After reading in the wiki that Neville Longbottom would become Professor for Herbalogy at Hogwarts I got curious if there are any special requirements for becoming a teacher there. Do you just need to be very good in the subject you want to teach?

Following the wiki, most teachers had N.E.W.T's at least in their subject. But was that necessary? Could the headmaster hire anyone, regardless of his curriculum?

For example, could Dumbledore engage Sirius Black as DADA teacher when he was still sought by the Ministry for murder?

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    Well, considering that they employed a ghost, an alcoholic, and an expelled former student, I don't think the standards were that high. And that's ignoring the DADA teachers.
    – SQB
    Jul 8, 2014 at 12:03
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    Didn't Dumbledore hire Professor Trelawney based upon her giving the Prophesy about Harry? Otherwise (except in very rare cases), she didn't seem to be an especially good teacher, nor a competent Seer. Jul 8, 2014 at 12:03
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    I was gonna say "breathing"... but then Professor Binns takes that one requirement right out. "Not being Dark Lord" fails the Quirrell test. "Not being Dark Lord's most devoted servant" is out with Barty Crouch Jr. Dumbledore, Sinistra and McGonagle take care of protected Title VII minorities in USA's terms. They never had a Muggle or House-Elf teach though AFAIK. Jul 8, 2014 at 13:47
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    Wouldn't it be more clever to just,you know,magic them away?
    – teair
    Jul 8, 2014 at 15:38
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    @DVK: Not an elf, but the centaur Firenze taught divination for some time. So not even "human" qulifies. (Well...)
    – chaosflaws
    Jul 8, 2014 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


Do you just need to be very good in the subject you want to teach?

You need this amongst other things, for example Voldemort was very good at Dark Arts and probably the defense of them if he would have been swayed that way. Dumbledore refused him the chance of being a teacher because well Dumbledore did not like Tom Riddle with good reason.

Following the wiki, most teachers had N.E.W.T's atleast in their subject.But was that necessary? Could the headmaster hire anyone, regardless of his curriculum?

The headmaster could certainly hire anyone he wanted this may later or at the time be disputed by the governors of Hogwarts or by whatever position Umbridge occupied for the OOTP. Take for instance Hagrid who was the Care for Magical Creatures teacher he had been expelled in year 3, and Firenze who was a Centaur and taught Divination.

For example, could Dumbledore engage Sirius Black as DADA teacher when he was still sought by the ministry for murder?

The ministry gave Dumbledore a lot of slack but I doubt they would have let him use Sirius Black. Perhaps when he gets cleared (to ignore spoilers)....

In my opinion inferred from canon

Experience seems to go a long way or at least it does with Dumbledore, throughout the series we have many new DADA teachers and also a new Potions Master and a new Care for Magical Creatures teacher. Slughorn replaced Snape as he is better with Potions, or so we think from canon possibly Dumbledore did whatever it would take to get Slughorn back. We had Lockhart as a DADA he was useless but his apparent Experience more than likely got him the job. Next we got Lupin whilst I'm not sure of his grades he was very smart in school, he was probably the best DADA teacher we see. Next we get moody who most likely did not have a newt but was very good at his job as a Dark Wizard Catcher or Auror so who better to teach DADA. Umbridge, I'll just move on. Snape he is smart enough and a likely enough candidate to have a NEWT in DADA, we didn't get to see much of his teaching. For the CMC Hagrid was chosen as the teacher who has no qualifications at all, but loves animals and all things dangerous so he was hired.

I think you're asking as you're curious if there would be a central teaching degree that one needs to pass to be able to take care of and teach young children - late teens. This does not seem to be the case in the Wizarding World, it seems to be almost entirely up to the Headmaster/mistress of the time and possibly the Governors. I'm not sure on the Governors because I feel like Lucius would have tried to get Hagrid fired during the Hippogriff incident.

  • Luscious was no longer a Governor during Prisoner of Azkaban; if my memory serves me correctly, he had lost his governorship at the end of Chamber of Secrets. I don't have the book with me to verify this. Overall, really good answer though!
    – bz032002
    Jun 10, 2015 at 16:21

I don't think a headmaster could hire someone on the run for murder, it wouldn't be long until the Ministry came knocking.

But we do have a few examples of teachers that had questionable ethics surrounding their hiring:

  • Hagrid (Care of Magical Creatures) was expelled before he got his N.E.W.T, and never finished his schooling elsewhere.
  • Firenze (Divination) was a Centaur. Dumbledore hired him over Trelawney when the latter was fired by Umbridge. He was allowed to continue teaching alongside Trelawney after Umbridge left.
  • Remus Lupin (DADA), a known werewolf - who created some controversy from parents who didn't want their children exposed to him (no matter how well he controlled his condition)
  • Severus Snape (Potions/DADA) - A known (reformed) Death Eater.

These aren't all of them, these are just what I can remember. As for the exact hiring requirements, there doesn't seem to be any officially stated. Professors seem to be hired out of convenience, (Hagrid), by being the only willing candidate (All the Defense against the Dark Arts teachers), Ministerily appointed (Umbridge), or even out of spite (Firenze).

At the end of the day it seems like Dumbledore at the very least gets the final say. This is most likely a combination of a benefit of his position as headmaster and the respect for him as a knowledgeable & powerful wizard.

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