Research and academic careers

The early childhood sector offers a range of opportunities to progress your career, including research and teaching in tertiary settings.

Teach at tertiary level

Lecturers, tutors, trainers and other educators in universities and TAFE institutions offer technical and vocational education and training and higher education. They help inspire and develop the next generation of early childhood professionals. Roles and responsibilites include:

  • prepare and deliver lectures, tutorials and practical classes
  • assess student assignments and grade student performance
  • supervise research students
  • organise and conduct field trips and excursions
  • discuss with students their progress and/ or aspirations.

Starting salaries for VET and university lecturers range from $50,856 - $87,334 a year and increase depending on level of responsibility.

There are full-time, part-time, contract and casual employment opportunities. Further training and experience opens promotion opportunities to senior positions such as dean of a faculty or a head of school.


Academics who are researchers within the tertiary education system may conduct studies and field work aimed at improving practice and knowledge about early childhood and early childhood education. Roles and responsibilites include:

  • research a specialised field of study and publish the findings in books or professional and academic journals related to research
  • attend meetings and conferences related to research
  • provide professional consultative services to government and industry.


School subjects

Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • maths
  • VET subjects of choice for the TAFE sector.

University subjects

Qualifications will vary according to the type of academic position. Possibilities include:

  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Master of Education VET
  • Doctor of Education
  • Master of Education