A Guide on How to Become a Teacher (Plus Skills and Salary)

Updated 30 June 2023

Teaching may be an energising and fulfilling career. It may be a great profession for those with excellent leadership skills, interpersonal traits, patience and a love of working with children or young adults. Learning the stages to become a teacher might help you plan your professional path. In this article, we explain the common duties of a teacher, list the essential skills and average salary for the role and outline the steps on how to become a teacher.

Related: How to Become A Primary School Teacher: Skills and Salary

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How to become a teacher

If you're passionate about the education industry and wish to pursue a career in it, you may refer to this guide on how to become a teacher:

1. Obtain a bachelor's degree

To be eligible for a teaching post, teachers earn at least a bachelor's degree. You can major in either education studies or the topic you want to teach or both. You may learn about effective teaching methods, educational development, effective curriculum for students and various teaching methodologies while pursuing your degree. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years to complete. The following are some of the most common academic majors for those who aspire to be teachers:

Early childhood education

Early childhood education instructors study child development theories and learn about development that takes place from birth to 8 years old. This degree may assist you in preparing to teach kindergarten or lower primary school children. Non-teaching employment, such as education administration, may also be available to you.


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  • What Is an Early Childhood Education Degree? (Plus Job List)

Secondary education

A secondary education degree qualifies instructors to work with secondary and post-secondary students. This degree can help you teach in public and private institutions. Depending on the area where you teach, further certification may be necessary.


  • How To Become a Secondary School Teacher (With Skills)

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Special education

A degree in special education is essential if you wish to handle children who have special needs. This programme's unique training trains instructors to meet the needs of kids with learning or developmental disabilities. On top of being a special education instructor, you can utilise your degree to work in instructional coordination, language and speech pathology and curriculum development.


  • What Does a Special Education Teacher Do? Duties and Salary

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Physical education

This degree concentration is necessary for teaching positions involving physical education (PE), including coaching athletic activities in a school context. This group includes PE instructors, school nutritionists and sports management employees. You may consider specialising in PE if you've got an enduring passion for sports and wellness.

Education administration

Teachers with degrees in education administration usually advance to administrative or research positions. You may also explore careers as school principals, school deans, school directors, admissions directors and superintendents. If this is something you know you want to do, you can major in education administration for a start.

2. Finish your postgraduate studies

Programmes leading to a postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) train university graduates to teach in schools. In the PGDE courses, aspiring teachers study how to teach two topics and gain specialised expertise in each area. While pursuing a PGDE, you can seek options such as teaching assistantships to help you build your own teaching style. This allows you to put everything you've learned in a bachelor's degree programme to use.

3. Accumulate classroom experience

In the educational profession, hands-on experience is essential. You may acquire classroom hours throughout your undergraduate education through an internship at a school or after graduation. Before taking their teaching certification test, aspiring teachers are to complete a specified amount of classroom hours in which they supervise students in an educational setting. After spending some time in the classroom, think about your interests and abilities to help you select your specialisation. The level, subject and location of where a teacher teaches, including the type of school, are all dependent on their professional path.

Related: How to Teach Writing Skills in 5 Steps (Plus Tips)

4. Get a teaching credential

The prerequisite to becoming a teacher with the Ministry of Education (MOE) is to first enrol into the PGDE programme. Enrol in a comparable postgraduate education programme if you want to teach in private schools instead. You may get credentials in certain topics such as mathematics, English and science by completing courses. To teach in a private school, you may also require a TEFL certificate, which you can obtain by enrolling in online coursework. You can use this credential to teach English as a foreign language.

After completing your bachelor's degree, you can pursue a teaching certification. Curriculum management, educational techniques, language skills and discourse skills are common subjects you can expect in postgraduate education programmes. If you want to be a MOE teacher, you will serve a three-year teaching bond after completing the programme because the NIE training is funded by the government.

Related: Why Pursue a Career in Teaching? 16 Reasons to Be a Teacher

What does a teacher do?

A teacher's principal responsibility is to educate pupils on one or more subjects, usually through scheduled lesson plans. Listed below are some common duties of a teacher:

  • developing and presenting successful lesson plans

  • grading student work and providing feedback to both students and parents

  • managing classroom supplies

  • creating and enforcing classroom rules

  • preparing students for standardised tests

  • coordinating with other teachers, staff and administration

  • learning different teaching methods to increase the effectiveness of the methods

  • planning lessons in specific subject matter

  • evaluating the academic abilities, strengths and weaknesses of students

  • equipping students with resources to prepare for national exams

Related: How To Become a Tutor in Singapore: Job Duties and Skills

Essential skills for a teacher

The following are the abilities that you may cultivate to be effective in the classroom:

Critical thinking abilities

You may employ critical thinking abilities to create and encourage discussion, develop test questions and manage other coursework to teach pupils subjects. Teachers may analyse student behaviour and performance to change their teaching techniques and guarantee that their pupils are receiving the best education possible. A teacher with excellent critical thinking abilities can analyse their school's goals and ensure the completion of these objectives while also establishing a supportive learning environment.

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Communication skills

It's important for teachers to have great communication skills to convey messages through both verbal and nonverbal approaches. Through conversation, verbal communication aids in providing education and conveying topic content. Written communication skills aid in the development of lesson plans and homework for students. In the classroom, body language is also an essential mode of communication. Making eye contact and standing tall can help teachers project confidence and keep pupils focused on their teachings. Smiling is also beneficial since it encourages pleasant attitudes.

Related: How to Become a Math Teacher (With Duties and Skills)

Organisational skills

Organisational abilities assist a teacher in preparing lessons and keeping a distraction-free classroom. Creating a system for grading and storing student work is beneficial, especially if you teach more than one class. Organising your classroom also takes consideration. A well-organised classroom helps to reduce learning distractions.

Read more: 6 Organisational Skills for Teachers (Including Tips)

Creative thinking abilities

Students might be more engaged with the learning material if teachers use creative teaching strategies. Consider adding movies, music, graphics or art into your classes to keep pupils entertained. You might also design activities that allow for hands-on learning. This adds variation to the classroom environment and can help students with different learning styles participate.

Related: How To Become a Music Teacher


Students in a teacher's class are likely to have a variety of learning styles and intellectual skills. Patience is crucial for dealing with interruptions and assisting pupils in understanding the topic at their own speed. Learning about each student's requirements takes effort, but it ultimately assures that pupils achieve well.

Related: How To Teach Online: Definition, Approaches and Activities

Teamwork and collaboration

It's advantageous for instructors and other school personnel to collaborate to provide the optimal learning environment for pupils. Collaborating with other instructors can assist in identifying issues that challenge pupils and assessing individual students' performance. Other teachers and staff can assist you in resolving any issues that arise in your classroom. Speaking with your colleagues may also help you improve your teaching style and tactics.

Leadership abilities

Leadership abilities are essential for modelling appropriate behaviour in the classroom and setting expectations for pupils. Strong leadership also decreases interruptions and encourages students to focus on their studies. Accepting extra tasks at your school, such as coaching, may also count as demonstrating leadership.

Time management

Teaching necessitates a time commitment both within and outside of the classroom. You may arrive early or remain late at school to prepare lessons. It's critical to set some time to grade students' work. Time management skills are also useful in long-term planning for the school year to guarantee that you can teach all the topics in the curriculum.

How much money do teachers make?

The national average salary for a teacher is $3,081per month. This figure highly depends on each candidate's level of education, professional experience and teaching expertise. It also varies greatly depending on the school's type, size and location.

Read more: How Much Does an MOE Teacher Make? (With Duties and Skills)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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