Primary Teaching

Build an enriching career teaching new schoolchildren through to Year 8.

Guide kids to grow with passion

Primary teachers have a major influence on the learning and development of children. They teach a wide range of subject areas and also get to share their passion for special subjects, sport and cultural interests.

As a primary teacher, you will be involved in educating children from Year 1 to Year 8 (typically aged 5 to 13 years old).

By studying one of our Primary programmes you will develop knowledge of the New Zealand Curriculum and the eight essential learning areas which are: mathematics, English, science, technology, social sciences, the arts, learning languages, and health and physical education.

You will also benefit from extensive practical experience in schools throughout the programme, to give you real-life insight into what teaching is all about.  

Sector outlook

The primary teaching sector is projected to grow over the coming years, aided by high birth rates increasing the number of children entering primary school.

According to CareersNZ, the number of teachers aged over 60 has also increased significantly. This will lead to a large number of retirements, opening up opportunities for both new and experienced teachers.

Most primary teaching graduates become school teachers in Aoteoroa New Zealand or overseas. However, the skills you gain in organisation, planning and management can also lead to opportunities in other education-related careers in government or the private sector.

It’s also possible to apply for some secondary and early childhood education positions, or to continue onto postgraduate-level study and research.

Job options (teaching)

Primary teaching graduates can build successful careers in a variety of teaching roles:

  • Primary school teacher
  • Private education provider teacher
  • Instructing trainee teachers at tertiary level

Job options (outside teaching)

You can also pursue a range of professions outside teaching:

  • Deputy principal or principal
  • Education researcher
  • Education policy analyst
  • Education advisor
  • Trainer or educator in public institutions (museums, art galleries, libraries)
  • Curriculum developer
  • Learning designer
  • Human resources coordinator

Salary benefits

Primary teacher salaries have good growth potential. Base salaries increase significantly as teachers gain more experience in their role and take on additional responsibilities.

If you already have a bachelors degree, studying the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary) will make you eligible to start on a higher salary in services covered by the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) teaching collective agreement for primary teachers.