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What Are the Basic Requirements for Teaching English in Qatar?

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

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Situated on a peninsula the size of Connecticut that extends into the Persian Gulf off the eastern shores of Saudi Arabia, Qatar offers a small, yet thriving job market for English teachers. This small nation (population is only 2.7 million) boasts a desirable location, uber-modern infrastructure, and a diverse population. World-class shopping and a melting pot of cultures and cuisines make it extremely appealing for expatriates from across the globe. In addition, its international profile and cache experienced a major boost when the nation hosted the world's most-watched sporting event - the 2022 soccer/football FIFA World Cup. As a result, aspiring TEFL teachers may encounter challenges and competition in securing a position, as schools often prioritize experienced native English-speaking teachers with advanced qualifications.

However, for those who meet the requirements, a career in Qatar can be highly lucrative. English teachers can enjoy a tax-free monthly salary ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 or even more if you possess additional experience and credentials. In addition to the financial rewards, teachers are often provided with enticing perks such as airfare, health insurance, and furnished housing. With its world-class shopping, dining, and abundant travel opportunities, Qatar is a captivating destination for those seeking a fulfilling and financially rewarding teaching experience in the Middle East.

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

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

To teach English in Qatar, 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 Qatar ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 USD per month.

Requirements to Teach English in Qatar

Now let's look at the following requirements to teach English in Qatar 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 Qatar, having a TEFL Certification is essential. While it may not be a legal requirement, reputable language schools in Qatar generally prefer their teachers to be TEFL-certified.

2. Hold citizenship from a Recognized English-speaking Country

Most schools in Qatar 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. However, these opportunities are not common. Non-native English speakers can improve their chances by obtaining a graduate degree, demonstrating exceptional English language skills, and having extensive teaching experience.

ITA graduates teaching English in Qatar

International TEFL Academy graduate Alicia Cesaro, with students in Doha.

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

Can you teach English in Qatar without a degree?

While a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for English teachers in Qatar in addition to a TEFL certification, 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 for many positions.

However, this doesn't mean that individuals with only an undergraduate degree and a TEFL certification cannot find teaching opportunities in Qatar. Flexibility, persistence, and exploring other possibilities are key for those looking to teach in this region. In many cases, gaining experience teaching in a region like Asia, which also offers top-paying opportunities, can help open doors for teaching jobs in Qatar and other Persian Gulf nations.

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.

ESL Teaching Jobs in Qatar

4. Understand the Hiring Process & Documents like Visas

The prime time to explore teaching opportunities in Qatar is during the spring and summer months when schools and universities gear up for their academic year starting in August-September. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that job openings can arise throughout the year, offering aspiring teachers a chance at any time. The hiring process typically involves conducting interviews and finalizing decisions well in advance, enabling teachers to have their visa formalities sorted before their departure to Qatar. This ensures a seamless transition and allows educators to focus entirely on preparing for their enriching teaching journey in this fascinating country.

Many schools will use recruiting agencies and online job boards to manage the hiring process. Foreign English teachers will typically enter the country on an Entry Visa. Upon arrival, your employer will help you receive the Work Residence Permit, which is required to work. To receive their permit, 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 Qatar:

  • Application
  • Passport
  • Medical Test (May also be required on arrival in Qatar)
  • 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


TEFL Qatar

5. Save for Basic Start-up Costs

It is strongly recommended that individuals interested in teaching in Qatar 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 possible to recover these start-up costs, as most English teachers in Qatar can save anywhere from $800-$2,000 per month after taking care of their expenses. This allows teachers to enjoy a rewarding teaching experience in the heart of the Middle East, while also building their savings and indulging in unique travel opportunities.

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