Education has been ranked the fifth most recession-proof occupation.

Overall, teaching and educational professionals combined now account for 6.4% of the UK’s total full-time wage bill. As a result, full-time qualified teachers now make up 46% of school staff. Education has proven its mettle as one of the top most recession-proof careers in the UK over the past decade, according to an analysis of ONS and professional industry data carried out by Randstad Education.

Jobs in education have proved more resilient than professions like accountancy, engineering, policing and management consultancy through the dark days of the financial crisis – and this is due to an overall increase in the number of full-time education employees, as opposed to pay cheques.

In particular, this has been driven by the substantial rise in non-teaching staff and support staff employed in the education sector. The proportion of staff employed in schools that are full-time teachers has dropped, as the non-teaching segment of the workforce expands. 

Living through the recession has highlighted that any future career switch needs to take into account how recession-proof different occupations are. 

Although it’s well-documented that teachers had their pay frozen at the beginning of the Coalition Government, education was actually dealt a better hand during the economic downturn than many other professions. During a recession, the chance of losing your job in occupations like accountancy or management consultancy is relatively high, and if you are made redundant, it’s difficult to find a new one. But this isn’t the case for jobs in education. 

With the UK population rising, and burgeoning demand in schools, teaching jobs and other vital support roles will always be needed – and there are significant opportunities for those interested in working in education who aren’t qualified teachers.

Working for a growing industry – like education – shelters you from some of the worst symptoms of economic downturn. Even if your school is closed down or there are budget cuts in your local authority, you can be confident that you will be able to find another position – a luxury many other occupations don’t share.