Alternative Employment Options for Teachers

The purpose of this article is to outline employment options for those people who are interested in teaching in Ontario but have not obtained a license which allows them to do so. If you are interested in learning more about licensing for teachers in Ontario please see these two ONIP articles (Links to Teachers’ Licensing and Understanding the Education System in Ontario). Some of the ideas in these two articles will be presented in more depth here.

There are several institutions and companies which hire teachers who are not certified. These include

  • private elementary schools (also called independent schools)
  • private secondary schools (also called independent schools)
  • private career colleges
  • community colleges
  • universities
  • boards of education

Private elementary and secondary schools
Private schools also provide elementary and secondary education. They are independently operated and do not receive funding from the government. However, the Ministry of Education reserves the right to inspect the standard of instruction in these schools. Private schools are not required to hire certified teachers. According to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), only about 2,000 teachers at Ontario ‘s more than 700 private schools are members of the College of Teachers .

Federation of Independent Schools in Canada lists requirements to teach in the private sector. Scroll down to Ontario .

You will note that no certification is required of teachers teaching in elementary independent schools and that the requirements are more stringent for the secondary level. You require an Ontario Teaching Certificate, Bachelor of Education or a Letter of Standing for teaching in the secondary independent schools.

Types of independent schools
There are several types of independent schools which can be grouped according to their philosophy or specialty. These include

  • religious schools
  • alternative methods (such as Waldorf, Montessori)
  • special needs
  • community based
  • home schooling.

Private career colleges
There are over 450 private career colleges in Ontario . They can be registered with the provincial government and they focus on employment preparation. Examples of career colleges include tutoring firms, business schools, truck driving schools, and schools of hair and cosmetology. The Academy of Learning and Toronto School of Business are examples. A background in adult education would be useful for teaching in these colleges. A solid understanding of the topic and/or related experience is required.

Instructors in these colleges may also be referred to as “vocational instructors.” You may refer to an extensive listing of job titles in this category at

Some of the private career colleges are franchises, for example Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning, based in London , Ontario , sells franchises to buyers who then attend an intensive training session. New owners then recruit teachers to provide tutoring to students.

Community colleges and universities
Teaching at colleges and universities is not regulated. Recognition of academic credentials is at the discretion of the hiring department. You may be interested in the following website.
On requirements to practise
Information for foreign-trained university professors and college teachers

Boards of education
Most boards of education in Ontario offer continuing education courses for adults. An Ontario teaching certificate is not required for teaching general interest courses. Contact your local board of education (or school board).

Language requirements
A high level of fluency and literacy in English is required for the positions listed here; however, there may be opportunities to tutor or teach your mother tongue, especially in larger centres and “university towns.” Please refer to the ONIP article on tutoring.

Working conditions
There is a great variety in working conditions for uncertified teachers in Ontario and you will need to ask about the setting you are interested in. Some teachers have salaried positions and others are paid an hourly rate for class time. Preparation time may or may not be compensated. Certified teachers working in the public system may participate in benefit and pension plans. These opportunities are less common for uncertified teachers.

To conclude
As you can see, there are many possibilities for uncertified teachers in Ontario . Take an inventory of your skills and interests as well as of your experience in education. You may find yourself combining your teaching skills with a favourite skill or pastime. Good luck!