In Lithuania, general principles of teacher recruitment, qualification requirements for becoming a teacher or raising qualifications, provisions on what is considered a pedagogical employee, salary, workload, generalised duties at school, dismissal, retirement conditions are set at the state level – laws, including – Labour Code (Darbo kodeksas), Government resolutions, orders of the Minister of Education, Science and Sports.
The school founder organises the qualification evaluation of teachers and other persons participating in the educational process, and also organises and coordinates the provision of educational assistance to pupils, teachers, school and families.
The school head (principal) appoints and dismisses teachers, coordinates teachers’ workload with the school council (trade union), is responsible for the working conditions of teachers and other employees, recruits new teachers when required, promotes the professional development of teachers, and can lead the teacher certification commission.
A planning policy for teacher supply and demand is an integral part of education policy. Lithuania is facing an aging teaching community. The teaching profession is unattractive – not enough students enter pedagogy studies, and too few of them choose to teach. The need for teachers is taken into consideration while organising a system of teacher training and retraining, implementing measures that would improve the working conditions of teachers and increase the attractiveness of careers.
In 2016-2020, the Government, as part of the reform of education, has implemented or begun to implement the following measures to make the teaching profession more attractive:
- Improving teachers’ working conditions, increasing the attractiveness of careers – a new teachers’ payment system was introduced (more on this in the section “Salaries”);
- Reorganisation of the initial teacher education and training system – by merging universities, three Teacher Training Centres were established, the Regulations on Teacher Training (Pedagogų rengimo reglamentas) were approved (more on this in Chapter 9.1 “Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education”), the teacher workforce forecasting model was developed, retirement compensation was introduced to optimize teachers‘ workload, in 2020/21 targeted scholarships have been awarded to those entering pedagogical studies.
In 2016-2020, as part of the project “The Implementation of Skilled Labour Supply Analysis and Monitoring System“ funded by the European Social Fund, the teacher workforce forecasting model was created. The purpose of this model is to provide preconditions for more accurate planning of teachers and persons admitted to studies providing pedagogical qualifications. The model takes into account the changing needs of the economy, the labour market and the education system, as well as environmental factors such as migration and birth rates. For the model to work, the model developers believe that decision-makers and experts should be involved in the model-enabling process, commenting on the mathematical model and outlining possible scenarios for teacher supply and demand.
The tool for teacher workforce forecasting includes pre-school, general and vocational education and training teachers in private and public educational institutions. The results of the analysis include short-term (1 year) and medium-term (4 year) forecasts for the demand for new teachers and recommendations for the admission of future students. The model was presented to the public at the beginning of 2019. It is still under development.
The teacher workforce forecasting model has been developed in cooperation with the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (now the Government Strategic Analysis Centre, STRATA), the Government's National Human Resources Commission, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the European Commission and experts from Teacher Training Centres. The teacher workforce forecasting model is part of the developing National Human Resource Monitoring System.
Entry to the profession
Teachers, social teachers, psychologists and other educational staff are employed by the school head pursuant to the requirements of the Labour Code (Darbo kodeksas) and the Teachers’ Admission and Dismissal Procedures Description (Mokytojų priėmimo ir atleidimo iš darbo tvarkos aprašas).
Educational institutions publish information about vacancies on their website. If a school does not have its own website, then the information is published on the websites of the Employment Services, the institution implementing the rights and obligations of the owner.
In addition to the usual documents, such as the application form and the document that confirms formal qualifications (e.g. higher education diploma), etc., candidates must submit the following to the educational institution:
- a copy of the document confirming their teacher qualification (if such requirement is established in the Law on Education (Švietimo įstatymas));
- a copy of the document confirming that the candidate has attended a course of pedagogical and psychological knowledge (if such requirement is established in the Law on Education).
The deadline for submitting documents is 14 days from the date the vacancy is announced on the website.
Applicants who meet the required criteria are invited for an interview with the school head. Three representatives of the school council can observe the job interview. The school head makes their decision following the interview and after listening to the opinion of the school council representatives.
More about the requirements for teacher qualification is provided in 9.1. Chapter, in the section “Requirements for a teacher’s qualification”.
The Regulations on Teacher Training, (Pedagogų rengimo reglamentas) updated in 2018, state that a teacher is considered to be a pedagogical intern in their first year of working in an educational institution. The idea of the internship is to ensure that a novice teacher can integrate smoothly into the community of the educational institution and receive targeted assistance during this period. The objectives, content, scope of activities and expected results of the pedagogical internship must be defined in the pedagogical internship programme.
