So, you’re considering a career in further education? That’s what we like to hear! We speak to candidates every day who are thinking of making the switch to education but aren’t sure where to begin. So, we thought it would be useful to put together a blog on how you can begin your career in further education.

Do I need a teaching qualification to work in further education?

The short answer is no, not necessarily.

The longer answer is, while it may give you an advantage to secure one (and it can be very cheap and not too time-consuming to do so) it won’t be needed in all circumstances. For example, in Additional Learning Support, experience in areas like personal care is going to be far more influential than a specific qualification (which again isn’t to say it isn’t worth pursuing a qualification like Supporting Teaching and Learning Level 2).

When it comes to lecturing and assessing we know of many providers who will support you on the job to gain your teaching qualification. So, while it is required for you to qualify in the long-term – usually within two years – you can get paid while you learn on the job, so it’s not something you would have to arrange and pay for yourself. This is particularly true in skill shortage areas like Construction & Engineering, Health & Social Care and Digital Skills, etc.

What is often required in the first instance is relevant industry experience and whether you have supported, mentored, or trained any other staff in your previous roles outside of education. This can be as simple as having helped a new colleague or apprentice learn the tools of the trade.

If it’s the case that your local education provider does require you to be qualified before applying you might be considering which qualification to pursue and which provider to go with.

In terms of qualifications, the first place to start is the Level 3 Award in Education and Training. This is your entry qualification, it’s a shorter course and doesn’t require any teaching practice to fulfil. From there you can go on to gain your level 4 and level 5 qualifications if required. Further information on FE Qualifications can be found here.

As to where you can gain your qualification, your local college would be worth enquiring to, though one thing to bear in mind is that they are often delivered in person, so that’s something to consider when trying to balance that with other commitments such as work. Alternatively, you could gain your qualification with an independent training provider. For some courses with ITPs, you can complete them entirely online, which might be more convenient. Here is an example with the Learning Curve Group. Generally, the best advice is to research providers and find one that suits your learning style – don’t be shy about calling them to find out more about the course!

Finally, it’s worth saying that our team is always happy to talk to you about your career ambitions and provide advice on how you can kickstart your career in further education. We’re experts in Further Education (and education in general) so we’re always well placed to support you in whatever avenue you want to explore.

You can email the team at or call us on 0115 911 1100.

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