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What Are the Basic Requirements for Teaching English in Bahrain?

Learn what qualifications you need to teach English in Bahrain, including education, citizenship, visa, and age requirements.

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Located in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is a cluster of islands that form a small but thriving job market for English teachers. With its desirable location, attractive job opportunities, and small size (population is 1.5 million), competition for teaching positions in Bahrain is fierce. As a result, aspiring TEFL teachers may face challenges in securing a job, as schools prefer experienced native English-speaking teachers with advanced qualifications.

Despite the challenges, qualified English teachers in Bahrain can enjoy a lucrative career, earning a tax-free monthly salary ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 or even more. On top of the financial rewards, teachers can also benefit from additional perks such as airfare, health insurance, and even furnished housing. With its picturesque islands and exciting travel opportunities, Bahrain is an enticing destination for those seeking a fulfilling and financially rewarding teaching experience.

If you are considering teaching English in Bahrain, you must meet the following qualifications:

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an English Teacher in Bahrain?

To teach English in Bahrain, you must possess a TEFL certificate & a college degree. Many employers also prefer candidates from native English-speaking countries with an education degree and relevant teaching experience. The average salary for English teachers in Bahrain ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 USD per month.

Requirements to Teach English in Bahrain

Now let's look at the following requirements to teach English in Bahrain in detail:

  1. Have a TEFL Certification (typically required)

  2. Hold citizenship from a recognized English-speaking country

  3. Hold a Bachelor's Degree (at least) from an accredited college or university

  4. Understand the hiring process & possess the correct documents

  5. Cover basic start-up costs

1. TEFL Certification (Typically Required)

If you aspire to teach English in Bahrain, having a TEFL Certification is essential. While it may not be a legal requirement, reputable language schools in Bahrain generally prefer their teachers to be TEFL certified.

2. Hold citizenship from a Recognized English-speaking Country

Most schools in Bahrain prefer native English speakers from countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand for English teaching jobs. In exceptional cases, individuals who are not citizens of these nations may still have a chance at securing a teaching position. These opportunities, however, are rare. To increase their chances, non-native English speakers should hold a graduate degree, possess exceptional English language skills, and have extensive teaching experience.


3. Have a Bachelor's Degree from an Accredited College or University

Can you teach English in Bahrain without a degree?

While a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for English teachers in Bahrain, many schools prefer to employ candidates with a degree in education or even a master's degree. Previous teaching experience and a teaching license from major native English-speaking countries are also highly valued.

However, this doesn't mean that individuals with only an undergraduate degree and a TEFL certification cannot find teaching opportunities in Bahrain. Patience, persistence, and exploring other possibilities are key for those looking to teach in this region.

Pro Tip! If you are looking for a fantastic experience in the heart of the Middle East where you can still earn great salaries and benefits, consider other countries in the region like Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.  There are also exponentially more jobs in Asia, in countries like South Korea & China, where English teachers commonly receive benefits like free housing & airfare and typically save 30%-50% of their monthly salary after expenses.

Teaching English in Bahrain

4. Understand the Hiring Process & Documents like Visas

The best time to search for teaching jobs in Bahrain is during the spring and summer seasons, as many schools and universities begin their academic year in August-September. However, it's important to note that job vacancies can open up throughout the year, offering opportunities for aspiring teachers at any time. The hiring process typically involves conducting interviews and making hiring decisions in advance, allowing teachers to have their visa processed before they depart for Bahrain. This ensures a smooth transition and allows teachers to focus on preparing for their teaching experience in this beautiful country.

Many schools will use recruiting agencies and online job boards to manage the hiring process. To receive their visa, teachers should expect to pass a physical and an HIV test, and in many cases, academic transcripts and a criminal background check may also be necessary. Expect the processes of interviewing and procuring a visa to take at least 1-3 months.

Paperwork & Documents required to obtain a work permit & visa for teaching English in Bahrain:

  • Application
  • Passport
  • Medical Test (May also be required on arrival in Bahrain)
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Sponsorship Letter: a letter of employment indicating the employer’s name/organization, commercial registration number, employee’s capacity, salary, contract duration, employee’s name, birth date, and nationality
  • Employment Contract
  • Other documents as required
  • More information can be found on the official Bahraini Ministry Of Foreign Affairs website.

English teaching jobs in Bahrain

5. Save for Basic Start-up Costs

It is highly recommended that individuals interested in teaching in Bahrain should plan to arrive with savings of at least $1,000-$1,500 to cover initial expenses. While many employers provide housing and some even offer airfare, it is still advisable for new teachers to have accessible funds for the first month or so to cover basic expenses such as food. However, it is entirely feasible to recover these start-up costs, as most English teachers in Bahrain can save anywhere from $800-$2,000 per month after taking care of their expenses. This allows teachers to not only enjoy a fulfilling teaching experience but also build their savings while living in this beautiful country.

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