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: Primary School Teacher-Librarian

Fast Facts

  • $1,350 Weekly Pay
  • 169,400 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 69.7% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 41.7 hours Average full-time
  • 41 years Average age
  • 86.4% female Gender Share

The number of Primary School Teachers grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 169,400 in 2018 to 185,800 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 93,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 18,600 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Primary School Teachers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Education and Training industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (69.7%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 86.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
2008147500
2009127400
2010141600
2011149000
2012133700
2013151200
2014152000
2015150800
2016140800
2017158700
2018169400
2023185800

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Training99.1
Public Administration and Safety0.7
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 2017, 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
NSW32.331.6
VIC29.426.2
QLD16.219.7
SA6.06.7
WA11.210.8
TAS2.22.0
NT1.21.1
ACT1.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.4-5.25.2
20-246.1-9.99.9
25-3428.3-23.623.6
35-4426.1-21.721.7
45-5420.4-20.820.8
55-5910.0-8.88.8
60-646.7-6.06.0
65 and Over1.9-4.04.0

Education Level

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 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Training and Education and Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2021.00 - Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2021.00 - Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education.

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