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Inspire future generations

Working in education, whether with children, young people or adults, is one of the most challenging but rewarding of careers.

Education is the fourth largest employer of people in Wales. There are around 125,000 people working in the education sector; that is
I in every 10 Welsh working person. (Source: BRES 2015)

While Teachers & Lecturers make up a large proportion of the total workforce in Education, around 44%, there is a lot more to working in the education sector than being a classroom teacher. You could support teaching staff, be involved in providing school dinners or preparing equipment for laboratory experiments. You could be training and assessing Apprentices, giving Careers Advice and Guidance or teaching an adult evening class.

The education sector is constantly changing as it responds to new government policies, and the development of new teaching and learning theories and methods. Be prepared to be both an educator and a learner, throughout your life.

1 in 10
Welsh workers work in the education Sector.
(BRES, 2015)

of school teachers in Wales are female; compared to 59% of FE teachers
(Education Workforce Statistics, 2016)

A third, 33%
of school teachers in Wales are Welsh speaking. 27% are able to teach through the medium of Welsh.
(Education Workforce Statistics, 2016)

of 18 year olds in Wales go to University.
(UCAS, 2016)

Over 50,000
teaching and educational professionals are expected to be needed in Wales by 2024
(Working Futures, 2014-2024)



9.6% of the total workforce in Wales is employed in Education.
(BRES, 2015)

Where could I work in Education?

You can teach or lecture in various areas and with pupils and learners of all ages and abilties.

We all go to school or are educated in some way up to the age of 16. Many of us carry onto the next steps of A levels, HND’s and BTEC’s or other Further Education courses. Many also become Apprentices or follow other vocational training routes. The number of young people who go onto Higher Education, has increased; in Wales, 28% of 18 year olds go to University or other HE providers (UCAS, 2016). This is the highest entry rate recorded for Wales. Welsh Government encourages a nation of life-long learners, and as adults we can go back to full-time or part-time education and courses, or even learning for our leisure.

In Education, you could work in a wide range of teaching and learning environments. The main areas you could work are:

Nursery or Early Years

Other (Training organisations and Community based learning programmes)

Further Education

Higher Education

(BRES, 2015)




Wales needs more...

Teaching Assistants, Playworkers,
Peripatetic Teachers and Tutors
Learning Support Teachers,
Managers in Education,
Higher Education Lecturers
Nursery Nurses and Assistants,
Psychologists, Primary School Teachers,
Further Education Lecturers, Trainers, Education Advisers and Inspectors, Educational Support Assistants,
Secondary School Teachers


Employment Hotspots

These are the total number of all jobs in the education sector in areas of Wales.





Rhondda, Cynon, Taff




















Neath Port Talbot






The Vale of Glamorgan








Blaenau Gwent


Merthyr Tydfil


Isle of Anglesey


Source: BRES, 2015

Over 1 in 6 of all education sector jobs are based in Cardiff, but there will be job opportunities across Wales.
(BRES, 2015)


In Wales there are:

1310 Primary schools
205 Secondary Schools
66 Independent Schools
39 Special Schools
14 Colleges of Further Education
13 Nursery Schools
10 Universities

and many training providers across Wales

Meet the Employers

Staff working in maintained nurseries and schools are employed through the Education Department of each of the 22 Unitary Authorities in Wales. You could also be employed by an independent school, a further education college, a university or a training organisation across Wales. Supply teachers can be employed through agencies.

Unitary Authorities
Find your Unitary Authority

My Local School
Find your local school

What can I earn?

Salaries across the education sector as a whole can vary depending on qualifications, experience, where you live, as well as teaching responsibilities. Salaries will also vary for self-employed workers.

Teachers are paid according to pay scales which are updated by the Government every September.  Qualified teachers start on the ‘main’ pay scale and each year will move up the scale depending on performance.

The teaching salaries below are approximates based on Pay scales for England and Wales 2016/2017. If you teach in London the salary scales are higher.

In addition to the basic salary, teachers may also receive Teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments depending on their additional specialist duties.

