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Skills for life teacher

Alternative titles for this job include Functional skills teacher

Skills for life teachers work with adults and sometimes 16 to 18-year-olds to improve their English and maths.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£27,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 37 variable

You could work


How to become

How to become a skills for life teacher

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


If you have a degree in a relevant subject, without qualified teacher status, you can apply for a postgraduate teacher training course like:

  • postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
  • professional graduate diploma in education (PGDE) in teaching disabled adults

GOV UK has further details on postgraduate courses.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You'll need a recognised teaching qualification or be willing to work towards one. Examples include:

  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training
  • Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training
  • Level 5 Education and Training Diploma - need access to 100 hours of teaching practice

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths

More Information


You can complete a learning and skills teacher higher apprenticeship.

You'll need a qualification in the subject you want to teach. Employers will be looking for relevant up-to-date industry experience.

You'll also need to show ability in English, maths and IT.

More Information


To find out if you're suited to this type of teaching, you could do some voluntary work, although this is not essential.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a skills for life teacher from:

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

You'll need a minimum of a level 3 qualification in the subject you wish to teach, like an A level in maths to teach numeracy.

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • carrying out skills assessments
  • talking to students about what they want to achieve
  • designing learning plans to suit the needs and abilities of students
  • preparing teaching materials
  • using a range of resources like worksheets and computer packages
  • delivering individual and group teaching sessions
  • keeping records
  • guiding and supporting learning support assistants and volunteers

Working environment

You could work in the community, at a training centre or at an adult education centre.

Career path and progression

Career path and progression

There may be opportunities to move into more senior roles like head of department, or to train other teachers.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

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