The pedagogical internship is organized and implemented by the school where the novice teacher is employed. The school cooperates with the higher education institution selected by the novice teacher in this process. The higher education institution must conduct pedagogical studies. The appointed mentor, together with the internship supervisor appointed by the higher education institution and the novice teacher prepare the pedagogical internship programme. It is approved by the school head and a representative of the higher education institution participating in this internship.
The school appoints a mentor for the novice teacher. Novice teachers receive constant counselling, didactic and subject support. The mentor may use other pedagogical staff to provide this assistance. The novice teacher must also be provided with educational and technical assistance.
The higher education institution appoints an internship supervisor to coordinate the internship. The internship supervisor periodically consults the novice teacher, mentor or other members of the school community. They participate in discussions, evaluate the intermediate results of the internship, organize improvements of the novice teacher’s competence.
The final results of the pedagogical internship are evaluated by the school head, taking into account the recommendations of the mentor and the internship supervisor. Other school members may be involved in the assessment. After completing a pedagogical internship, which is assessed as no less than satisfactory, teachers begin their independent professional activity.
The pedagogical internship model is being piloted in the activities of the four-year (2018-2022) project Continue! (‘Tęsk!’), which is being implemented by The Education Development Center (now the National Agency for Education) and partners and is funded by the EU Structural Funds. According to the data published by the National Agency for Education, in 2018/19 the internship model for novice teachers was tested in Lithuanian general education schools that provide primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education programmes. In 2019/20, educational institutions offering pre-school and pre-primary education programmes joined the testing of this model. Educational support specialists were included in the mentoring process. During the two school years of the development and testing of the pedagogical internship model, over 100 novice teachers successfully participated and completed the internship programme. They were assisted by about 100 mentors and over 50 internship supervisors.
Employees of educational institutions and pedagogical staff of other institutions are employees of the public sector. This status, however, does not provide the special guarantees and obligations that the status of civil servant does. For example, a teacher is not employed for life, but at the same time there is no annual assessment of their performance. Teachers are appointed and dismissed in accordance with the general labour law (Labour Code). Under this code an employee’s job can be terminated at the end of the contract (if the contract is for a fixed period). If the contract is for an indefinite period, the contract may be terminated at the request of the employee, by mutual agreement, at the initiative of the employer, when the employee is at fault, and in certain cases when the employee is not at fault, for example, a school is closed. Details on termination of contracts and payouts can be found in the section “Dismissal” of this chapter.
Teachers are usually hired for an indefinite period. A teacher may also be hired to replace another employee on a fixed-term basis. For example, to replace a teacher who has taken maternity or paternity leave, because in Lithuania, maternity and parental leave can last up to three years.
Code of Ethics for Teachers (Pedagogų etikos kodeksas). The Education Act states that persons must be of impeccable reputation to work as a teacher. If a teacher has violated the requirements of the code by their conduct within the previous year, they are not considered to have an impeccable reputation. The Minister of Education, Science and Sport approves the Code of Ethics for Teachers. Each educational institution sets standards of ethics and behaviour for its community, taking into account the requirements of the Code.
The code sets out the main requirements and obligations of professional ethics for teachers. Teachers should strive to treat students, their parents (guardians, caregivers) and other family members, colleagues and the community in an ethical and professional manner. According to the code, the main principles of ethical conduct and action are respect, justice, recognition of human rights, responsibility, fairness, care and solidarity.
Replacement is based on a temporary contract of employment concluded with filling in for another teacher for a maximum period of two months. When replacing teachers who will be absent for a longer period (e.g. in case of maternity/paternity leave), a fixed-term contract of employment is concluded with the replacement. Payment for substitution, when written assignment is temporarily performed by another teacher, may be to up to 30 per cent of the official salary.
Under the Law on Education, the purpose of support measures for teachers is to provide informational, expert, consulting and professional development assistance enhancing the effectiveness of education and promoting the teacher‘s professional growth. Assistance to teachers is provided by providers of psychological, special educational, special, social educational assistance, specialists of continuing professional development and healthcare, professional associations and other persons. In larger schools, educational support professionals often work at least half of the time. Other schools that do not have permanent staff on their team may turn to professionals contracted by the school owner. Teachers are encouraged to collaborate and share their best practices within the team in which they work.
