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Skills for life teacher

Skills for life teachers work with adults and sometimes 16 to 18-year-olds to improve their English and maths.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 37 variable

You could work: evenings;

Future employment

There will be 7% more Skills for life teacher jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • carry out skills assessments
  • talk to students about what they want to achieve
  • design learning plans to suit the needs and abilities of students
  • prepare teaching materials
  • use a range of resources like worksheets and computer packages
  • deliver individual and group teaching sessions
  • keep records
  • guide and support learning support assistants and volunteers

Working environment

You could work in the community, at a training centre or at an adult education centre.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

If you have a degree in a relevant subject, without qualified teacher status, you can apply for a postgraduate teacher training course like:

  • postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
  • professional graduate diploma in education (PGDE) in teaching disabled adults

GOV UK has further details on postgraduate courses.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You'll need a recognised teaching qualification or be willing to work towards one. Examples include:

  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training
  • Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training
  • Level 5 Education and Training Diploma - need access to 100 hours of teaching practice

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
For more information

You can complete a learning and skills teacher higher apprenticeship.

This typically takes around 24 months to complete.

You'll need a qualification or experience in the subject you want to teach. Employers will be looking for relevant up-to-date industry experience.

You'll also need to show ability in English, maths and IT.

For more information
Volunteering and work experience

To find out if you're suited to this type of teaching, you could do some voluntary work, although this is not essential.

You can find out about volunteering opportunities at Do-It or at NCVO.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You'll need a minimum of a level 3 qualification, like an A level, in the subject you wish to teach.
  • pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a skills for life teacher from:FE Advice; The Education & Training Foundation; Get into Teaching

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There may be opportunities to move into more senior roles like head of department, or to train other teachers.

You could be self-employed and work as a freelancer.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • the ability to work on your own
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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