Education & Training

Secondary School Teacher

Secondary school teachers teach specific academic subjects and skills to pupils attending secondary schools.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor's degree + professional registration

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Secondary School Teacher do?

Secondary school teachers teach specific academic subjects and skills to pupils attending secondary schools. Secondary school teachers are also known as high school teachers.


Work activities

As a secondary school teacher, you would:

  • specialise in teaching one or two subjects
  • teach classes covering different years and abilities
  • prepare lessons and teaching materials based on the relevant curriculum guidelines
  • mark and evaluate classroom study and homework
  • ready pupils for exams or tests such as the VCE or HSC
  • support, observe and record the progress of classes
  • encourage a healthy learning culture
  • manage pupil behaviour and deal with any issues that arise
  • work closely with other professionals such as social workers or educational psychologists
  • meet with parents and carers to discuss their child's progress
  • attend meetings and training courses
  • plan and take outings, social activities and sports events as appropriate to the curriculum
  • undertake required continuing professional development (CPD).

Key skills and interests

To become a secondary school teacher, you would need:

  • ability in, and passion for, the subjects you teach
  • excellent communication skills
  • good numerical, grammatical and spelling skills
  • the ability to develop good working relationships with children, parents, and carers
  • good teamwork skills
  • patience and flexibility
  • able to designing learning which motivates children
  • good organisational and time management skills
  • the ability to deal with challenging behaviour.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time role, you would normally work a standard number of hours during the week, Your working hours outside of school hours will vary depending on the type of setting you work in and what classes you teach.


You would work in government, catholic or independent schools, teaching children aged from 12 upwards. You would also spend time outside of your standard teaching hours planning, preparing and assessing activities, and attending parents' evenings and training sessions.


How to become an Secondary School Teacher?

Entry Level Education

To become a secondary school teacher you either need to complete a 4-year degree, which may be either a combined degree, which includes the subject you would like to teach in (say, science) and a teaching component, or a degree in a subject taught in the secondary school curriculum, followed by an accredited graduate entry teaching qualification.

Minimum standards apply in some States for senior secondary school results, including in English, for applicants wanting to undertake an accredited undergraduate teaching degree.

On successful completion of your degree, you would also need to be accredited by the board of studies in your State.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth will come from increases in student enrolments and increases in population.


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