Careers in education

Career opportunities in education including teaching pathways and scholarships, early childhood education, and graduate and traineeship programs.


Every staff member working in a school must hold a current working with children clearance, also called an Ochre Card, or have a current exemption in place.

Staff members that need a clearance include:

  • relief teachers, in addition to being registered through the Teacher Recruitment System (TRS) - managers must verify the currency of an Ochre Card and TRS registration before engaging a relief teacher
  • any worker who may, during the ordinary course of their work or duties, have access to student information or student records, whether in electronic form or hard copy - this includes any worker providing information technology services, at a departmental site or otherwise.

Other workers

If it is not readily apparent whether a worker may perform child-related work, and the worker does not fall within one of the above categories, the manager must determine the need for an Ochre Card taking into account the following:

  • if the worker will have any form of physical contact with children
  • if the worker will have any form of verbal contact with children, either face to face or by other means
  • if the worker will have any form of written communication with children.

Situations must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, always ensuring the wellbeing of children is the paramount consideration.

Application fees

The Department of Education will pay the application fee for the issue or renewal of an Ochre Card for workers directly employed by the department in schools.

School representative bodies

School representative bodies are expected to adopt the same standards and requirements for the engagement of their own employees and contractors, as set out in the working with children clearance policy.

Principal requirements

Principals need to ensure the school’s Ochre Card register is up to date, and every staff member holds a current Ochre Card or has a current exemption in place.

Read more about the working with children clearance policy.

Teacher exchanges give Northern Territory (NT) teachers the opportunity to exchange with teachers from other school systems in Australia and overseas.

Teacher exchange operates within agreements between cooperating education authorities in:

  • the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland)
  • Canada (British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, including the Northern Territories)
  • USA (Colorado)
  • New Zealand
  • the Australian States of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.


Each exchange teacher must:

  • meet the selection criteria
  • be a qualified, permanent, current employee of the NT Department of Education 
  • have a minimum five years of teaching experience (three years in the NT), preferably consecutive full-time teaching in the last five years, although part-time service and with some leave will not exclude an applicant
  • be in good health (for visa requirements)
  • be a permanent Australian resident or citizen
  • be aware that a police clearance will be undertaken by the overseas or interstate authority
  • provide suitable accommodation for the exchange.

More information

Please contact International Services at for more information.

The teacher responsibilities guide clarifies the role of teachers working in schools.

Teacher responsibilities guide (1.1 mb)

The guide aims to help teachers meet the needs of students, work with parents or caregivers and other staff, and liaise with the public.

It also provides clear statements of expectations for teachers in a Northern Territory Government school.

This page has information on employment programs for young people, graduates and trainees about work integrated scholarships, and vacation employment within the Department of Education.

Early career programs

The department currently supports early careers participants in four early careers programs. 

The early careers programs aim to recruit and retain high quality young people and provide safe and healthy work environments.

These programs offer young people the opportunity to begin their career with the Northern Territory Public Sector in an environment that continues their professional development and training within a supervised workplace.

Graduate development program

The department’s graduate development program is aimed at providing graduates with a good understanding of the operational and strategic environments of the department. 

The program is structured to comprise three rotations, each spanning four months, to allow graduates to gain experience and develop a broad knowledge in a number of areas across the department.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous traineeship program

The traineeship program offers a head start in a chosen career for Territorians, with paid work and structured training leading to a nationally recognised qualification. 

The knowledge and skills obtained during a traineeship provide a pathway from school to work, the basis for further education and training, or opportunities for existing workers to gain a qualification.

Vacation employment program

The vacation employment program provides students undertaking full-time degree studies at an Australian university with the opportunity to gain valuable learning opportunities in the public service. 

The department provides paid fixed-term employment with the opportunity to gain a range of skills through work placements during university semester breaks.

Work integrated learning scholarship

The work integrated learning scholarship is administered under an agreement between the Department of Education and Charles Darwin University. 

The program is aimed at high-performing students enrolled at the university in commerce, accounting, economics and law disciplines. 

The scholarship provides financial assistance to recipients as well as a 12-week work placement during semesters of study in their undergraduate qualification.


To find out more call (08) 8999 5986 or email

Go to the Northern Territory Government's Careers website for details of other opportunities at the Department of Education.

The Department of Education is committed to improving recruitment, retention and career development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) people.

To support this commitment and increase Indigenous employment, the department are implementing a special measures plan effective from 1 June 2016.

Special measures gives priority consideration to Indigenous people when applying for a position in the Department of Education. It also allows for certain categories of positions to be designated for Indigenous applicants.

Special measures will apply to all positions within the department with the exception of Teacher Recruitment System bulk recruitment for classroom teachers and the Northern Territory Public Service Graduate program. The department will look to extend special measures to these job categories in 2017.

