Becoming a secondary teacher
Becoming a secondary school teacher will offer a stimulating career that will stretch your abilities.
Who do you teach?
A secondary school teacher works with children between the ages of 11 to 16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms.
What do you teach?
One or more National Curriculum subjects.
What salary can I expect?
As a newly qualified teacher you would expect to earn a minimum of £21,500 a year, but this could be higher depending on your previous experience. You would also get extra payments for additional responsibilities or as a special educational needs (SEN) teacher.
If you progressed to a leadership role, you could earn anything from £40,000 to £100,000 per year depending on the school and position.
What qualifications do you need?
QTS – Qualified Teacher Status.
How do I train to teach Secondary?
From a degree or equivalent:
- PGCE Secondary Biology
- PGCE Secondary Business Education
- PGCE Secondary Chemistry
- PGCE Secondary Computer Science with ICT
- PGCE Secondary Design and Technology
- PGCE Secondary English
- PGCE Secondary Mathematics
- PGCE Secondary Music
- PGCE Secondary Physics
- School Direct Training Programme (Secondary)
- School Direct Training Programme (Secondary salaried)
From a degree or equivalent and substantial experience of working in a Secondary setting:
You will have to pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy before you start your course. Find out more about the tests and how to prepare for them with our student guide .
If you do not have the necessary qualifications to enter an Initial Teacher Training programme such as a PGCE or School Direct Training Programme, you may be asked to take a subject knowledge enhancement course before you start your course. Find out about subject knowledge enhancement and booster courses at NTU.
What about placements?
Classroom experience is central to our teacher training and you will spend at least 24 weeks in teaching placements during your course. Our tutors prepare you beforehand and trained colleagues at the placement setting work closely with us to support you during and after, so you feel confident in the classroom.
Love kids, but not sure if teaching is for you?
We recommend that you undertake some school experience in a classroom in a UK mainstream school, setting or college, this may help you feel certain that a career in teaching is for you. The school experience may also strengthen your application although this is not an entry requirement. If you do wish to gain some experience prior to your application, you can find out more about how to arrange this on the NCTL's website. If you are still not 100% certain teaching is for you, why not take an education-related degree and then decide if you want to take a PGCE. Your degree will need to be in or related to the subject you want to teach at PGCE, such as Sport if you want to teach PE, or Economics to teach Maths. Talk to our Admission Team if you need guidance.
Want to find out more?
- Find out about teaching, including a useful FAQs section at the National College for Teaching and Leadership's (formerly the Teaching Agency) Get into Teaching website.
- Sort out your finances with our Fees and Funding page.
- Read about the latest loans, bursaries and scholarships for teacher training at Get into Teaching.
- Find out what our students think about our courses.
- Come to an open day to talk to our staff and students.