If you are new to teaching, we wouldn’t really suggest looking into any sort of licensure options at this point in your career. However, if you’ve been teaching abroad for some time now and are legitimately considering a long-term career in teaching, here are a few reasons why getting proper licensure will be the best career move you can make.
1. You can increase your earning potential
First and foremost, everyone loves money. I know that I do. Obtaining your teaching license is hands down the easiest way to automatically be considered for a higher salary at schools. When hiring teachers, most schools offer a very broad salary range to their teachers. Generally speaking, salaries are scaled based on a candidate’s total years of experience, as well as their formal teaching credentials, such as a proper teaching license.
For example, in a job description, a school may list their salary range as 20,000-30,000 RMB per month. Time after time, we find upset teachers that are not too pleased with the salary that they are offered, as they were hoping for a much higher salary.
The truth of the matter is that the high end of the salary range is reserved for teachers with formal teaching credentials, while the bottom end of the salary is usually offered to teachers without licensure. An easy way to automatically up your earnings and hit the top end of that salary range would be to earn your teaching license.
2. You will have more job options
At Teaching Nomad, we work with several different schools located all throughout China, other parts of Asia, and the Middle East. For teachers that are looking to teach at an international school, there are several options for you. However, there is a large percentage of schools in the international market that will not consider teachers without any sort of teaching license.
Obtaining your teaching license will be the easiest way to open up more doors and allow yourself to be considered for many more positions than you otherwise would have. Keep in mind, that the schools that only consider licensed teachers also tend to offer much higher salaries.
3. You can teach if you decide to go back home
While it’s quite feasible for teachers to spend 10+ years working abroad, generally speaking, most teachers end up going back to their home countries eventually. Oftentimes, when returning home, teachers are overwhelmed with the task of finding a job in their home country, and many are unemployed for several months before finding a way to pay the bills.
However, teachers with a proper teaching license can easily transition back into their home countries with the experience they gained abroad on top of their credentials. Schools in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa are always looking for new teachers, and as one could imagine, having a proper teaching license is the only way that a teacher could legally be considered for these positions.
Many teachers that we work with have never taught prior to coming abroad, they have no teaching credentials, and quite often, they discover that they love teaching. Getting licensed as a teacher is the only way that these teachers can transition back into their home countries and continue working in the education field.
4. You will be a more competitive candidate
The international teaching market is a highly competitive one. Some of our more prestigious schools, as well as schools in bigger cities, receive hundreds of applications during the recruitment season. It’s not uncommon for one position to have more than 30 applicants!
So how can you be the chosen one among 30? Getting your teaching license will automatically make schools take your application far more seriously, and your chances of getting an interview and being offered a position will skyrocket.
Let’s say that of those 30 applicants, 2 have a teaching license. Those 2 licensed teachers will be the first teachers to be interviewed, and thus the first to be offered a job. Chances are all other applicants will not even be considered if there are licensed teachers applying for a job.
5. You will become a better teacher
Of course, if you put in the time and go through a full-licensing program, you will learn a lot! Even if you have 10 years of experience, learning from a formal licensure program will open your eyes to teaching methods you may have never known about, and it could help you fill any skill gaps that you might have.
If you are considering teaching as a career, I would imagine that you would want to be as good as you possibly could, and a licensing program is a great way for you to become a better educator. All licensing programs include hours of informative coursework, as well as the opportunity to shadow a more experienced professional teacher, which is great for your own professional development.