Why Get TEFL Certified When Your Job Doesn’t Require It?

Authored By:

Amy S.

Ready to teach English as a foreign language somewhere abroad?  Well, you’re in luck.  There are millions of people all over the world seeking to learn English right this minute. Now is your chance!

So, you’ve done your research, selected the country of your dreams, maybe selected a provider to help with all the logistics (might I recommend CIEE Teach Abroad? — They’ll take care of all the tricky stuff. Speaking from experience, they made my move to Thailand a breeze).  And, low and behold — you discover a TEFL Certificate is not required for the country or institution you’re planning to teach at.

What does this mean?  — Well, essentially, every country has different requirements of teachers and their credentials. It all just depends on where you go. 

Then you have to ultimtately decide — do I get TEFL certified, or not?

Here’s a few reasons why a TEFL Certification is recommended, regardless of the country or institution’s required credentials.

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If you’ve never stood in front of a classroom, getting a TEFL certification could save you.

Don’t have any teaching experience? Don’t let that deter you from teaching abroad.  But, you should be prepared. Teaching is more difficult than it seems (especially depending on your class age, size, etc!). Getting TEFL certified will help you learn how to lesson plan, how to engage every student, how to communicate effectively, and how to reach students of various learning styles. It’s a lifesaver if you’ve never taught before. It could make a world of difference between making you a mediocre teacher, into a great teacher.


Have a strong and meaningful impact on your students.

Do you remember your favorite teacher? Of course you do! 

Let’s not forget the main goal of teaching abroad: your students.  Are you prepared to teach them well and make an everlasting impact? 

With a growing need and interest in learning English, some students pay high amounts to take English courses, or some take courses at night after working all day, and ultimately they all dedicate the time and energy needed to learn a new language.  

Think of them.

Sure, getting TEFL certified will help you. But the real impact is on them. You getting TEFL certified could be the difference in their success.


It could help you earn more money.

Getting TEFL certified could mean a huge difference in your paychecks. Like most jobs, the more qualified you are, the better! Thus, the money you invest in getting TEFL certified in the first place will pay itself back.

Even if you don’t turn teaching into a career, it will build your resume and skills.

With a TEFL certificate, you’ll learn how to communicate cross culturally, effectively teach any age, and learn tips and tricks on how to be more organized.  These are skills you can apply to any career!  Plus, showing that you’ve taught abroad and that you gained a never-expiring certification shows that you are worldly and value global perspectives. What could be better?


It gives you more options.

Let’s say you go teach abroad without getting TEFL certified, and you happen to love it so much that you decide to make a career of it.  So, you plan to go to another country — but, low and behold, that country does require a TEFL certificate.  Set yourself up before you go so you have more options!


Invest in yourself.

Getting TEFL certified will certainly help you become a better teacher. But what else could it do to change your life? Maybe you’ll travel more, maybe you’ll turn this into your career, or maybe you’ll use it in various ways in a different career.  Regardless, it’s an investment in yourself.


Learn more about how CIEE TEFL can change your life!