Immigrating to Québec to teach
Education is at the heart of Québec society and is one of its basic values. Québec also has very low unemployment rates and excellent job prospects, especially in education.
Québec’s school system is divided into two sectors, English and French, depending on the language of instruction at each school. Québec and its institutions are secular, which means that their decisions and actions are independent of religious authorities. Thus, some public employees, including new teachers, are not permitted to wear any religious symbols while working.
Whether or not you are a teacher in your country, you can become one in Québec.
You are a teacher in your country
There are several internationally recognized programs that will allow you to teach in Québec. You can consult the list of countries to find out whether your training is recognized. We recommend that you start by applying for a teaching licence, whether or not your program is on the list, since each case is different (programs, specific pathways, optional courses).
List of countries
If you have training in teaching, a school subject or vocational training, and if you are authorized to teach in your country, follow the procedure below to become a teacher in Québec.
- First, fill out an application for a teaching licence, making sure to submit all the supporting documents indicated on the form.
If your application is accepted, you will receive a conditional approval notice. Conditional approval does not allow you to teach; it simply allows you to take the compulsory language examination.
- You will have two years to take the language examination.
- If you pass the language examination, you will be issued a probationary teaching permit. The probationary teaching permit is a five-year temporary teaching licence. You will therefore be able to teach for five years.
- To obtain a teaching diploma (permanent teaching licence), you must:
- earn 15 university credits:
- 6 in didactics
- 3 in Québec’s school system
- 3 in the evaluation of learning
- 3 in working with students with handicaps or learning difficulties
- serve a probationary period of 600 to 900 hours
- earn 15 university credits:
In vocational training, only the 3 credits in Québec’s school system and the probationary period are required.
Note: If your application for a teaching licence is refused, you will receive a letter indicating what you need to do to obtain a teaching licence.
You are not a teacher in your country
If you have training in a school subject
You can become a teacher in Québec if you have a bachelor’s degree in a school subject such as mathematics, chemistry, English or music, even if you are not currently a teacher.
You must first contact the university of your choice (In French) to confirm that your training is equivalent to the training given in Québec. In most cases, you will have to do a qualifying master’s degree.
If you have training related to preschool education services
If you have a diploma in early childhood education or preschool education services (e.g. DCS in early childhood education) and are currently seeking employment, you can redirect yourself toward a career in preschool and elementary school education. You must meet the following two conditions:
- You have accumulated 3000 hours of experience as a preschool education services educator or teacher.
- You must be enrolled in a preschool and elementary school teacher education program that enables you to work and study at the same time, at the university of your choice. You can then apply for a provisional teaching licence.
If you have completed vocational training
If you are currently on the job market, after having earned a Diploma of Vocational Studies (in Automobile Mechanics, for example), you can make a career change and become a vocational training teacher, providing you meet the following two conditions:
- Have 3000 hours of practical or teaching experience directly related to the trade or occupation to be taught
- Complete a bachelor’s degree in vocational training at the university of your choice (In French) , which you can do while working if you apply for a provisional teaching licence .
Regardless of your career and academic history, you must contact the university of your choice to find the information you need. Some university programs will recognize your vocational training and workplace experience. As a result, you may be granted some university credits.
Throughout your education, you have the possibility of working while you study. You can become a substitute teacher even before taking steps to qualify as a teacher. You do not need a teaching licence to substitute in a subject related to your education. However, to obtain a teaching contract while you are in school, you must obtain a provisional teaching licence .
Once you have completed your training, you will be issued a teaching diploma .