Due to government restrictions or work visa requirements, there are several countries where English language teachers without a 4-year university degree might find it difficult to secure employment. However, the good news is there are still plenty of great opportunities for those without a degree if you are flexible and willing to go where the demand for your services is high.
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To increase your chances of landing a position in the country of your choice, it is highly recommended that you first complete an internationally accredited TEFL/TESOL certification course. Those who are TEFL qualified will find they have a big advantage over non-qualified teachers in most countries worldwide.
Although China has the largest market for TEFL qualified teachers in the world, the regulations for foreign workers have been tightened in recent times making it much harder for non-degree holders to teach there. A degree is now required to apply for a work visa, which has reduced the number of teachers available for work. To fill vacant positions some schools will take on teachers using other types of visa, but in most cases this is technically illegal and could end in an unpleasant manner if you are caught out by the authorities.
Now that China has joined other destinations such as Japan and South Korea in requiring a degree, Southeast Asia is becoming ever more popular. Cambodia and Vietnam are two particularly popular locations where the job market is increasing and salaries are on the rise. Although your income will not match those in the more developed parts of the region, the cost of living is relatively low and the lifestyle is relaxed. If you want to head a little further off the beaten track, you could consider countries such as Laos and Myanmar where the job markets are still quite small but the opportunities for adventure are exceptionally high.
Although the typical salary in this region can be small when compared to countries in Europe or Asia, the cost of living is generally low and there are few restrictions on those without a university degree. The majority of positions are located in large cities, although some coastal resorts and other tourist areas might be an option. Countries that have a significant demand for teachers in this region include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. There are several other countries with a smaller yet growing demand such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay.
Although there are several countries in Europe that have requirements for teachers that include a 4-year university degree, there are still some good options for those who do not possess one. Spain and Italy are both very popular destinations that have no official requirement for degrees. Other good options include the Czech Republic and Russia.