Teach English in Thailand

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Teach English in Thailand

Guide to teaching English in Thailand

Interested in teaching English in Thailand? With an expansive tourist sector and growing interest in the English language, the demand for ESL teachers is high.

As one of the most visited countries in Asia, teachers in Thailand can navigate dense jungles and beautiful beaches, enjoy a world-renowned culinary culture, and admire stunning architecture. Keep reading to learn about different locations, salaries, benefits, and how to get a job teaching English in Thailand!

Types of teaching jobs in Thailand

With a huge demand for English teachers, Thailand offers a wide range of teaching jobs. Whether you want a short-term job or a career teaching English in Thailand, you have many options to choose from.

  • Public schools: If you don't have a degree in education, teaching English at public schools in Thailand is your best option for finding work quickly. Public school positions are rife in bigger cities as well as more rural areas.
  • Private language schools: Private schools are usually available in big cities and tourist spots. However, you may need prior teaching experience, a TEFL certification, and a degree to get a job teaching English here.
  • Private lessons: As a private English teacher, you’ll teach one or more students in your own home or theirs. This is a popular option for expats who don't want to work with large groups and can offer small classes individually.
  • International schools: English teaching jobs at international schools are often higher-paying than others, but they require that you earn the right qualifications and experience first. They're also more competitive because there's more demand for them among expats and locals alike.
  • Universities and colleges: If you're looking for something more long-term with benefits like health care coverage and retirement plans, teaching English at a university or college in Thailand could be your option! While it offers a handsome salary and benefits, the requirements list will be higher than other teaching gigs.

Average salary for teaching English in Thailand

Teaching English in Thailand is a great way to earn a good salary while living a relaxed lifestyle. On average, an English teacher’s monthly salary in Thailand is $945 USD - $1,881 USD (30,000 baht - 50,000 baht) per month. Your salary will be based on factors such as teaching experience, qualifications, and the type of school you’re teaching at.

Common teacher benefits for English teachers in Thailand

Not only will English teachers in Thailand earn a good salary in a country which boasts of low cost of living, they may also be provided with other benefits:

  • Orientation upon arrival
  • Free housing and utilities paid by your employer
  • Salary increase per semester or academic year
  • Visa and work permit assistance
  • Free lunch at school
  • Health or accident insurance
  • Reimbursements for visa costs

Cost of living in Thailand as an English teacher

The cost of living in Thailand is very low compared to other countries, however, the country also allows you to live a more luxurious lifestyle. Cities such as Bangkok and Phuket will have a higher cost of living, whereas in the north and northeastern areas, the cost of living is far lower.

  • Food: $190-$400 USD/month (depending on eating habits)
  • Accommodation (If not already provided): $60-$400 USD/month
  • Motorbike rental: $40-$80 USD/month
  • Transportation (public or private): $58-$188 USD/month
  • Gym membership: $29-$75 per month

Source: Numbeo

Finding housing as an English teacher in Thailand

If your accommodation is not already provided, finding housing in Thailand can be a little tricky. However, with the help of some resources and tips, you should be able to find suitable accommodation for your needs.

  • Contact people who have lived here before: They may be able to provide insight into the best places for finding affordable housing options.
  • Ask your school: Your school will not only understand the typical prices for accommodation, but they will have connections to help you find a place.
  • Join expat groups: Local expats will know the market and can help you negotiate a good deal. These groups may also have landlords advertising their property.

Where to teach English in Thailand

It may surprise you to hear that Thailand is incredibly vast, boasting of 2,000 miles of coastline, mountainous northern terrain, central plains, southern islands, meaning that there are many desirable locations for teaching English in Thailand.

Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most popular cities to teach English in Thailand due to its cultural significance, affordability, and myriad opportunities. Schools often hire teachers on a short and long term basis, and English teachers in Bangkok can live cheaply by eating local food and sharing accommodation with other teachers or renting alone.

Chiang Mai

While considerably smaller and with fewer opportunities than in Bangkok, Chiang Mai has become increasingly popular among expats seeking longer-term positions. English teachers in Chiang Mai will boast of a high salary in a laid back city situated near bountiful Thai mountains.

Phuket

Phuket is an island known for its white-sand beaches, traditional markets, and local food. Jobs are more competitive and the cost of living is high, but so is the salary and experience for English teachers in Phuket.

