Putting Together a Job Find Strategy for the Year Ahead

If you're a beginning teacher who hasn't yet scored the teaching job of your dreams, now's a great time to put together a job find strategy for the year ahead so you can earn money, keep busy and gain experience while putting your best foot forward in your job applications. 

The key to putting together an effective job find strategy is having an understanding of the the education job market and how it changes throughout the year.

In 2013, a team member at Education Personnel tracked the of the number of teaching roles in the Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury regions that were advertised in the print edition of the Education Gazette. While these statistics can't give a 100% accurate account of the number teaching vacancies there were in 2014 (as a number of roles will have been advertised in the print edition twice), they paint an useful pictures of the ups and downs of the NZ education job market throughout the year. 

Primary and Secondary 

Unlike in many other sectors where vacancies are advertised at any time throughout the year, the four term structure of the primary and secondary school year means that most resignations happen at the end of the the term, or end of the school year, meaning it's easy to predict when vacancies are going to be advertised. 

Primary 2013.png

As you can see from the graphs above, the number of primary and secondary teaching jobs advertised followed this pattern in 2013: 

  • A quiet January and February, as most schools would have made their hiring decisions prior to Christmas. Most of these roles advertised would have been due to late, unexpected resignations or an unexpected increase in enrollments. 
  • A small increase in the number of vacancies in March, due to roles that may be starting in term 2. 
  • A relatively small number of roles advertised in April - this tends to be when term 2 has just started. Most schools will have filled their vacancies by now.
  • An increased number of vacancies in May, then peaking in June and July as schools advertise roles for terms 3 and 4. It's fairly common for schools to have a LTR beginning halfway through the year - this is often due to role growth.
  • While the number of vacancies for August decrease slightly, the overall number stays reasonably high as some schools start advertising for the next year. 
  • Spring is the peak period for teaching vacancies, as most resignations occur at this point of the year and student enrollments come in.
  • The majority of roles will be filled by December and any new vacancies will be because of unexpected resignations.

Early Childhood 

The pattern for when early childhood vacancies are advertised is less easy to predict. Most centres don't operate on a term-by-term structure, so resignations can happen anytime during the year. 

ECE 2013.png

As shown in the above graph, the peak for early childhood vacancies are is in winter rather than spring, then decreasing as the end of the year approaches. The reason for this may be that enrollments at centres steadily increase from the beginning of the year onwards, requiring a new teacher by the middle of the year to make up ratios. Alternatively, teachers at the centres may simply choose to move on at this time of the year. The early childhood sector is also much more subject to changes in the market than the primary and secondary sector. 

ECE 2012.png

The above graph shows the number of early childhood vacancies advertised in 2012, for comparison. The pattern for these vacancies is very different - illustrating how the early childhood vacancies can change from year to year .