Primary School Teachers

ANZSCO ID 2412

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
157,100
Future Growth
5.1%
Weekly Earnings
$1,984
Full-Time Share
65%
Female Share
85%
Average age
41

Summary

Primary School Teachers teach a range of subjects within a prescribed curriculum to primary school students and promote students' social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.

Specialisations: Primary School Teacher-Librarian.

A bachelor degree in education majoring in primary education is usually needed to work as a Primary School Teacher. An alternative pathway is a degree in a relevant field followed by a postgraduate qualification in primary education.

Tasks

  • teaching literacy, numeracy, social science, creative expression and physical education skills to primary school students

  • presenting prescribed curriculum using a range of teaching techniques and materials

  • developing students' interests, abilities and coordination by way of creative activities

  • guiding discussions and supervising work in class

  • preparing, administering and marking tests, projects and assignments to evaluate students' progress and recording the results

  • discussing individual progress and problems with students and parents, and seeking advice from Student Counsellors and senior teachers

  • maintaining discipline in classrooms and other school areas

  • participating in staff meetings, educational conferences and workshops

  • liaising with parent, community and business groups

  • maintaining class and scholastic records

  • performing extra-curricular tasks such as assisting with sport, school concerts, excursions and special interest programs

  • supervising student teachers on placement

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Creative
  • Administrative
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow moderately
  • is likely to reach 157,300 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
5.1%
(or 7,700 jobs)
From
149,600
in 2021
To
157,300
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 138,600
2012 152,000
2013 148,500
2014 144,900
2015 143,600
2016 153,400
2017 163,800
2018 166,800
2019 149,300
2020 167,500
2021 149,600
2026 157,300

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 65% of people employed as Primary School Teachers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than two-thirds of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,984 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,616
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,067

    Median hourly earnings are $54, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Primary School Teachers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,984 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Education and Training
99.3%
2
Public Administration and Safety
0.4%
3
Health Care and Social Assistance
0.2%
4
Administrative and Support Services
0.1%
5
Other industries
0.1%
  • Most Primary School Teachers work in the Education and training industry.

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.


Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

31.1% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

26.0% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

20.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.1% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.8% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.1% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.0% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.7% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Primary School Teachers All Jobs Average
NSW 31.1 31.6
VIC 26.0 25.6
QLD 20.2 20.0
SA 7.1 7.0
WA 10.8 10.8
TAS 2.1 2.0
NT 1.0 1.0
ACT 1.7 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
41
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
85%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Primary School Teachers is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 85% of the workforce. This is 37 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Primary School Teachers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.1 5.0
20-24 5.6 9.3
25-34 28.7 22.9
35-44 25.4 22.0
45-54 20.8 21.6
55-59 10.2 9.0
60-64 6.7 6.0
65 and Over 2.5 4.2
Median Age 41 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in education majoring in primary education is usually needed to work as a Primary School Teacher. An alternative pathway is a degree in a relevant field followed by a postgraduate qualification in primary education.

Registration or licencing is required.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Primary School Teachers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 22.2 10.1
Bachelor degree 68.9 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 7.1 11.6
Certificate III/IV 0.3 21.1
Year 12 1.2 18.1
Year 11 0.1 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.1 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Primary School Teachers who demonstrate an enthusiastic and positive attitude, can connect well with others and work well in a team.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 63%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 59%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 57%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 55%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 55%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 54%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 52%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 52%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 52%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 50%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 50%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 50%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 46%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 46%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 46%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 45%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 43%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 41%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 37%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 67%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 64%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 57%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 57%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 56%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 53%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 53%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 52%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 51%

    History and archeology

    Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.

  • 50%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 49%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 44%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 43%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 40%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 39%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 37%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 35%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 33%

    Fine arts

    Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

  • 28%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 20%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 61%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 59%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 57%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 55%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 55%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 55%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 55%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 54%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 50%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 50%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 50%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 48%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 48%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 45%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 43%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.

  • 39%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 39%

    Memorization

    Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.

  • 34%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 78%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 73%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 72%

    Coaching and developing others

    Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.

  • 72%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 72%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 69%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 68%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 66%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 65%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 64%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 63%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 63%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 61%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 61%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 60%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 56%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 52%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 52%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

  • 50%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 49%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 62%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 57%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 52%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 33%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 19%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 90%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 81%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 76%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 71%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 71%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 62%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 99%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 96%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 94%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 94%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 93%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 93%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 90%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 88%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 87%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 85%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 84%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 84%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 84%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 83%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 82%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 79%

    Public speaking

    Talk to a group of people.

  • 75%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 75%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 74%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 68%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2021.00 - Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education.


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