Teaching English in Thailand
If you decide to teach English in Thailand you can look forward to enjoying a tropical climate, living in one of the world’s most beautiful countries with world-famous tourist attractions. Known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Smiles,’ Thailand offers visitors a rich diversity of cultures and traditions, plus amazing landscapes with its beautiful beaches, the Thai highlands, Khorat Plateau, and the Chao Phraya river valley.
A large percentage of the advertised teaching jobs in Thailand are in Bangkok, the capital and the country’s most densely populated city, with around 12 million inhabitants. You’ll also see teaching jobs advertised in Chang Mai in Northern Thailand, the Capital of the Chiang Mai Province. You may also find teaching vacancies in schools around Phuket, which is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist attractions.
Despite many blogs suggesting otherwise, ESL Teachers need a work visa if they plan on working legally in Thailand. In the past, teachers were able to get by on tourist visas, which could be renewed every three months at the nearest border crossing, but the Thai government recently announced a crackdown on tourist visa abuse. The visa process can be complicated, so when you apply for a job you should check that your employer will handle the visa application on your behalf. An offer of ‘assistance’ is not generally sufficient.
The average salary for an ESL teacher in Thailand is around 30,000 baht a month, which is double the average Thai salary. That sounds great, but be aware that as a foreigner you will pay a correspondingly higher price for more or less everything, so you won’t have as much available cash as would appear to be the case at first glance.
Teaching English in Thailand
ESL Teachers will find plenty of advertisements for teaching jobs in international schools, private language schools and of course state schools. In general, International Schools offer better benefits and a better working environment, being used to employing overseas teachers. You’ll also benefit from longer paid holidays, since they observe both Thai and western holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Their school year usually runs from August to June. If you are fully qualified you can look forward to a higher than average salary, often between 50,000 and 80,000 baht a month.
Typical salaries at a government school will be around 20,000 baht to 35,000 baht. Class sizes are generally big (30-50 students) and the schools are not the easiest environments to teach in. The quickest and easiest way to find a job teaching English in Thailand is to work for a private language school. However, teachers usually work longer hours and salaries are not so good. However, there is always work available. These are the types of schools teachers head for if they are trying to work on a tourist visa.