This article builds on recent research into both casualization and job quality or ‘decent work’ by exploring the qualitative aspects of casual employment in the education industry. The article attempts to bridge two distinct positions in the literature on decent work between research that identifies objective components of decent work, and research that focuses on subjective perceptions of job quality. The article focuses on objective aspects of quality work but draws in subjective perceptions both as a path of additional evidence and as a way of capturing the crucial level of personal experience. The article draws on a recent study that explored the experiences of casual school teachers in the New South Wales public education system. It finds that casual employment can erode the job quality of otherwise decent work within professional occupations.