Isaan

For teachers who want to go off the beaten track, the Northeastern region, Isaan, is a fantastic option. While it may not be so popular with tourists, English teachers in Isaan can find public school jobs with modest salaries in areas which boast of low costs of living, natural beauty, and authentic Thai culture.

How to teach English in Thailand

There are many options for finding a job teaching English in Thailand. The most common way is through an agency which often offers TEFL certification, accommodation, and other perks. You can also find jobs on your own by contacting schools directly, but this requires more time, patience, and effort.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Start looking for teaching jobs. You'll need to apply during the hiring season, which typically starts in May and then again in October.
  2. Ensure you meet the basic requirements. You'll need to submit a CV or resume, recent photos, as well as necessary documents such as a degree certificate and transcript, criminal background check, and TEFL certificate.
  3. Prepare (and ace) your interview! You will need to explain to your interviewer how you would be a valuable asset in the classroom, and why you want to teach English in Thailand in particular. Be prepared to ask your interviewer questions about the position.
  4. Apply for a visa. In order to teach English in Thailand legally, you'll need to get a non-immigrant B visa. Your school will sponsor your employment and file everything with the Thai government on your behalf.

Classroom culture in Thailand

Classroom culture in Thailand is likely to be vastly different to what you are used to back home. While in Western countries, we place emphasis on punctuality and regimentation, the Thai classroom can be anything but.

Here are a few important tips to know before teaching English in Thailand:

  • Classrooms are generally noisy places with lots of laughter and talking back and forth between students and teachers. It is not uncommon for students to argue with their teachers about various topics. Students are often very late to class, but don’t take offense, this is the mai bpen rai culture!
  • Women typically wear conservative clothing in professional settings, such as a knee-length dress or skirt when teaching at work or in the classroom. Men should wear a collared shirt, formal trousers, and black shoes.
  • The concept of “face” is huge in Thailand. You will almost never see anyone shouting or displaying anger, and this is also expected in the classroom. While you may need to establish rules and discipline within the classroom, teachers rarely shout in anger at their students.

What People Are Saying

Meaningful Work & Travel Teaching Job, Training & Cultural Orientation

Although I had experienced some challenging times leading up to my placement in Tak, Thailand, it was all a distant memory the second I was greeted by the kind and affable staff members. I was lucky...
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Troye

Teach English in Thailand - Impact Teaching

I had a wonderful time in Thailand. I got to know my Thai colleagues and the culture well. I am so grateful to have had the experience of working and living abroad, and I couldn't have done it without...
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SONIA

Meaningful Work & Travel Teaching Job, Training & Cultural Orientation

They are very nice ,and the food is so good , I love the people very approachable and of course the place is beautiful lots of fun so many tourist go here because the place is lovely.i won't forget...
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Michelle

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to teach English in Thailand as a non native English speaker

    Non native English speakers who want to teach English in Thailand will need to be TEFL certified. Non native English speakers can also look at other ways to bolster their resume by gaining in-class teaching experience before teaching in Thailand.

  • How can I teach English in Thailand?

    Most teaching jobs in Thailand will require a near native level of English fluency, as well as a Bachelor's degree. A TEFL certification may be required in most cases. Teaching jobs can be found through a recruiter, third-party organization that sets you up with a job, or by applying directly to the school.

  • Can you teach English in Thailand without a degree?

    Most schools will require English teachers to hold a Bachelor's degree. Non-degree holders should be TEFL certified and can volunteer to gain classroom experience in order to maximize employability.

  • Where is the best place to teach English in Thailand?

    Bangkok and Chiang Mai offer more opportunities and career progression in cities which have it all. Coastal cities such as Phuket, Pattaya, and Krabi offer beach lifestyles, whereas the northeast, Isaan, offers a more culturally immersive experience.

  • Is teaching English in Thailand easy?

    It depends on your experience and also the level you are teaching. English teachers in Thailand will find that the work-life balance is comfortable, and that the engaging and welcoming students make teaching English in Thailand enjoyable.

  • How much money can you make teaching English in Thailand?

    Salaries vary depending on the type of school you teach in, ie public, private, or international. On the lower end, public schools may pay around $800 per month, while private international academies can pay up to $5,500 per month.

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  • What are the requirements to teach English in Thailand?

    While not always the case, most teaching jobs will require you to be a native speaker of English and to hold a Bachelor's degree. Some may also require TEFL certification. Teaching abroad through a volunteer organization can be a good way to get teaching experience without necessarily fulfilling these qualifications.

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