Where to start in further education

What is further education?

Further education (FE) is for learners who need to:

  • learn a skill or trade
  • study a vocational subject
  • develop their professional career
  • complete post-16 academic studies
  • study as part of an apprenticeship

As an FE teacher you could teach a diverse set of learners, including young people and adults.

If teaching a skill or trade, you'll spend more time in practical settings than in a classroom.

What you could earn

Further education (FE) teachers are employed by colleges and training providers on a full- or part-time basis.

The average salary for an FE teacher ranges from £24,000 to £40,000

This is according to National Careers Service figures.

FE providers are independent businesses, so are free to set their own salary levels.

These may be determined by:

  • the demand for your subject
  • your level of experience and qualifications
  • your local area

You can get an idea of your local provider's pay scale by looking at the current jobs on the careers section of their website.

The Association of Colleges has a list of FE colleges. Use it to find an FE college local to you.

The Association of Employment Learning Providers' website has a list of training providers. Use it to find a training provider local to you.

Where you could work

Places where FE teachers work include:

  • local colleges
  • independent training providers
  • workplaces
  • prisons

FE is not the same as:

  • higher education (university)
  • secondary (high school and sixth form)

Find out if you could teach in further education

Your skills are more valuable than you realise.

What you need

  • skills, knowledge and experience in your subject
  • a teaching qualification - or the willingness to work towards one

Ideally you'll have industry experience, preferably with relevant trade qualification. Usually at level 3.

What levels mean

You'll also need mathematics and English skills. If you do not have GCSEs in mathematics and English, FE providers might want to assess your skills. They may support you to improve your mathematics and English skills as part of your teacher training.

Teacher training

The college or training provider will arrange this for you when you start a job with them.

The training is not linked to your subject or skill. It's to help you to share your skills, knowledge and experience.

Teacher training courses vary by:

  • what they cost
  • their duration
  • their minimum qualification requirements

Find out what you could teach

What teaching in further education is like

Teaching in FE can be challenging, but also rewarding.

You'll be passing on your skills, knowledge and experience to improve students' prospects.

You'll be making a difference to your students' lives, but you'll work hard for it.

Aside from teaching, you'll mark and assess your students' work.

You'll be there to support them not just with their learning, but with pastoral issues too.

Got a question about your qualifications and experience?

Call our advisors on 0800 389 2502. Lines are open Monday to Saturday 8:30am to 5:30pm.

“You know when you're in another job and it’s the same every day? Here no day’s a chore. I’m surrounded by people who have enthusiasm for what I've been doing all my life.”

A female healthcare lecturer in PPE talking to a student in a clinical setting