A career in education can be incredibly rewarding and extremely varied – what’s more; with the introduction of 100’s more apprenticeships there are now EVEN more ways to get into teaching and education and you might be surprised to learn – that you don’t always need a qualification to apply.  With education being delivered from 0 years through to adult education on a whole host of subjects – opportunities are endless. Allowing you to train, re-train, train on the job and change direction or even turn a hobby into a teaching career.

Protocol have been helping people find jobs in education for over 20 years. So we like to think we know our stuff! We’ve compiled a short guide into the types of jobs available across the sector to help you plan what the best route for you. Our experienced consultants are always available to give your advice and support and we work with providers up and down the country – so we are sure to be able to help you secure a new job in education.

Further Education, Skills & Training (Post 16 education)


What does a Lecturer do?

Their work varies – one day they might be having 1:1 meetings with students to go over their work and progress, and the next they could be delivering teaching to groups of students anywhere from 30 to 300 strong!

Where do they work and who with?

Most lecturers work in further education colleges and higher education institutions – these vary in size from small, specialist providers to huge universities. Learners are usually between 16-25 but all have chosen to be in the class!

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • A recognised Teaching Qualification – PGCE, PCE, L3 or L4 Award in Education & Training (AET) – it’s worth noting here that obtaining a award in Education & Training might be easier than you think! It can be done online, in your own time, in a matter of weeks. A very simple way to get your qualification for FE teaching.
  • Have a current Enhanced DBS certificate
  • Relevant industry experience and professional qualifications


What does a Trainer do?

A trainer is a hands-on coach, often drawing from personal industry experience to guide their learners through the course. This hands on and direct approach to learning is often used with smaller groups or for one to one learning.

Where do they work and who with?

Trainers often work in specialised subject specific work area, I.e a workshop or a salon. Due to trainers often delivering training in live work environments, they may well work closely with industry professionals.

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • A recognised Teaching or Assessing Qualification
  • Relevant industry experience and qualifications


What does a Tutor do?

A tutor specialises in supporting students with learning a specific subject.

Where do they work and who with?

Tutors focus on supporting a small group or individuals in learning specific subjects. Although many tutors tend to stick to core subject areas such as Maths and English, there are many specialist tutors who can focus on subjects ranging from the Arts to Finance. Often running sessions in the evening or along-side normal school or college learning, tutors work closely with their students providing additional learning where needed.

What skills and qualifications do I need?

Hiring managers will usually be looking for:

  • A recognised teaching qualification – including a PGCE, PCE, L3 or L4 Award in Education & Training (AET)
  • A qualification in your specialist subject at least one level above the level you’ll be delivering

While the three previous roles all required a recognised teaching qualification – some organisations would be willing to upskill candidates who might not have a teaching qualification but do have years of industry experience. This is especially the case if that has involved mentoring an apprentice or junior member of staff.

End-Point Assessors

What does an End-Point Assessor do?

An end-point assessor is responsible for giving an apprentice their final grade for their qualification – they are independent and must provide a fair and balanced judgement on an apprentice’s skills.

Most end-point assessors are currently part time, working on a day rate for around 30 days per year, and fit this in around other work. Because they need to have up-to-date industry experience, it works well for people who still work in industry but want to top up their income by taking on a little extra work.

Where do they work and who with?

Usually working for an independent End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), who have partnerships with training providers, colleges, and other apprenticeship providers, they often cover quite a large geographical area. They work 1:1 with learners, judging their work and skills against the apprenticeship standards – this could mean marking learners’ work remotely from home, or travelling around the country to assess learners in person.

What skills and qualifications do I need?

As this is still a fairly new role, there are not many specific qualifications developed for it! However, most end-point assessors will have an assessing qualification – like an A1 Award, TAQA, or IV Award.

As a rough guide, hiring managers look for:

  • A related assessing qualification – e.g. TAQA, A1 Award, IV Award
  • Recent (and ongoing) industry experience
  • An exceptional knowledge of your subject or field
  • An industry or academic qualification at least one level above the level you’ll be assessing
  • Previous experience assessing or evaluating a junior member of staff
  • Experience writing technical reports
  • Full driving licence
  • Current Enhanced DBS Certificate

If you want to learn more about this specific role, you can also take the Highfield Level 3 Award in Undertaking End-Point Assessment (EPA) – contact your local college or training provider to see if they offer this.


What does a Technician do?

Technicians usually work in a college or university technical department – like a laboratory or workshop – ensuring equipment is well looked after and that learners are in a safe environment. They often are tasked with setting up technical equipment for lessons, clearing away equipment when the class is over, and maintaining stock levels. Most technicians work in the science, motor vehicle, construction, IT and creative media departments, and they usually specialise in a particular field. Contracts can vary but include part and full-time roles.

Where do they work and who with?

Technicians mostly work within specialist facilities at a college or education provider – this could be a science laboratory, motor vehicle or construction workshop, or creative media lab or studio. They will work closely with the lecturer or tutor delivering the lesson, but they may also provide support to students on a 1:1 basis. Some providers also have technicians employed to provide support to the wider staff network rather than in the classroom – like support with IT systems and technical training.

