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Occupation Details

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Teacher - Primary / Gael School

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€31k > 60
Primary School Teacher
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€31 - 60
Related Information:
New teachers currently start on a salary of €30,702. From September 2016, this will increase by €796 to a total of €31,498 and again in September 2017 by €796 to €32,294.
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2016

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Demand for primary and nursery teachers is expected to decline in line with the decrease in the relevant age cohort.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Primary & Nursery Teachers

Also included in this category:

Primary and nursery school teachers; deputy head teachers (primary school).

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 12%
Male / Female: 12 / 88%
Non-Nationals: 1%
With Third Level: 93%
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At a Glance... header image

Prepares lessons and teaches young children in the first years of school from approximately age 5 to age 12.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:4

Paul Meany
School Principal
Paul completed his Leaving Cert in Marian College, Dublin, before going on to do a Degree in Botany and Maths in UCD. He decided to pursue his interest in Teaching and did his Higher Diploma in Education back in Marian College. Years later he applied for, and was successful in becoming Principal at that school.
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Padraig Parle
Teacher - Special Needs
Padraig Parle is working as a Special Needs Teacher in the Catherine McAuley school in Dublin.  He did a BA in Fine Art from DIT and followed this with a  H. DIP in Primary Education from the Froebel College of Education in Blackrock.  He teaches a class of nine children with a learning disabiltiy in the area of reading.
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Brian Cadigan
Primary School Teacher
Brian Cadigan works as a National School Teacher at Scoil San Treasa in Dublin. He completed a Bachelor of Education from St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. He is a committed teacher and is involved in sports training alongside his classroom work. His school camogie and hurling teams reached four Cumann na mBunscoil finals and won two of them.
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Deirdre Sayers
Primary School Teacher

Deirdre Sayers is a National School Teacher working in Scoil Naomh Eoin, Baiste, Listóil, Co Chiarraí. She did a  B.Ed degree in Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. Her degree was in Education, Irish, Philosophy and History. She holds a post of responsibility in the school and teaches throughout the medium of Irish.

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Go..Reception Teacher - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

Teachers at primary level generally teach all areas of the primary curriculum and are generalist rather than specialist teachers, as the primary curriculum is an integrated curriculum. They have a large responsibility of the class and with their teaching techniques.  
Out of school hours they are expected to prepare lessons, and keep up with new developments in specific subjects or in education as a whole. Teaching can be a quite stressful job but also quite rewarding.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Instruct students individually and in groups, adapting teaching methods to meet students' varying needs and interests.


Teach basic skills such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, and social skills.


Observe and evaluate children's performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.


Establish and enforce rules for behavior, and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.


Demonstrate activities to children.


Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.


Read books to entire classes or to small groups.


Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects, and communicate those objectives to children.


Prepare materials, classrooms, and other indoor and outdoor spaces to facilitate creative play, learning and motor-skill activities, and safety.


Identify children showing signs of emotional, developmental, or health-related problems, and discuss them with supervisors, parents or guardians, and child development specialists.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Coaching and Developing Others: Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Training and Teaching Others: Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Developing and Building Teams: Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Teachers do not merely need good academic ability; they must be able to communicate their knowledge clearly and in an interesting fashion. They must also be able to establish a good relationship with their pupils and be prepared to take on considerable responsibility.  
Infinite patience and a sense of humour are great assets.

Entry Routesheader image

Entry to Primary Schol Initial Teacher Education (ITE) is regulated by the Department of Education and Skills (DES).

There are five main providers of programmes of Primary ITE in Ireland and Hibernia College. 

 Institution  Course Code
 DCU / St. Patrick's College Drumcondra, Dublin  DC002
 DCU / Church of Ireland College of Education  DC004
 Marino Institute of Education, Dublin  CM001
 Mary Immaculate College Limerick  MI005
 Froebel College of Education, NUI Maynooth  MH001

The majority of these providers offer both undergraduate (concurrent) and postgraduate (consecutive) teacher training courses. (The Church of Ireland College of Education only offers concurrent and Hibernia College only offers consecutive courses).

In recent years, the duration of ITE has been extended. Full-time undergraduate programmes for primary teachers (B. Ed) are now four years in duration across all institutions. Postgraduate programmes for primary teaching (PME) are now two-years.

For a small number of mature students (those aged 23+) there is an alternative route of entry to primary teacher education, outside the CAO system. The process combines an interview with possession of the minimum academic entry requirements.

Persons who successfully complete the ITE course must also be registered by the Teaching Council.


[Changes October 2017 for Entry 2018]

To view the detailed entry requirements to B.Ed and post-graduate teacher training courses, follow the links below:

Entry Requirement CAO

Entry Requirement Post Grad [pdf]

Entry Requirements Mature Students [pdf]]

Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge  (TEG) provides a series of general Irish language proficiency examinations and qualifications for learners of Irish. Level B2 (Meánleibhéal 2) 50% can be accepted in place of the required Leaving Cert Irish grade. 

Post-Graduate Route

This is now a two-year post-graduate Professional Masters in Education (PME):

- Mary Immaculate College - Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) Course Details

- DCU / St Patrick's College, Drumcondra - Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) Course Details

- Marino Institute of Education - Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) Course Details

Hibernia College

An on-line Higher Diploma in Arts in Primary Education, accredited by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), is provided by Hibernia College. Hibernia College is a privately-owned, non-state-funded, company. This is a part-time blended learning course which takes place over 2 years and the Higher Diploma is recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of primary teaching. Click here for details.

Last Updated: October, 2017

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Teacher, primary level - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Department of Education and Skills
Address: Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 889 6400
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish National Teachers Organisation
Address: 35 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 804 7700 / LoCall 1850 708708
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: St. Patrick's College of Education
Address: Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Tel: (01) 884 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: The Teaching Council
Address: Block A, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth Co. Kildare
Tel: (01) 651 7900
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Primary Administration Section
Address: Department of Education and Science, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Tel: (090) 648 3600
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: An Foras Pátrúnachta
Address: Block K3, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Tel: (01) – 6294110
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Education & Teaching
Psychology & Social Care

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