Thailand has many highlights that attract TEFL qualified teachers from all over the world, including a wide choice of jobs in many areas. Popular locations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya all have jobs available at any time of the year and previous experience is generally not required. Due to this and the widespread demand, Thailand is a particularly good option for newly qualified teachers who are looking to gain some experience in a laidback and welcoming environment.
What can I expect to earn while teaching English in Thailand?
Although it is a very popular destination for teaching English abroad, most people choose Thailand for its cultural attractions, entertainment options, or world-famous cuisine, rather than the potential for earning a high income. As a first-time teacher you can expect to earn around $1,000 per month, which should be enough to cover all your everyday expenses. Teachers with previous classroom experience and/or a high level of qualifications can potentially earn up to $1,500 per month, which should be enough to provide a more comfortable lifestyle. Unlike some other countries in Asia, TEFL jobs in Thailand do not typically include extra benefits such as paid airfare and free housing.
What kind of employer will I work for while teaching English in Thailand?
The state school system provides a large number of jobs for foreign teachers in Thailand. However, to be eligible you will need to be a native English speaker with a 4-year degree. A TEFL certificate is not an official requirement for these positions, but having one will often increase your chances in the job market, whatever the employer. Jobs in state schools typically involve a 40-hour week, from Monday to Friday. The average class size in this environment can often be up to 50 students. The average salary varies depending on the location, but a range of $800 to $1,000 per month is standard.
The other main employers of TEFL teachers in Thailand are private language schools. Positions in these schools often pay a little more than state schools, particularly if you have some previous experience to offer. Classroom teaching hours range from around 18 to 25 per week, with the majority of classes running in the evenings and at weekends. Class sizes are usually considerably smaller than in the public sector, with around ten being the average. Private language centers generally pay their teachers by the hour rather than a fixed salary. Hourly rates can range from $8 to $20. As the number of hours required and the hourly rate can vary considerably, teachers in private language schools earn anywhere from $600 to $2000 per month.
Are there any other employers of TEFL teachers in Thailand?
As with many countries, international schools offer the most lucrative positions for foreign teachers in Thailand. However, these jobs are few in number and only those with a high level qualifications and plenty of experience are likely to be in with a chance of securing one. International schools follow a foreign curriculum such as British or American and generally run to a standard timetable from Monday to Friday. Salaries in this area can be as high as $4000 per month if you are lucky enough to get one.
How does the cost of living affect TEFL teachers in Thailand?
As Thailand is a very diverse country in terms of economy, the cost of living can vary considerably depending on where you are based. The capital, Bangkok, is around a third more expensive than the country-wide average. Popular beach resorts are also similarly expensive when compared to more rural areas. When looking for jobs in these areas it is worth noting that a monthly income of at least $1,000 will probably be required to live comfortably. If you are looking to live and work in a quiet area away from the bright lights, you will be able to get by on a much lower figure.