The salaries of teachers working in state and municipal schools depend on the teachers’ pedagogical experience, qualification category and the complexity of the activity. Teachers’ salaries are set out in Annex 5 to the Law on Remuneration of Employees of State and Municipal Institutions and Remuneration of Commission Members (Valstybės ir savivaldybių įstaigų darbuotojų darbo apmokėjimo ir komisijų narių atlygio už darbą įstatymas).
The unit of the teacher’s salary coefficient is the basic amount of the salary of state politicians, judges, state officials, civil servants and employees of state and municipal budget institutions approved by the Seimas for the respective year (further – the basic amount).
Teacher’s salary = corresponding salary coefficient x basic amount.
Table. Coefficients for the fixed part of the salary of teachers working according to general education, vocational education and training, non-formal education (including pre-school and pre-primary education) programmes (basic amounts).
Coefficients of the fixed part
Pedagogical work experience (years)
up to 2
from more than 2 up to 5
from more than 5 up to10
from more than 10 up to15
from more than 15 up to 20
from more than 20 up to 25
more than 25
No qualification categories provided
Qualification categories provided
The salary increases according to the complexity of the activity. For teachers working in general education, vocational education and training, non-formal education (excluding pre-school and pre-primary education), the salary may increases by 1–15% in the following cases:
- If there are one or more pupils in their class (group) with medium, major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders;
- If the teacher of general or non-formal education (except pre-school and pre-primary education) works in a school for pupils with major or severe educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders;
- If the teacher of general education or non-formal education (except pre-school and pre-primary education) works in a school (classroom) for students with special educational needs that have been acquired because of unfavourable environmental factors;
- Working in vocational education and training institutions (departments, groups, classrooms) for students with special educational needs;
- Working in social care institutions for children;
- Teaching a pupil who is being taught at home due to an illness or pathological condition;
- Teaching international baccalaureate programmes;
- General education and vocational education and training teachers who teach one or more foreigners or Lithuanian citizens who have come to live in Lithuania and do not speak the state language for the first two years after the beginning of the student’s studies in Lithuania;
- For those who teach subjects in Lithuanian in the III and IV gymnasium classes of general education schools where the curriculum is taught in a national minority language;
- Those working in general education schools in primary classes with 10 or more students, where teaching is conducted in the Lithuanian language, at least 50% of whom do not speak the state language. The regulation applies to schools in the following municipalities – Elektrėnai, Šalčininkai district, Širvintos district, Švenčionys district, Trakai district, Vilnius city, Vilnius district and Visaginas.
The salary for pre-school and pre-primary education teachers, art education teachers working according to pre-school and pre-primary education programmes is increased by:
- 5–10%: if there are 2 or more pupils in the group with medium special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders, and / or 1–3 pupils with major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders. If one or more foreigners or Lithuanian citizens who have come to live in Lithuania and do not speak the state language are educated in the group for the first two years from the beginning of the pupils’ studies in Lithuania.
- 5-20%: if the teacher works in schools (groups) for students with major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders. If 4 or more students are educated in a group due to major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders; developmental impairment homes for infants; in social care institutions for children; in sanatorium schools (pre-school education groups) – for pre-school and art education teachers; teaching pupils for whom home schooling is intended due to illness or pathological condition – for pre-school education teachers.
For all teachers, the salary may increase by up to 25% if the teacher meets two or more of above mentioned criteria.
Salaries can also increase by up to 20% according to other work criteria set by the school.
Working time and holidays
The working week of a pre-school and pre-primary education teacher is 36 hours. Of these, 33 hours are devoted to working directly with students. 3 hours are devoted to indirect work with students – planning work, preparing documents related to education, cooperating with other teachers, parents (guardians) on educational issues, etc. The weekly working hours for pre-school or pre-primary educator in schools or school groups for pupils with major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders, in sanatoriums or in a home for children with developmental impairment are 26 hours. Of these, 24 and 2 hours, respectively, are devoted to direct and indirect work with students.
The full-time post of teachers in general education, vocational training and non-formal education (excluding pre-school and pre-primary education) is 1512 hours per year; 36 working hours per week. The full-time post is divided into two parts:
- Conducting lessons, planning the educational process, preparing for lessons, assessing pupils’ work, leading the class.
- Activities for the school community and professional development.
