Further education lecturer

Further education tutor, further education teacher, FE teacher

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Further education (FE) lecturers teach adults, students and apprentices on academic and work-related courses

Salary range: £24,000 to £37,000

How to become a further education lecturer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You can do a further education (FE) teaching qualification at university, with a higher education institution or on a work-based training programme.

Qualifications include:

  • certificate in education
  • postgraduate diploma in post-compulsory education and training
  • postgraduate certificate in the lifelong learning sector
  • postgraduate certificate in further education and training

If you want to teach work-related courses in FE, like apprenticeships, you’ll need experience and a technical qualification in your chosen subject, as well as your teaching qualification. This should be at level 3 standard (national diploma or equivalent) or higher.

To teach academic qualifications, such as A levels, you’ll usually need a degree in the subject.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information


You can do a teaching qualification at college. Qualifications include:

  • Certificate in Education
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training with a specialist pathway for teaching literacy, numeracy, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), or teaching disabled learners

You’ll be expected to have experience and a qualification in the subject you want to teach.

You’ll also need to organise some time for teaching practice, though training providers can often help with this.

Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More information


You can complete a learning and skills teacher higher apprenticeship.

You’ll need a qualification in the subject you want to teach. Employers will be looking for relevant up-to-date industry experience.

You’ll also need to show ability in English, maths and IT.

More information


You may be able to apply directly for job vacancies if you have several years’ experience and qualifications in a trade, for example plumbing or hairdressing.

You can then train for a teaching qualification on the job, if you have your employer’s support.

Volunteering and experience

It will be useful to get experience of working with young people through paid work or volunteering at a school or college.

Do-it has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct application

You can apply directly to work in further education if you have relevant experience, knowledge and skills in a technical or academic subject.

You can also teach some subjects in further education if you have a background in schools teaching and hold qualified teacher status (QTS).

More information

Career tips

You can get qualified teacher learning and skills status while you work, once you have a minimum of a level 5 teaching qualification.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in further education from FE advice and Get Into Teaching.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your regular tasks may include:

  • planning and preparing classes for students
  • teaching lessons, taking tutorials and running practical workshops
  • using e-learning technology to deliver lessons
  • working with learning support staff to give students with special educational needs or disabilities extra help
  • checking and marking work and giving feedback
  • helping and motivating students facing barriers to learning and making sure that all students work well together
  • making referrals to other professionals like mentors, personal tutors, careers advisors and counsellors
  • taking registers, keeping records and ordering resources
  • making sure safeguarding and health and safety procedures are followed

You may also be involved in:

  • interviewing potential students
  • working with exam boards to set and mark essays and exams
  • meeting with subject colleagues and other staff to plan and review work and share good practice
  • planning and taking part in events like open days or recruitment activities
  • attending training courses and keeping up with professional development

Working environment

You could work in a sixth form college, an independent training centre, at a college or in a prison.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

You can find opportunities with further education colleges, sixth form colleges, adult education centres, independent training providers and offender education schemes.

With experience, you can become a senior lecturer, head of department, education programme co-ordinator, or move into management. You could also become a training assessor.

Another option is to work as an examiner or write textbooks and online education resources.

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