No Degree? 10 Favorite Countries for English Teachers Without a Degree

Teaching abroad as an English teacher is a great opportunity for many seeking to experience the outside world while earning income. However, the immigration law in most countries requires that all foreign English teachers must have earned a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for obtaining a valid work permit and/or work visa. Fortunately, some countries either do not have such a policy or even allow for foreign teachers to work without a work visa.

For some, earning a bachelor's degree to work abroad as a teacher of English as a foreign language can be a considerable barrier to entry. To help our new teachers, the North American TEFL Academy has compiled a list of 10 popular destinations for teachers of English as a foreign language which do not necessarily require a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for working.

The order in which these countries appear is based on the following criteria:

  • security of working without a bachelor's degree
  • cost of living to income ratio
  • notoriety of the country
  • cultural and geographic uniqueness
  • safety

 

Regardless of your academic background as it relates to visa and work requirements, earning a TEFL certification is a must in most cases and at least ideal in others to distinguish you as a serious TEFL professional.
A great addition to your resume and as a means to prepare you for your new career move is our 120-hour TEFL program.

Teach English in Nicaragua - #10

Nicaragua is a great place for those who are seeking a Spanish-speaking environment, great beaches, and a variety of landscapes. The demand for English language instruction is not impressive; so, incomes tend to be quite low, especially for new teachers. For those without a BA/BS, a TEFL certification, while not required legally, will likely set a new teacher apart as one with professional dependability.

Population: <6 million
Types of Jobs: English language centers, universities, kindergartens
Average Monthly Salary: $450-900
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $300-700
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even to $200

 

 

Teach English in Laos - #9

This small, land-locked country in Southeast Asia offers a unique blend of cultures stemming from its current and historic neighbors. This lightly populated country provides an easy lifestyle for the TEFL professional looking for a slower pace-of-living.

Population: <7 million
Types of Jobs: English language centers, K-12
Average Monthly Salary: $600-1,200
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $600-1000
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even to $200

 

 

Teach English in Georgia - #8

Located in the Caucasus Mountains with the Black Sea to the East, Georgia is a small, mild-climate country, perfect for the TEFL professional who aims to live in a low-key, European-influence country, without the price-tag of European living; although, teachers will need to have stable savings or income from back home as there will be little chance for saving the slight income one will earn.

Population: <4 million
Types of Jobs: Kindergartens & primary schools
Average Monthly Salary: $200-300
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $200-300
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even or near break-even

 

 

Teach English in Mexico - #7

Mexico needs no introduction with its unique social and cultural impact on the Western Hemisphere. Teachers with no BA/BS should definitely consider earning a TEFL certification to distinguish themselves. Mexico is a market where one can build a solid career over time and there are enough distinct regions that one can move about the country from year to year spending a decade learning about what Mexico has to offer.

Population: 126.5 million
Types of Jobs: English language centers, kindergartens, and primary schools
Average Monthly Salary: $500-900 (smaller cities), $700-1,200 (major cities)
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $400-800 (smaller cities), $600-1000 (major cities)
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even to $200

 

Teach English in Romania - #6

Low-cost European-living, rich historical backdrops, and a welcoming, conservative culture: this is what Romania has to offer those seeking to teach English there. While it is best suited for well-credentialed teachers with experience, as they are typically rewarded with well-paid positions, if one is willing to work their way up, Romania has a lot to offer eventually in terms of salary. Additionally, the country is well-situated for travel throughout the region.

Population: <20 million
Types of Jobs: All variety
Average Monthly Salary: $400-800 (smaller cities), $800-1,300 (Bucharest)
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $500-1,000, $800-1,500 (Bucharest)
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even

 

 

Teach English in Chile - #5

Offering wildly varying climate and topography, Chile is not only a land of beautiful landscapes and high-quality agricultural products, it is also one of the most rapidly advancing TEFL markets in the region. There are always jobs available for qualified candidates. While a BA/BS is not required, it is highly preferred by employers. Earning a TEFL certification is a must to be employed in Chile. Completing our 120-hour TEFL course would offer you the necessary benchmark for applying to most jobs in Chile.

Population: >18 million
Types of Jobs: All variety
Average Monthly Salary: $900-1,500
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $600-1,300
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even to $300

 

 

Teach English in Brazil - #4

Brasil is a market with great potential moving into the future. In recent years, economic issues have cooled the TEFL industry to some extent, but those who find their niche do well. Brasil is a multicultural and geographically diverse country, offering numerous options for the TEFL professional. Many professionals are setting up their base in Brasil for the future gains to be had when the market grows into maturity.

Population: >209 million
Types of Jobs: English language centers, some kindergartens
Average Monthly Salary: $600-1,000 (smaller cities), $1,000-1,600 (major cities)
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $500-800 (smaller cities), $800-1,600 (major cities)
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even to $200

 

 

Teach English in Russia - #3

The largest country on Earth, geographically-speaking, Russia has many opportunities for TEFL professionals. Many Russians speak some English, which means that getting around in the major cities should be fairly easy for a foreign teacher.

Population: 144.5 million
Types of Jobs: All variety
Average Monthly Salary: $600-900 (smaller cities), $900-1,800 (major cities)
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $500-800 (small cities). $1,000-1,600 (major cities)
Monthly Savings Potential: near break-even to $200

 

 

Teach English in Lebanon - #2

For the TEFL professional who is aiming to enjoy the Mediterranean climate without living in Europe, Lebanon offers European amenities, a mild climate, and great food, all with a unique heritage and culture. Lebanon is also a great spot to live for someone who wants to travel during their off-time. Local and regional places of interest are more numerous than your years.

Population: >6 million
Types of Jobs: All variety
Average Monthly Salary: $1,000-1,800
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $1,000-1,500
Monthly Savings Potential: break-even to $300

 

 

Teach English in Cambodia - #1

Cambodia is the most recent hot spot for TEFL professionals new and seasoned alike. With rising wages and a rapidly advancing economy, for those professionals without a degree who have interest in Asia, tropical weather, and an opportunity to save money, there is no better place. As more experienced and credentialed teachers pour into Cambodia, it is essential for new teachers without a bachelor's degree to earn at least a 120-hour TEFL certification to position themselves as professionals.

Population: >16 million
Types of Jobs: English language centers, K-12
Average Monthly Salary: $800-1,200
Average Monthly Cost-of-living: $500-1,000
Monthly Savings Potential: $300-500

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