How long does it take to become a teacher?

How long does it take to become a teacher?

Many people want to become teachers and feel passionate about leading a classroom and helping young people fulfill their potential. However, the route into teaching may seem daunting. Acquiring a degree, taking on teacher training, gaining experience in the classroom, and meeting other requirements could seem like a long and challenging road to take.

When considering how to become a teacher, how long it takes to become one will naturally impact your decision. The good news is that nowadays, there are various routes into teaching that can vary depending on your level of education, your experience. The below guide will give you a better idea of how long it takes to become a teacher, depending on the route you take, and the things you can do to speed up the process if you are itching to step foot in the classroom.

How long does it take to become a teacher - everything you need to know

Initial Teacher Training Courses

To achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) in England in any school maintained by the state, you’ll need to complete an Initial Teacher Training or Initial Teacher Education course. Getting onto the course can be competitive, and you’ll need specific qualifications to be considered. All applicants must have a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics. If you want to teach pupils aged 3 to 11, you must also have a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in the GCSE examination in a science subject.

On completing your ITT, you’ll be awarded QTS. Completing an ITT can take up to four years.

Postgraduate Teacher Training Courses

If you’ve already earned an undergraduate degree, it is possible to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). On completion of the course, you will be able to apply for teaching jobs in state-run schools.

PGCE and PGDE courses typically take a year to complete. However, some people opt to undertake the study part-time and spread it over two years instead.

School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT)

Another route to get into teaching is via SCITT programmes. Not every school offers these; however, this allows unqualified teachers to train on the job.

School Direct (fee-funded) programmes are delivered by schools that work collaboratively with a SCITT or university. The course is similar to a SCITT course where teachers will learn within the school, and teachers will end up with QTS and a PGCE or PGDE.

This route typically takes one year to complete, though it is possible to undertake the course on a part-time basis and spread it over two years instead.

Post Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship

Suppose you already have some teaching experience or are already working as an unqualified teacher. In that case, you might be able to take a teaching apprenticeship while continuing to work and earn a salary at the school.

Courses typically take one year; however, some people opt to undertake the course part-time and spread it over two years instead.

Teach First

Teach First is a similar offering where unqualified teaches can work in the classroom and earn while learning alongside their job to gain a PGDE and QTS. A Teach First course is a 2 - year programme.

Experienced Teachers

It might be possible for unqualified teachers with a great deal of proven classroom experience to undertake a 12-week ‘assessment only’ programme to achieve QTS. This is only an option for those who already have a degree.

How long to become a teacher - all the options explained!

From the above, you can see the many different avenues to becoming a teacher. While obtaining QTS will involve undertaking a qualification that will take anything from 1-4 years to complete, the options available mean it is possible for almost anyone who desires to be a teacher to become one. Once you are ready to enter the world of teaching, we have a wide range of teaching vacancies available for you to apply for.