Become a licensed teacher in UAE

So, you want to teach in the UAE? As a teacher, you are more than just an educator: you are a mentor who can make a difference in the lives of so many students! Becoming a teacher lets you be part in shaping the next generation.

There are many vacancies for UAE teachers, as seen widely on job portal sites, with several schools looking for a new batch of fully licensed educators for the next academic year that are well-trained, qualified and experienced.

At a minimum, the UAE schools seek reputable staff with an attested teaching certification.

So, before you apply to any teaching jobs in UAE, be sure to review the basic requirements necessary to qualify. Bear in mind, many of the positions are available only to those registered under the UAE teacher license program. You will not be considered for a position unless you obtain professional licenses that is part of the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda to increase the number of highly skilled teachers. It’s a matter of ‘developing our educational system,’ said Rawdha Al Marar, the ministry’s director of professional licensing.

The UAE’s new system for teachers licensing was called ‘Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards (TELS UAE) and Licensing Programme’ and has now been shortened to Teachers Licensing System (TLS). The professional licensing scheme for teachers was introduced in 2017 and expected to be fully implemented by 2021, in line with the requirements of the UAE National Agenda.

“Some education experts feel that a sizeable proportion of teachers will have to be replaced once teaching licenses and their relevant standards become mandatory in 2021,” Gulf News noted. All teachers in the UAE will need a teacher license decided the Ministry of Education (MOE). According to the ministry, existing teachers in the UAE working across all public and private schools will need a teacher’s license to legally work in the country; this helps to ensure they’re adequately trained in modern teaching strategies.

UAE Teacher Licensing: It’s time to upgrade your teaching qualification. For those who might not already know, UAE-based teachers will need to apply for a Provisional Teacher Licence (PTL). “In order to receive this, they must have relevant qualifications and experience, provide proof of legal status, a certificate of good conduct and fitness, as well as an IELTS score of 6,” tells Arabian Business. After receiving the PTL, teachers can then begin the application for the Competent Teacher Status (CTS) license, a document that proves they meet the TELSUAE criteria and are licensed.

Minister of Education Hussain Al Hammadi said the teacher training program would comprise of two tests:  a specialized test and a test focusing on teaching methods.

So, if you are an unqualified or under-qualified teacher, you need to act now. Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) launched the Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards (TELS) pilot program to license 20,000 teachers in the emirate by 2021. The TELS Certification Exam ( paves the way for teachers who need to enhance certain skills associated with teaching. Once successfully completed, they’ll earn the UAE Competent Teacher Status License which would allow them to teach in schools across the country.

Dr Naji Al Mahdi, Chief of Qualifications and Awards in Dubai explained how the implementation of teacher licensing project will happen in three stages. In the first stage, teachers will need to apply for the Provisional License, The second stage will require self-assessment and training. In the third stage, teachers will take a TELSUAE exam to receive the license.

The development training and assessment will be conducted by the British University in Dubai (BUiD) to meet requirements of new standards, as part of the TELS UAE Pilot Project. “BUiD is very happy to partner with KHDA on this initiative and contribute towards UAE Vision 2021,” said Prof. Abdullah Alshamsi, Vice-Chancellor of BUiD.

Dr Thani Ahmed Al Mehairi, Director General of National Qualifications Authority (NQA) told how more than 200 teachers from 15 schools participated in TELSUAE pilot project.

Become a licensed teacher licensed in UAE

Here are the requirements to be a teacher in the UAE.

Desired candidates as teachers MUST have a Bachelor degree major in the subject area (Arabic, Arts & Humanities, Islamic Studies, or in any of the STEM fields) they will teach, at least 2-years of professional experience, have Expert level written and oral communication, and should have EXCELLENT English skills, as many students are from abroad.


  • Must have regional teaching license or certificate
  • Must have strong content knowledge for teaching in their subject areas

Which jobs are available?

There are many job opportunities as teachers for high demand STEM subjects, as there are for those that would like to be an English Teacher to teach children whose first language is Arabic.

There are also schools on the lookout for Islamic / Arabic Teachers who have relevant experience in American /British Curriculum to join their team.

Teaching is often considered a low-paying job in the UAE but the salary may not seem too bad if the candidate is hired in the right place. Salaries will also depend on experience and expertise as well as qualifications and credentials.

Example of teachers’ salary per month: Assistant teacher – Dh8,000 / Teacher – Dh10,000 to 20,000

The pay package might also include benefits such as housing, flights, medical, gratuity and a percentage of school fees for their children.

Become a licensed teacher licensed in UAE

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