Can IELTS Academic be used for work?

IELTS is taken by a massive number of students worldwide for both study abroad and career objectives. Many candidates are unsure whether to take the Academic or General IELTS for working overseas because many professional organisations, such as teaching, medicine, law, or engineering, require an IELTS score for registration.

Can IELTS Academic be used for work

IELTS Academic can be used for work only for medical professionals including doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, pharmacists, pathologists, lab technicians and so on. For all other professionals, IELTS General Training is recommended for immigration. Some professional organisations, however, recognize both General and Academic IELTS scores.

Let us explore more information about the requirements of IELTS Academic and General for job purposes. 

Why is IELTS General preferred over IELTS Academic for work?

The IELTS General Training is developed primarily for immigration needs. When comparing IELTS Academic with IELTS General Training, it is clear that the Reading and Writing components of the exam are designed differently for each target audience. The IELTS Academic exam has questions and tasks that are more academic in character and are more relevant to interactions that a student has, whereas the IELTS General Training Writing and IELTS Reading sections provide questions that are more relevant to everyday work and life.

The IELTS Academic exam, on the other hand, is used to grant visas to a wide range of healthcare professionals. Doctors and nurses take the academic version of the immigration test. Among them are nursing assistants, pharmacists, speech-language pathologists, and other specialists. Several nations even need medical lab technicians to take the IELTS Academic exam.

Can I work with Academic IELTS after my studies?

Many nations, including the United Kingdom and Canada, enable you to use your Academic IELTS to pursue employment after graduation. If you are on a student visa for three years (for undergraduate studies) or one or two years (for master’s degrees), this is made feasible by extending your initial student visa.

A student who desires to remain in a foreign country for work after completing his or her studies may be required to take the IELTS General Training in order to apply for a work visa.  Fortunately, the UK presently offers a two-year post-study work visa period that a student can use to seek full-time work, and their Academic IELTS will be recognised by employers during this time.

For Canada, a one-year course will give you a one-year stay-back period, and a two-year course will give you a three-year stay-back period during which you can look for work without worrying about writing the General IELTS because your current Academic IELTS score will be accepted by employers as it is valid.

Will Academic IELTS be enough to stay long-term and work in a foreign country?

The long-term settlement alternatives vary depending on the immigration laws of each country. However, while the IELTS Academic can help a student get admission to an overseas university or college, General Training is not required for long-term immigration. Since each country’s immigration regulations varies, it is critical to double-check these facts.

If a student is nearing graduation, he or she should contact the university’s International Education department to discuss long-term employment and immigration prospects. This option is only available if you enter the nation with a valid student visa to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

Keep in mind that professionals who want to move to Australia or Canada must take the IELTS General Training exam. An IELTS Academic score cannot replace this. However, the IELTS Academic opens the door for those unsure whether to study or work. As the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training examinations are so similar in many aspects, it may not be a poor idea to take both exams, as the preparation time for both would be the same. Depending on the results of both tests and one’s job aspirations, one might determine if studying further or migrating for career progression is preferable.

Is it mandatory to take IELTS General Training to Stay In-Country After Your Degree?

If you graduated in a foreign country such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, or Canada and want to stay and search for a job, you do not need to take the General IELTS. This is due to the fact that, as previously said, you will be given a post-study work visa, and your existing Academic IELTS certification will be sufficient to get entry into a job and eventually transfer to long-term immigration.

During your stayback period, if an employer is ready to lend you a sponsorship visa to work for them, you will most likely not be required to demonstrate a General IELTS score. This visa would initially be valid for two years but could be extended to three years. However, if you are applying for permanent residency or citizenship, you may be required to take the General IELTS and obtain a valid score.

What is the score required for Academic IELTS if I need to work as a health professional? 

The required score is solely determined by the recognized professional body that governs your line of work. Nonetheless, an aggregate 7 band score is the minimum requirement to obtain professional accreditation and work legally abroad.

The score requirement depends on various factors such as your education and experience. If you studied in an English Speaking country or your schooling and professional course education was completely delivered through the medium of English, there is a possibility that you may be exempted from producing an IELTS score altogether or maybe just required to produce an overall band score 6. If you have more than two years of experience working in an English Speaking Country, you may need to show an overall 6 band score. 

Let’s take a look at the four major nations and the IELTS requirements for working there:

AustraliaTo get an Australian visa, you must demonstrate your English skills to the Department of Home Affairs.All Australian institutions and colleges, as well as all professional bodies with necessary language requirements for professional registration, recognise IELTS.IELTS examinations are administered in roughly 50 locations throughout Australia. Each state’s capital city, as well as a number of regional areas, has a test centre.
CanadaTo acquire a Canadian visa, you must demonstrate your English skills to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. IELTS is recognized by educational institutions, professional groups, and corporations nationwide. Additionally, IELTS is accepted by all Canadian universities and colleges, as well as all professional organizations that have minimal language requirements for professional registration. Other language competence exams, such as CAEL and PTE, are also approved. 
UKIELTS Academic, IELTS General Training, and IELTS Life Skills are accepted as proof of English proficiency by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for anyone wishing to live, work, or study in the UK.The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English are among the IELTS partners in charge of IELTS assessments for UK Visas and Immigration.You must meet the English language criteria of the institution if you apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa to begin a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree at a Tier 4 Sponsored university. Please keep in mind that extra qualifications may apply at some schools and universities.Several professional groups recognize IELTS General and Academic for immigration purposes.
New ZealandImmigration New Zealand accepts IELTS as proof of English ability for immigration applications.IELTS is accepted by all institutions and organisations in New Zealand.For health professionals, IELTS Academic is accepted for professional registration, but all others require IELTS General. The required score is determined by the relevant regulatory professional organisations.


IELTS Academic can only be used for work by health professionals. However, if you are already in a foreign country on a study visa, you may not be required to write IELTS General again because you already have a valid IELTS Academic score, which will most likely lead to you securing a permanent job without attempting the General IELTS, unless it is required during the time of your permanent residency and citizenship application.

Shruthi Raveendran

I am Shruthi Raveendran, a TEFL-certified IELTS/PTE and ESL tutor who has 8+ years of experience working in the education industry. I am a passionate writer, logophile and film enthusiast

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