Further Educational Lecturers are paid according to the Wales FE Pay Scales.

Approximate Job Salary range dependent on experience (£)


£16,500 - £26,000

£22,500 - £38,000

£28,000 - £47,000

£39,000 - £59,000

£44,000 - £108,000


Other Education Jobs

£12,000 - £18,000

£13,000 - £16,000

£14,000 - £16,000

£15,000 - £23,000

£18,000 - £25,000

£18,000 - £30,000

£20,000 - £33,000

£22,000 - £51,000

£23,000 - £40,000

£23,000 - £41,000

£28,000 - £54,000

Sources: Cascaid, 2017
* School Teachers Pay and Conditions 2016
**Salaries for education support staff, like Teaching Assistants, Nursery and Play Workers and School secretaries etc will vary throughout Wales. Salary ranges given below are an approximate.  Check with your local Education Authority for specific salary scales in your area.

Getting In

Getting into Teaching

To become a Teacher in the UK you will need:

  • an undergraduate degree
  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through completing Initial Teacher Education (ITE) or Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

In Wales

  • For teacher training courses in Wales you will need a minimum of English and Maths GCSE Grade B.  Contact ITE centres for more information about equivalent qualifications and tests
  • For primary teaching you will also need Science GCSE Grade C or equivalent
  • To study through the medium of Welsh you will need Grade C in Welsh.

You can become a teacher at different stages in your life and there are various routes you can take to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It can be completed as part of a degree, straight after a degree, as a part-time course alongside work or as a full time course after working in another sector.

The route you take will depend on the:

  • age group you want to teach, for example, Primary or Secondary School age groups
  • the subject or subjects you want to teach as well as your qualifications and experience.
‘In Wales you can also train to be a teacher whilst working in school through the.Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). The number of places is limited; in 2016-2017 there were 21 Secondary GTP places and 36 Primary GTP places. ’
(, 2017)

Remember that if you are applying to teacher training or to any job working in an environment with children and young people or vulnerable young adults you will be asked to comply with checks for any criminal convictions or a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check 

You will need to do quite a bit of research into the route that suits you: 

• Undergraduate

You can do an undergraduate degree in Education, generally for Primary School and Nursery Teaching that includes Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Just some examples of the many Education undergraduate courses:

  • Primary Education Leading to Qualified Teacher Status BA (Hons)
  • Primary Education BEd (Hons)
  • Teaching and Learning in the Primary Phase BA (Hons)
  • Early Years Foundation Degree FdA
  • Early Years BA (Hons)
  • Mathematics Education with QTS (Secondary) BA (Hons)
  • Primary Education with History (4 years) MA (Hons).

Find an undergraduate course

• Postgraduate

You can do a degree and then complete your teacher training. Most secondary school and college teachers do a degree in the subject they want to teach and then do a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Just some examples of the many postgraduate courses:

  • PGCE Primary
  • PCGE Secondary Biology
  • PGCE Secondary Physics and Chemistry

Search for a postgraduate Teacher training course

In Wales there are three centres of Teacher Education providing Initial Teacher Training (ITT):

What is the competition for teaching jobs in Wales?

There are 9 applicants on average for each teaching job vacancy in Wales, but the competition varies for different subject areas:

Job Vacancies

No. of applicants per vacancy











Physical Education


Religious Education


Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher






Job Vacancies

No. of applicants per vacancy



SEN Coordinator




Design & Technology


Information Technology




Modern Foreign






Welsh second language


Welsh first language


(StatsWales, Jan-Dec 2015)

Get networking!

Although the pathways into teaching and lecturing are quite structured, networking and building your network of contacts is still very important to help you decide on whether education is for you and then to share good practice with other teachers as you move through your career. Talk to as many teachers and lecturers as you can when making decisions about your career in education.

Network! Network! Network!

Get experience!

Getting as much work experience as you can is particularly important in Education. It is just as important to help you decide if lecturing or teaching is for you, as it is to support your application as a Teaching Assistant. Approach your local schools and ask if you could spend some time work shadowing, or volunteer as a Teaching Assistant. Remember you can also volunteer in local youth clubs or become a Guide or Scout leader.

