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Some countries will not issue a work permit unless the candidate has a teaching license (certificate) and a proven record of classroom experience. In addition, many schools require a background check (police record) and a health check.
Everything else is extra and optional, depending on the supply and demand situation at the given location.
Obviously, the schools in trendy and fashionable places receive many applications. Their expectations may exceed the visa requirements substantially.
For example, The American School of Barcelona requires an MA for every teaching position, regardless of age level and subject area. Less popular schools will be more accommodating.
Note that some countries have age limits when it comes to employment. The typical list of professional qualifications is below.
A four-year Bachelor's Degree
Most countries will not issue a work visa unless the candidate is degreed. Your degree does not have to be in education as long as you have a teaching credential.
Teaching (administrative) credential from your state / country
Countries have various teacher registration and licensing systems. Some are national (UK) and some are state-based (USA). There are also countries that do not require a specific teaching credential as long as the candidate has a relevant degree. This requirement may be waived, provided you have sufficient work experience.
Note that TEFL certificates are meant for language schools and academies. A TEFL certificate alone will not be sufficient for international schools.
Two years of full-time classroom experience
A typical stipulation but it depends. A brand new teacher is often recruited instead of an experienced candidate when one's personal circumstances interfere (visa age limits, dependents, health, background checks and so on.)
Directors, principals, heads of departments and other supervisors. (Not applicable to new teachers and recent graduates.)
If you have a degree you are in luck. US candidates, please contact your state's Department of Education and Professional Certification. UK candidates please visit UCAS Teacher Training
Most ubiquitous vacancies:
Elementary / Primary Classroom educators, as well as English teachers at various age levels. These jobs are abundant all over the world.
Most in demand:
Secondary (A-Level / AP / IB DP ) Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Computers, Music and Library Science. The certification requirement may be waived for these teachers.
IB-qualified teachers, PYP, MYP, DP. If you are not familiar with the IB, visit the IBO site.
MA is required.
You must have substantial experience (more than 5 years) and excellent references.
Oftentimes, knowledge of a foreign language is expected.
International experience is desired.
The competition for administrative jobs is substantial. The schools prefer administrators with overseas experience and full certification.
The school boards look for experienced international leaders who are familiar with the accreditation process, the IB curriculum, international recruitment, fundraising, cross-cultural networking and who can operate in a foreign environment.
You have to be prepared for a global search and tough competition. You are not in the position to be picky if you want to stand a chance. ("I want a job in Italy only for no less than US$90,000.")
Generally, a non-teaching spouse is considered a dependent. The rule of thumb is one dependent per one full-time teaching contract. Kids are usually enrolled in the same school, and the tuition fees are waived.
While many schools welcome teachers with children, some schools do not accept any number of dependents.
Teaching couples are encouraged to apply.
You can usually find work as a substitute teacher. Substitute teachers are in high demand everywhere you do.
In many countries private tutoring is a big money making opportunity that does not require any work permits and tax reporting.
Schools also look for sports coaches, school nurses, music tutors, and administrative assistants.
There are opportunities outside the school environment as well.
I clicked right away with the recruiters from United Nations International School in Hanoi Vietnam and I received the offer 8AM the second morning of the fair! WOW!
I was so prepared that I got a job offer from the first school that interviewed me. I couldn't believe it! I also scored interviews with nine different schools.
My two offers were from schools in Vietnam, which I found quite funny since I never in a million years even considered Vietnam.
Later that day I had two other schools call me back for 2nd interviews! So it was a success!
Thank you so much for guiding me through this whole process! What a wonderful resource and I will recommend it to others.
I have been using Joyjobs for the past 2 years now and it has gotten me a job relatively effortlessly. I have had numerous administrators tell me how wonderful and easy it was for them to navigate through my personal website. I would highly recommend this service as they are very professional and extremely prompt with having your edited information up on your webpage virtually within hours. I will continue to be a member as I travel the globe and teach!
—Shane Remenda, Canada
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“You are amazingly helpful, and so quick to respond. I absolutely love your company, and recommend it to everyone who is in this line of work.