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Three Places Where You Can Teach English Without a Degree

Looking to teach English overseas? Don’t have a degree? Not a problem!

Even though a growing number of countries require a university degree in order to qualify for a working visa, there are still a few great destinations where you can find work TEFL work without a degree.

Great Wall of China

1: China – With around 400 million learners, China is by far the biggest TEFL jobs market on the planet, and whilst some employers specify a degree – many don’t. It’s also worth mentioning that local government regulations change all the time over in China, so it’s probably best to check with individual employers before applying.

How Much Can You Earn Teaching English In China?

Obviously how much you can earn depends on how much training you’ve had and if you have any previous experience. If you have a recognised TEFL certificate and no previous experience you can expect to earn around £800 a month, though this can rise to £1300 a month if you have a few years experience. Many employers also help with accommodation, visa applications and flights.

Top Places To Teach English Without A Degree In China

Beijing – Beijing is China’s capital and the country’s main centre for international business. There are loads of TEFL jobs and a large and very sociable ex-pat community that will make the transition to living and teaching English in China that little easier.

Shanghai -Shanghai is considered by many people to be the most important financial and commercial centre in mainland China. So there are a good number of TEFL jobs to be found in schools and language institutes, as well as lots of opportunities to teach business English.

Free China Country Guide
Check out the latest TEFL Jobs in China
Check out the China TEFL Internship

2) Europe – If you’re a UK or Irish citizen you can work anywhere within the European Union without any legal constraints or visa requirements. English is the language of tourism so many of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece require a constant stream of TEFL qualified teachers to meet the demand.

Take a look at TEFL jobs in Europe

How Much Can You Earn Teaching English In Europe? That depends on which country or city you’re working in, how much experience you have and what level of TEFL certification you’ve achieved. Due to the high levels of competition in Spain and France, you may struggle to get the better TEFL jobs without a degree, but you should still be able to find entry-level and summer camp positions. If you’re willing to go a little further afield to places like Russia, the Czech Republic and Poland, you should be able to get better positions… and the lower cost of living means that your wages will go much further.

Top Places To Teach English Without A Degree In Europe

Spanish architecture

Spain – Despite huge competition, Spain is regularly at the top of the list when people think of teaching English in Europe. Competition is fierce in places like Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, but if you’re happy to work in less glamourous destinations there are plenty of TEFL jobs in Spain for people without degrees.

Check out the latest TEFL jobs in Spain here
Download a Free Spain Country Guide

Russia – Russia is fast becoming one of the world’s leading TEFL destinations, and the number of TEFL jobs has shot through the roof in recent years. The wages aren’t as high as you can expect in Spain or France, but the cost of living and the competition is much lower.

Check out the latest TEFL jobs in Russia                   Download a Free Russia Country Guide

3: South America – Teaching English in South America is a great way for people without university degrees to gain experience and improve their teaching CV. More experienced TEFLers can find work in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil, while TEFL newbies can find opportunities in less developed places like Peru, Ecuador and Chile.

Take a look at TEFL jobs in South America

How Much Can You Earn Teaching English In South America?

Nobody goes to teach English in South America to earn loads of money. But despite the fact that the wages on offer are relatively low and many of the jobs are on a voluntary basis, you can live relatively well on the money you earn from teaching English in South America. For example you can earn around $850 a month in Brazil, $500 in Argentina and as little as $400 a month in Ecuador. But there’s more to life than money, eh? There will be when you’re lying on a South American beach drinking from a fresh coconut.

Top Places To Teach English Without A Degree In South America

Costa Rica – The Costa Rican government has resolved to encourage English language education and English is now taught in all primary schools. Most TEFL jobs in Costa Rica are to be found in the capital San Jose, the second city, Alajuela, and the tourist town of Manuel Antonio.

Download a Free Guide to Teaching English in Costa Rica
Take a look at the latest TEFL jobs in Costa Rica

Ecuador – While Ecuador won’t ever rival Japan or South Korea as a top TEFL jobs destination, it is one of the most stable and accessible TEFL jobs markets in South America. There is ample opportunity to teach English in schools and universities in the main cities – and guess what? Most don’t require a degree!

Download a Free Guide to Teaching English in Ecuador
Take a look at the latest TEFL jobs in Ecuador

China picture by Jonathan Corbet:

Spain picture by Frank Kovalchek:

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  1. lovextomz says:

    How do l get more information on the vacancies?

  2. Elle Pollicott says:

    Hey, you can find out more about teaching opportunities overseas on our destination pages here:; and you can take a look at vacancies here:

  3. fznaids says:

    I have a natinal diploma, studied for three 3 years at CPUT. Does this make a difference?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi, do you have a degree? You can certainly find lots of jobs teaching English overseas if you don’t have a degree, but by having a degree, even more doors open for you in terms of where you can teach – countries like Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East all require that you have a degree to TEFL; and many Western European countries like France and Germany prefer to hire someone who has a degree, so you’ll find it much easier finding work there. Hope this helps! Elle

  4. qianyu says:

    As a non-native english speaker without any university diploma – can i find a job teaching english in china with TEFL?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi qianyu, if you’re fluent in English, then with a TEFL qualification there is no reason why you wouldn’t get a TEFL job in China. You can either give us a call on +44 871 423 9941 or request a call back here and someone will be in touch with you to talk you through your options and potentially get you signed up! Elle

  5. sw says:

    Who can I talk to to help me teach in China? I don’t have a passport or anything like that, I need some help from someone who can help me from scratch.

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi, you’ll need to apply for a passport – Google ‘apply for a passport’ and you’ll find out how to get one. With regards to getting TEFL-qualified, you can find find out more information about our courses here: For teaching in China, the standard would be 120hours of online learning, although we’d recommend the 140hours with a 20hour practical classroom course for those who haven’t taught before. If you have any more questions in relation to getting TEFL-certified, or teaching in China, you can request a call back here: and one of our expert advisers will get in touch. Hope this helps!