If I’m a qualified teacher do I still need a TEFL certificate?

Many qualified teachers at some point decide to make the jump and go abroad – in fact, with current strains on teachers in the UK and USA, it’s more common than ever. Many teachers who are qualified and licensed still wonder if they need to undertake a TEFL certificate, but there’s a very clear answer to the question.

If you’re a qualified teacher and decide to go and teach your subject abroad (e.g. Geography) in an international or bilingual school, then it’s not likely at all that you’ll need a TEFL qualification. You won’t be teaching English, you’ll be teaching your subject which you are already prepared for. That said, it won’t hurt to have it as an option to enhance your income with English tuition at the weekend or in the evening.
If you’re a qualified teacher and want to teach English as a foreign language, rather than your usual subject, and you want to teach at an international school as an EAL teacher, or teach at a language centre, or teach English at a government school, then you’ll likely need a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language.

The answer will always be that it can’t hurt to have one – but whether you actually need one or not as a qualified teacher will depend on the role you plan to undertake.