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Teaching and Education Jobs Australia
Backpacking Australia isn’t just an adventurous experience, it’s an educational one too. You’ll learn all about this new country and culture and you’ll have the opportunity to teach Aussies about your own. This exchange of knowledge is one of the most rewarding aspects of a working holiday.
What if you could get paid to do it?
Education is big business in Australia. It’s a major export industry, with the country’s esteemed institutions attracting students from around the world. Work in the sector is plentiful, and that’s great news if you’re a backpacker on a 417 or 462 visa and have a passion for education.
Qualification requirements for teachers in Australia
If you are a qualified teacher in your home country, are you able to teach in Australia? The answer is a firm maybe. At a base level you’ll need:
- An English language university or college teaching qualification.
- An Australian education visa or working visa.
- To pass a teaching skills assessment by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.
The issue is that every state and territory in Australia has its own rules regarding the qualifications needed to work as a teacher, so even ticking each of the boxes above may not be enough. It’s important that you contact the authority in the state or territory you hope to work in and check the requirements directly with them.
Types of education jobs for backpackers
While a portion of jobs in education will require often high-end qualifications – teachers, professors, counsellors, high-level administrators – there are a variety of more entry-level openings too:
Teacher's assistant/ Teacher aide
This role will see you offering help to a qualified teacher in a classroom setting, and can be super rewarding. Be warned that while qualifications aren’t officially required, it can be tricky to secure work in some areas without an Education Support qualification.
One for the number crunchers, this broad title encompasses all back office roles in both educational institutions like schools, colleges, universities and TAFEs, and admin positions in governmental and regulatory bodies like federal and state departments of education.
Early childhood education
How cute are kids! In order to work with them in Australia you must hold or be ‘actively working towards’ at least an approved Certificate III Education and Care qualification. Qualifications obtained outside of Australia must be considered equivalent to an approved Australian qualification – check with the relevant state or territory to find out if yours cuts the mustard.
A teaching gig that doesn’t require qualifications, and can give you the flexibility to work when and where you want, private tutoring is a popular job amongst working holidaymakers and international students alike.
TEFL/ EFL jobs
Like tutoring, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) jobs are a fantastic opportunity to be your own boss. As someone who holds a TEFL qualification you can teach online while you travel. You might even find in-person work while you roam Australia!
Where can I find education jobs in Australia?
Education jobs are found wherever people are. This means that these jobs are concentrated in state capitals, which is where you’ll find some of the world’s most prestigious schools and universities.
While almost all rural Australian towns have their own schools, and many rural cities boast their own universities, the more remote the area the fewer education job opportunities you’ll find.
This is particularly the case in the sparsely inhabited heart of Australia, where students have long been reliant on the ‘School of the Air’ – correspondence schools that used to be conducted over radio, but now use the internet. That said, many remote outback stations employ tutors to help students with their study.
What is the pay like?
The average pay for education jobs will depend on your qualifications: it makes sense that more specialised skill sets and in-demand talents will enjoy higher pay rates. Your pay will also depend on your location: a worker in the Sydney CBD can expect to be paid more than a worker in a rural area, as Sydney is a more expensive place to live.
Some examples of approximate pay for workers in the Australian education sector include:
- Teacher: $80k-$95k/year
- Teacher aide: ~$30/hour
- Early childhood educator: $70k-$80k/year
- Private tutor: $30-$40/hour
- Administration officer: $50k-$65k/year
- EFL teacher: ~$50/hour
Pros and cons of education jobs
So, is an education job the right choice for you, the working holidaymaker? Let’s sum up the pros and cons.
- Higher pay rates than more standard backpacker jobs (hospitality, fruit picking, etc.)
- Get paid while doing something fulfilling and enjoyable.
- Jobs are available almost everywhere (although they are concentrated in big cities).
- Your choice of working conditions, from the flexible (tutoring, TEFL) to the stable (teaching, admin).
- Many of the jobs require specific qualifications, and your foreign qualifications may not cut it.
- The best paid jobs are those that demand high-end qualifications.
- Most jobs don’t allow you to explore Australia while you work, and some may tie you to one spot for an extended period.
- The work is fulfilling, but it can also be quite challenging.
If you have the right qualifications, if you’re looking for decent pay and a bit of stability, or if you simply enjoy the process of educating others, a job in the Australian education sector might be right for you.
On the flipside, if you lack the proper qualifications or if you’re looking for flexibility and adventure there may be better options than a job in education.