Can You Teach in Mexico Without a Degree?

Yes – Mexico is one of the few countries that does not require its teachers to have a proper bachelor’s degree.  After recent legislation, teachers are able to receive a work permit with proof of just a TEFL certificate – though having a bachelor will open up doors to better jobs.

Mexico is an incredible country to teach in and many believe they are trying to boost the appeal of it as a teach abroad destination with this move.

About the TEFL

If you want to teach English without a bachelor’s degree, you’re going to need a TEFL certification instead. In fact, this should be your first goal as it’s almost impossible to find ESL jobs in any country if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree or a TEFL certification.

TEFL stands for Teaching English as Foreign Language and the certification is a qualification that many countries and overseas schools require for their ESL teachers.

A TEFL certification has the following benefits:

  • You qualify for more teaching jobs than you would without a certification.
  • You’re given the tools you need to teach abroad, including how to plan lessons for foreign language students, how to understand your own English language skills, and important review of English grammatical concepts.
  • You stand out in job applications, even when the hiring school hasn’t listed a requirement for a TEFL certification.
  • You qualify for better teaching positions, higher salaries, and better benefits than you would otherwise.

In many ways, a TEFL course might be more important than a bachelor’s degree for learning to teach ESL. You’ll learn to manage a classroom, plan lessons, and identify the individual learning styles of your students.

How a TEFL Influences The Legality of Teaching in Mexico

Currently, most teaching jobs in Mexico will require you to have your bachelor’s. However, with the recently passed legislation allowing ESL teachers to receive their work permits with a TEFL certification, the feeling is that more and more schools will follow suit.

The bottom line is: A TEFL certification is all you need to legally teach ESL in Mexico. You don’t need to receive your bachelor’s degree.

With that said, having a bachelor’s degree will open more teaching doors. Even though the government doesn’t list a degree as a teaching requirement, many private schools still do. You’ll be able to work for a higher salary and increased benefits if you have a 4-year degree.

However, if you’re still working on your bachelor’s degree, or you really aren’t able to obtain one, a TEFL certification should be your next biggest priority as it’s your ticket to teach in Mexico.


  1. I would like a job teaching English , but I don’t Have a degree.I do have a ESL certificate. I am from Toronto Ontario, .I also have, High School and college. I know I we would be an excellent teacher..I would be happy if you would considering me for a teaching position. Thank you. Birgit Hansen

    • Hi Birgit – we don’t actually do any hiring here – your best bet is to check out our job board and contact the schools directly. Good luck!

  2. I am receiving my TEFL certification soon. I would like to come to Mexico to live, work , and teach esl. How can I go about getting employed in Mexico? Is it fairly easy to get work in Mexico?

    • Hi Elizabeth – it’s like any other job hunt – you will likely need to apply to a few places to hear back but from everything we’ve read there are plenty of jobs available, esp in big cities – good luck!

  3. The best way to find a job teaching English in Mexico is to get a list of all the language schools in the area you want to live in and visit them. You can go in person and meet with the staff and establish a relationship with them. Once they find out you are a native of the language that won’t want to teach, they will almost always hire you. I have done this several times and they have hired me to teach. In Mexico personal face to face contact is very important as well as who you know. I am TEFL certified but before I became certified, I always found a job teaching just because I am a native. I hope this information is helpful.

  4. Hellow, I would like to know how much can i earn to teach english abroad with a diploma, PGCE, TEFL certificate and 4 years experience?


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