How to become a professional teacher in Nigeria 

  1. Earn a certificate in education
  2. Earn a higher certificate in education
  3. Get teaching practice/experience
  4. Get a teaching license
  5. Apply for teaching jobs
  6. Seek new subject knowledge to share with your students
  7. Be passionate, positive, and enthusiastic about your work
  8. Learn to sharpen your computer and technology skill
  9. Attend professional development courses to gain new skills.

Do you want to pursue a career in teaching and become a professional teacher in Nigeria?

For one thing, the teaching profession is the most honorable profession in the world. For centuries, teachers have molded top professionals in the fields of Medicine, Law, Engineering, Economics, and even the Arts and Statistics.

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These professionals have in turn spearheaded inventions and innovations that have changed our world forever. The world owes its development from the stone ages to our time to millions of great teachers who have impacted knowledge, inspired confidence, and touched lives.

In Nigeria – as in some parts of the developing countries, much premium is not placed on the teaching profession. However, if you want to stand out among other teachers and have a successful teaching career – at any level, you have to become a professional teacher.

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A professional teacher in Nigeria can rise to the peak of their career and attract great opportunities that may not be open to just any other teacher.

The big question you may ask then is, ‘how do I become a professional teacher in Nigeria’? I am happy to tell you that the answer to that question is the crux of this article. Sit back, relax as you learn how you can become a professional teacher in Nigeria.

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How to become a professional teacher in Nigeria

  1. Earn a certificate in education

Earning a certificate in education is what separates a professional teacher from just a teacher. These certifications could range from NCE up to Ph.D. or even up to becoming a professor of education.

The minimum teaching qualification in Nigeria is NCE (National Certificate in Education). You can obtain an NCE certificate from a College of Education after a three-year course. This qualifies a teacher in Nigeria for the first step of becoming a professional teacher. Professional male teacher in Classroom

With an NCE certificate, a teacher can be employed in the lower cadre of the teaching profession (nursery, primary, and in some cases, junior secondary levels of education).

Another teacher’s qualification in Nigeria is to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in education from a Nigerian university or elsewhere. A first degree in education would usually take four years or thereabout in Nigeria after which one could decide to further their education even up to master’s level.

The more your qualification in education, the better for you especially, if you want to take your teaching career further to become a lecturer in a higher institution.

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With a first degree in education, you can be employed in both junior and senior secondary schools to teach your subject of specialization.

  1. Earn a higher certificate in education

Like I mentioned earlier, if you want to become a professional teacher in Nigeria, it is imperative that you continue to develop yourself by getting more education certifications.

If you already have an NCE, that’s the least you can have, why not proceed to enroll for a bachelor’s degree in education?

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And if you already have a bachelor’s degree, I will encourage you to further your education to a master’s degree level, while those who have already bagged master’s degrees can further to a doctorate program.

The higher your academic qualifications, the more opportunities for you to climb your professional ladder and get to the peak; attract other opportunities for other jobs and roles, and increase your income drastically.

  1. Get teaching practice and experience

Becoming a professional teacher in Nigeria requires that you get enough experience through teaching practice in the classroom added to whatever qualifications you might have bagged from the university.Woman becomes a professional teacher

Teaching is a profession that is largely practical. It requires experience no matter how little. Interestingly, during your course of study in the college of education or during your bachelor’s degree and even up to the master’s level, you will have some classroom experience during your teaching practice.

Teaching practice affords you the opportunity to learn first-hand classroom control and management; how to put together lessons plans which meet established school and national curriculum models, manage the diverse ability levels of students, provide a safe, positive learning environment for students, adapt the curriculum to fit student needs while maintaining overall class progress, etc.

Now that you know, please never avoid your teaching practices classes, it will help you become a professional teacher.

How to become a professional teacher in Nigeria

  1. Get a teaching license

If you want to become a professional teacher, you must be licensed to practice. Just as it is with many other professional bodies in Nigeria, it’s important that you are duly licensed to professionalize your teaching career in Nigeria.

As you may already know, licensing is the standard for entry into any profession in the world. Alongside your education degrees and certification, you would need to obtain the required license from the recognized body in Nigeria –TRCN.

