Secondary school teacher

Alternative titles for this job include High school teacher, secondary school tutor

Secondary school teachers teach children from 11 to 16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms.

Average salary (a year)

£23,720 Starter


£61,005 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 term time

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

How to become a secondary school teacher

You can get into this role through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies


You can do a Bachelor of Education degree, or a degree that is taught on the national curriculum. You can go into teaching after graduation, if your course includes qualified teacher status (QTS).

If you have a degree in a curriculum subject without QTS, you can get it by completing one of the following:

  • a postgraduate teacher training course at university
  • a school-based training programme

You can search for teacher training courses on GOV UK.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • GCSEs in English and maths at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C)
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information


You can get into this role through a teacher higher apprenticeship, if you've got a relevant degree and want to teach in a secondary school.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths
  • a degree in a relevant subject

More information

Volunteering and experience

You'll need experience of working with young people. You can get this through paid work or by volunteering at a school, doing youth work, or helping at a sports club or holiday scheme.

Other routes

If you've left the armed forces within the past 5 years and do not have a degree, you may be able to train on the Troops to Teachers scheme.

There are also other specialist training schemes available, that lead to qualified teacher status.

More information

Further information

You can discover more about careers in teaching from Get Into Teaching.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of English language
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • planning and preparing lessons
  • setting and marking essays and exams
  • checking students’ progress
  • developing new courses and teaching materials
  • classroom administration and record keeping
  • attending meetings and training courses

Working environment

You could work at a pupil referral unit or at a school.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

You could specialise in teaching pupils with special educational needs or move into pastoral care.

With experience you could become a specialist leader of education (SLE), supporting teachers in other schools.

You could also progress to curriculum leader, head of year, deputy head and headteacher.

You could  work for an exam board or a local education authority. Other options are to work as an education officer with a gallery or museum, or move into private tuition.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Teaching Apprenticeship

  • Wage : To be agreed upon appointment
  • Location: Tunbridge Wells TN2 4PY

Courses In England

Access to Education and Childhood Studies

  • Start date: 03 September 2019
  • Location: Dudley

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