Can a family live off one teacher's salary in Australia?

(31 Posts)
Whichplace Wed 17-Feb-16 20:59:11

This is very much an theoretical idea at the moment, but I've seen an ad for a teaching post in Australia that's really sparked my interest. It's in a big private school in a regional city (rather one of the big ones), but isn't particularly remote and certainly not a hardship posting. It would be for just a bog standard class teacher rather than a leadership role - I've got 10 years experience in the uk.

Before I even think about making enquiries or applying, I would like to know if it's possible for a family of 3 to live off one teacher's salary. Although dh may get a job there (and has a well established professional career) I need to make the assumption that he'd need to be a sahd for ds for at least a while (who'd be 18mo when we move) We don't have any special outgoings and would be renting (having rented out our home in the uk but probably making negligible profit)

Thanks for any info!

OP’s posts: |
echt Thu 18-Feb-16 06:26:01

If it's private school, the pay is more than state teachers get. Do you know the salary? Properties in the regions are markedly lower than in the capitals.
We rented in Melbourne for 5-6 years before buying; cheaper to pay off the mortgage than rent., though we did rent at the higher end of the market.

If you don't mind mentioning salary and city, I could be more specific.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 18-Feb-16 06:37:57

Yes, the city and salary would be useful - regional housing prices vary enormously, and that's going to be the biggest impact on your finances.

Archduke Thu 18-Feb-16 06:45:46

YY to the above posts, also check out your visas it may be impossible for your do to work here if he has restricted visa conditions. Would he be happy to be a permanent sahd?

Whichplace Thu 18-Feb-16 08:14:35

It's in ballarat (which I imagine is on the more expensive side due to its proximity to Melbourne). Both ds and I are Australian citizens so hopefully dh would be able to get a spousal visa that allows him to work (I haven't looked into that too closely). At the moment I think it would be only for a few years rather than a permanent move as I really can't see dh wanting to leave the uk permanently.

OP’s posts: |
Archduke Thu 18-Feb-16 09:13:30

If you're Aussie citizens surely you can come and go as you please and work where you like. How fabulous!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 18-Feb-16 09:47:58

Yes, I don't get that - if you're both Aussie citizens, you don't need a visa to come here, or to work, surely? Why would you? Visas are only for non-citizens!


Archduke Thu 18-Feb-16 10:01:41

If you look on you'll get an idea of rental costs in Ballarat. Childcare can be expensive but if dh is at home that won't be an issue. Do you have family in oz?

Whichplace Thu 18-Feb-16 10:18:04

No I know I don't need a visa (dh would but hopefully it wouldn't be too much of a problem to get him one that allows him to work), and it is great to be able to come and go as I please. Moving to Australia isn't particularly in our plans but this particular job is appealing for various reasons.

Yes I do have family and friends there, I'm from Melbourne originally but left when I was 5 (and then lived there for a year when I was 18) so I have some idea of what living in Australia is like, but not as a fully functioning, responsible adult.

I've had a look at rental prices, it seems that decent family homes seem to be around $4-500 a week. We live in London so it's cheap for us, but I don't know if it is doable on one salary.

OP’s posts: |
ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 18-Feb-16 10:51:18

Have a look at Coles and/or Woolworths online to see prices of daily comestibles, food is generally more expensive here too. Fuel is still about the only thing that is routinely much cheaper than the UK!

Still don't understand why your DH would need a visa if he's also an Aussie citizen though confused

StUmbrageinSkelt Thu 18-Feb-16 10:53:55

OP said DS, not DH.

Thelwell Thu 18-Feb-16 10:54:54

Op s do is not a citizen her do is.

Thelwell Thu 18-Feb-16 10:58:24

Her DS, I mean!

Yes, your dh should get spouse visa no prob. I think he's eligible for another one too but can remember which.

My son and I have oz Citizenship...dh would get back in on a special exemption to th residents return via as used to hold PR.

IMHO very difficult to manage your plan on one teaching salary...sorry to say

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 18-Feb-16 11:03:11

Ah yes, so she did, apologies!
Makes far more sense now. smile

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 18-Feb-16 11:06:07

Agreed that your DH should get a permanent spousal visa without any difficulty, depending on how long you've been married; even if he only gets a temp spousal visa, that would still allow him to work.

I'm not 100% sure, because I came in on a temp spousal visa, but I think the working restrictions only apply to those whose partners come in on a working visa, don't they? But I know I was eligible to work as soon as I got here, if I'd wanted to (had a 20mo DS at the time, so didn't).

smellsofelderberries Sun 21-Feb-16 16:52:42

I wouldn't worry too much about the food costs- things seem priced much higher but when you work out the exchange rate things come in fairly evenly, if that makes sense. The only thing that does seem expensive is nappies. (I'm not in Aus yet but have spent a lot of time on the Coles website checking prices as I was so scared of everyone here saying how expensive food is!)

