To become a teacher in South Africa, you need to obtain specific qualifications and meet certain requirements set by the Department of Basic Education. Here’s a detailed guide on the necessary qualifications and steps to embark on this career path.

Academic Qualifications

Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Degree

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

  • If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, you can pursue a PGCE. This is a one-year program that prepares graduates to teach specific subjects in high school. Ensure your undergraduate degree aligns with the subjects you wish to teach.

Professional Requirements

South African Council for Educators (SACE) Registration

  • SACE Registration is mandatory for all teachers. To register, you need to submit your qualifications, identification documents, and pay the registration fee. SACE ensures that educators meet professional standards and adhere to the code of ethics.

Practical Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Practice is an integral part of the B.Ed. and PGCE programs. It involves spending a significant amount of time teaching in real classroom settings, under the supervision of experienced educators. This hands-on experience is crucial for developing practical teaching skills.

Subject Specializations

Primary School Specializations

  • Foundation Phase: Focuses on early childhood education, including literacy, numeracy, and life skills.
  • Intermediate Phase: Covers subjects like mathematics, languages, social sciences, and natural sciences.
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High School Specializations

  • Teachers in the Senior and FET Phase need to specialize in at least two subjects, such as Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, History, Geography, or Languages. Your undergraduate degree should include these subjects.

Additional Skills and Attributes

Soft Skills

  • Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential for teaching and engaging with students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Patience and Empathy: Understanding and addressing the diverse needs of students requires patience and empathy.
  • Classroom Management: Ability to manage a classroom environment and maintain discipline.

Technological Proficiency

  • Proficiency in educational technology is increasingly important. Familiarity with digital teaching tools and platforms enhances the learning experience and prepares students for a technologically advanced world.

Continuous Professional Development

Ongoing Learning

  • Teachers are encouraged to engage in Continuous Professional Development (CPD). SACE requires teachers to earn CPD points through workshops, courses, and seminars to stay updated with the latest educational trends and methodologies.

Advanced Degrees

  • Pursuing advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or Doctorate in Education, can enhance your career prospects and open opportunities for leadership roles, curriculum development, or educational research.

Pathway to Becoming a Teacher

  1. Earn a B.Ed. or Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
  2. Complete a PGCE (if applicable).
  3. Gain practical teaching experience during your studies.
  4. Register with SACE.
  5. Apply for teaching positions.
  6. Engage in CPD throughout your career.


Embarking on a teaching career in South Africa requires dedication and a commitment to lifelong learning. By meeting the academic and professional requirements, aspiring teachers can make a significant impact on the educational landscape. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Following the outlined steps will ensure you are well-prepared to educate and inspire the next generation.

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By adhering to these guidelines, you will not only meet the necessary qualifications but also cultivate the skills and attributes essential for a successful teaching career in South Africa.