Do you have a desire to inspire?
It is important that you can bring inspiration and motivation to the classroom. You will need to be able to:
- communicate the key principles of physics. Can you bring energy to the class when you teach electricity? Can you reinforce learning when you teach about refraction?
- pass on your knowledge effectively
- show patience and compassion as you teach
- create a positive and exciting learning environment
Have a look at some videos of physics lessons from key stage 3 through to A level.
Can you share your passion?
Young people are surrounded by physics every day but don't necessarily realise it. If we can emphasise the relevance of physics then we can help to produce a new generation of creative minds. With this passion we can help to shape the physicists of tomorrow.
Einstein did all of his best work when he was young – and I know there are plenty of talented young people out there who could give him a run for his money!
Professor Brian Cox
What qualifications do you need?
There are various initial teacher training (ITT) courses you can take to become a physics teacher. To train as a teacher on any ITT programme, you will need to be educated to degree level and have a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and maths.
Providers will often look for physics ITT candidates to have a strong background in physics. This usually means an A level in physics and an undergraduate degree in physics or a related subject (for example, engineering), or work experience in a physics environment. Don't hold back from applying because of your subject knowledge confidence – you can discuss this with your chosen provider now and raise it in your interview.
ITT providers make the final decision on relevant subject knowledge. If your chosen provider feels that you would make a good teacher but you need to undertake some additional study in the subject you want to teach before you start training, they will discuss the range of subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses they have available for you. They will either arrange a placement or help you find a course if they don’t run one internally.
Visit our paths into teaching page for information about how we can help you to become a physics teacher.
You can also read about physics with mathematics PGCE courses. If you're passionate about both subjects this could be the ideal route for you. These courses are particularly suited to graduates with a physics or engineering background.
How can you progress as a physics teacher?
As well as the intrinsic fulfilment of being a physics teacher, there are good financial benefits too. Teaching has great career prospects.
Once you become a teacher you can gain more responsibility by working towards becoming a leading practitioner where you specialise in physics. In this position, you could earn between £37,836 and £57,520 if you teach in England and Wales; and higher if you work in London.
You can find out more about salary and benefits, including training bursaries and the Institute of Physics (IOP) teacher training scholarship, on our funding, pay and benefits page
Sign up with us for more information and advice about becoming a physics teacher.