what is a primary school teacher?

As a primary school teacher, you are a registered educator trained to educate children between the ages of five and twelve. A primary school teacher is trained to teach students various subjects like maths, science, technology, English, social science and arts. Your job is to implement the government-recommended curriculum and help children build numeracy, literacy and critical skills. You also encourage social and emotional growth through various class activities.

primary school teachers utilise various teaching techniques and technologies to keep students engaged in the learning process. The learning techniques usually depend on the students' age, level or ability and individual needs. You also help children build various skills like creativity, reasoning and problem-solving that prepare them for their next step in education.

As a primary school teacher, your job involves evaluating and assessing students' progress. You also write reports and provide updates to the administrators and parents. You have to be approachable and friendly to succeed in the role. You should also enjoy working with children to provide mental, emotional and social support through learning and social activities. When you understand the needs of every student, you can help them improve their educational performance by making the learning process inclusive.


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average primary school teacher salary

A primary school teacher in Australia earns a salary of $90,000 per year. New primary school teachers starting in the role can take home a salary of $80,000 annually, while experienced teachers earn an upward of $110,000 yearly. The remuneration package usually includes benefits like house and car allowance. You also receive medical insurance and enjoy annual leave days.

what factors affect the salary of primary school teachers?

As a primary school teacher, your remuneration package depends on the school you work for and your employer. Working in large private schools increases your salary prospects since the school has abundant resources and can pay teachers more. Your qualifications also influence your remuneration. While it is mandatory for primary school teachers to have a bachelor's degree in Australia, you can improve your salary by pursuing postgraduate courses. When you have a master's degree, your remuneration package is better compared with undergraduate teachers.

Your location also influences your salary prospects since pay differs depending on the state and region. Most employers in large cities consider the cost of living when determining salaries. As a general rule, working in metro areas or cities increases your earnings.

Want to know what you will earn as a primary school teacher? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

primary teacher salary

types of primary school teachers

Some of the types of primary school teachers include:

  • stage 1 primary school teacher: as a primary school teacher in charge of early years foundation stage learners, you introduce young children to the school environment. You teach basic skills like reading and writing to children between three and five years. Stage 1 usually includes kindergarten classes to Year 2.
  • stage 2 primary school teacher: you introduce basic literacy and numeracy skills to your pupils as a Stage 1 primary school teacher. Your children are young and require close supervision as they transition from the foundation stage to the primary school learning environment. Stage 2 classes usually include Years 3 and 4.
  • stage 3 primary school teacher: as a Stage 3 primary school teacher, your pupils are between seven and eleven/twelve years old. You ensure learners achieve the objectives stipulated in the curriculum. You also prepare them for secondary school following Year 6.
young female smiling
young female smiling

working as a primary teacher

If you enjoy working with children, you will enjoy being a primary school teacher. It is an interesting and fulfilling career with great job prospects. Let's explore the duties and work environments of primary school teachers.


primary school teacher education and skills

primary school teachers must complete at least four years of tertiary study programmes such as:

  • bachelor's degree: to pursue a career as a primary school teacher, you must complete a Bachelor of Education for primary schools. Some also complete a combined degree like a Bachelor of Arts and combine it with a Bachelor of Education. Other undergraduate degrees can also land you a primary school teacher role, provided you complete the accredited teacher training programme.
  • postgraduate degrees: if you have an undergraduate degree in a different field, you can go for a graduate entry degree like a master's in teaching and specialise in primary education. 
  • work experience and registration: most universities have scheduled work placements as you complete your bachelor's degree to improve your skills and help you gain work experience. To teach in Australia, you must register with the State Teacher Registration Authority. Each state has specific requirements for registration.

primary teacher skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a primary school teacher include:

  • organisation skills: as a primary school teacher, your job involves evaluating and assessing various students. You need organisational skills to keep your work schedules and records organised. Being organised helps you provide personalised attention to every student since you can keep track of their performance.
  • friendly and approachable demeanour: a primary school teacher needs to be friendly and approachable to create a conducive learning environment for pupils. When you are friendly, students can ask questions without reservation and share their challenges.
  • communication skills: as a primary school teacher, you rely on communication skills to build a rapport with students and impart knowledge in various subjects. When you are a good communicator, you can explain difficult concepts in simple terms.
  • enthusiasm and motivation: as a primary school teacher, you need to be enthusiastic about the subject you are teaching to build student interest. You also require motivational skills to encourage students to do better.

FAQs about working as a primary school teacher

Here are the most asked questions about working as a primary school teacher:

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