Teacher - Secondary school - Design and technology

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Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Five year job forecast


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

As a design and technology teacher, you’d encourage, motivate and inspire your students to design and make objects that have a practical use, using a variety of techniques. Design and technology is a broad subject covering topics such as craft skills, use of tools, graphic communication, computer-aided design and mechanical systems.

You’d work to guidelines set up by the Curriculum for Excellence and prepare pupils, aged 11 to 18, for national exams.

What you might do:

  • Prepare teaching materials and lessons

  • Teach students individually, and as a class, to work with computers, wood, and metal work tools and machines

  • Assess students’ progress and mark their work

  • Set and mark homework

  • Manage classroom behaviour

  • Discuss students' progress with parents and carers

  • Organise study trips, social activities and sports events

Things to think about

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

  • As well as teaching, you’d also attend meetings and regular in-service training courses as part of your professional development. You’d work closely with colleagues to plan the school’s timetables, and work with other professionals, such as education psychologists and social workers.

Working conditions


Teachers work 39 weeks a year, usually from 9am to 3.30pm or 4pm. You’re likely to spend some hours outside of this planning lessons, marking pupils' work and taking part in training and parent evenings.


Secondary school teachers may be classroom based but from time to time may have to carry books and equipment between rooms.


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

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Mediating
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Social conscience
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Ethical
  • Mentoring

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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.


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

There are two routes into teaching design and technology. 

You can study a four-year degree that combines education with technology (such as BTechEd Technological Education, which includes a teaching qualification - University of Glasgow) or take a one-year PGDE course following an undergraduate degree in an engineering or technological subject.

Whichever route you take, you must study at least two of these subjects to be able to apply for jobs as a design and technology teacher:

  • mechanical, electrical or electronic engineering/sciences

  • mechatronics, architecture, building services or construction technology

  • Design and graphics related subjects such as graphic design, computer-aided design, computer-aided design manufacture, industrial design or product design

  • Any subject area relevant to the design and technology curriculum in Scottish schools

Experience that demonstrates your ability to work with young people would also be looked for.

Alternative Training Options

Some courses have been developed to offer flexible routes into the teaching profession, including:

  • Distance Learning can allow you to study part-time, usually over 18 months, with a placement in a partner local authority school (University of Aberdeen - Primary and Secondary)

  • Learn to Teach Primary programme (for staff employed in all local authorities in Scotland)

  • Secondary with a focus on STEM subjects  - PGDE (University of Dundee)

  • MSc Transformative Learning and Teaching programme (University of Edinburgh)

  • Returning to Teaching course (University of Edinburgh)

  • Combined PGDE with integrated Master’s year in Secondary STEM subjects (University of Strathclyde)

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry.  In addition, they may also highlight additional subjects that they would value. (See individual institutions websites for specific entry information). 

Useful subjects would be:

  • Higher English (essential)

  • National 5 maths (essential)

  • Design and manufacture

  • Woodwork

  • Physics

Helpful to have

While not all employers list specific qualification requirements they do ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that demonstrates a range of transferable skills. You should also be able to demonstrate that you have practical craft skills.