Procedure for applying special measures

  1. Position is advertised and job description clearly indicates that special measures will be applied.
  2. Applicant indicates their Indigeneity and/or desire to be considered for special measures in their application and/or on e-Recruit in the ‘Workplace Diversity’ section.
  3. The selection panel assesses the ability of the special measures applicant(s) to meet the essential selection criteria and be suitable to perform the duties at a level commensurate with that of the position, and makes a recommendation to the relevant HR delegate. If there is more than on special measures applicant the selection decision will be based on merit.
  4. If the selection panel does not find an Indigenous applicant suitable, they must apply to the Public Sector Appeals & Grievance Review at OCPE for approval to be able to assess other applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions (159.1 kb)

As a teacher in the Territory you will support young Territorians to reach their potential and help build brighter futures.

We need exceptional teachers to join us in making a difference who are:

  • committed to providing students with a high quality education
  • professional and driven, with the enthusiasm to make a difference
  • passionate about community engagement.

You will have the opportunity to live and work in a unique environment.

Go to Teaching in the Territory website for more information about living and working in the Northern Territory.

Northern Territory teachers can now apply for a teaching scholarship to support Northern Territory students with additional needs.

These scholarships will assist educators in the Northern Territory by enhancing their teaching practice and providing them with additional knowledge and resources to work with students with additional needs.

20 scholarships will be awarded for the Graduate Certificate in Education (Special Education) delivered by Flinders University, via online delivery mode.

Successful recipients of this scholarship are required to enrol on a part-time basis (two units per semester) as full-fee paying students.

100% of fees will be reimbursed for units successfully completed and associated course costs after each semester of study.

Applications are to be sent to by close of business Friday 16 June 2017. 

Applications will be assessed by a selection panel with successful educators announced prior to the mid-semester break with the course to commence from 24 July 2017.

For more information, contact Andrea Brown, Senior Consultant, Strategic Workforce Capability on 8999 5719 or

The Early Years Rewarding Careers campaign, an initiative of the Northern Territory Government, aims to showcase the professional opportunities available in early childhood education and care and provides a roadmap that will help you navigate career options available in the Northern Territory.

  • If you’re a secondary or tertiary student, looking for work or already in the early childhood education and care workforce, the Early Years Rewarding Careers Guide is a go-to resource. Essential Guide download (1.6 mb)
  • The Essential Guide features inspiring Northern Territory early childhood professionals and highlights their career experiences and learning pathways. Meet our Growing Stars download (862.6 kb)
  • The Essential Guide also contains information about courses, entry requirements and vocational education training pathways for early childhood education and care career qualifications. Vet Qualification Information download (549.1 kb)
  • The Early Years Rewarding Careers Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary Students program is open to students in Year 11 and is aimed at meeting the increasing need for high quality early childhood educators in the NT. Vet Flyer (223.6 kb) and Application Download (815.7 kb)
  • Early childhood education and care is a growing, dynamic sector with opportunities to enter and expand your career in all kinds of stimulating and professionally rewarding ways.
  • The Early Years Rewarding Careers campaign ensures that the Northern Territory is developing high quality educators who develop and support children, giving them the best possible start in life.

Contact Details

Early Childhood Education and Care
T: 08 8901 1350
M: GPO Box 4821, Darwin NT 0801

Early Childhood Educator

Applications are now open for a new round of the Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship for currently registered teachers in Northern Territory government schools.

The scholarships are aimed at NTG School teachers currently working in an early childhood setting who are required to upgrade or gain an early childhood qualification. The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and sets a national benchmark for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services in Australia. As the NQF progresses, every service in the country will be assessed to make sure it meets the new quality standard.

Who can apply?

The Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship is for:

  • early childhood teachers who do not hold a qualification with an early childhood specialisation; or
  • teachers as described above who have commenced an appropriate course to upgrade existing qualifications

Which Early Childhood Qualifications does the Scholarship support?

  1. Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education;
  2. Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education;
  3. Masters in Early Childhood Education; or
  4. Bachelor in Early Childhood Education.

What does the Scholarship cover?

Scholarships will cover course fees, text books and Emergency Relief Teacher reimbursements to schools for study days and professional experience (practicum).

Application Process

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has a list of approved post graduate certificate, diploma and masters courses in Early Childhood Education that qualified primary class room teachers can undertake to become qualified Early Childhood Teachers (ECT).

  • You are required to apply for a suitable course from the list of university courses that registered teachers can undertake to become qualified Early Childhood Teachers (ECT). Ensure the course you apply for is nationally recognised and approved by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) on the link below.
  • Complete the scholarship application that is available below.

Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship – Teacher Application Form 2016

Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions

Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship – Teacher Guidelines 2016

Frequently Asked Questions – 2016

Important dates

Applications for the Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship must be received by close of business on Monday 9 November 2015. Incomplete or late applications may not be accepted.


The Early Childhood Teacher Scholarships is administered by the HR Strategic Workforce Capability unit. All enquiries should be directed to:

Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship Program Manager, Andrea Brown
Department of Education
Level 10 Mitchell Centre Building
55-59 Mitchell Street
Darwin NT 0800
Telephone:8999 5719
Facsimile:8999 5843

Last updated: 10 July 2019


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