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TRCN is the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. They are the body that officially licenses professional teachers in Nigeria. The TRCN is charged with the power of self-regulation and the ability to lead ideas within the field of expertise in the teaching profession.

You would have to register with this body if you want to become a professional teacher.

  1. Apply for teaching jobs

Once you’ve gotten the required certification and needed experience during your schooling, it’s time to start your career as a professional teacher. Depending on the qualifications you have, you may want to apply to a primary, junior, or senior secondary school.Woman talks to professional teachers in Nigeria

Even though most of the candidates who apply for a teaching job in a school hardly have the required qualification, you still have to stand out somehow apart from your qualifications.

A well-written CV that highlights your qualification and experiences is vital. Also, be creative in your job search. Send messages politely to school owners via LinkedIn and other professional platforms where potential employers visit.

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Never hesitate to start your career small. It doesn’t matter how you start; all that matters is your growth. Besides, if you are able to secure a teaching job even a secondary or primary school, it will afford you some funds to be able to apply for teaching roles in other opportunities and make progress.

  1. Seek new subject knowledge to share with your students

Take continuing education courses to keep yourself mentally stimulated. Your renewed enthusiasm for your subject will be rewarded by increased student interest and enthusiasm for the subject itself.

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A true professional never stops learning. Also, make sure you keep abreast of education policy and legislation.

How to become a professional teacher in Nigeria

  1. Be passionate, positive, and enthusiastic about your work

Professional teachers never act like it’s a chore to be in the classroom, even if it feels that way from time to time. Instead, they project positivity and enthusiasm for your students. This should be your attitude too.

If you need a positivity boost yourself, take some time each morning or between classes to remind yourself why you got into teaching and what you get out of it.

Project this positive enthusiasm beyond the classroom as well. For instance, a professional teacher will not create negativity in a staff room or engage in mindless gossip. That is highly unprofessional!

  1. Learn to sharpen your computer and technology skill

In this day and age that technology is disrupting how we do everything, education and teaching are not an exception. The world is moving to a time when the education will largely be done online with the guidance of the teachers and not the other way round.

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So, if you want to remain a professional in your teaching career and remain competitively ahead of your peers, you need to continue to sharpen your computer and tech skills. Be in touch with the latest technology tools for teaching even if such is yet to be used in your local community.

Always go out of your way to being computer smart so you can remain relevant not just in your place of work but as a teacher. As time passes, it is only teachers who are also able to incorporate technology seamlessly into the classroom that employers would retain. So be on top of your tech game!

  1. Attend professional development courses to gain new skills.

Professional teachers are constantly learning and sharing what they know. Learn about the latest pedagogical theories and practices, as well as the tools of the trade. Be open to trying new ideas to help your students learn and thrive.

Just as you learn from other teachers, they can learn from you. Share what you learn from your experiences and classes with other teachers, especially those on your team.

Below are some frequently asked questions about how to become a professional teacher in Nigeria that we have answered.

How can I become a professional teacher?

You can become a professional teacher by earning a certificate in education; getting teaching practice/experience, getting a teaching license, applying for teaching jobs, seeking new subject knowledge to share with your students, being passionate, positive, and enthusiastic about your work and learning to sharpen your computer and technology skills.

Does teaching qualify for a profession in Nigeria?

Teaching qualifies for a profession in Nigeria when a potential professional teacher acquires education certifications or qualifications that are recognized by the profession’s body, Teachers registration council of Nigeria (TRCN). Those qualifications are, NCE or a bachelor’s degree in education, or even a postgraduate course in education.

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What is teaching profession in Nigeria?

The teaching profession in Nigeria is when a person has the qualifications to inspire and motivate students to realize and exceed their potentials. The greatest professional teachers of all time have devoted their lives to inspiring and empowering their students to achieve great things and be a good human being.

How much do Nigerian teachers earn?

Some private secondary schools pay as low as 30,000 while others pay up to 100,000 on average. For beginners in state or Federal schools, it can be as high as 75,000 naira. Vice principals earn about 160,000 naira while Principals earn about 300,000 with other allowances attached.

Best of wishes to you as you kickstart your teaching career. Cheers!


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