Working in educational support services

You could work in a nursery, primary or secondary school, in an FE college, with a training provider or university. Your work would be to support the education system but not actually do the teaching. 

You will need to enjoy working in a learning environment and have great patience, diplomacy and good communication skills. There are many jobs in this field, including administration roles such as secretary or bursar. You could work with the children as a teaching assistant or learning mentor. You might choose to become a counsellor, careers adviser or librarian. You could work as a technician in IT, science labs or workshops. You will probably work up to 40 hours a week, 39 to 43 weeks a year.

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Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Support roles in education may only be paid during term-time. This is usually less than 40 weeks of the year. This type of salary is known as pro rata, which means you are paid part of the full-time salary.

Pay level graph

Future careers

Areas that are expanding in the education sector include new technologies and communication display systems, developing and maintaining websites, managing registration and cashless payment card systems, setting up and maintaining virtual learning environments (VLEs), managing student record systems, and marketing and business development. All of these areas will require suitably qualified support workers in the future.

Things to consider

Things you may need to know:

  • A job in education support services could be an opportunity to find out if you would like to work in education and perhaps teach.
  • You will have to deal with learners, teachers and/or lecturers and other colleagues on a daily basis, helping to solve problems.
  • You will need an enhanced DBS check, but this can be done when you are offered a job. A first aid certificate is useful for welfare officers. Technicians in workshops and laboratories require knowledge of health and safety.

Useful links

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National Careers Service

Local government jobs

School libraries salary guidelines