How to become a FE Lecturer

So what do you need to be an FE Lecturer?

  • You should have experience, knowledge and skill in the occupational sector you will be teaching.
  • You will need at least an NVQ level 3 in the chosen subject area.
  • Excellent communication skills, to explain the occupational standards and give feedback
  • The ability to motivate and encourage people
  • An interest in helping people develop
  • Patience and tact
  • The ability to relate to people at all levels
  • The ability to write reports and keep accurate written records.
  • Be prepared to work towards a teaching qualification which is endorsed by Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK).  Such as the CertEd which will take place during allocated work hours.

Rewards from Lecturing

  • Working with pupils is very rewarding and each day is different. Lecturers use their skills, knowledge and creativity; they make learning exciting and relevant for young people and open their minds to the career opportunities within the outside world.
  • Starting pay is impressive and there is a wide range of possibilities for career progression within the classroom or by becoming a section leader.
  • Lecturers have excellent opportunities to develop their skills throughout their careers, through professional training and further development.
  • The holiday entitlement is the envy of many professions and a generous occupational pension scheme gives guaranteed benefits.

As an FE lecturer, you would be expected to:

  • Plan and prepare lessons across a range of qualification types and levels in day, evening classes and workshops
  • Research and develop new subject matter and teaching materials, e.g. online resources
  • Monitor, assess and mark students' work; including setting examinations
  • Act as a personal tutor; providing additional support for students when necessary
  • Take part in course team meetings to monitor, evaluate and develop relevant courses
  • Liaise with awarding bodies to ensure quality
  • Attend parents' evenings, open days and careers/education conventions
  • Organise work experience and carrying out learner assessments in the workplace. 

The Work

Further education (FE) lecturers teach students over the age of 16. They teach various types of course, including:

  • Academic qualifications such as GCSEs/S grades, AS levels, A levels.
  • Vocational courses such as NVQ’s which train students for careers such as catering, construction and childcare
  • Skills for Life (Basic Skills) courses
  • Leisure and hobby courses such as dressmaking, photography and car maintenance.

The work can include:

  • Planning and preparing lessons
  • Using a variety of teaching methods, such as seminars, tutorials and demonstrations
  • Setting and marking assignments, tests and exams 
  • Monitoring and assessing students’ progress
  • Developing new courses and teaching materials
  • Record keeping and other administrative tasks
  • Attending meetings, professional development courses and workshops
  • Interviewing prospective students
  • Acting as personal tutors, supporting students and helping with problems 
  • Making contact with exam boards or local employers.

Some lecturers supplement their income by, for example:

  • Continuing to work on the tools
  • National exam marking
  • Private tuition
  • Teaching evening courses.

Hours and Environment

Lecturers' hours can be:

  • Permanent full-time (usually up to 37 hours a week, with around 25 hours spent teaching)
  • Permanent fractional (permanent contracts to teach for a fraction of the week)
  • Part-time (non-permanent work as a visiting lecturer, for example teaching non-qualification evening/daytime leisure courses).

Skills and Interests

To be a further education lecturer you should:

  • Have extensive knowledge of your subject and the ability to explain it at a level suitable for your students 
  • Be able to relate well to students of all ages and abilities
  • Be enthusiastic and able to motivate students
  • Be able to express yourself clearly, both in speech and writing
  • Be creative to design interesting activities and materials
  • Have good organisational and planning skills 
  • Have patience and a sense of humour.


To complete a teaching qualification in-service you need:

  • To be well-qualified or experienced in the subject you intend to teach
  • Find an employer who is willing to take you on and support you in working towards qualifications
  • Complete a teaching qualification within two years of appointment (or four years if working on a fractional contract). 
  • When you are qualified as a lecturer you will need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date, for example by attending in-service training (INSET) days.


Lecturers throughout the UK work in:

  • Colleges of further education
  • Technical colleges
  • Tertiary colleges (not in Scotland)
  • Sixth-form colleges (not in Scotland)
  • Community colleges
  • Private colleges
  • Adult education centres
  • The Armed Forces 
  • The Prison Service.
  • With experience lecturers could be promoted to senior lecturer or head of department. As these places are limited promotion is likely to involve moving to another college.

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