Teach Physics: A guide for engineering students and graduates
Teaching physics is doing physics. It is a hands-on, practical career choice that will allow you to explore the wonder of physics every day.
As an engineering graduate you are ideally equipped for the job. Read on for advice about some of the key things to consider before building a rewarding career in the classroom.
Funding and finance
As a trainee physics teacher in England, you have several funding options available to you. You could be eligible for a substantial tax-free bursary or a scholarship to help you through your training year.
The IOP is awarding 150 Teacher Training Scholarships to outstanding teachers entering physics teacher training in September 2017. Scholars benefit from £30,000 tax free funding, as well as opportunities for professional development and membership of the IOP. Scholars with a degree in mechanical engineering also benefit from Associate membership of the IMechE.
What’s more, you could also apply for a student loan to help you cover your training tuition fees – so don’t let the thought of more tuition fees put you off!
Subject knowledge enhancement
If your degree didn’t contain a sufficient amount of physics, or if you feel your physics subject knowledge could do with a boost, you can complete a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course before you being teacher training.
SKE courses run from eight to 36 weeks, but the delivery is fully flexible, meaning you can study online, face-to-face or a through combination of both.
As your career progresses you have the potential to move into a leadership position, such as head of department or head of year. You can also widen your interests by getting involved in special educational needs or curriculum development.
There are also ample opportunities beyond the classroom, such as running a mechanics club, coaching a sports team, or even contributing to IOP policy.
Starting salaries for newly qualified teachers start from £22,244 – or £27,819 in inner London. For more information about salaries visit the Get Into Teaching website.
It is vital to spend some time in a secondary school observing physics lessons before you apply for teacher training. This will help you decide if teaching really is the career for you. We can help you arrange a school visit through our School Experience Programme.