So, you want to teach? 8 options that are not primary or high school teaching

by Jun 19, 2023

Do you enjoy tutoring, or helping others learn? Are you unsure about whether you want to go into primary or secondary school teaching?

One of the topics that regularly comes up amongst the U:PASS leaders is the desire to move into teaching. I imagine that might be the same with other students who tutor or experience the joys of helping someone learn. While some leaders have headed into primary or high school teaching, others are often reluctant to try it. So what are the other job options in teaching, and what qualifications do you need for them?

1. Higher education

Although it can be a long road to becoming a teacher in higher education, it might be the right fit for you. Most people who teach at universities have either a PhD or doctorate, or are on the way to getting one. Full teacher focussed positions are quite uncommon, so if you want to teach in higher education, then you’ll probably split your time between teaching, research, and management tasks.

A good way to try out whether a research and teaching focussed career is right for you is to do Honours – a short research degree of one year that allows you to experience the freedom and challenges of this type of work in a small way. You could also try researching through a Master’s degree.

UTS also has other areas such as learning designers and curriculum designers. These are good options if you want to work in higher education teaching but don’t want to teach a subject.

If, like me, you don’t like doing research, a PhD is probably not for you

2. Vocational education

The recent government has started to refocus on strengthening vocational education. At least 2 U:PASS leaders I know have gone into TAFE teaching in accounting and science. Vocational education is a good option if you want to help people who either are focussed on more occupational areas, or those who have had disrupted education and are coming back as mature age learners.  You’ll usually need a Certificate IV in training and assessment as well as other qualifications in your area of expertise.

3. Early childhood education

Our tiny people can be gloriously cute and sweet, but also need to learn how to interact with others and manage their emotions and bodies. To work in early childhood education you’ll need at least a Certificate III, but you can also do a degree. The demand is high in this field.

4. Workplace education

Workplace education opportunities are often overlooked. This is how I got into education. I completed my Masters in Educational Administration (majoring in leadership and management) and then did my Certificate IV in training and assessment. Types of roles include running IT training, Human Resources training, corporate training, or specialist areas like Clinical Nurse Educators.

5. Special education or Teacher’s aide

There is an increasing need for Teacher’s aides in schools to support the diverse abilities and challenges of students. These are good options if you want to help young people learn but not be in charge of a classroom. Generally, you’ll need a certificate III or IV.

6. Before and after school care or holiday education

These types of roles are ways of getting short bursts of teaching without long term commitment. Typically, you’ll need the basic working with children check at least. You also need flexible working hours, so this can be a good option if you are still studying.

7. Tutoring

Similar to before and after school care, the hours are flexible and vary, so it would be more difficult to work in this field in a full-time capacity. But there are a lot of tutoring centres looking for staff. This can also be a way of supplementing your other potential income, or gaining more experience while you’re studying.

8. Teaching English to non-native English speakers

All the staff at HELPS have at least a basic qualification like CELTA to work in this area. Most have a Masters of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). This is an excellent way to go and teach English overseas and travel.


So, there you go: some of the options to try teaching if you don’t want to be a primary or high school teacher! You can also come and chat to Careers for more ideas and options as well.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Georgina Barratt-See

Georgina Barratt-See

U:PASS Manager

Georgina Barratt-See is the manager of the U:PASS program at UTS. She enjoys helping U:PASS leaders to discover their true capabilities and often has conversations about the options for becoming a teacher.