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Education and Training

Those who work in education and training give people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to learn and develop.

  • Most teachers work in schools. Teachers in further education normally work with students aged 16 to 19, and some adults. Lecturers in higher education work with students studying for qualifications such as foundation degrees, HNDs and degrees.
  • Trainers help people to acquire the skills and knowledge that they need in their working lives.
  • Some roles, such as inspectors and assessors, are concerned with ensuring that quality standards are met in education and work-based learning.
  • Some support staff, such as teaching assistants, work directly with pupils and students. Others, such as administrative and management staff, make sure that education and training institutions run smoothly.

Most jobs are based in schools, colleges, universities and training centres. Certain jobs, such as school lunchtime supervisor and playworker, include working outdoors for some of the time. Administrative and management staff are office based. Some jobs in this sector involve working around 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Teaching, and some other jobs in schools, are term-time only, but often require evening and weekend work.

Employers include state and private sector schools, colleges, universities, adult education services, training providers, industrial and commercial companies, prisons and young offenders' institutions, and the armed forces.

There are around 470,000 registered teachers working in England. Around 800,000 people are employed in the lifelong learning sector in England - that includes people working in further education, higher education, work-based learning and community learning and development. Jobs are available throughout the UK.

For most jobs in education and training, it is important to enjoy working with people and to have good organisational skills. Oral and written communication skills are vital, and a thorough knowledge of specific subjects is often essential. Being able to motivate others and to give constructive criticism is also important.

To teach in schools or to lecture in higher education, people normally need a degree or postgraduate qualification. School teachers normally hold Qualified Teacher Status - there are a number of routes available to obtain this. Relevant experience is more important than qualifications for other jobs, such as learning mentor.

Continuing professional development is essential for teachers, lecturers and trainers. Other roles may offer on-the-job training and the opportunity to work towards work-related qualifications, such as NVQs, or professional qualifications. Some employers offer Apprenticeships.

There are clear promotion routes for many roles in this sector. There may also be opportunities to work overseas.

Why not have a look at other career family articles as they may hold information on related jobs.

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