All teachers need to have a Degree; Level 5 qualification. (Teachers and Lecturers of vocational subjects may have other equivalent professional vocational qualifications) Higher Education Lecturers normally have a first class or 2.1 Honours Degree and a Masters Degree and are expected to have, or be working towards, a PhD (Level 8).
Confused about qualifications? Find out more.

Skills and qualities in demand

An Educator’s job is both rewarding and challenging and you will need to be able to engage and connect with the pupils or students you are teaching. You will have expert knowledge of the subject you want to teach, but you will also need:

  • The ability to encourage, motivate and inspire your students
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Enthusiasm and confidence
  • Patience and tact
  • Be able to maintain discipline and deal with challenging behavior
  • Good organisational and planning skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • To keep up with latest research in you subject area
  • Commitment to you own professional development
  • Good knowledge of the subject you teach
‘Excellent teaching and learning comes from motivated, committed, excellent practitioners, who are highly skilled, who combine expert subject knowledge with a deep understanding of the learning process and who continually seek to improve their skills’’
(Qualified for Life, 2014)

Priority subjects

There will be the need for teachers and lecturers in all subjects, but there is a shortage for teachers in the following ‘High’ and ‘Medium’ priority subjects:

High Priority

  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Welsh

Medium Priority

  • Modern Languages
  • ICT (Computer Sciences)

Initial Teacher Training incentives to train in these priority subjects are announced each year by the Government and updated information can be found on Teacher Training & Education in Wales.

New in the sector

The education sector is constantly changing in response to the latest Government policy and new teaching and learning theories and methods. Be prepared to be both an educator and learner throughout your career.

New curriculum for Wales 2016-2018
The new curriculum for Wales is expected to be fully implemented by 2021 and puts more emphasis on giving young people the skills they will need for work and life.

In particular, digital skills are now just as important as Literacy and Numeracy and educators will need to be able to teach these skills across all subject areas.

Welsh Language Strategy: Next Steps
As Welsh Government aim to increase the opportunities to learn and train through the medium of Welsh, the demand for Welsh medium teachers will continue to grow.

'Teaching is such a complex craft that one lifetime is not enough to master it, but by rigorously focusing on practice, teachers can continue to improve throughout their career.’ (Dylan William, Schools Revolution Conference, 2010)

Do I need Welsh Language skills?

Welsh Language skills are particulary important in Education and being able to teach through the medium of Welsh is likely to give you an advantage in finding a teaching or teaching support job.

The aim of the Welsh Government is to continue to improve the opportunities to learn at school and college through the medium of Welsh, so the demand for Welsh medium teachers and teachers of Welsh First Language and Welsh Second Language is likely to continue to increase. This demand may vary depending on where you live, Gwynnedd has the most Welsh medium schools, 105 including primary and secondary) whilst Blaenau Gwent has the fewest (1).

Welsh Medium Improvement Scheme (Secondary Teaching only.) If you study your teacher training course through the medium of Welsh, you may be eligible for the Welsh Medium Improvement Supplement. This is aimed at student teachers who need extra support to raise confidence in their ability to teach effectively in Welsh. Contact your university or college to find out if you can apply.

of the education workforce is Welsh speaking
(Census, 2011)

of Childcare employers rate Welsh Language skills as important within the workplace.
(Welsh Government, 2014)


What about the future?

The numbers of teachers, lecturers, tutors and other education workers are expected to grow to inspire and educate future generations and enable us all to keep learning all of our lives.

Fastest growing education jobs in Wales, shown in percentage of growth.

 Educational Support Assistants

 Child and Early Years Officers

 Managers in Education

 Peripatetic Teachers and Tutors

 Primary School Teachers

 Teaching Assistants

 Education Advisers and Inspectors

 Further Education Lecturers

 Learning Support Teachers


 Nursery Nurses and Assistants


 Secondary School Teachers

 Careers Advisers

 Higher Education Lecturers

 Average overall predicted growth in Wales

Source: Working Futures 2012-2022

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