Ancient tradition and explosive consumerism collide to create Bangkok, the most rapidly progressing city in Thailand. Teaching English in Thailand will allow you to plunge yourself into the heart of Thai culture in this unparalleled hub of backpackers, shopping, traffic exhaust, temples, and inexhaustible crowds.
Thailand is hiring a large number of foreign teachers to better Thai business prospects in an increasingly globalized world. Teaching English in Bangkok is the gateway to the rest of this beautiful country.
Bangkok is a dynamic, fast-moving medley that never sleeps - a result of its advantageous position on the bank of the Gulf of Thailand and history as the economic powerhouse of Southeast Asia. Be prepared to leave behind things such as routine, stability and predictability if you take a teaching job in Bangkok.
If you need a break from the city, there are plenty of escape routes - explore the dense jungles of the Thai countryside, find an unpopulated white sand beach, or take a trek through the bordering countries of Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. Teaching English in Bangkok is sure to change your perspective on the world - and yourself.
Recently the demand for trained English language teachers in Thailand's public school system has increased. However, salaries for teachers in Thai public schools are often lower than the salaries offered by private and international schools. Teachers in public schools can also expect to receive training from the Thai Ministry of Education.
In general, teachers in primary education will teach students around ages 6-11. After primary education students go on to a lower secondary school for three years before moving on to upper secondary school, where they study until they are 17. The high schools normally have free weekends and longer holidays than private language schools, but teaching at a high school can translate into more tests to grade and larger class sizes.
International schools typically require at least a bachelor's degree and TEFL qualification. Salaries are normally higher relative to public schools and vary with position and school. Teachers may make $1500 to $2400 per month working at an international school. There are many international schools in Bangkok including NIST International School and KIS International School Bangkok (KIS).
Private Language Academies/Schools:
Teachers generally only need a TEFL certificate to be hired at a language school, though previous experience can help at more competitive schools. Language school teachers can expect to make $1200 or more a month and work 20-25 hours per week. There are also often part-time opportunities available that are paid on an hourly-rate basis. Starting at a language school is a great way to build your teaching skills and gain experience that can be used at other types of schools.
Private Tutoring and Companies:
Taking a private tutoring job or teaching English courses at a company are great ways to supplement a school salary. Companies often offer higher pay than language schools, though working at one company isn’t typically a long-term job. Since there is a higher population of Thai children belonging to well-off families in Bangkok, higher paying private tutoring jobs are easier to find and can be a viable part-time activity.
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
Contracts in Thailand are typically set to begin in either May or October, so employers recruit teachers during the few months before. Generally, March-May is the peak hiring time though there are also jobs available year round. Finding a job in Bangkok is more competitive, and it may be easier to arrange one after arriving and settling in so that options can be weighed. Most interviews are done in person, but some may be done beforehand over phone or e-mail.
A Bachelor's degree in any discipline is generally required. A teaching qualification (such as TEFL) and/or prior teaching experience may not be required at some schools, but having these makes teachers more competitive, which is especially important in a popular city like Bangkok where getting hired may be more difficult.
You'll also need to obtain a work permit and a visa before you'll be able to teach. For more information on how to get these, we've got a detailed guide on how to teach legally in Thailand.
Salary & Cost of Living:
Depending on where they work, teachers will make on average $1200-$2500/month. Because the cost of living in Thailand is low, most teachers will be able to save money on their salaries. Teachers are usually left on their own to find accommodations, and it is common to room with coworkers or live in apartments that have been vacated by previous teachers. The Bangkok's average rent per month for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is $685, while the average monthly rent for a similar apartment outside of the city center is only $342.
However, teachers who are not set on living right in the center of Bangkok can save a great deal of money on housing. Food is also highly affordable, and if you’re not a fan of cooking Thailand may be the place for you. For the most part, those living in Bangkok won’t save a great deal by eating at home rather than eating out because street food is so cheap (and delicious). Teachers will find that they’ll have extra money to spend on vacationing, food, and entertainment.
Classroom & Work Culture:
- The school year normally begins in May, and there are many Buddhist holidays that result in 3-4 day weekends and on some occasions 5-day weekends.
- Punctuality is more relaxed in Thailand, especially for social situations, though trains and buses typically run on time.
- Men should stick to wearing non-denim long pants and collared shirts in work environments.
- Skirts and blouses are appropriate for women, but short, tight fitting, and sleeveless attire should be avoided.
- Remember to take your shoes off when entering a Thai home or place of worship.