Will I Be Able to Work in the U.S. If I Have a Teaching Degree From Another Country?

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If you have earned your teaching degree outside of the United States, or you live in another country and are thinking about pursuing a teaching position in the U.S., you will want to know whether you will be able to work in the U.S. if you have a teaching degree from another country. Whether you’ve been abroad and are returning to your U.S. home, or you plan to be in the country for a period of time and are looking to teach temporarily, this information should help answer your questions.

International Teaching: The Basics

Individuals who have earned a teaching degree from another country and wish to teach in the U.S. should know that doing so is possible. However, each state has its own unique policies and procedures regarding how teachers from other countries can qualify to teach. For example, the Colorado Department of Education requires that applicants with degrees from outside of the U.S. (except for Canada) must request a course-by-course equivalency evaluation in order to be considered for teaching positions. In North Carolina, individuals who earned a degree from another country are required to provide an evaluation (from an international education evaluation service) as well as a copy of your current visa, U.S. passport, or permanent resident card. If you have earned your degree abroad, the transcript has to be translated into English and this work must be completed by an evaluating agency. One evaluating agency that applicants can have the translation process completed through is International Education Evaluations.

General Requirements

In addition to being guided by state regulations, there are several general requirements that teachers from other countries are expected to meet if they wish to teach in the United States. A visitor to the U.S. who hopes to teach must apply for a J-1 Visa, which will allow a teacher to participate in a temporary cultural exchange program. The J-1 Visa does not guarantee that your teaching credentials will transfer, but it is often the first step you must take toward teaching in the U.S. with a teaching degree from another country. The J-1 Visa Teacher Program provides guidance for teachers from other countries who are looking to work in the U.S., and designates, among other requirements, that a teacher must possess a teaching license from her/his home country and have at least three years of teaching experience.

A Program To Help You

In recognizing that each state may have its own unique requirements for international teachers, you may feel overwhelmed or lack clarification regarding where and with whom to start the process of attaining a teaching job. If this is the case, USA Employment can be of great assistance to you. USA Employment helps “out-of-country certified” teachers obtain jobs by operating as a recruiting company. Teachers from other countries are encouraged to apply for positions in the U.S. under the premise that they will meet the state’s certification requirements if they are hired. Teachers who obtain employment through USA Employment also agree to abide by the current hiring or emergency certification-related policies defined by the school district in order to be in compliance with state rules and regulations.


If you have earned your degree in another country and are thinking about pursuing a career as a teacher in the United States, you should know that doing so is possible. Whether your position is temporary or permanent, if you investigate available opportunities and follow requested guidelines, in many cases, you will be able to work in the U.S. if you have a teaching degree from another country. For further reading on topics concerning education, see 30 Most Controversial Education Practices in U.S. History.

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