The laidback and exotic reputation of Thailand has been a draw for TEFL qualified teachers for many years. Jobs in public schools and private language institutes are widespread and relatively easy to come by, although the average salary is not particularly high compared to some other countries in Asia.
What do I need to teach English in Thailand?
Just a few years ago it was common practice for foreign teachers to work in Thailand on nothing more than a tourist visa, but things have certainly changed in recent times. These days an official work permit is essential for all legitimate teaching jobs and to get one you will need a degree in any subject. A TEFL certificate is not an official requirement, but most employers still expect their job applicants to have one on their application form.
What type of TEFL job will I get in Thailand?
The majority of TEFL qualified teachers in Thailand work in either a government run school or a private language center. If you work in a public school your hours will most likely follow a typical Monday to Friday routine and you will have the luxury of a large number of public holidays. In contrast, private language centers usually require you to work in the evenings and on weekends, although the pay is often better than that offered in the public sector. Other options include universities and international schools, however, these generally require applicants to have previous classroom experience. As the average salary in Thailand is relatively low, many teachers take on private tutoring in their spare time to top up their income.
How do I apply for TEFL jobs in Thailand?
It is possible to secure a job in Thailand before you leave home via a recruitment company or by replying to online job adverts. However, these jobs are relatively small in number, so most teachers head to the country first and then start applying and interviewing in person. This approach is actually a big positive for the teacher as it gives you the chance to meet the staff at the school and get a feel for the location before you commit to the job. Just remember that appearances are highly important in Thai culture so make sure you are dressed smartly and always act in a professional manner.
When should I apply for TEFL jobs in Thailand?
As the demand for TEFL qualified teachers is high in many areas, jobs are often available year-round. Whatever time of year you plan to arrive in the country, simply contact as many schools and language centers as you can find in your chosen location and you are almost certain to get a few interviews. Bangkok is home to the largest job market for foreign teachers, while other popular destinations include Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya.