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Art teacher

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Summary of occupation

Art teachers working in schools teach students painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramics. Art teachers teaching in secondary school teach the practical skills and theory of various art forms, and may also teach the history of these art forms. Depending on the school's facilities, art teachers may set-up and operate kilns, photographic darkrooms or other specialist art studios and/or equipment. When planning lessons and projects they must ensure that there are sufficient art supplies and tools for all students. Some art teachers may arrange exhibitions of student art work within a school and the local community. They may also work privately or at art centres.

ANZSCO description: Art teachers often work in schools, teaching students the practical skills and theory of various art forms.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Secondary School Teacher-Librarian
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An art teacher needs:

  • to enjoy working with children and young people
  • artistic talent
  • to be enthusiastic and able to motivate and encourage others
  • good communication skills
  • high levels of creative and organisational skill
  • patience and tolerance.
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Working conditions

Most art teachers work in private and public schools throughout Western Australia - teaching students from Year 1 through to Year 12. While they work regular school hours, they are also expected to work additional hours to prepare for lessons, attend staff meetings and carry out administrative tasks, such as marking and report writing. Teachers in any discipline (including art) are also expected to attend regular professional development courses.

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Salary details

On average, art teachers can expect to earn between $1 368 and $1 886 per week ($71 158 and $98 084 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Art teachers work with a range of media and materials, which may include pencils, paints, palette knives, dyes, paper, canvases, clay and textiles. Some art teachers may also use textbooks, whiteboards and other standard classroom equipment, especially when teaching art theory and history. They may also use computers, especially when they are teaching digital art forms, and when writing student performance reports.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an art teacher you usually need to complete a degree in education majoring in visual arts education.

Edith Cowan University offers a four year Bachelor of Education (Secondary) majoring in visual arts education. This is the only undergraduate degree in visual arts and education currently available in Western Australia. Contact the university for more information.

Alternatively, you can complete a degree majoring in visual arts or fine art, followed by a postgraduate qualification specialising in primary or secondary education.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To work as a school teacher in Western Australia, you must be registered with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA). You also need to hold a current Working With Children Check issued by the Department of Child Protection, and undergo a National Police History Check conducted by the Department of Education Screening Unit. Contact the Department of Education for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Related links

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High School Teacher  Video High School Teacher Occupation

Secondary school teachers teach one or a number of subject areas to students in Years 8 to 12. They plan, prepare and present lessons and teaching programmes, supervise students as they learn, write and mark assignments and tests, and attend staff meetings.

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