Careers Teacher

Careers education and guidance is designed to help young people realise their full potential.  Local government careers teachers help students to understand themselves, develop their capabilities, investigate opportunities and implement their career plans and to make an informed choice about education, training and employment.  Careers teachers in local government might also be known as a careers co-ordinators.  Many careers teachers also have other subject specialisms.

Work Environment
Local government careers teachers are based mostly in schools but could also involve visiting universities, colleges and other workplaces.  The job might require some evening work in addition to the standard teaching week.

Daily Activities
Local government careers teachers/co-ordinators are specialist teachers who manage and deliver a programme of careers education and guidance (CEG). They draw on other staff, careers companies, parents, business and other partners to ensure that the pupils get the service to which they are entitled.  Schools are expected to decide how they will provide careers education and guidance (CEG).

They may choose to establish:

  • discrete time-tabled lessons by specialist staff;
  • a pastoral scheme taught by tutors;
  • short modules within the curriculum;
  • integrated CEG with other subjects across the curriculum.

Whichever model is chosen, the careers teacher will be a key member and sometimes leader of a whole staff team that helps pupils manage their future learning and career choice.  The key elements of any effective scheme would entail:

  • identifying the need for CEG in terms of supporting overall school goals and objectives - regarding equal opportunities and raising achievement, for example, and devising and monitoring an acceptable careers guidance scheme;
  • planning and designing CEG programmes to take account of opportunities for pupils to acquire the skills needed to make best use of careers information;
  • organising staff training;
  • keeping up to date with the developments in labour market trends and opportunities in education and training;
  • delivering CEG by directing and supporting colleagues; 
  • maintaining accurate and accessible information, including printed, audio visual and information technology materials;
  • organising work experience for pupils through visits to factories, offices and other places of work and arranging short work placements for them during their school vacations;
  • structuring action plans and records so that pupils can monitor their career planning;
  • working with partners in the careers service/industry and parents;
  • establishing contacts with further and higher education, youth and community organisations, employers, trades unions and training providers and involving them in the partnership;
  • evaluating and developing CEG by setting up CEG monitoring systems.

Skills & Interests
Local government careers teachers need:

  • an interest in young people and an ability to help them develop;
  • a mature outlook and realistic perception of the world beyond the school;
  • good team working skills and the ability to establish good relationships with a wide range of people;
  • good communication and negotiation skills;
  • good organisational and planning skills;
  • an ability to research information and present it in an accessible form.

Entry Requirements
Local government careers teachers need relevant teaching qualifications and may also require relevant careers guidance qualifications, such as:

  • Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG) accredited by the Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG) 
  • Masters courses in Careers Guidance 
  • NVQ level 4 in advice and guidance

Future Prospects & Opportunities
Local government careers teachers may progress into leadership positions within a school, such as head of department, deputy head teacher or head teacher.  There may also be opportunities with relevant experience and training to progress to other roles within education and children's services, such as education welfare, youth work or social work.

Further Information & Services
Association for Careers Education and Guidance
Career Development Institute
Education jobs
European Network of Training Organisations for Local and Regional Authorities

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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