Due to visa requirements, some countries require English teachers to hold a BA degree or equivalent. However, if you don’t have a degree, don’t let this stop you from considering becoming an EFL Teacher! There are still plenty of opportunities around the world to teach English without a degree, and after reading this blog post, you’ll know where they are as well as tips for securing work.
Why do some TEFL jobs require a degree?
In many countries, the requirement for a degree isn’t determined by the employer but by visa regulations. If a minimum of a BA degree is a requirement for a work visa, then employers will only be able to hire teachers who have one legally.
It’s essential to find out if a degree is a visa requirement or not. If it isn’t, then it’s up to employers whether they ask for a degree or not – meaning there can be some flexibility. Once you’ve identified the countries where you can teach English without a degree, you’ll be able to focus your job search – there’s no point trying to find work in a country you can’t get a visa for!
Where can you teach English without a degree?
EU citizens are entitled to live and work anywhere in the European Union with no visa restrictions. This may change with Brexit, but at the time of writing, no limits have been put in place for British citizens. Popular European destinations for teachers who don’t have a degree are Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
If you’re not an EU citizen, then teaching in Europe can be tricky – but not impossible! Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Spain and Italy offer some opportunities for non-EU citizens. We have more information about these opportunities in our post about Teaching in English in Europe as a non-EU citizen.
Central and South America
Within the vast continent of South America, there is a massive demand for English teachers – in particular, increasing demand for Business English.
It’s possible to TEFL without a degree in the following countries in Central and South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay.
The opportunities to TEFL without a degree in Asia are minimal. Your only realistic option (outside of working holiday visas) is in Cambodia. The opportunities to TEFL without a degree in Asia are minimal. Your only realistic option (outside of working holiday visas) in Cambodia. Considering the demand for teachers, incredible culture, and the opportunities for travel throughout South East Asia, it’s hardly a bad option at all! TEFL Org graduate, Daniel, described falling in love with the country, saying it’s like no other place on earth, full of warm people and a huge demand for English teachers.
Teaching English online can be a great option if you want to work from home or have a source of income as you travel.
Some online teaching platforms do require a degree but our Ultimate Guide to Teaching English Online Without a Degree will help you get started with online teaching.
Read more about teaching English online.
5 tips for finding a TEFL job without a degree
Get TEFL qualified
A TEFL qualification is essential if you’re going to find work teaching English abroad without a degree. Most employers look for teachers to have a 120-hour TEFL qualification, so make sure you choose a course with at least those hours. A TEFL course should be accredited and recognised worldwide – like ours!
Do your research
Don’t waste time trying to apply for jobs in countries where you don’t meet the work visa requirements. Work out where you want to teach, check you meet the visa requirements, and focus your job search where you do.
Be flexible and patient
It may take slightly longer to line up a teaching job, but if you’re patient, put in the time and effort with job hunting and are flexible in where you are willing to teach, you should have no problem finding a suitable position. Our TEFL Jobs Centre is updated regularly with new and exciting positions all over the world and all our students get lifetime access to it.
Boost your CV
Make yourself a more competitive candidate with further qualifications, such as an Advanced TEFL course, or by gaining work experience through volunteering at home or abroad. You want to stand out – especially against other candidates who might have a degree – so going the extra mile will help you find work more easily.
Watch out for dodgy employers/recruiters
There’s a huge demand for teachers in Asia, particularly China. If you need a degree to get a work visa and an employer or recruiter is offering you a job then this will be illegal and not a situation we advise anyone to put themselves in. We have some useful tips for avoiding TEFL scams and bad employers, which is essential reading for anyone looking for their first TEFL job.
Find out more about getting started with our Guide to Teaching English abroad.