Can I Become a Licensed Teacher Without an Education Degree?

The answer is YES.

In this modern world of teaching, getting a job is becoming strenuous because of the competitive industry we’re at. Unlike before when online teaching weren’t in demand yet —searching for ESL jobs tend to be a piece of cake.

I’ve been a freelance English teacher for many years, and I could say that there’s no shortcut to becoming a successful EFL/ESL teacher or whatever you want to call it. You really have to work your way up in order to thrive in this line of work.

While many companies have different qualifications or criterias when looking for a teacher —getting hired by them isn’t limited to having an experience. What I have noticed is that the demand for teachers with license in teaching are now sought-after by those reputable employers.

Now, the question is ”How can I get a license in teaching without breaking my bank or without going to school for 4-5 years?” The answer is simple. If you’re a degree holder, you can enroll yourself to a school that offers a DPE course (if you’re based in the Philippines) or PGCE (if you’re from England, Wales, USA, and Northern Ireland).

DPE stands for Diploma in Professional Education and PGCE means Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Acquiring this qualification will make you eligible to work as a teacher in countries across the globe. Please note that earning a DPE in the Philippines won’t guarantee you a job. However, you can use this to qualify in taking the LET or Licensure Exam for Teachers.

Therefore, if your degree isn’t related to Education major or the like —like myself for instance, I majored in nursing (I’m a nurse) so what I did to get a teacher’s license is of course to pass the LET. How I did it? I studied DPE in Cebu Normal University and when I completed the required number of units to qualify for taking the test —I took the test and passed. That’s when I became a licensed teacher.

The process was worthwhile coz you don’t have to commit to a 4 or 5-year study just to get this credential. All you have to do is show up in class for about 4-10 months. Some schools like University of San Carlos for example, they offer DPE but they require students to finish the whole two semesters to be eligible in applying for LET. Whereas in CNU, one semester is enough so it’s up to you to finish the second semester.

One semester is equal to 18 units, therefore, to qualify for LET (I mean, to be eligible to apply for teacher licensure exam —you must at least complete the 18-unit from your DPE short-term course.

The requirements vary every school —so do some research about schools or Unis that offer this type of program that way you can weigh your options or see which one works for you best. You may check my previous post about schools that offer this program. There are things you should consider when applying like the school’s proximity, tuition and duration of study.

Here’s the syllabus of the DPE program in Cebu normal University (CNU):

I hope that you find this topic helpful.

Thank you for reading. Till next time! Stay safe!❋ ♡

4 thoughts on “Can I Become a Licensed Teacher Without an Education Degree?”

  1. Jayson de Guzman

    I’m so glad to have read your blog. I am also a Nursing graduate and currently taking DPE in CNU. But I am having qualms now because I want to English and Mathematics and I’m not sure if I am licensed to do so once I pass the LET. I was told by one of my classmate that I can only teach science because of my course. Is this true? And do I need additional to take additional courses or get certifications before I can teach those subjects? Would appreciate a response.

    1. Hi there Jayson! Thanks for stopping by my site! If you plan to teach Math and English here in the Phil., I ‘believe’ it’s possible. However, if you’d like to do it abroad — you definitely have to secure a certificate where you’re eligible to teach in multiple subjects. As far as I know we don’t offer that kind of cert here unlike in countries like the US, they have ‘multiple subject teaching credential’. Assuming you’d like to apply in primary or high school in the country, under Republic Act 7836 you must be an education major graduate and LPT to qualify. I hate to say this but most schools here (if not all) prefer someone who’s an education grad. The good news is you can still leverage from your DPE and teaching license in subjects like ESL, IELTS, or with platforms that cater to foreigners — that’s when you can teach the subj of your choice. So would you like to teach here or abroad? Either way, you can always try to send an inquiry first to a school. If it’s an online teaching job (like for instance you teach Math or English to learners from Saudi or Korea) then you can use your teaching license as your qualification regardless if you’re inexperienced or graduated w/ a different major. You just have to prove yourself and you can basically do that during the application process (demo, interview, or competency test.)

  2. Hello Ma’am! I’m currently taking the BSN program right now and honestly, I am on the verge of shifting since I’ve realized that I like teaching people, meaning I am planning to shift to education. But after reading this, this gave me hope on my future. Can I teach english subjects then ma’am? or only related to nursing subjects? Also, would I be able to teach in several levels or would there be a specific one? Thank You!

    1. Hi James! Thank you for stopping by.

      I suggest that you contemplate on what you really want to do after college because pursuing a career in nursing can be a lifelong commitment (like myself who struggled to convince my family when I shifted to a completely different path).

      (Can I teach English subject?)
      – Yes.
      -Assuming you graduated in nursing. Whether you passed the nursing exam or not, you can pursue a career in teaching and teach English like ESL or IELTS.
      -You may follow what I did: after I graduated and passed the nursing exam, I enrolled in Cebu Normal University and took up DPE. Anyone who is a graduate of a 4-yr course can enroll to this short program, and it only takes 1 year or 2 semesters to complete. After your DPE study, you’ll be eligible to take the LET.
      -I suggest studying in CNU since they have the cheapest tuition in Cebu City plus they’re the only school (if I’m not mistaken) that allows a student to take the LET even without completing the second semester. Not sure if it’s still the same though..

      (Can I only teach nursing-related subjects?)
      -If we’re talking about ”Practice Teaching” during 2nd sem where you’re assigned to teach in a public school as a DPE student, then the answer is ”it depends”.
      -When I did my practice teaching during the 2nd sem, I was not allowed to teach the English subj. Mainly coz my ‘major subject’ was Biology (since my 4-year course was nursing) and the school didn’t need teachers for English subj at the time.
      -When I spoke to my professor, I was told that schools often stick to the student’s major subject. Though it is possible for you to teach English, the odds of having that chance is very slim.
      -In fact when I was in a public school (for my practice teaching), I was not teaching in Biology coz there were enough teachers for the role — guess what? I taught Physics. 💀

      (Would I be able to teach in several levels or would there be a specific one?)
      -You’ll be assigned to teach in diff levels

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