Why choose a career in teaching?

Career opportunities and outlooks in the highly rewarding teaching sector.

A sector with social impact

If life is the intermission between dreams, then who will sculpt the lived human experience that sustains our dreams?

People are the heartbeat of our planet and people need compassionate, resilient and dedicated leaders in order to learn, grow, develop and thrive. The role of the teacher transcends our waking and sleeping existence and transforms future possibilities. It is a role that unifies the ‘me’ with the ‘we’. It is a role whose performance will be dissected, remembered, and misremembered over dinner tables, graduation celebrations, school reunions and tangi through the ages.

The passions you ignite and interests you foster in those you teach become taonga for a lifetime. If you accept this opportunity to teach, to change lives, to sustain the dreams of the young, then I ask you to bring your optimism to your daily mahi, because our ākonga deserve their teachers to be optimists. We live in turbulent times and face many challenges as a community, a country, and a planet. Our young people need to believe they can rise to these challenges.

By choosing to study with the university ranked first in New Zealand for Education as a subject, and the only NZ university in the top 50 universities worldwide for Education,* you will study with, and learn from, the best and the brightest as you work together to make an impact.

Teachers are in high demand both here in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas.

The biggest waves of change start with the smallest of ripples. Join us and help us change the world.

*Source: 2023 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Sector outlook

Teaching is one of the biggest employers in New Zealand. According to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, the teacher workforce will continue to grow.

Graduate employability is very high in the teaching sector. The vast majority of graduates with a bachelors degree in teaching are in employment within two years after graduation.

A teaching degree can also lead you far beyond the classroom into careers such as:

  • Education policy research
  • Disability and special needs care
  • Private sector training and education
  • Teaching in tertiary institutions

Schools are always searching for empathetic, motivated and committed teachers and throughout your study you’ll hone these existing skills into teaching superpowers while also developing a new range of skills. Teachers in the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – are in particularly high demand, as are those who are able to teach in Māori medium or te reo Māori as a subject.

Teachers in New Zealand have a salary scale. Each teacher may enter on a different step of the scale depending on the type of teaching degree undertaken and any previous relevant experience. For example, those who enter the teaching profession with a bachelors degree in any field and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching will likely begin on Step 3 of the scale at $55,948, compared to those graduating with a Bachelor of Education who typically enter at a lower salary step.

The scale ranges from $51,358 at the bottom step up to a $90,000 base salary. Teachers are able to move up a salary step each year on their teaching anniversary by proving they have met the teaching standards. Teachers are also able to earn extra units on top of their base salary by taking on extra responsibilities and entering into leadership positions. Educators in top-tier education positions can earn around $150,000 per year while school principals are able to earn up to an estimated $190,000 per year.

Becoming a registered teacher

Teachers in New Zealand are required to be registered with the Teaching Council. Graduates who complete a teaching qualification are eligible to apply for registration and teacher certification in their chosen field. You will be supported throughout your degree to meet the requirements for registration and helped to navigate the application process.

Become a leader in the education sector

Our educational leadership programmes will prepare you for leadership roles, such as in a school or centre, as well as for specialist education roles including senior management, mentoring and educational policy development.

Career opportunities

Stay up-to-date on relevant career opportunities for education and teaching graduates.