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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)

£20,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 37 variable

You could work


How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become 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.

This typically takes around 24 months to complete.

You'll need a qualification or experience 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.

You can find out about volunteering opportunities at Do IT or at NCVO.

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • 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
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • customer service 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, like an A level, in the subject you wish to teach.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • carry out skills assessments
  • talk to students about what they want to achieve
  • design learning plans to suit the needs and abilities of students
  • prepare teaching materials
  • use a range of resources like worksheets and computer packages
  • deliver individual and group teaching sessions
  • keep records
  • guide and support 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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

You could be self-employed and work as a freelancer.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Nova Training - Kidderminster- Apprentice Functional Skills Tutor

  • Wage: £23,000 a year Annually
  • Location: New Road, Kidderminster

Nova Training/ Birmingham - High Needs Tutor Apprentice

  • Wage: £23,000 a year Annually
  • Location: B33 8BA

Courses In England

Diploma in Education and Training

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: London

Diploma in Education & Training Level 5

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: WEYMOUTH

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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