Rated as the world’s most livable city, Melbourne is an ideal destination for travelers who want to experience more than just the typical vacation in Australia by teaching abroad there.
The most common jobs for travelers working in Australia are hospitality ones (bars, restaurants, cafes etc.), but if you’re looking for a higher paying job, enjoy working with kids and teens, and have the proper qualifications, you may want to consider teaching in Melbourne!
Whether you’re looking to work on a working holiday visa (available to travelers aged 18 - 31), a teacher exchange, or you’ve scored a work visa in Australia and are looking to stick around and never go home, this guide will help you figure out how to teach in Melbourne. It’s not the easiest job to land, but not impossible either. Lets get to it!
Overseas teachers can find permanent, temporary, casual, and contract teaching positions for a variety of different subjects. There is the option to teach at the pre-primary level (age 5), primary school level (ages 4-12), or secondary level (ages 11-18).
Casual Relief Teacher
If you’re on a working holiday, you’ll probably want to find a position as a casual relief teacher (substitute), giving you the flexibility to work for a shorter duration. Resource Ed Personnel has more details about how to become a substitute teacher in Melbourne (and Australia as a whole) and can help qualified teachers on a working holiday visa find a position as a casual relief teacher.
Private Language Academy
Although English is the dominant language spoken in Melbourne, there are still opportunities to teach English in private language academy. Usually, your students will be foreigners who have relocated to Melbourne, or students who have come to study abroad there.
For these positions, you will need a degree and a TEFL certification at minimum.
Qualified teachers can teach at an Australian school via a teacher exchange. Resources on these exchanges are rather slim, but opportunities tend to be more varied for citizens of commonwealth countries.
When and Where to Look for a Job
The Australian school year usually has four terms, beginning in late January/early February and ending in December. The best times to apply for a teaching position is in early September for the start of the next teaching year. However, there are still teaching positions that become available throughout the year, especially for temporary/relief positions.
The easiest way to find a teaching job is through an education recruitment agency. You may want to explore some popular Australian teacher recruiting organizations such as Leading Out (http://www.leadingout.net/teaching-overseas/teach-in-australia/), Emergency Teachers (http://www.emergencyteachers.com.au/), and Anzuk (http://www.anzukteachers.com/Teach-Overseas/Teach-in-Australia/Teaching-Opportunities-in-Melbourne-Australia.html), which provides overseas educators with teaching opportunities in Melbourne.
Citizens of Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, the United States, or the United Kingdom are eligible for one of Australia’s working holiday visas.
Americans between the ages of 18-30 are eligible to apply for a Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462). It’s valid for up to 12 months and allows for any kind of temporary or casual employment provided that you work for each employer for less than 6 months.
You may also qualify to apply for a skilled visa, which would allow for permanent residence in Australia. Complete this form to see if you’re eligible! (https://assessments.visabureau.com/australia/assessment/skilled/default.aspx)
Since teaching qualifications differ from country to country, you will have to have the educational level of your qualifications assessed against the guidelines published in the Country Education Profile (CEP) series.
Depending on the type of teaching you plan to do, the requirements will vary. Typically, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree, a year of teaching experience, and usually a teaching degree as well.
Work and Classroom Culture
There shouldn’t be much culture shock when it comes to teaching to Melbourne for North Americans and most Europeans. Teachers can expect a classroom environment similar to that back home, in which asking questions is encouraged and student participation is expected.
Some educators have actually reported that Australian classrooms are among the world’s noisiest, so be prepared!
Salary and Cost of Living
Your salary will be dependent on your position as well as your level of teaching experience. A casual teacher with three to four years of experience can expect to earn about $220-290 USD a day, while teachers with less experience may earn about $95-120 USD per day.
Beginner salaries for permanent teachers may be around $33,000-45,000 USD per year, however, this increases with experience.
Australian teachers, on average, have higher wages than teachers in America, although with the higher cost of living in Melbourne, this typically equals out.
Even though finding a suitable teaching position will require some patience and diligent searching, Melbourne has the greatest number of teaching positions in Australia! Positions can be competitive, but if you have the proper qualifications and experience, there is certainly a position out there for you!