Thailand is a great destination to teach abroad, constantly ranking high in traveler’s favourite destinations. Whether you’re backpacking or making a permanent residence, Thailand’s affordability and rich culture make it an attractive choice. From white sand beaches to vibrant cities, teaching English in Thailand offers adventure on any budget. Keep on reading to find out more about becoming a teacher in Thailand.
The Land of Smiles and its people are famed for their hospitality, making this country ideal for beginners and experts alike. Cities like Chiang Mai in the north and Bangkok in the south offer abundant opportunities and culture. The mainland and Thai Islands have scuba-diving, surfing, and famed elephant sanctuaries.
English is a necessity for Thais working in the international market, so the demand for teachers is constant. Those with a four-year degree from countries such as the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand will find different opportunities at language schools from primary to university.
If you’re a native English speaker and are interested in teaching English abroad, continue reading for a comprehensive guide on traveling and teaching abroad in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Teaching in Thailand
Thailand is an excellent destination for teachers because of its low cost of living and many job offers. Teachers who come from English-speaking countries will have unique opportunities to practice their craft.
Aside from providing both ideal natural settings and bustling cities to explore, a teacher’s lifestyle varies drastically depending on the location and institution-type of the job offer. 30,000 to 40,000 THB per month (roughly 960- 1,280 USD) is the average salary for government, public education jobs. Private school and university education increase in average salary (up to 90,000 THB per month or 2880 USD).
Many schools offer bonuses like a housing allowance, financial bonuses, health insurance, and food.
Do you hear the call of elephants and smell the spice of Thai food? Continue reading and find more about how to teach English in Thailand.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 148 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
Requirements for Teaching ESL in Thailand
Thai educational regulations and requirements differ greatly by location and school, meaning that job opportunities are often negotiable. However, the government sets a few legal standards. These requirements include:
- a four-year certified degree and transcript
- to be a native speaker or non-native speaker with a TOEIC score of 600+ or IELTS score of 5+
- criminal and health background checks
- a visa and work permit
Also, if you plan on teaching longer than two years, you will eventually need to apply for a Teacher’s License issued by the Teachers Council of Thailand. Though it is not a legal requirement, schools usually require a TEFL certificate. Teaching experience is not as strictly required compared to other southeastern-Asian destinations, but this depends on the opportunity.
Salary and Benefits for a Teacher in Thailand
With the constant need for teachers and diverse educational institutions, you can expect salaries to vary when teaching English in Thailand. If your goal is to have a high salary, consider destinations like Japan or South Korea. But you can teach English in Bangkok, where higher salaries and the low cost of living make saving money easy.
Check out the average monthly salaries of English teaching jobs in Thailand:
- International School – 40,000 to 75,000 Baht per month
- Thailand Universities – 30,000 to 90,000 Baht per month
- Government School – 25,000 to 40,000 Baht per month
- Corporate Training Programs – 45,000 to 60,000 Baht per month
- Private Language School – 35,000 to 50,000 Baht per month
- Private Tutoring – 300 to 600 Baht per hour
International school salaries depend on your experience and qualifications, as well as the reputation of the school. They reach up to 150,000 Baht (4,807 USD) per month for qualified teachers.
In addition to the benefits, such as travel and accommodation reimbursement, employers are mandated by law to provide international teachers annual sick leave, maternity leave, and vacation leave. Not to mention, the Land of Smiles offers the most exquisite cuisine and weather.
There are also some volunteer ESL teaching opportunities in Thailand where you may be able to a TEFL certificate, along with a practicum or something like that.
English Teaching Jobs in Thailand
Most public school teachers work full-time, engaging in the same educational and administrative tasks expected of an educator. Teachers will create lesson plans, projects, and exams, as well as interact with the school community.
Though it is common for students to know English, their sufficiency greatly varies. Often there is little guidance for curriculum. With large class sizes, being a public school teacher can be a challenge. But it can also be highly rewarding for independent go-getters.
Private and International Schools
You can expect few differences between public, private, and international schools, like an improved student-to-teacher ratio and higher salaries. Salaries in international schools are higher, so these positions are competitive and given to qualified candidates. Private schools are more lenient with requirements and experience, but you still need to meet government requirements.
If you have little experience in teaching English or are not from an English-speaking country, you probably won’t get one of these positions. These schools also have a more Western-style education, so it will feel familiar.
Universities and Teaching in Thailand
A Thailand university offers educators unique opportunities that other institutions do not. Being the most competitive, these positions are well-compensated with salaries and bonuses. However, you will be expected to work part-time. So you can, if you wish, get a secondary education job. Universities in Thailand are exceptional in their diversity. As a professor, you can expect each university job to have its own requirements and lifestyle. As usual, you can expect classrooms of over 50 people.
Teaching English in Thailand FAQ
Looking for how to teach English in Thailand? Check out this list of commonly asked questions and comments.
How much do teachers in Thailand make?
Teachers have a vast potential of salaries and benefits depending on the region and institution. The highest paying salaries will be found in Bangkok, and Chiang Mai in universities. These top at around 150,000 Baht or roughly 4,800 USD.
What qualifications do I need for ESL teaching in Thai?
Thai requirements for teachers are historically relaxed, allowing teachers to negotiate for their positions with individual schools and companies. However, the government does set a few standards which include a four-year bachelor’s degree, English proficiency, and supporting documentation.
Is it difficult to teach English in Thailand?
If there was a perfect country for beginners who are interested in South East Asia, Thailand is the place to practice your skills as an educator and traveller. Thai hospitality is famed. The standard of living is high, especially if you like an abundance of amazing eats from food trucks.
Can you save money while teaching in Thailand?
Because the cost of living is so low, you can save money while teaching. If your position is part-time, you can pursue another job. But, if your main goal when teaching abroad is financial, destinations like South Korea or Japan might be better suited for you.
What is the academic calendar like in Thailand?
Thailand operates on a two-semester system. The first begins from early May through late September, and the second begins mid-October and runs through late March. The semesters are structured to best avoid the rainy season.
Things to Consider When Teaching in Thailand
At this point, you may already be excited to send your application to become a teacher in the Kingdom of Thailand. But before you do so, you should read through the following essential list for teachers in Thailand.
- There are a lot of dogs and cats on the streets
- Vehicle culture is very different than you might expect. Thai streets are crowded with scooters, tuk-tuks, and taxis all tooting their horns. The sidewalks are almost non-existent. And they also drive on the left side of the road!
- Thai people sure love their coffee! North American coffee is often watered down, but you won’t find that in Thailand.
- Racial discrimination is an unfortunate, but real aspect of teaching in Thailand. Many schools historically gave preferential hiring to white teachers or teachers with white-sounding names. But the situation is improving because schools are changing their hiring methods with equality in mind.
- English translations are often available but can be poorly done. Learning to communicate in a country’s native language is a sure-fire way to plant your roots successfully.
Working as an English teacher in Thailand is quite fulfilling. In terms of expenses and culture, nowhere has it better than the Land of Smiles.
Oh, and if you like the idea of teaching in a tropical paradise, you may want to consider teaching jobs in Puerto Rico.
Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts about teaching English in this amazing country? If Southeast Asia is the right destination for you, consider a destination like Hong Kong. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about teaching in this country. Join our email list and join the conversation. We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API