Secondary Education

Use your interests in one or more subjects to inspire the next generations of young adults.

Inspire learners on the edge of adulthood

Secondary teaching is a rewarding career where you have the opportunity to inspire learners on the edge of adulthood with your passion for a subject area.

In order to become a secondary teacher you must already hold a bachelors degree in a subject appropriate New Zealand secondary school curriculum learning areas. This means you have the responsibility of passing on your specialised knowledge to young minds on the cusp of deciding what they want to do in their own careers.

By passing on this knowledge you will be giving your students solid foundation to go on to become Aotearoa New Zealand’s future scientists, musicians, engineers and mathematicians.

Our Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) is a one-year programme which will qualify you to teach secondary students from Year 9-13. During the programme you will learn about core practices required for effective classroom teaching, spend an extensive time in schools and experience ‘blended learning’ to support and enhance your development of digital literacy.

With the knowledge learned in this programme, you will have confidence in the classroom from day one. The programme can also lead to a range of other education-related careers.

For more course details, visit the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) programme page.

Sector outlook

According to CareersNZ, the secondary sector is projected to grow from 2020 as a new generation of students enter their next phase of schooling. This will create new demand for teachers over the coming years.

Until then, employment prospects are strongest for schools with staffing difficulties, such as rural or low decile schools.

Secondary schools require a steady number of teachers in core subjects such as English and STEM (science, technology engineering and maths). There is also consistent demand for te reo Māori speakers and teachers.

You can boost your employability by combining a core subject with one or more specialist topics during your secondary teaching programme.  

Job options (teaching)

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

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

Job options (outside teaching)

Other careers related to a secondary teaching qualification include:

  • Secondary school principal
  • Department head
  • Curriculum developer
  • Education consultant
  • Learning designer
  • Mental health education specialist
  • Researcher
  • Policy advisor

Salary benefits

Secondary teacher salaries have good growth potential. Base salaries increase significantly as teachers gain more experience in their role and take on additional responsibilities, such as department head or association board member.

If you work in a school that is deemed difficult to staff, you may also be eligible for extra salary entitlements under the Government’s Voluntary Bonding Scheme. This is covered by the Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement 2013-2015.