Thailand is one of the most attractive destinations in Asia and it is a popular stop for many backpackers. The good news for those who want to stay for an extended period of time is that there is a big demand for English language teachers in many parts of the country. Although wages may not be as high as those in other Asian countries, you can still earn enough to live comfortably and enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer.
What qualifications are required to teach English in Thailand?
It used to be almost the norm for teachers to work "under the table" without a proper work permit; however, those days are long gone and you must now have the necessary paperwork in order to earn a good salary in Thailand. A degree in any subject is required to be granted a work permit, it is also helpful to complete a TEFL training course before applying for jobs.
Although TEFL certification is not legally required to teach in Thailand, schools increasingly expect it, and many insist on it. TEFL training will not only open up a wider job market with higher earning potential, but it will also provide you with the specific skills and know-how you need to feel ready when you set foot into your own classroom for the first time.
Who are the main employers of English teachers in Thailand?
Public schools and private language academies employ the vast majority of foreign English teachers in Thailand. Government schools typically operate from Monday to Friday, with numerous public holidays sprinkled throughout the year. Although private schools pay slightly more, working hours frequently include evenings and weekends because students attend in their spare time. Teachers with additional credentials and significant experience will be able to apply to international schools and universities, which offer higher salaries and more responsibility.
If your salary isn't stretching as far as you would like, private tutoring is an excellent way to supplement your income in your free time.
How should I apply for English teaching jobs in Thailand?
Although it is possible to arrange a teaching job in Thailand from the comfort of your home country, either through a recruitment agency or by responding to individual job postings, this may not be the best approach. Only a small percentage of employers post job openings online as the vast majority prefer to hire people who are already in the country.
Appearance is extremely important in Thai culture and a local hiring policy is the simplest way for employers to determine whether or not you are qualified for the job. This policy is also beneficial to teachers because they can travel from school to school to meet the staff and inspect the facilities before signing a contract.
When should I apply for English teaching jobs in Thailand?
Since TEFL qualified teachers are in high demand throughout the year there is no main time to look for work in Thailand, though December and January are likely to be the quietest months.
In general, you can arrive at any time of the year and begin knocking on doors and setting up interviews immediately. The bustling capital Bangkok has the most job openings, but Chiang Mai in the north and Phuket in the south are also popular teaching destinations.