's a yearly fee, and it's ongoing.
You need to keep it up-to-date and pay for it each year. Plus, it would help if you did things to keep that registration current, such as completing a certain amount of professional development each year.
Applying For Jobs
Once you've figured out how to become a teacher in Victoria and have the required qualifications and registration, it's time to begin applying for jobs. There are three major school systems in Victoria – state, Catholic and independent – each has its system for job applications.
All jobs in Victorian state schools are advertised through Recruitment Online. R
Recently, you updated the criteria for state school jobs. The first four or five selection criteria are now the same, which helps make the application process more efficient for graduates.
For Catholic schools, jobs are advertised through the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria.
Applications typically only require a CV – job advertisements don't usually contain selection criteria – and being Catholic isn't a prerequisite.
You don't need to be Catholic to teach in a Catholic school, and you don't need to have attended a Catholic university.
However, within five years of working in a Catholic school, you need to obtain accreditation to teach in a Catholic school.
One consistent across schools in all three systems is a desire to recruit genuinely interested teachers in the school's ethos.
It's important to customise your application because schools don't want applications that look like they have been sent to 90 schools.
They want you to understand their school, that you know what it means to be a part of the school community and that you are genuinely interested in taking your place as an ongoing member of the school. They are looking for evidence that you know their school.
Pros And Cons Of A Career In Education And Training
Share Your Passion
Granted, this is an ideal, rather than a rule—we've all had teachers who weren't particularly enthusiastic about entering the classrooms. But the best teachers—the ones who cultivate their students' curiosity and prepare them for a fulfilling life—are almost always the ones who are passionate about their job. It could be that they love maths, feel strongly about the importance of early childhood education, or want to help teenagers get through high school. Whatever the case may be, if you're passionate about education, the welfare of young people, or even a specific subject, then you'll find teaching to be a very fulfilling career.
Enjoy Enviable Job Security
Teachers belong to a relatively stable profession in the face of economic fluctuations—even the global financial crisis didn't result in Australian students enjoying extra days off. The public school systems are also generally eager to retain staff, offering numerous professional development opportunities to teachers who wish to move around in their careers.
Take Regular Vacations And Summer Breaks
How would you like to take school holidays four times a year for the rest of your working life? As a teacher, you can do just that. But, of course, it's worth bearing in mind that teachers invariably have marking to do and classes to prepare—putting in an hour or two at home isn't uncommon. You may also find it more difficult to take leave during the school term.
Benefit From Industry Perks
Teachers have access to a range of competitive industry superannuation funds. Those in the public system can also take advantage of benefits such as salary packaging, which allows you to spend part of your pre-tax income on approved items, and relocation subsidies.
Create Lifelong Bonds
For many teachers, this is the greatest reward of a career in education. Whether inspiring students, à la Dead Poets Society, befriending them, à la Sister Act, or helping them relate more effectively with each other and the world, à la Breakfast Club, teachers can play a vital role in the formative years of students at all stages of their education. It allows them to create strong bonds that lead to lifelong connections with students. In addition, with many teachers choosing to stay for extended periods at individual schools, they can often create close working relationships with their colleagues.
Teaching Isn't (Yet) As Prestigious As It Should Be
Given their influence (see above), it's surprising (and, to many, frustrating) that teachers in Australia frequently aren't accorded the same respect as those in more 'prestigious' vocations. It is in stark contrast to their treatment in countries like Finland and South Korea, where teaching positions are sought after and considered to reflect well on the people who fill them. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to this problem. Still, pundits generally agree that change is most likely to come from within the education system itself, as intelligent and committed graduates prove that teaching is far from being a B-list job through their successes in the classroom.
Classroom Management Can Be Frustrating
Teachers are primarily there to teach, but other things can often hinder pursuing this goal. Unruly students, students with learning difficulties, lesson plans, calls from parents, administrative responsibilities—sometimes these other responsibilities can leave precious little time for the teaching itself, or, at any rate, make it seem like a secondary aspect of being a teacher. Fortunately, classroom management is one of those things that gets easier as you gain more experience, and, with support from your colleagues, as well as new technological innovations, you can look forward to focusing on what matters to you most.
Marking Can Take Up A Lot Of Time
Let's say you have 30 students in your class, and they each write an essay that takes about twenty minutes to mark (assuming that you intend to read it closely and provide constructive feedback). That's ten solid hours of marking, and the chances are that it won't always be possible to get it done during school hours. As a result, many teachers are familiar with setting aside time to get marking done at home, often on the weekend, whether that means concentrating on maths tests, Latin quizzes, English essays, science reports, or something else entirely.
The Pay Is Reliable, But Wealthy Teachers Are Rare
About 64 per cent of Australian teachers work in government schools. The pay is steady and reliable for these educators but tends not to rise far above average salaries for other professionals or equivalent experience. Currently, salaries in education range from approximately $62,000 for first-year teachers to $160,000 for school principals.
Teaching is one of the oldest professions, predating Alexander the Great's lessons from Aristotle by thousands of years. Of course, much has changed over the past century, with education now available to more people than ever before and increasingly linked to various technological advances. Still, the teaching profession's enduring appeal is largely thanks to certain things that remain as true today as they have ever been.