Unlike other FE teaching that don’t need additional qualifications, for teaching accounting, you must be a qualified accountant with accreditation from either the AAT or ACCA. In addition, to teach FE accounting you’ll need either a teacher training qualification — a PGCE or DTLLS (level 5 Diploma in Education and Training) — or have studied part-time for one when you begin teaching.
As an example, Glenn Wright, lecturer in financial management at City College Norwich, became an accounting lecturer by first studying A-levels and then a higher national diploma. He had taken a break on his part-time accountancy training before he opted to complete the course as a full-time student.
There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to earning the qualifications you’ll need to go down this path – plans change and there’s no harm in this.
One option in becoming an accountant or an accounting lecturer is the ACCA qualification.
To get on to an ACCA course, you’ll need three GCSEs and two A-levels in five separate subjects (including maths and English).
The ACCA qualification provides students with up-to-date skills and ACCA members are sought all over the world by employers, making the journey ahead an exciting one.
For those who do not have the requisite qualifications, ACCA explains that prospective students can start the ACCA course by enrolling in a preliminary course: Foundations in Accountancy. The ACCA course takes three years to complete.
The AAT course is renowned for being flexible and is internationally recognised and respected across the globe. There are currently around 130,000 ATA members in more than 100 countries. The AAT provides a great framework to understand the key elements of accounting.
There are three levels of AAT qualification:
Although both the ACCA and AAT qualifications are reputable in their own right, there are slight differences between the two. The ACCA is designed to be an advanced qualification for those already with a toe in the water of the accountancy world, whole the AAT make for a perfect start point for those with no or limited accountancy experience.
An understanding of the subject inside and out is a key skill needed for this role, according to Wright. Aside from a deep level of understanding, he also cites patience and empathy, as well as a sense of humour and being approachable as the key qualities that have set him in good stead in his role.
The average ACCA salary in the UK is between £35,000 and £58,000 per year.
A qualified FE teacher can usually expect to earn anything between £24,702 and £37,258, depending on experience.