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Occupation Details

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Teacher - Art and Design

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

Shortage Indicator

It is proving difficult to source qualified teachers for certain key subjects (e.g. foreign languages, science). Changes in government policy in relation to the introduction of other subjects (such as career guidance) will require the sourcing of teachers with the required specific skills. Demand for secondary teachers is expected to continue in the medium term due to demographic factors.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Secondary Teachers

Also included in this category:

Secondary school teachers; deputy head teachers (secondary school).

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 15%
Aged over 55: 14%
Male / Female: 28 / 72%
Non-Nationals: 3%
With Third Level: 99%
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At a Glance... header image

Teach a wide range of art, design and craft skills to students.

Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

Art and design teachers encourage young people to express themselves using art, design and handicraft activities. Most schools offer teaching in a number of artistic skills, including drawing, painting, pottery, sculpture, printmaking and photography. Art and design teachers may also use computers to teach computer-aided design.  
In some schools, it is possible for an art teacher to specialise in teaching one aspect of the subject such as pottery. In most schools, however, art teachers have to be 'all-rounders' teaching all aspects of art.  
Most art and design teachers work with students over the age of 11. Teaching is geared to suit the needs of a class of students with widely differing skills and interests. If teaching older year groups, the teacher is more likely to teach students of similar ability who have chosen to study art and design, and are working towards a qualification. Art and design teachers work closely with teachers from other subjects such as design and technology and information technology, in order to develop students' design and technology skills.  
In primary schools, teachers usually teach a wide range of subjects and do not specialise in one area like art and design. However, they may act as art and design co-ordinator for the school.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Explain and demonstrate artistic techniques.


Evaluate and grade students' class work, performances, projects, assignments, and papers.


Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.


Prepare course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.


Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.


Prepare students for performances, exams, or assessments.


Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as acting techniques, fundamentals of music, and art history.


Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.


Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.


Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.

Work Activities header image

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


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


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


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.


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


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.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


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


Scheduling Work and Activities: Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Knowledge header image

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


Fine Arts: Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.


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.


History and Archeology: Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.


Philosophy and Theology: Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

Skillsheader image

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


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


Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As an art and design teacher, you should enjoy working with young people; have a lively mind and good communication skills. You must be patient and tactful.

Entry Routesheader image

To become a recognised, second level teacher in Ireland, you must hold a primary degree in a relevant subject area, and/or a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PDE or PGD, previously called H.dip).

Post-primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) is provided through programmes that are either concurrent (undergraduate) or consecutive (postgraduate).

Undergraduate Route

The concurrent (undergraduate) route to a post-primary teaching qualification is offered for a range of programmes (e.g. with practical, laboratory and workshop elements). Students study a 4 or 5 year teacher training programme, which combines the study of education with the study of an academic specialist area and includes school placement.

For the most part, these programmes are in the sciences, technological education, physical education, art and design, music, mathematics, religious education and home economics. For example,  P.E. (UL), Religion (Mater Dei/DCU), Home Economics (St. Angela's), Art (NCAD), Science, Engineering Technology and wood/building technology.

Depending on the subject specialism taken, the final degree awarded may be a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science (Education), a Bachelor of Technology (Education) or a Bachelor of Education.

Some higher education institutions offer a ‘hybrid model’ whereby students can exit the programme with a subject specialist degree after three or four years but are not qualified teachers until they have completed all five years. 

Students apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) and selection is based on the CAO points system.

Consecutive Route

The most common route to becoming a post-primary teacher is a Bachelor's Degree, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. If you go this route, your degree must comprise three years full-time study or equivalent, and enable you to teach at least one curriculum subject to Leaving Cert level. 

E.g.  P.E Teacher - by doing a degree, followed by the Graduate Diploma in Physical Education (P.E.) - UL takes students from a range of backgrounds such as, the BSc. in Health & Leisure Studies at IT Tralee.

Note*: Since September 2014, postgraduate programmes of ITE accredited by the Teaching Council have been extended to two years full time study, or 120 ECTS credits and is now termed the Professional Master of Education 

For consecutive programmes, application is made through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC), a central application system for NUI colleges and Dublin City University. For other institutions, applications are made directly to individual institutions. 

The teaching profession is monitored by the Teaching Council, who determine the suitability of qualifications to teach subjects in the second level curriculum. 

The Teaching Council website provides details of the individual subject requirements (subject criteria) for all post-primary curricular subjects (i.e. English, Maths, Art, Languages etc). The Teaching Council website also provides a list of degrees deemed to meet the requirements for named curricular subjects. 

Art and Design teaching

There are a number of institutions throughout the country that offer relevant courses to those wishing to become Art and Design teachers. Applicants are advised to consult individual prospectuses for course content and entry requirements.

A list of institutions in Ireland  who are providers of post-primary ITE programmes is available here.

All new teachers will need to be  Garda vetted, as they are responsible for children.


Last Updated: October, 2014

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Contactsheader image


Organisation: Department of Education and Skills
Address: Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 889 6400
Email: Click here
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Organisation: Irish National Teachers Organisation
Address: 35 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 804 7700 / LoCall 1850 708708
Email: Click here
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Organisation: The Teaching Council
Address: Block A, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth Co. Kildare
Tel: (01) 651 7900
Email: 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:

Art, Craft & Design
Education & Teaching

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