What skills and qualifications do I need?

Hiring managers may be looking for:

  • Related experience – usually in a similar environment (e.g. science laboratory or motor vehicle workshop)
  • A passion for your specialist subject
  • A relevant qualification at level 3 or above

Education Managers

What does a manager in education do?

There’s a wide range of management roles within education – because there’s a lot going on in education providers! Some managers – like Curriculum Leads and Programme Managers – look after the curriculum and student body and will usually specialise in a particular subject area. But a provider also needs great leadership in departments like finance, HR, IT and Marketing to run effectively – plus exceptional senior executives including Principals, CEOs, and Chairs – so there is a wide variety of management roles available in education.

Where do they work and who with?

They might oversee several campus’, liaise with local employers and businesses, in addition to managing internal affairs.

What skills and qualifications do I need?

To work in education management, you’ll usually need management experience – preferably in a related field or in your specialist area.

If managing a curriculum area, a related degree or relevant professional experience is often desired.


What does an Exam Invigilator do?

Exam Invigilators have a key role in upholding the integrity of the examination process. They are responsible for ensuring that examinations are conducted in accordance with regulatory requirements.  Most colleges will require you to have done invigilation training – you can do this at a college, but it does come at a cost. Alternatively, if you go through an agency like Protocol you can get this training for free!

Where do they work and who with?

These roles are temporary and of course, based around the exams timetable. Perfect for someone flexible to work in a number of colleges and looking for something to boost their income before the summer.

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Dependable and organised
  • Friendly and confident working in a stressful environment.

Can we help you find your next role in education? Check out our current roles here: www.protocol.co.uk/job-search

Early Years Teachers

What does an Early Years Teacher do?

Your role as an early years teacher is to provide a safe and stimulating environment in which the children can develop their social and communication skills. By becoming an early years teacher you are sure to make a lasting impact on the children’s learning, helping them prepare for the next stage in primary school.

Where do they work and who with?

Early years teachers work with children from the ages of 0 to 5. This can be in settings including nurseries, preschools and receptions classes.

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • You’ll need an EYTS (early years teacher status)
  • Excellent listening and communications skills
  • Resourceful, energetic working style
  • Sensitivity and patience

Learning Support Assistants

What does a Learning Support Assistant do?

Learning support assistants work with pupils who need additional support in order to reach their potential in the classroom. These are often learners with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability). While the roles and responsibilities of an LSA can change depending on the student or group of students the overall goal is to support students through all elements of school life.

Where do they work and who with?

Learning support assistants can work at all levels from primary school up to FE. They can work with students one-on-one or in larger groups. If you want to find out more about who learning support assistants work with you can have a look at our booklet ‘Learning Support – A Practical Guide’ through Candidate Space. The guide covers the scientific knowledge and understanding of behaviours associated with ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Autism and Asperger’s.

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • Strong knowledge of mental health issues, disabilities and learning difficulties
  • Resilient and able to work effectively with challenging students
  • Excellent understanding of safeguarding practices
  • Compassionate and empathetic
  • Able to build trust with students and the rest of the team
  • Passionate about supporting students to achieve their potential

Primary & Secondary


What does a Teacher do?

They usually specialise in an age group or qualification level – primary, secondary, GCSE or A Level. Most teachers specialise in one subject area – like Science, Maths, or English – but some teachers specialise in more than one, or even a whole curriculum area!

Where do they work and who with?

Teachers work mostly in schools and sixth forms, teaching students from 5 to 18 years old.

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • A recognised Teaching Qualification
  • Previous experience teaching at the same level
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong behaviour management and classroom skills
  • Able to create engaging lessons plans that resonate with students and keep them motivated
  • Dynamic and enthusiastic teaching style

Cover Supervisor

What does a Cover Supervisor do?

A great option to consider if you don’t have a specific teaching qualification but are keen on getting classroom experience. You will need to be a strong character to manage the classroom with confidence whilst also being able to work flexibly with lessons planned in advance and on the day calls.

Where do they work and who with?

You could be teaching all age ranges, in any environment and across a range of subjects. Every day is different when working as a cover supervisor!

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • Strong behaviour management skills
  • Adaptable to changing and varied work pattern
  • Confidence to deliver lesson plans across a range of subjects

Teaching Assistant

What does a Teaching Assistant do?

Working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) is another option to get your foot in the door in a school but you will need a qualification for this (this can be a degree from a specific subject).

Where do they work and who with?

TAs work in both primary and secondary schools and can work with individual pupils, small groups or full classes. TAs can also work with students with special education needs (SEN).

What skills and qualifications do I need?
  • Relevant qualification or degree in specific subject
  • A sensitive and understanding approach
  • Excellent communication skills and a passion for helping children to learn

Voluntary/Breakfast Club/After School Club/Sports Clubs

There are a number of other options that you can undertake on a voluntary/part-time basis that may help to get your foot on the ladder. Many schools will take on volunteers to support with reading and literacy and there are also external providers like sports clubs or after school clubs that will take on assistant roles.

If you’re looking for a role in primary or secondary education across East Midlands or South Yorkshire be sure to visit our sister company Teaching Force.

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