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.

Specialisations: Primary School Teacher-Librarian.

A bachelor degree in education majoring in primary education is needed to work as a Primary School Teacher. If you already have a degree in a relevant field you can complete a postgraduate qualification in primary education to become a Primary School Teacher.

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

All Primary School Teachers

  • $1,801 Weekly Pay
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 169,400 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 65% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 45 hours Average full-time
  • 41 years Average age
  • 85% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Primary School Teachers (in their main job) 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 2018.
  • Location: Primary School Teachers work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Education and Training industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,801 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (65%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 45 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 85% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Primary School Teachers.

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 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings18011460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Education and Training98.5
Public Administration and Safety1.0
Other Services0.1
Administrative and Support Services0.1
Other Industries0.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePrimary School TeachersAll Jobs Average
NSW31.131.6
VIC26.025.6
QLD20.220.0
SA7.17.0
WA10.810.8
TAS2.12.0
NT1.01.0
ACT1.71.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPrimary School TeachersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.1-5.05.0
20-245.6-9.39.3
25-3428.7-22.922.9
35-4425.4-22.022.0
45-5420.8-21.621.6
55-5910.2-9.09.0
60-646.7-6.06.0
65 and Over2.5-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate22.2-10.110.1
Bachelor degree68.9-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.1-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV0.3-21.121.1
Year 121.2-18.118.1
Year 110.1-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.1-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in education majoring in primary education is needed to work as a Primary School Teacher. If you already have a degree in a relevant field you can complete a postgraduate qualification in primary education to become a Primary School Teacher.

Registration with the relevant state or territory board is needed to work as a Primary School Teacher.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • national police check
  • working with children check
  • first aid certificate
  • training in anaphylaxis and/or asthma management

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Education and training

    67% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  2. English language

    64% Skill level

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

  3. Geography

    57% Skill level

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  4. Computers and electronics

    57% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  5. Customer and personal service

    56% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Contact with people

    99% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  2. Physically close to people

    96% Important

    Work physically close to other people.

  3. Face-to-face discussions

    94% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  4. Electronic mail

    94% Important

    Use electronic mail.

  5. Lead or coordinate a team

    93% Important

    Lead others to do work activities.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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