What kinds of teaching jobs can I get with a TEFL certification?

What kinds of teaching jobs can I get with a TEFL certification?

If you’re looking into applying for overseas teaching jobs, whether they’re English as a Second Language (ESL) positions or roles for experienced teachers, you will undoubtedly come across something called a Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or TEFL certification. And as a result, you’re probably wondering if earning a TEFL qualification is something you should do.

Regardless of other qualifications and experiences you’ve accumulated, a TEFL certification is always a powerful addition to your resume. It will give you priority over other candidates who may be equally qualified otherwise and it will fast track you through your application process with Teach Away if you choose to apply through the University of Toronto TEFL program. Further, it will differentiate you from competition in the eyes of principals and hiring staff around the globe. Even when a TEFL qualification is not required, it is always noted.

Want to find out your earning potential teaching anywhere in the world? Get a decent idea of what you can expect with the help of our free teach abroad salary calculator!

Now, here’s how a TEFL qualification applies to you depending on your other qualifications and experience:

Bachelor’s degree + TEFL certificate

These are the minimum preferred qualifications for any teaching jobs abroad. If you don’t have a teaching license and are seeking an overseas teaching job, you should have both a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate. With these under your belt, you may be lucky enough to find ESL teaching jobs in countries such as China, Japan, and Korea.

Bachelor’s degree + teaching license + TEFL certificate

With these qualifications, you will be qualified for plenty of teaching positions in countries all around the world. Although your TEFL certification cannot replace years of experience, it can be the difference maker between you and a licensed teacher with the same or similar teaching experience. Your TEFL certificate will be beneficial both when your resume gets in the hands of a Teach Away placement coordinator and again when it reaches the principal overseas in charge of hiring.

Bachelor’s degree + teaching license + 5 or more years teaching experience + TEFL certificate

In addition to positions requiring under 5 years of experience, a degree, teaching license, and five or more years of classroom experience tend to be the baseline for higher paying teaching positions. Among these are often high paying openings in the United Arab Emirates in cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Adding a TEFL qualification distinguishes the candidate from others with similar experience at both the Teach Away recruitment level and at the hiring level. Expect more interviews when you add TEFL to your resume.

Here’s a little more about TEFL that applies to everyone:

Make this the year you qualify to teach abroad. To learn more and compare our courses, click here.


I am 45 yrs old and currently teaching in one of our local university as a professor in social science program teaching sociology, history, values formation, humanities subjects to name some. Im a licensed social worker by profession and had finished my Master in Teaching Social Work in Catholic University of America through a scholarship program. If to sum up my teaching experience i’ve been into teaching for almost ten (10) years now. I have been in the academe for quite some time and had experienced as well some accreditation processes. Now i have the desire to teach abroad, will my educational background and experiences plus your TEFL land me a job abroad? Particularly in any of this country: USA, Canada, Dubai, Australia.
Geraldine J. Misoles
I am interested in teaching Business English abroad. I do not have a Bachelor’s degree but I do have a college diploma (3 year program in Business Administration with a major in Accounting) and more than 25 years work experience for a large global company (the last 10 years at executive level both domestically and internationally). Would a TEFL certification coupled with my post secondary diploma and work experience be the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree TEFL certification or is the requirement for a Bachelor’s degree non negotiable? Does not having a Bachelor’s degree limit my ability to teach abroad?
Hello Rhonda!

Great question. Not having a university level education could limit you in terms of the diversity of teaching jobs available to you abroad, as the widely accepted minimum requirements to teach English abroad are a bachelors (university) degree and a TEFL certificate. This is not to say that teachers with less than a university level education and a TEFL certificate do not continue to be hired abroad, however you will face a high-level of competition when applying for jobs. It would be essential that you pursue a TEFL certification with a reputable provider to improve your chances of being hired.

Christie Van Tol

I’m thinking of taking the TEFL course through UOT. I don’t have a bachelors degree… Can I get a TEFL job with just my TEFL certificate. I really want to work abroad

Thanks for your time!

Hello Dayne,

If you are interested in getting TEFL certified you can do so by enrolling in a course such as TEFL Online, designed by the University of Toronto. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the program and obtaining your certification by email at teflonline@teachaway.com or by telephone, toll free, at: 1-855-833-5665.

Christie Van Tol

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