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Law

Prison instructor

Prison instructors teach prisoners new skills to help them find work after their release.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £31,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Prison instructor jobs in 2025.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • finding out the skills and training needs of each prisoner
  • planning training sessions
  • preparing teaching materials
  • providing group or one-to-one instruction
  • updating prisoners' individualised learner records
  • supporting prisoners working towards qualifications
  • making sure prisoners are supervised at all times
  • keeping the working area safe
  • making sure tools and materials are counted to avoid security risks
  • searching prisoners, known as a 'rub down' or 'pat down'

Working environment

You could work in a prison.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and physically and emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
College

You'll need a recognised teaching qualification or be willing to work towards one. Qualifications include:

  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training
  • Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training
  • Level 5 Education and Training Diploma

You'll need access to 100 hours of teaching practice. You'll also need experience and a level 3 vocational qualification in your subject area or trade.

You may find it useful to do qualifications in assessment, like the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can complete a learning and skills teacher higher apprenticeship.

You'll need a qualification in the subject you want to teach. Employers will be looking for relevant up-to-date industry experience.

You'll also need to show ability in English, maths and IT.

For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about teaching qualifications from FE Advice.

Find out more about the role from Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service.

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You could become a senior or principal officer, or move into other areas of training or instructing.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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