Primary school teachers educate in a range of subjects according to established curriculum. They teach literacy, numeracy, social science, creative expression and physical education skills. They prepare, deliver and mark tests and assignments to evaluate students’ progress, and record the results.

Where primary school teachers are employed

Competition for positions in metropolitan schools is very strong. Teachers should be prepared to move to areas of need (for example rural areas) to secure a job or obtain promotion to senior positions. Once employed, prospects for advancement can be enhanced by obtaining higher qualifications.


Full-time primary school teachers in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Primary School Teacher

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 6,725 people employed full-time as primary school teachers in South Australia compared with 6,716 in 2006.

How to become one

To become a primary school teacher you usually have to complete a degree in primary education or primary school teaching. Alternatively, you can undertake a postgraduate qualification specialising in primary education after completing a degree in relevant study areas.

To get into degree courses you usually need to gain your South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities, visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. A number of universities in Australia offer postgraduate courses in primary education. They are also available by distance education.

Licencing or registration requirements

In South Australia, all teachers must be registered with the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia (TRB). The TRB covers early childhood, primary and secondary teachers.

Recognition of qualifications obtained outside Australia

To get work as a teacher in South Australia you must submit your overseas qualifications to the TRB for recognition to gain your registration.

If you come to South Australia as a migrant you may already have a pre-migration assessment issued by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. You must submit this assessment with your qualifications to be approved by the TRB before registration can be issued.

For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Skilled Arrival Services on 08 8303 2420 or email

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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