If you're paying for your DH's spousal visa on your own dime- be warned, they are hellishly expensive. Last I checked it's around £3.5k just to submit your application. It was only about £1.5k in Dec '14 (price hike of 50% as of 01/01/15, then another 50% jump on 01/07/15) so just something to keep in mind.

TeaT1me Sun 21-Feb-16 16:56:07

I looked out of interest rather than any real urge to move when we were over there. I think food etc is a lot more expensive than here, renting and buying was more expensive than where I live now but probably cheaper than London! THe teachers salary was higher than here though so I suspect it all works out...

Could you live off a teachers salary here in the UK? I think its probably comparable - we do, but many london types wouldn't!

mrsplum2015 Tue 23-Feb-16 13:30:18

@Thelwell, can you tell me more about the exemption for RR visa please? I have never heard of this and assumed once you've "lost" your PR (by going past the deadline for getting another RR) you would need to re-apply for it?


Thelwell Tue 23-Feb-16 13:48:21

mrsplum hello, it can apparently be granted on a case by case basis if someone has previously held it and can demonstrate overwhelming ties to Australia. I think there even (used?) to be something about this in the old guidance notes so definitely worth checking. Else speak with immi and they should advise if this is still permitted.

For my DH, we would be going on the basis that our son (and I) are ozzies and dh worked there for over 10 years. If rules changed or it doesn't get him in I'd go with a spouse visa but those fees are just nuts!!!!

Hope that helps, my first post was really unclear, sorry.

mrsplum2015 Wed 24-Feb-16 14:00:55

Thanks v much, same position with an Australian spouse and 3 x Australian DC (one of which born there). Did you DH not qualify for citizenship when he was there?

Thelwell Wed 24-Feb-16 16:10:22

mrsplum yes he certainly did qualify for citizenship whilst there. But when he became eligible, he understood that his birth country would not permit dial citizenship and he'd be forced to give that up in order to hold the Australian one. This argument / reason would also be used to substantiate our case of why strong ties but no citizenship.

(But as an aside, just before we left, found out his birth country would grant him a special exemption and allow dual....but v long application which overran our remaining stay period so it didn't happen).

Ironically, he originally got me in on a spouse visa, so will do same for him fairly easily if I have to....if he behaves himself, of course grin

Sorry to hijack your thread, OP.

ohtobeanonymous Sun 28-Feb-16 04:55:25

Not sure of the cost of living in Ballarat, but anticipate that there are not many places in Australia you could support a family on one salary and maintain the lifestyle you've enjoyed in the UK. Mind you, the money you get from renting out your UK home might go a long way to cover what you'd need to pay in Ballarat.
Depends what you'd be hoping to achieve by going - will you regret at least applying later down the line? Good luck in deciding.

CadleCrap Sun 28-Feb-16 05:16:10

We do it. I am a teacher, DH a Sahp. I am at the top of the salary range, which you should be too given your experience.

We have a better standard of life than the UK despite DH working when we were there.

ohtobeanonymous Sun 28-Feb-16 11:25:20

OP - be aware that even though you're an Aussie who may well have trained in Australia, you will still have to apply for registration as a teacher in Victoria. Teaching experience abroad after a certain period out of Victoria is not taken into consideration when deciding what level of accreditation you can gain. You will no doubt be treated the same as a brand new graduate and have to go through a process of proving you can meet the Australian Professional Teacher Standards. See for more info.
You also have to pay an annual fee to stay registered as a teacher and are not able to teach unless you are registered. If you then chose to teach in another state in Australia you would have to apply for registration in the new state, although I believe there are now reciprocal arrangements which would recognise your equivalent registration status in the other state.

Perhaps the process is a little easier than in NSW, but if I were to return to NSW to teach, because I've taught out of the state for more than 5 years I would be considered a Provisional Teacher (teaching out of Australia is viewed as a 'career break'!!).

I could not apply for the registration until actually moving to NSW due to the fact that the WWCC (Working with Children Check - like a DBS) cannot be undertaken until you are resident in Australia and you cant even start the application process for teacher registration until you have the WWCC certificate. Until you get your teacher accreditation you cannot even work as a teacher, despite a clean WWCC and great references - even in Independent schools.

Have you considered International Schools? There are plenty of brilliant ones who teach British Curriculum. Housing and school places for your kids are usually COMPLETELY free of charge and the facilities/PD/experience are fantastic if you choose well. Not only do you gain incredible flexibility and improve your teaching skills with extremely diverse groups of students, but you can save a huge proportion of your salary (or spend it on fabulous holidays).

Australia, unfortunately, seems a tad parochial and dull in comparison IMHO, even in the 'top' private schools.

G1raffe Sun 28-Feb-16 11:52:12

Cadle - when we did the figures we really really wouldn't be (pleased its worked for you though!) More expensive food and housing and healthcare made a huge difference to us.

Possibly would have worked out if we'd had a house to sell in London (we didn't) but being in more rural UK was far better quality of life for us on one teachers salary. I guess it depends what equity you have as I can only see that being the case moving from London or if you have lots of equity already maybe.

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