Primary School Teachers teach a range of subjects within a prescribed curriculum to primary school students and promote students' social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required. Nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration with the relevant state or territory board of education may be required.

Tasks

  • teaching literacy, numeracy, social science, creative expression and physical education skills to primary school students
  • presenting prescribed curriculum using a range of teaching techniques and materials
  • developing students' interests, abilities and coordination by way of creative activities
  • guiding discussions and supervising work in class
  • preparing, administering and marking tests, projects and assignments to evaluate students' progress and recording the results
  • discussing individual progress and problems with students and parents, and seeking advice from Student Counsellors and senior teachers
  • maintaining discipline in classrooms and other school areas
  • participating in staff meetings, educational conferences and workshops
  • liaising with parent, community and business groups
  • maintaining class and scholastic records
  • performing extra-curricular tasks such as assisting with sport, school concerts, excursions and special interest programs
  • supervising student teachers on placement

Job Titles

  • Primary School Teacher
  • Primary School Teacher

    Specialisations: Preschool Director

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,350 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    147,500
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    14.3%
  • Female Share

    85.7%
  • Full-Time Share

    66.7%

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This is a very large occupation employing 147,500 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create more than 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Primary School Teachers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Education and Training.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 42.0 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,350 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 9 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
2005138100
2006138600
2007141500
2008138300
2009131300
2010145600
2011137300
2012150200
2013147900
2014148000
2015147500
2020163500

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsPrimary School TeachersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings13501230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPrimary School TeachersAll Jobs Average
Full-time66.768.4
Part-time33.331.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)42.040.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Education and Training98.0
Public Administration and Safety1.8
Health Care and Social Assistance0.1
Other Services0.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePrimary School TeachersAll Jobs Average
NSW33.631.8
VIC24.525.5
QLD20.319.8
SA6.26.8
WA11.511.2
TAS1.72.0
NT1.11.1
ACT0.91.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPrimary School TeachersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.1-5.45.4
20-245.7-9.99.9
25-3430.1-23.423.4
35-4426.4-21.721.7
45-5420.0-21.121.1
55-5910.2-8.78.7
60-645.5-5.95.9
65 and Over2.1-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPrimary School TeachersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males14.3Males53.6
Females85.7Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPrimary School TeachersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate27.1-8.68.6
Bachelor degree66.4-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.4-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV2.1-18.918.9
Year 120.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required. Nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration with the relevant state or territory board of education may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Primary School Teachers who demonstrate an enthusiastic and positive attitude, can connect well with others and work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Education and Training

    88% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  2. English Language

    88% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Psychology

    80% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  4. Mathematics

    76% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Sociology and Anthropology

    70% Important

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Training and Teaching Others

    87% Important

    Identifying the educational needs of others, developing training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

  2. Thinking Creatively

    86% Important

    Using your own ideas to developing, designing, or creating something new.

  3. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    86% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  4. Coaching and Developing Others

    84% Important

    Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping others to improve.

  5. Documenting/Recording Information

    83% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Occupational Information Network Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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