Teacher - Art

Art teachers in secondary schools teach students the practical skills, theory and history of art. Students receive tuition in aspects such as painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramics.

Personal requirements

  • Artistic talent
  • Enjoy creative work
  • Enthusiastic, patient and tactful
  • Good communication skills
  • A commitment to ongoing professional development
  • Creativity
  • Good organisational skills
  • Enjoy teaching and working with young people
  • Prepared to work outside of school hours

Education & Training

To become an art teacher you usually need to complete a four-year integrated course or double degree in which the subject area and teaching components are taught throughout (a Bachelor of Education with a major in creative, graphic or visual arts, for example). Alternatively, you can complete a degree with a major in creative, graphic or visual arts, followed by a postgraduate qualification in education such as a Graduate Diploma of Education. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, visual arts and design are normally required. Applicants may also be required to submit a portfolio and attend an interview. A number of institutions in Australia offer relevant degrees. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. A number of institutions in Australia offer postgraduate courses in education. They may be available by distance education. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. No formal qualifications are required to be a private art teacher, but they may be an advantage.

Duties & Tasks

Art teachers in secondary schools may perform the following tasks:

  • undertake general teaching tasks (see the separate entry for Teacher - Secondary)
  • set up and maintain facilities such as photographic darkrooms, kilns for ceramic work, studios and storage areas
  • order and maintain art resources and materials within the budget allowance
  • demonstrate the use of art materials and tools such as oils, watercolours, palettes and palette knives, brushes, pens, pencils, dyes, clay, fabric, canvas and paper
  • inspire students and assist them to develop their creativity and self-expression through various art forms and media
  • arrange for exhibitions of student work in and out of school.

Employment Opportunities

Art teachers are employed in both government and non-government schools, generally at secondary level. Graduate employment prospects are better for those who are willing to work in non-metropolitan areas.


Private Art Teacher

A private art teacher instructs individual students in the practice, theory and history of art. They usually specialise in one aspect of art and teach from their own home or studio.

Additional Information
Before undertaking practical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a Working with Children Check. A National Police Certificate may also be required. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. You will need to register with the teaching board in your state or territory. Teachers are required by mandatory reporting laws to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
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