Job Prospects... At a glance
In recent years, entry to this profession has become very competitive with supply outstripping demand. This situation is unlikely to change significantly during the next five years. The chances of getting a job as a teacher are better for those who teach a shortage subject, are speakers of Māori and Pasifika languages, or work in isolated rural schools or low socio-economic locations. The long-term demand for teachers is expected to grow slowly but steadily.
The increasing focus on the value of early childhood education, and the increasing participation of women in the workforce are factors that improve job prospects for this occupation. The demand for early childhood teachers who are speakers of Māori and Pasifika languages is particularly strong.
Early childhood teachers teach the basics of numeracy, literacy, music, art and literature to pre-primary students. They also assist in their students’ social, emotional, and physical development. These teachers work in early childhood education (ECE) services such as kindergartens, kōhanga reo or education and care centres.
Primary school teachers teach children aged between 5 and 13 years of age at primary or intermediate schools.
Secondary school teachers teach one or more curriculum subject areas to students of about 13 to 18 years of age at secondary schools.
Their tasks may include:
To become a qualified early childhood teacher, you need one of the following:
To become a qualified kōhanga reo kaiako, you need:
To enter the Tino Rangatiratanga Whakapakari Tohu you will also need the National Certificate in te Reo Māori (Level 5) or equivalent. The Bachelor of Education qualification is the only kōhanga reo teaching qualification that leads to registration by the New Zealand Education Council.
Education Council: https://educationcouncil.org.nz/
Primary teachers require one of these:
Secondary school teachers require either:
Secondary teachers also need to train to teach in at least two curriculum areas.
All teachers also need to be registered with the Education Council of New Zealand.
|Bachelor of Teaching||Graduate Diploma of Teaching|
|$18,100 over three years||$7,500 over one year|
Approximate costs in 2017 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.
Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.
There are a number of teacher-training providers throughout New Zealand. Many provide distance learning. TeachNZ publishes a summary of providers.
The Ministry of Education grants a number of scholarships to those who would like to train as early childhood teachers.
Newly qualified teachers must become provisionally registered with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. They gain full registration after at least two years’ satisfactory work as a teacher. Once fully registered, teachers are issued with a practising certificate, renewable every three years.
The number of students completing the graduate diploma in teacher education was around declined to 2016 but may be picking up again.
Qualification completions chart
Source: Ministry of Education
|Primary||$50,470 with bachelor's teaching degree||$75,200 with seven years' experience|
|Secondary||$52,736 registered teacher with Level 7 qualification||$80,500 with seven years' experience|
Source: Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, and Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement.
The table outlines the 2019 base salary rates.
Teachers may take on management or specialist roles, such as head of department, curriculum specialist, or leading teachers of a particular year-group. These roles are paid additional remuneration - often through one or more “units” (these are allowances worth $4,000 per year).
An early childhood teacher’s income varies according to their qualifications, experience and place of work. Often, pay is individually negotiated with the private or independent education and care centres. Those with a Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching start on about $45,000 and can reach about $60,000 a year.
Early childhood teachers with a three-year degree earn between $47,000 and $71,000. Those with a four-year degree can start at about $48,000 and progress to a maximum of about $76,000 after seven years. Early childhood teachers with leadership roles (such as head teachers) earn up to $98,000 a year, depending on the number of children and staff.
Teachers who teach in schools that are hard to staff may earn an extra $3,500 in their third, fourth and fifth years under the government’s voluntary bonding Scheme.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are for the category “School Teachers”
Teaching is one of the largest occupations in New Zealand. The number of school teachers grew at 2.1% annually between 2006 and 2013, and employment is expected to keep growing at 1.8% until 2022, and 1.3% until 2028.
Although there is a steady supply of teachers overall, there are shortages in Māori language education and some areas of specialist education. There are also shortages in some other subject areas, and in some rural and low socio-economic locations.
Demand for secondary teachers in specialist areas fluctuates with changes in student demand. However, all secondary schools employ a number of teachers in core subjects like English, mathematicss and science.
Secondary teachers improve their job prospects if they teach a core subject along with one or two specialist topics.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections
|Overseas||In further study||Receiving a benefit||In employment||Median Salary|
Source: Tertiary Education Commission
*Three years after completion of Bachelor Degree - Education.
The vast majority of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in teacher education are in employment three years after graduation, with some overseas and some in further study. The median salary at that point is $49,000.
Teachers are on Immigration New Zealand’s Regional skill shortage lists, for all regions. If a job is on the list, it indicates that the government is actively encouraging skilled workers in those occupations to work in New Zealand. A full list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
Most public teaching vacancies are advertised through the Education Gazette. Private teaching vacancies are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs and Seek websites.
School teachers may progress up to senior and management roles, for example:
Career options for early childhood education (ECE) teachers include leadership roles of kindergartens or ECE centres (for example, head teachers), or management roles across a several kindergartens or ECE centres, or within associations or private providers. ECE teachers may also move into youth/community work, policy work and teacher education.
Careers that can be followed outside the school system include:
The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level teachers.
 Ministry of Education, www.teachnz.govt.nz/teacher-awards/voluntary-bonding-scheme
More information on teachers is available on the Careers New Zealand website.
Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz
More detail on teacher pay and qualifications is available from the Ministry of Education’s website.
Ministry of Education, teacher salary and allowances: www.education.govt.nz/school/working-in-a-school/teachers
Just the Job video clip: A Career in Teaching - Early Childhood Teacher (Kaiako) Te Puna Reo
Just the Job video clip: A Career in Teaching - Early Childhood Teaching
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Just the Job video clip: A Career in Teaching - Secondary School Teacher
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The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.
The occupation of teachers has been coded to the following ANZSCO codes for the purpose of this report:
2233 – Training and Development Professionals
241 – School Teachers
242 – Tertiary Education Teachers
249 – Miscellaneous Education Professionals
4221 – Education Aides