Starting a career in education in Nigeria has its perks. One of the many benefits of getting education jobs is that you never stop learning while you pass on knowledge.  Indeed, almost everyone who hears the word education thinks of teaching; this is understandable because teaching has become synonymous with education. However, tutor jobs aren’t the only option when it comes to getting a job in the educational industry.

While a career in teaching is the most popular amongst Nigerians who have chosen the education sector, there are several other careers that this industry is concerned with. Even if you're interested in teaching positions, there are other kinds of teaching jobs you can assume that can take a different shape from what you intended. In this article, we will be exploring the different popular types of teaching careers or positions as well as other less popular but essential careers in education.

teaching secondary schools in nigeria
If you like international or local recruitment jobs in the educational sector, you can choose to become an education administrator for senior secondary schools in Nigeria. Photo Credit: Unsplash

Teaching Roles That Exist In Nigeria Today

Over time, the Nigerian education sector has adjusted to a comfortable pattern in terms of teaching roles. In a federal or state government approved primary or secondary school, for instance, there are several positions, roles and responsibilities that you will encounter.

If you'd like to know how to become a teacher, studying education or taking education courses in the university is a great way to start.

Depending on your experience years and what level you'd like to teach, there are several opportunities inside and outside the four walls of a classroom. Having teaching qualifications can certainly increase your chances of getting a job at your desired work institution.

These days, getting a teaching certification like Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) and a high certification like Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) gives you the qualification required to do many of the roles listed below. Interested candidates that didn't study an education course (and in some cases, a lot of candidates who did)  in the university can take the required teaching courses needed to get these certifications; this applies especially to the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) which is required in different states in Nigeria before you can start a career in education. Here are some of the roles you can assume after your certification:

School Principal

Only candidates with high experience years in teaching and leadership are eligible for this position. Indeed there are exceptions to the rule; as stated earlier, having the required teacher education certification can boost your chances of becoming a school manager assuming you do not have the minimum years of experience. Nevertheless, a lot of schools, especially federal and state government schools prefer to appoint teachers who have been in the service for a minimum of ten years as principals and vice-principals.

As a school administrator or manager, your duties will be all-encompassing; you will be in charge of managing all school activities. Candidates who are opting for this position must possess strong leadership qualities, multi-tasking skills and a charismatic personality. Apart from setting goals for staff members, you're expected to portray good work ethics through your students. In more ways than one, a school principal can make or mar a school and the overall performance of its students.

As an education administrator in Nigeria, you can function at different levels of education. Your job role mostly surrounds management duties. Your management roles include:

  • Recruitment of new staff and supervision of current staff (including training staff on new and existing duties)
  • Managing the school business budget
  • Setting the policies or structure needed for running the educational facility in terms of business and academics.

Primary School Teacher

The primary education level is a major development state. Teachers who take the primary level class do not only have a keen interest in children learning, but are also dedicated to ensuring that mental and physical development happens in their young students.

The primary school tutor will be responsible for leading the class of students from ages 5 - 10 years old. As an intending candidate, you're expected to have a good knowledge of all the subjects taught in primary schools in Nigeria as it not uncommon to have a class teacher teaching all the subjects except specialised subjects like music and foreign languages.

Just as in other parts of the world you will be following a curriculum. You will also be required to work with materials that can aid understanding in students.

primary school learning
As a private tutor, you don't have to worry much about traditional recruitment processes. Your location does not also matter when you're taking private classes as you can offer online teaching. Photo Credit: Freepik - Diana.Grytsku

Secondary School Teacher

Secondary school teachers provide teaching services to students between ages 11 - 16. In Lagos state, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria, this job role requires a more advanced and dynamic perspective; this is why preference is placed on people who have attained at least a Bachelor's degree in the university. You may also be posted to a government primary or secondary school during your National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

In a more professional sense, teachers with the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) certification are qualified to take junior and senior school students. Unlike the primary level, a secondary teacher is expected to know at least one WAEC or NECO  required subject. Asides this, becoming a teacher in a secondary school includes showing interest in teaching teenagers. You're also expected to bring dynamism into the school curriculum designed for each class.

University Lecturer

In federal or state government and private universities, lecturers are revered for the services they provide. To qualify for this position, here are some things to note before you apply for a job at any federal/state government and private university in Nigeria:

  • A bachelor's degree in the subject you will like to teach is a great way to start your journey to becoming a teacher in a Nigerian university.
  • After your bachelor's degree, getting a masters and a doctorate in education or the subject you will like to teach will qualify you for the job of a lecturer.
  • You should also apply for internship positions during your postgraduate studies. Teaching assistant jobs (i.e. an assistant lecturer) can help you learn university lecturing methods fast enough. You must also make sure to make research and publish enough papers. Publications are a bonus to your educational profile and can grant you favourable networking opportunities before and after you have gotten a job.

While taking classes at the university, half of the time you'll be spending in class is to ensure that your students interact with your topics. Taking the time to get the student to interact in your class is a sure way to harnessing your lecturing skills and boosting your journey to becoming a great lecturer.

Special Educational Needs Tutor

Your job as a special educational needs tutor is to provide quality tutoring services to students with physical or learning disabilities. Just as it is with the other roles mentioned above, the recruitment process for these jobs requires teachers who possess an innate interest in providing special assistance. It can be a rewarding experience for people who enjoy working in this environment.

Home/Private Tutor

Outside of the classroom, there are several private tutoring jobs you can apply for in Nigeria. For instance, you can sign up on an international tutoring platform like Superprof to begin training students in different development stages or age brackets.

One of the benefits of being a private teacher is the fact that you can teach outside of the traditional school curriculum. It places you in a state or position where you can be more productive to the learning process of your student. Location is also not a barrier because you can teach new and existing learners online via webcam. Besides, your salary is dependent on how many students you teach, rather than a school's salary plan.

Learn the best ways of managing a class

materials for primary learning
Salary rates for education jobs are limited to your years of experience and certification. Photo Credit: Freepik - Svetlanasokolova

Other Educational Career Roles

In the business of academics, recruiting processes are not just for teachers. Several management opportunities are not directly concerned with student studies.  Asides teaching in a primary and secondary school, or at a university, you can take up a position as the following:


Librarians are very common in federal and state government secondary schools as well as the private and public university existing in several states across Nigeria. To take on the position of a librarian, you should love books (both international and local contents). Having great skills in resource management is also an added advantage as this will help you provide better assistance to students.

Apart from supplying books to students, your assistance should cover helping students track down reading list materials and organising information by using online software.

Students Admission Officer

An admission officer is the first encounter new learners will have in a federal, state or private university setting. As a manager of university affairs, your primary responsibility is to know everything there is to know about the university including all the courses and their requirements. Having this knowledge can help you become the perfect assistant for prospective learners.


If you studied education in any federal, state or private university and you love to read and write books, you can choose a career in writing or publishing. Since textbooks are used in training learners, becoming a publisher, writer or editor in the educational sector is a good alternative for people who aren't keen on direct teacher-student teaching.

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