Thailand is every English teacher’s fantasy. The Land of Smiles is a popular country for English teachers because of its low cost of living, amazing food, rich culture, plenty of partying, and a mai pen rai (no worries) mentality.
Thais regard English to be a must for working in the global economy, thus there is always a demand for teachers. There are several opportunities for work with language schools, elementary schools, universities, and other sites offering English classes.
So, how do you go about finding a job teaching English in Thailand?
To do so, you must be a native English speaker from an English-speaking country (designated as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand) or demonstrate your proficiency, and have a bachelor’s degree.
Because teaching English is so popular in Thailand, I’d recommend getting a 120-hour TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA credential to help you stand out.
Salaries for all teaching positions in Thailand vary substantially based on region and company. Expect to earn less in popular tourist destinations such as Koh Samui, Phuket, and other locations since individuals will take a lesser income in return for the beach lifestyle.
Bangkok has the highest pay, followed by Chiang Mai.
Here’s an overview of the numerous ways to teach in the country, as well as what to expect from each:
Preschool through high school are all free in public schools. The school year runs from May to March, with a three-week vacation in October.
Expect to work full-time as a public school teacher in Thailand, even if you are not teaching every day. Responsibilities include anything from designing lesson plans and tests to grading papers (none of which are rewarded if done on your own time) and holding office hours at school.
Students’ knowledge and comprehension of English vary, and there is frequently little advice in terms of the curriculum you must develop. You’re very much on your own here! Many teachers use games, TV shows, and movies in their classes.
Expect huge class sizes in public schools due to the high student-to-teacher ratio.
Monthly salaries range from 25,000 to 40,000 THB ($827-1,317 USD). Teaching in cities will earn you the highest money. You can expect lesser wages in the countryside, but the cost of living is so cheap that you’ll still have lots of spare money!
International and Private Schools
Other than the lower student-to-teacher ratio and the fact that they are not free to attend, there are very few distinctions between public schools and private and foreign schools.
International schools have the most desirable employment, but you must be a trained teacher to receive one, as the curriculum is based on that of the West. Private schools are less stringent, but you’ll still need some experience. You must have a degree as well as a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certificate, past teaching experience, and be a native English speaker.
You’re unlikely to gain a job at one of these schools if you’ve never taught English before or have only a little experience.
Whereas public schools follow the Thai system and receive little assistance, these institutions are more like Western schools, so if you’re wondering how teaching is there, think back to when you were in school!
International schools pay the most, about 80,000-170,000 THB ($2,633-5,596 USD) per month (which is significantly more than the average Thai income and provides for a more luxurious lifestyle); private schools pay 60,000-80,000 THB ($1,975-2,633 USD).
These roles also come with a slew of benefits, including contract incentives, generous vacation time, health insurance, and, on occasion, round-trip flights to and from Thailand.
Teaching at a university in Thailand will help you stand out from the crowd when applying for other English teaching positions in the country. However, teaching at a university means teaching part-time and earning just 30,000-60,000 THB ($987-1,975 USD) each month.
The benefits include the ability to work part-time at another school, a few months of paid vacation, and considerable overtime pay (about 1,000-1,500 THB, or $33-49 USD, each hour).
Your obligations will change depending on where you teach. All teachers must develop lesson plans, but some may also be required to educate professors or hold additional sessions outside of the classroom, among other responsibilities.
Your curriculum may or may not include textbooks. University class sizes are typically huge, with around 50 pupils.
Teaching English in a language school in Thailand differs from teaching English at a public or private school. Classes are often held in the morning before the workday begins, then again in the afternoon and into the evening for children and adults.
At language schools, the workday stretches into the weekend.
Classes in language schools are modest, with four to 10 pupils. It is your obligation as a teacher to create lesson plans and activities.
Language schools also provide the choice of working full- or part-time. Full-time teachers earn between 30,000 and 40,000 THB ($987-1,316 USD) a month, while part-time teachers earn between 350 and 500 THB ($11.50-16.50 USD) per hour.
There are several language schools around the country, and employment opportunities are plentiful. They aren’t concerned with experience or even a TEFL certificate (though having both makes it easier to get a job).
You will also receive minimal assistance from the schools and will be required to set up everything on your own. You will only be compensated for real classroom time.
I didn’t enjoy teaching at language schools, but the work was simple, albeit not highly compensated.
Corporate Education Programs
As a corporate teacher, you teach from a company’s office to its employees. Because classes are usually big, many employees can attend. Because these programs are highly expensive, vacancies are exclusively filled by experienced teachers.
Expect to work early in the morning or late at night because you will be teaching folks outside of office hours.
Corporate teachers often earn between 45,000 and 60,000 THB ($1,481-1,974 USD) per month, with the school covering travel expenses to the firm.
In Thailand, test preparation differs from that of other English occupations. You must be familiar with a range of English examinations, including SAT or GRE prep (and have finished in the 95th percentile or above), as well as IELTS and TOEIC, which are used to screen students before they work or study abroad.
Classes as a test prep teacher are either group or private and held on both weekdays and weekends. It is not only your job to teach the classes, but also to plan and build the course content.
Test prep teachers earn around 600 THB (USD 20) per hour.