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Why teach a shortage subject?

Engineers have a range of skills that are suited to teaching maths, physics, and chemistry. Many have already found professional fulfilment and tangible rewards from a career in teaching.

In 2009/10, the majority of people who had studied engineering as a first degree pursued a career using their maths skills, followed by those that chose the physics route.

Graduates of engineering disciplines are currently under-represented in the school workforce. You may not realise it but as an engineering graduate, much of your knowledge and experience puts you in an excellent position to train as a teacher.

Visit our what subjects can engineers teach page for more information about how your skills translate into teaching.

Physics with maths pilot

There are a number of routes into teacher training, but a pilot postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) programme started in September 2012 and launched in December 2011. It has been designed so that engineers can specialise in teaching physics with maths, rather than general science.

The pilot is fully supported by both the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Charles Tracy, Head of Education pre-19 at the IOP, said:

“We’re delighted to see the introduction of this new pilot. We know that 25 per cent of physics graduates who go into teaching choose to teach maths. This new route gives those graduates and engineers an opportunity to follow both subjects and help correct the continuing shortage of physics teachers.”

Dominic Nolan of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Education Department said:

“Physics and maths sit side-by-side in academia and in industry so splitting the traditional three-science combination will help increase the number of talented engineers and physicists teaching the next generation. It is also an ideal way to get more engineers in the classroom to raise young people’s awareness of engineering and its impact on our lives.”

Excellent progression and support

Once you gain qualified teacher status (QTS) you’ll be prepared for a career in teaching and to put everything that you have learnt into practice. You will receive support from your school as you begin your exciting journey as a qualified teacher, and can expect a tailored NQT induction programme in your first three terms as a teacher.

You could also progress towards a management or leadership role and, as well as excellent career development opportunities, teaching offers a competitive salary. Visit our teaching salary ranges page for a detailed break-down of pay and the levels of progression that are available to teachers.

Register with us to receive exclusive benefits through Premier Plus, our enhanced service. Premier Plus offers additional support to individuals who hold (or are predicted) a first class, 2:1 or 2:2 degree and are interested in teaching secondary maths, physics, chemistry, languages, computing or design and technology.

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