Hours per year
Teaching lessons (contact hours)*, hours for planning the educational process, preparation for lessons, assessment of pupils’ work **, leading the class (group)***
Hours for professional improvement and work for the school community
Total - 1512
*Trainee, i.e. those who have worked for less than 2 years as general education teachers have up to 756 contact hours a year. Vocational training and non-formal education (except pre-school and pre-primary) teachers have up to 924 contact hours a year; other teachers have up to 888 contact hours a year.
A primary class teacher’s full-time post is deemed to have 700 or more contact hours a year.
**Hours for planning the educational process, preparation for lessons and assessment of pupils’ work are set according to the teaching subject and the number of pupils in the class. This is approximately 40-60 per cent of contact hours. The hours are set in the 1st appendix of the ordinance of the Minister of Education, Science and Sport.
***Hours for leading the class depend on the number of pupils in the class.
Up to 11 pupils in the class −
not less than 152 hours a year.
12–20 pupils in the class −
not less than 180 hours a year.
21 or more pupils in the class –
not less than 210 hours a year.
Hours for the school community and professional improvement. The Minister of Education, Science and Sport has approved activities for the school community and professional improvement activities. A teacher must spend at least 102 hours a year engaged in activities for the school community and professional improvement activities. Compulsory community hours are intended for working with parents – consulting and informing them, communicating and cooperating with them. These hours should also be used for planning and improving the school’s activities, i.e. participating in meetings and conferences.
Apart from the above-mentioned compulsory activities, a teacher can engage in optional activities, e.g., participate in the school’s self-government, in preparing the school’s education programmes, in the exchange of experience (mentorship, colleague consultation, teaching open lessons, etc.) and others. These activities can consist of up to 400 hours a year.
Trainee teachers are recommended to spend more time on professional improvement and enhancing their pedagogical skills. Skilled teachers are encouraged to share their experience.
Rest time. For the first time, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport has approved rules for the arrangement of work schedules. This not only sets work time requirements but also requirements for rest time. The possibility for remote work (where activities are outside the school) has been established.
Decisions on teachers’ workloads. The school head is no longer the only person to approve teachers’ workloads. Workloads are coordinated with the schools’ work council. If there is no such council present, workloads are coordinated with the employer-level trade union.
Yearly holidays. All teachers, from pre-school teachers to vocational education and training teachers, are entitled to 40 days holiday (if a teacher works 5 days a week) and 48 days holiday (if a teacher works 6 days a week). If the number of working days per week is less or different, the employee must be granted an extended leave of 8 weeks.
The teaching profession is one of several professions for which longer holidays are provided. It is estimated that teaching is associated with greater nervous, emotional and mental stress. In comparison, a non-stressful occupational worker is usually granted 20 days holiday per year.
During the first year of work, the teacher can take their holidays in summer. In the second year the teacher can use their holidays by coordinating their schedule with the school head. One holiday period must be at least 10 working days.
Additional holidays. Additional holidays are granted in the following cases:
- If the employee has uninterrupted service in that workplace. Teachers are entitled to a further 3 days holidays after 10 years of working in the same workplace. For each additional 5 years of service at that workplace – they are entitled to an additional 1 day of holidays.
- Employees raising a disabled child under the age of 18 or two children under the age of 12 are entitled to one additional day off per month. For those raising three or more children under 12 – two days a month. The employee is paid his average salary for that day.
In order to advance in their teaching career, teachers must pass an attestation, after which they are awarded a qualification category. The higher the qualification category, the higher the coefficient applied when calculating the teacher’s salary. Attestation is carried out in accordance with the Regulations on Appraisal of Teachers and Specialists Providing Assistance to Pupils (Excepting Psychologists) (Mokytojų ir pagalbos mokiniui specialistų (išskyrus psichologus) atestacijos nuostatai).
Teacher status does not mean that a teacher can automatically become a school principal or deputy principal. These positions are filled by competition. For more information on the selection of principals, see Section 10.1 Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education. There are also certain requirements for school inspectors. However, the experience of a teacher can be an advantage when applying for a specified position.
Mobility and transfers
Teachers may work in various schools and hold posts in compliance with the qualification requirements defined by laws and other legal acts. Teachers may work in several schools simultaneously as long as they do not exceed the workload rates established in the Labour Code and other laws.
A teacher who has undergone appraisal retains their qualification category for those lessons of subjects taught, non-formal children education hours or educational duties performed for which they were previously granted appraisal when working in any general education institution (including the general education section of vocational education and training institutions) or non-formal education.
Pre-school and primary school teachers working as pre-primary schoolteachers and who have undergone appraisal retain any qualification categories previously awarded to them.
