Saturday, August 29, 2020

How to Work as a Teacher in Australia


Lately, there has been an increase in forum questions about teaching in Australia, or indirectly, what are the prospects of a teacher or of a graduate of an education degree in Australia. If you are an overseas-trained teacher or prospective teacher and you are interested to teach in Australia, you might find this article useful.

What do you need to work as a teacher in Australia?

To work as a teacher in Australia, you need two things: (1) registration as a teacher and (2) visa with work rights. Before even considering obtaining a work visa, you probably should ask first if Australia is in need of teachers.

Are teachers needed in Australia? 

The public and private school system all over the world seems to be in need of teachers. Australia is no exception. Based on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) that the Australian Government publishes regularly to indicate skilled occupations that Australia needs, teaching has always been listed. The Migration (LIN 19/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities) Instrument 2019, the following teachers are needed in Australia:  

241111 Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher
241411 Secondary School Teacher
241511 Special Needs Teacher
241512 Teacher of the Hearing Impaired
241513 Teacher of the Sight Impaired
241599 Special Education Teacher (Not Elsewhere Classified)
241213 Primary School Teacher
241311 Middle School Teacher

242111 University Lecturer
249211 Art Teacher (Private Tuition)
249212 Dance Teacher (Private Tuition)
249214 Music Teacher (Private Tuition)
249299 Private Tutors and Teachers (Not Elsewhere Classified)
249311 Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The 6-digit number beside the teacher classification is called the ANZSCO Code. ANZSCO stands for Australia-New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. The ANZSCO Code is a unique identifier of specific occupations.

If the visa you are applying for requires you to nominate an occupation from the SOL, you need to know the ANZSCO Code or the occupation name that corresponds to the code. Generally, nominating an occupation in the SOL will require that you have been assessed by an assessing authority. For teachers, there are two assessing authority designated by the Australian Government for purposes of a visa. These are: the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and the Vocational Education and Training Assessment Services (VETASSESS). The first set of teaching roles in the list above is assessed by AITSL, while the second list is assessed by VETASSESS.

It is important to note that even if the AITSL or the VETASSESS has given you a positive assessment, (and assuming you obtain a working visa) it does not mean that you can already teach in the Australian school system. The exception is private tuition, teaching in a tutorial centre or teaching as a private tutor.

How do you obtain a teacher accreditation?

The AITSL and VETASSESS do not register teachers. There is no national registration of teachers in Australia. Registration is done at the state level. You get registered in the state where you want to teach and you register with the state teacher regulation agency. In addition, if you are teaching in the Catholic education system, you may also need to be classified.

Below are the teacher regulation agencies in the Australian states and territories:

To be registered as a teacher, you must meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.  Each state and territory will have a slightly different process or set of requirements for registration, but once registered with one, transferring to another state is easy.

Most overseas-trained teachers may need some bridging course to be able to register as a teacher in Australia. If you are planning to study in Australia to obtain a teaching qualification, see to it that you enrol in an accredited program of study. The AITSL lists the accredited teacher training programs in its website, or click here.

How do you obtain a working visa?

To obtain a working visa, apply for the appropriate visa at the Department of Home Affairs. Click here for more information on the visa that is suitable for the work that you intend to do. Meanwhile, if you need to obtain a suitable Australian teacher qualification first, send us a message and we'd be glad to assist.

8:35 AMEditorial Staff