Become a teacher or return to teaching

We need well-qualified, dynamic and enthusiastic teachers who enjoy working with young people. Learn about working as a teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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  • Teachers and kaiako
  • Student teachers
  • Overseas teachers


This information supports people to begin teaching in New Zealand schools or early learning services.

Become a teacher

Find information on becoming a teacher on the dedicated Careers in Education website. This includes:

  • studying to become a teacher
  • ITE courses and providers
  • requirements for becoming a teacher
  • financial support and scholarships.

Become a teacher – Careers in Education(external link)

Return to teaching

New Zealand-trained teachers

You might be qualified but not currently teaching, or maybe you're living overseas and considering returning to New Zealand. There's currently a high demand for teachers, and now is the perfect time to return to teaching in New Zealand.

New Zealand-trained teachers – Education Workforce(external link)

You might have taken a break after having children, caring for others, working elsewhere or travelling. The Education Workforce website provides information to help you get back into the classroom.

Returning to teaching after a break – Education Workforce(external link)

If you’re a New Zealand-trained teacher living overseas and considering returning to NZ, now is the time to make the move back home. You could receive a relocation grant and get your overseas experience or additional qualifications recognised.

Returning New Zealand teachers – Education Workforce(external link)

Teacher Education Refresh

It is free to complete a Teacher Education Refresh (TER) if you're:

  • a qualified, non-practising teacher, completed your teacher training more than 5 years ago, and want to apply to become registered
  • a provisionally certificated teacher who wants to apply for another provisional practising certificate five years or more after becoming registered.

Teacher Education Refresh – Teaching Council NZ(external link)

Overseas teachers

If you're a teacher based overseas looking to move to New Zealand to teach, we have a dedicated website to help you through the process.

Teach in New Zealand – Careers in Education(external link)

Find a teaching job

Teachers are directly employed by schools and early learning services. There is no central staffing agency and no government department responsible for staff placement. All job applications should be made directly to the employing school or early childhood service.

If you are looking for a job in a school or early learning services, see the vacancies available in the Education Gazette. Early learning services vacancies can also be found on other job listing websites.

Search vacancies – Education Gazette(external link)

It is free for schools and early learning services to use specialist teacher recruitment agencies to assist them during the recruitment process.

Te reo Māori, Māori-medium, and kaupapa Māori teachers

There are several options to study for a teaching qualification that focuses on te reo Māori and te ao Māori, including a range of options for teaching in bilingual or full immersion settings.

Course finder – Microsoft Power BI(external link)

As a teacher of te reo Māori, and/or having the ability to teach in Māori-medium and kaupapa Māori settings, you would be in demand for your language skills, and knowledge of tikanga and mātauranga Māori.

Pacific teachers

There are several options to study for a teaching qualification that focuses on Pacific languages, cultures and identity.

Course finder – Microsoft Power BI(external link)

As a Pacific teacher, you would be in demand for your language skills and as a role model for Pacific students in New Zealand.

Voluntary bonding scheme

The voluntary bonding scheme (VBS) was introduced in 2009 to encourage newly graduated teachers to teach in certain areas of need.

In 2018 the scheme was expanded to include more schools, settings and subjects. If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for payments of up to $17,500, paid in instalments after your third, fourth and fifth year of teaching. 

Voluntary Bonding Scheme – Education Workforce(external link)

Transfer and removal funding

If you are a recent ITE graduate and your first permanent teaching position requires you to move location, you may be eligible to receive a payment from the Ministry to assist with the costs of relocation.

If you're shifting schools

Beginning teacher support

The change from student teacher to teacher can be demanding, which is why new primary and secondary teachers are offered additional support.

Beginning, overseas and retrained teacher time allowances

Registration, practising certificates and Limited Authority to Teach (LAT)

All teachers in New Zealand must be registered teachers with the Teaching Council of New Zealand | Matatū Aotearoa.

You can apply for registration and a provisional practising certificate as soon as you've graduated.

Registration and certification is the way the Teaching Council ensures all teachers in Aotearoa are qualified, capable, and ethical professionals.

Registration never expires but your practising certificate must be renewed every three years.

You can apply for registration and a provisional practising certificate at the same time through the Teaching Council’s online portal, Hapori Matatū.

Newly graduated teachers are required to compete a two-year programme of induction and mentoring provided by their employer before applying for a full practising certificate.

You can find out more on the following pages of the Teaching Council website:

Information about getting registered and certificated – NZ Teaching Council(external link)

Limited Authority to Teach (LAT)

A Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) allows a person without a teaching qualification to be employed in a teaching position under specific circumstances.

For example, a LAT allows a school to employ someone with skills that are in short supply, often people who have specialist skills, such as industry specialists in technology subjects.

Limited Authority to Teach – NZ Teaching Council(external link)

Salary assessment

As part of being appointed to a teaching job in a New Zealand school, you need to get your salary assessed. This is to make sure you're getting paid your correct salary as quickly and easily as possible. To get your salary assessed, you need to complete a salary assessment application online.

Read the information sheet below and visit the Education Payroll Ltd website for more information on the salary assessment process:

New employee information sheet: payroll and salary assessment [PDF, 57 KB]

Salary assessment – Education Payroll Ltd(external link)

Studying while employed

It is possible to remain employed while you study, and there are several ITE programmes that allow you to do this. These programmes offer you the flexibility to continue earning while you study to become a qualified teacher.

Employed in a school

If you're employed in a school on a LAT, there are programmes that enable you to remain employed in your school and continue earning while you study to become a qualified teacher. You will build confidence through in-classroom experience, while being supported by a strong mentoring programme.

If you're employed in a school and are interested in studying to become a teacher, contact your school principal or senior leader about supporting you through initial teacher education.

Studying while employed – Education Workforce(external link)

Course finder – Microsoft Power BI(external link)

Studying while remaining in your community

You no longer need to leave your community or hapori to study to become a qualified teacher. ITE providers are located across the country, and several programmes allow you to study entirely by distance.

You can find more information about study options on the Teaching Council course finder:

Course finder – Microsoft Power BI(external link)

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