Teacher — Secondary School — Biology

Biology with science teacher
Education and training

Career outlook for teacher — secondary school — biology

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would inspire young people to learn about life and how organisms survive, thrive and change.

As a biology teacher, you’d teach pupils about cells, genes and evolution. You would also teach pupils the scientific principles and concepts used to understand the living world.

You would work with young people from 11 to 18 years old. You could work in public or private schools. You may also work in a college or learning centre.

You’d help your pupils learn how to use scientific language, formulae and equations and practical techniques for scientific investigation.

They would learn how scientific discoveries impact people’s lives, society and the environment.

You’d teach students of different ages and abilities and prepare young people to take National Qualifications and Highers in this subject. There is guidance for Curriculum for Excellence Sciences and National Qualifications which you would use when planning your teaching.

You would:

  • prepare lessons and teaching materials
  • assess students’ progress and mark their work
  • set homework
  • manage classroom behaviour
  • discuss students' progress with parents and carers
  • organise study trips, social activities and sports events

As a teacher, you’d encourage students to take pride in their achievements inside and outside school. You’d support them to build good relationships with other students and teachers. You would inspire pupils to play a positive part in the life of the school and the local community.

Sometimes you will need to deal with challenging behaviour. It may be difficult to get some teenagers to study so you'll need to be imaginative and enthusiastic to keep them interested.

You’d need to attend meetings and training courses. You’d work closely with colleagues to plan the school’s timetables, You would also work with other professionals, such as education psychologists and social workers.

Working conditions


Teaching takes place for 39 weeks a year, usually from 9am to 3.30pm or 4pm. You are likely to spend several more hours outside of these times, planning lessons, marking pupils' work and taking part in activities such as outings, parent evenings and training.


Secondary school teachers often have a base classroom. However, from time to time they may have to carry books and equipment from room to room. This is subject to the space available in each school.


You could do supply teaching where you work in different schools for short periods to cover the absences of permanent teachers.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Supporting
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Social conscience
  • Ethical
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Motivating others

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You will need either a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree in Biology (SCQF level 9/10) or you can apply with any relevant degree to a PGDE - Professional Graduate Diploma in Education - in Biology or Biology with Science (SCQF level 11).

To enter a Bachelor of Education (BEd) Biology degree (SCFQ level 9/10) you may require National 5 qualifications and at least four Highers at B or above. Some courses will require this in one sitting. 

If you are applying to a PGDE (SCQF level 11) you will need a degree.

To enter this job applicants must have completed degree level study or above gaining at least 80 SCQF credit points in relevant subjects such as animal biology, biochemistry, human biology or biomolecular sciences. 

Useful subjects

  • Higher English (required)
  • Biology (required)
  • National 5 Maths (required)
  • Sciences
  • Technologies
  • Social studies subjects such as Psychology

You will also need

To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate the ability to work with children or young people, communication skills and experience in science, in particular biological sciences, will be helpful.

You will be expected to support literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing as well as your own subject.