Job type

Life skills teacher

£20k - £30k

Typical salary

35 – 37

Hours per week

Life skills teachers work with adults and sometimes 16 to 18-year-olds to improve their English and maths.

More info

  • Work with adults and sometimes 16-18 year-olds to improve their English/maths
  • You'll need the ability to get on well with people of all ages
  • You could progress to more senior roles and higher pay scales

As a life skills teacher you'll teach and support adults and young people who want to improve their skills in: reading, writing and spelling (literacy) maths (numeracy), or ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). You might also work with adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.


  • Carrying out skills assessments
  • Talking to students about what they want to achieve
  • Designing learning plans to suit the needs and abilities of students
  • Preparing teaching materials
  • Using a range of resources like worksheets and computer packages
  • Delivering individual and group teaching sessions
  • Keeping records
  • Guiding and supporting learning, support assistants and volunteers


You could work full-time or part-time. As a part-time teacher you may only have a temporary contract. As a full-time teacher you'll usually work up to 37 hours a week, with around 25 hours spent teaching. Evening work is common. You could be based in a college or an adult education centre and spend some of your time teaching in community centres, libraries or prisons. You could also work for a training provider helping people to improve their skills as preparation for employment.

You'll need

This role requires someone with the ability to get on well with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities and understand their needs, record keeping skills, patience and tact when working with those who may lack confidence, planning skills and creativity to prepare interesting activities to improve learners' skills, and the ability to motivate and encourage learners to continue with their studies.

You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults and you'll need a minimum of a Level 3 qualification in the subject area you wish to teach, like A level maths to teach numeracy.

You'll need a recognised teaching qualification or be willing to work towards one. Examples include a Level 3 Award in Education and Training, Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training and Level 5 Education and Training Diploma - need access to 100 hours of teaching practice.

If you already have a degree in a relevant subject, without qualified teacher status, you can apply for a postgraduate teacher training course like a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) or professional graduate diploma in education (PGDE) in teaching disabled adults.

Alternatively, you can complete a learning and skills teacher higher apprenticeship. You'll need a qualification in the subject you want to teach and employers will be looking for relevant up-to-date industry experience.

To find out if you're suited to this type of teaching, you could do some voluntary work, although this is not essential.


With experience, there may be opportunities to move into more senior roles like head of department, or to train other teachers.