Teachers have the right to retain their qualification category when they move within the teaching profession from one educational institution to another.
Teachers are hired and fired by the head of the educational institution in accordance with the Labour Code and the Teachers’ Admission and Dismissal Procedures Description (Mokytojų priėmimo ir atleidimo iš darbo tvarkos aprašas). School heads and teachers may be dismissed if their conduct, although outside working hours, is immoral and therefore incompatible with their duties.
Teachers are usually hired for an indefinite period. In this case, the employment contract may be terminated at the request of the employee with the agreement of the employee and the employer, or at the initiative of the employer. The contract may also be terminated by the employer irrespective of whether the employee is at fault or not. If the contract is terminated by the employer and the employee is not at fault, for example, if the teacher refuses to work due to a change in their workload, the head of the institution must justify the reduced workload. If the workload decreases for objective reasons and the educator refuses to continue working, they can be dismissed.
The head of the educational institution must notify the teacher about the termination of the employment contract one month in advance. If the employment period is less than one year this notice period is reduced to two weeks. If the teacher has less than five years left until retirement, the teacher must be notified two months or four weeks in advance (if the employment period is less than a year). If the dismissed teacher is raising a child under the age of 14, a disabled child under the age of 18, is pregnant, is disabled, or has less than two years left until retirement, the notice period for dismissal triples to 3 months and 6 weeks (if the employment period is less than years).
A redundant worker must be paid a payout equal to twice their average monthly salary. If the employment period is less than one year, the payout paid is equal to half their average salary.
An employee may also be hired to replace another employee on a fixed-term basis. For example, in Lithuania, maternity and parental leave can last up to three years, so an educational institution may look for a teacher to replace a teacher who has gone on maternity or paternity leave. It is usually clear for how long a person is being recruited to a substitute post. At the end of the term, the employment contract is terminated.
Retirement and pensions
Teachers are paid pensions in the same way as employees in other fields.
Until 2012 the retirement age was 60 for women and 62 for men. Since the 1st of January 2012 and since the 1st of January each subsequent year the retirement age has been increasing: for women – four months per year, for men – two months per year, until the retirement age of 65 years is reached.
There is no specific document regulating statutory dismissal of educational staff once they have reached the official retirement age. According to the Labour Code, teachers may retire upon mutual agreement. Upon retirement, teachers may be offered part-time teaching hours at their school.
Following the introduction of the full-time payment system, payouts have been offered to senior teachers with relevant work experience. This measure has been agreed with the education trade unions. The payout is available to teachers of state or municipal schools working in pre-school, pre-primary, general education and vocational education and training programmes. A prerequisite is that the number of students per teacher must increase when a teacher leaves. This means that no new teacher is recruited for the vacancy, and the workload is shared between teachers to create a higher workload for them (many teachers work part-time).
The amount of the payout per teacher
Amount of payout
(Teacher’s average monthly salary / Mokytojo vidutinis mėnesinis darbo užmokesčio dydis - VMDU)
Duration of employment in the last institution before dismissal
* If a teacher takes a payout, they cannot continue to work as a teacher but can work in other areas.
 The latest English version of the Law on Education is 31 December 2017. The newest version of the Law on Education is presented in Lithuanian and is indicated in brackets.
 2018 The Minister of Education, Science and Sport approved a new version of The Regulations on Teacher Training. By order No. V-1417 of the Minister of Education, Science and Sport of 21 September 2020, the updated Regulations on Teacher Training were approved. Both versions of the document state that the pedagogue should follow a pedagogical internship in the first year after graduation.
 The project Continue! is financed from the European Union Funds Investment Operational Programme 2014–2020, Priority 9 “Public Education and Increasing the Potential of Human Resources” 09.2.1-ESFA-V-727 Measure “Improving the Qualification of Teachers and Other Employees of the Education System”.
 The basic amount of the salary for the next financial year, taking into account the average annual inflation of the previous year, the amount of the minimum monthly salary, etc., is determined in the national collective agreement. The basic amount agreed in the national collective agreement is approved by the Seimas before the end of the spring session of the Seimas. The new basic amount cannot be lower than the existing basic amount, unless exceptional circumstances are established. In 2020, the basic amount is 176 euros. In 2021, the basic amount will be 177 euros.
 From 1 September 2020, the salary coefficients for pre-school and pre-primary and general education teachers were equalized.
 The variable part of the salary of teachers and pupils’ support specialists is not determined.