Q and A: Can I Teach in Mexico if I Don’t Have a Bachelor’s Degree?


Hello Julia
My name is Joseph. I am a Canadian presently teaching Conversational English in China. I have been teaching Conversational and Business English here for almost five years, children, teenagers, college students and adults. Although I don’t have a univercity or college degree I do have a TESOL Certificate, five years teaching experiance and many letters of recommendation from former and present employers.

I heard that as of this September all children in school must be taught English. I would like to obtain a teaching job in San Felipe Baja Mexico. I vacationed there for three winters and would love to return there to teach. I like it because it is a quiet little fishing village and the people are wonderufl. I loved the mexican people and believe I could pick the language up again after being there for a month or so.

Is it possabe to get a legal teaching job without a univercity or college degree?

Is there any other advice you can give me.

It’s a great leap of faith leaving everthing behind in China to return to Mexico but I would gladly be willing to try. If nothing comes of it I could always return to China.

I look forward to your reply.


Hello Joseph,

It sounds like you have some solid experience, but the answer to your question is both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

It is possible to work as an English teacher in Mexico without a college degree–especially with experience and a TESOL certificate, BUT, probably not in the public school system.

To work in the public schools, you would have to get permission from SEP, the federal education “ministry.” They generally require college degrees, though, it would be worth asking the local SEP authorities, just to find out what they would tell you. SEP has had to increase the English classes they provide to students and they may have some leeway in how they go about meeting that need. They may be able to credit your TESOL and years of experience. You would have to go in to see them in person. I don’t know if there is a local office right in San Felipe.

Private schools, on the other hand, also hire English instructors and have more flexibility in setting their hiring criteria, BUT there don’t appear to be any of those in San Felipe.

It appears that the smartest thing to do would be to go on a fact-finding visit to San Felipe, and possibly to other areas of interest, just in case you find that there aren’t enough opportunities for you right in that area.

For some general information about getting ready to teach English in Mexico, you can click on the “Articles” link on my web site and read any of the related articles that interest you [http://www.home-sweet-mexico.com/expatriate-author-articles.html]. Also, if you are serious about moving to Mexico, my book Mexico: The Trick is Living Here might be helpful to you.

I hope that this answer has been of some help to you.

Sincerely, Julia Taylor
Author of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here and creator of www.home-sweet-mexico.com

Amanda Hernandez Gives Mexico The Trick is Living Here a Big “Thumbs Up”

Hernandez recently moved to Mexico from the United States. Her blog of January 19th was a review of our very own Mexico: The Trick is Living Here! I was so fortunate that she was willing to write the review for me.

With her permission, here is a little of what she had to say about the book in her email to me:

I have to say it helped me in so many ways.

I loved the section on culture and it helped me to not feel like such a dummy when I read some of your stories about you and others you know.

Thank you so much for your book. …[A]fter reading it, I feel so privileged that you let me read it.

Again I can’t thank you enough or explain how much this has helped me to cope.


I’m so glad to know that other people find my book as useful as I thought it would be when I was writing it!

You can read Hernandez’ review of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here on her blog and you can get your own copy of the guide on how adjust to life in Mexico here on my web site.

Allen’s Been to Cuernavaca and He Liked Mexico: The Trick is Living Here

Allen recently sent me an email in which he wrote:

I love your book.

I am hoping to move to Cuernavaca in about 2 1/2 years…..jajajajajaj….but who is counting…jajajajaja

I couldn’t resist and I wrote him back asking what it was that he liked most about the book.

He answered:

Oh wow….what I loved were the stories you told about Cuernavaca.  Since I lived in Cuernavaca for two weeks with a Mexican family and have visited a lot of the sites that you talk about….your stories really came to life…..the sights, the sounds, the smells……Wowwwwwwwww

Thanks again!

He has very kindly given me permission to post his words on my blog.

The thanks go to you, Allen.