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Qualifications for Different Types of Teachers

Primary and Secondary teaching

Teachers in Victorian government primary and secondary schools must have at least four years of tertiary education that includes an approved course of teacher training.  Some courses also provide the option of qualifying as both a primary and a secondary teacher.

There are three main pathways to qualify.

  • A four-year undergraduate teacher education degree (e.g. Bachelor of Education).
  • A double-degree program where you study for two degrees at the same time, with one of these being a teacher education course. Most universities offer this option over four years. (e.g. Bachelor of Arts with Bachelor of Teaching).
  • An academic degree, say a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts, followed by a one-year or two-year postgraduate teacher education course.

For secondary teaching there is a fourth pathway. You can gain industry experience in a vocational area and link this with a teaching qualification. This is most applicable to teaching in the technology studies or vocational education areas (e.g. qualifications and experience in trades such as automotive systems, woodwork, metals, electronics or hospitality combined with the completion of an approved qualification in technology education).

If you want to be a secondary teacher, you may also need to keep in mind which subjects will give you the best chance of securing a position on completion of your studies. There may be a range of units available for each subject area. In selecting which ones to study, you might consider their relevance to teaching. Physical Education, Technology Studies, Studio Arts or Music are usually taken in a course that is subject specific. Physical Education studies are often combined with education studies, e.g. a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Education).

Your studies must provide a suitable background for the curriculum area you wish to teach. For detail see: Assessment of Qualifications

Special Education Teaching

To qualify as a special education teacher you could complete an initial 4-year degree program that includes required special education studies and method. Some special education teachers first qualify as a primary or secondary teacher and then undertake further postgraduate study to obtain additional qualifications in a particular special education field. This study is usually undertaken after some teaching experience.

For details of courses approved by the Victorian Institute of Teaching see: Special Education Programs

Early childhood teaching

To qualify to become an early childhood teacher you generally need to complete at least four years of tertiary study, including at least one year of teacher education study.

The most common qualifications are:

  • a four-year undergraduate childhood qualification (e.g. Bachelor of Early Childhood Education)
  • a ‘pathways’ course allowing those with an approved diploma in children’s services to complete a degree in early childhood education.

For detailed information see: Early Childhood Qualifications