A Future in Chemistry - Your career starts here

I want to be a teacher

Why become a chemistry teacher?

Teaching chemistry is an exciting, challenging and hugely rewarding career.  There is no “typical” chemistry teacher – recent graduates as well as career changers from across the chemical sciences all make excellent teachers. All teachers should be passionate about their subject, and want to inspire the next generation of scientists. There are plenty of benefits to becoming a teacher, such as:

  • The chance to make a real difference to children and young people;
  • a competitive starting salary;
  • opportunities for progression into a wide range of management roles, such as managing a year group, subject or key stage.

As well as teaching a range of age groups and abilities, a career in teaching will involve planning lessons, marking students’ work and assessments, and providing pastoral care.

“The youth of today are not just the future but our future and they need a good solid science education. Even if the students do not pursue a science career, it is vital that they have a good science education because it teaches them to think with an open mind.” Lyndsey Vernon, trainee chemistry teacher and Royal Society of Chemistry Scholar.

     © Alamy

Work experience in schools

The best way to decide if teaching is for you is to gain some experience in a school. Observing lessons will help you gain a better understanding of what teaching is like today and develop your own ideas about education. It will also make your teacher training application much stronger.

Organise to shadow a teacher that you know, or get in touch with schools in your local area. It’s helpful to visit more than one school, to gain experience in different teaching environments. In England, you can gain classroom experience by applying for the School Experience Programme.

If you want to become a chemistry teacher, it is best to study an undergraduate degree containing at least 50% chemistry. As well as chemistry, other relevant courses could be biochemistry, chemical engineering or forensic science. Different teacher training courses will have different entry requirements - you can find about more about the different routes into teacher training here.

Tom Munro
My job involves working out the carbon footprints and environmental effects of products & services.
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