Share this page

Select an icon:

Job Photographs

  • A man, wearing a white lab coat, is sitting at a table.  He is writing on some paper.

    Marking work.

  • Two men are standing next to a work bench, facing each other.  They are both holding a small box.

    Checking an item a student has made.

  • Two men are standing next to a large cutting machine.  One of the men is placing a small wooden box onto the machine.

    Teaching a student how to design and produce an object.

  • A man, wearing a white lab coat, is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Using the school computer system.

  • Two men, wearing white lab coats, are looking at a computer screen.  One man is sitting at the computer, while the other is standing next to him.

    Helping a student to use CAD to produce designs.

  • A man, wearing a white lab coat, is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Planning and preparing a lesson.

  • Two men, wearing white lab coats, are standing in a busy workshop.  They are both looking at a piece of machinery.

    Discussing work requirements with a fellow teacher.

  • A man, wearing a white lab coat, is sitting at a desk.  He is using a telephone and writing onto a notepad.

    Arranging work placements with local businesses.

Design and Technology Teacher


Design and technology teachers enable students to design and create objects that have a practical use. They use a range of techniques such as computer-aided design (CAD) and practical craft skills.

Also known as

  • CDT Teacher
  • Craft, Design, Technology Teacher
  • Design Teacher
  • Technology Teacher

Video: - Lizzie: Design and Technology Teacher

Work Activities

Secondary school design and technology teachers use a variety of techniques to teach students how to design and make objects that have a practical use.

Design and technology is a broad subject. In schools, it covers areas such as graphics, food technology, textiles, resistant materials (such as wood, plastics and metals) and systems and control (which includes electronics, computer control and mechanical systems).

Design and technology teachers teach students how to look at practical problems, think about possible solutions and select the best one. They encourage students to consider issues such as health and safety and the environment.

They also teach students how to turn a design idea into a real product by choosing the best approach, techniques and materials to use. Students often use computer-aided design (CAD) to complete tasks.

Teachers might also supervise the work of one or more teaching assistants.

Other activities include:

  • Preparing and planning lessons.
  • Creating or adapting lesson materials.
  • Marking work and giving feedback.
  • Going to staff meetings and parents' evenings.
  • Setting and enforcing standards of behaviour.

Design and technology teachers might form links with local businesses to place students on work experience so they can see and be involved in design and technology 'in action'.

Personal Qualities and Skills

As a design and technology teacher, you'll need:

  • The ability to encourage, motivate and inspire your students.
  • Communication skills.
  • The ability to maintain discipline and deal with challenging behaviour.
  • Organisational and planning skills.
  • Computer skills and the ability to use computer-aided design (CAD) technology.

Pay and Opportunities


Teachers in the state education sector are paid on a scale according to their qualifications, experience and responsibilities. The highest salaries are available in inner London schools.

The pay rates (per year) below are approximate.

  • Unqualified teachers [who have not yet received Qualified Teacher Status] earn in the range of £16,000 - £25,000.
  • Qualified teachers earn in the range of £21,500 - £31,500.
  • 'Advanced skills teachers' earn in the range of £37,500 - £57,000.
  • 'Excellent teachers' earn in the range of £39,500 - £52,000.

In the private sector, salaries are generally higher, though they are sometimes linked to state sector pay scales.

Hours of work

Teachers normally work from 8:30 am or 9 am to 3:30 pm or 4 pm, Monday to Friday. However, most teachers work extra hours - marking work, preparing lessons and going to meetings. They often have to work in the evenings and at weekends to prepare lessons and mark work.

Where could I work?

Employers are state and private schools.

There are also opportunities to teach in other countries.

Some teachers supplement their income by teaching privately, marking national exams or writing textbooks.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised by local authorities and in the local and national press, including The Guardian and The Times Educational Supplement (TES). There are also job boards, such as eTeach.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

To become a secondary school design and technology teacher, you usually need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through initial teacher training (ITT). There are several routes.

There are a small number of degree courses in secondary design and technology education, leading to QTS.

Most people follow a relevant degree with a PGCE in secondary design and technology education. Some courses allow you to specialise in particular areas, such as food and textiles. Courses are usually one-year full-time. You need to apply through UCAS Teacher Training.

There is also the employment-based School Direct scheme: you'll train while working in a school. The expectation is that you'd go on to work in the school or group of schools where you trained, although there's no guarantee of employment at the end of your training.

You can also train in a school after your degree through school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT). These programmes are delivered by groups of neighbouring schools and colleges and often aim to meet local teaching needs.

Teach First is a charity that recruits and supports graduates to teach in schools in low-income communities in a number of UK regions. The programme takes two years to complete.

To enter teacher training courses, you'll usually need to have at least observed classes in a mainstream secondary school. For some courses, you'll need paid or voluntary work experience in a secondary classroom, or other relevant experience with children and young people.

To achieve QTS, student teachers need to pass tests in English and maths.


Once employed, newly qualified teachers (NQTs) must complete a three-term induction period, usually within a single school year, in order to continue teaching in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England. It can be possible for the induction period to be reduced to one term, if you can demonstrate significant teaching experience.


There are opportunities for teachers to move into teacher training, advisory work, educational research or schools inspection.

Teachers can become heads of department, heads of year, or co-ordinators of special educational needs or careers guidance.

Rehabilitation of Offenders

This career is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to. This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.


All candidates for teacher training need GCSEs (or recognised equivalent qualifications) at grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics.

If you want to teach at Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14), you must also have a GCSE (or recognised equivalent qualification) at grade C or above in a science subject.

If you don't have the GCSEs that are usually needed, you might be able to sit a pre-entry equivalency test; you should contact individual course providers to discuss your situation before making your application.

For entry to a PGCE, you'll usually need a degree that's relevant to one of the design and technology areas, such as food technology, graphics, electronics or materials science.

Adult Opportunities


If you don't have the qualifications you need to enter a degree course, you might be able to start one after completing a college or university Access course, such as Access to Science or Engineering. You don't usually need any qualifications to start an Access course, although you should check this with the course provider.

If you're not very confident about your subject knowledge or don't have the qualifications to begin postgraduate training straight away, you might be able take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course first. Your course provider will assess whether you need to increase or refresh your knowledge. SKE courses vary from two weeks up to a year, and can be full-time, part-time or by distance learning. For more information see the Department for Education website.

Distance learning

Some PGCE courses are available on a flexible learning basis. For example, you might be able to train by distance learning in combination with classroom-based teaching practice and campus study.

Employment-based training

Instead of going to university to do a PGCE, graduates can follow an employment-based route. This is where you train in a school. Employment-based routes include School Direct, school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) and the scheme offered by Teach First. For more information, please see 'Entry Routes and Training'.


For funding information, take a look at the GOV.UK website.

Further Information

Chartered Society of Designers (CSD)



UCAS Teacher Training


Teach First


Department of Education Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Enquiries




UK government services and information


National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)



Hiive is the online professional network for creative people.


Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith


Welcome to Careers Wales

Please select your language