what is a science teacher?

As a science teacher, you teach students science. Most science teachers teach years 9 to 12. You can also teach primary school students basic scientific concepts. Your job is to plan lessons for your classes in line with the national curriculum and tailor your lesson plans to match your students' learning abilities. You prepare lessons and guide your students through the syllabus. As well as classroom activities, you also guide students through practical experiments. You work with the lab assistant to demonstrate experiments and supervise students when they conduct them.

Science teachers evaluate students' progress through assessments and assignments. When you have a clear idea of how your students are progressing, you can provide additional lessons in areas of weakness. As a science teacher, you perform administrative duties like taking the class register. You also support students' positive progress by attending parent-teacher meetings. It is important to collaborate with other teachers to improve students' overall performance.

Would working as a science teacher suit your passion for science and desire to pass on learning? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a science teacher role.

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average science teacher salary

According to ONS, the average salary of a science teacher is £35,204 per year. In entry-level roles, the starting salary is £31,552 per year. As you improve your skills or specialise in a science subject, your earnings increase to over £46,414 annually.

what factors affect the salary of a science teacher?

As a science teacher, your compensation package depends on the school you work for and your qualifications. When you work in a primary school, you are likely to earn less than a science teacher working in a secondary. That's because secondary teachers require additional specialisation in a specific scientific discipline and take on more complex duties. The school you work for also influences your earnings. For instance, state schools have a fixed salary determined by the government. Working in independent schools improves your salary prospects, as they offer higher salaries.

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smiling female

types of science teachers

As a science teacher, you can specialise in the following roles:

  • primary science teacher: as a primary science teacher, you introduce basic scientific principles based on age and curriculum. That means you work with children under 12 and don't teach complex sciences. Your job is to demonstrate concepts and answer their questions.
  • secondary science teacher: as a science teacher, you specialise in teaching biology, chemistry or physics. You also perform experiments with students and guide them through research projects.

working as a science teacher

If you are passionate about science and enjoy sharing knowledge with children, check out a science teacher's duties and responsibilities.


education and skills

To become a science teacher in the UK, you require the following academic qualifications:

  • university education: to become a science teacher, complete a bachelor's degree in education. When you complete an undergraduate teaching degree, you achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) and can teach in any school. You can take any undergraduate degree and then complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), which gives you qualified teacher status. If you want to specialise in teaching a particular field of science, complete an undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry or physics prior to a PGCE. If you specialise in science subjects, you should look for a job in secondary schools.
  • experience: before you become a science teacher, you complete in-school teaching experience through your teacher training. You can start with entry-level jobs like becoming a teaching assistant before training to become a primary teacher.

science teacher skills and competencies

Some of the qualities that make you a great science teacher include the following:

  • patience and persistence: as a science teacher, being patient helps you guide students through lessons and science experiments. Some students may take longer to understand concepts, and it is important to guide them patiently. Sometimes, you repeat the same concept multiple times before the students understand.
  • caring attitude: as a science teacher, you nature a student's brain and body. You need compassion to engage well with the students. When you are caring, students are more likely to approach you when they don't understand a concept you are teaching.
  • imagination and creativity: some science concepts are challenging to grasp, and creative learning methods help you get them across to students. Creativity helps you develop unique learning techniques to make the subject enjoyable. For instance, you can incorporate online videos and encourage competition among students to improve engagement.
  • passion and enthusiasm: as a science teacher, it is important to be enthusiastic about science to build interest in students. Your enthusiasm communicates itself to students and improves their cooperation in class.
  • science knowledge: as a science teacher, you require extensive knowledge of your subject. You rely on your expertise to teach students and prepare them for exams.
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smiling female

FAQs about working as a science teacher

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a science teacher.

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