Teaching English in Thailand

Thailand Overview

Many people fall in love with Thailand and think about extending their holiday indefinitely by becoming a teacher. There are certainly plenty of opportunities out there, but pay is low and you face plenty of competition for the better jobs. It is time-consuming to arrange a work visa once you are in Thailand (you have to visit a neighbouring country for the paperwork and then come back again) but only a relatively small proportion of the opportunities available are advertised online. Demand remains high for English tuition just as salaries remain rather low. Female teachers are more sought after because of the already high proportion of male teachers.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres and kindergartens 750 – 1,500 Various shifts sometimes including early mornings and evenings and weekends 2 weeks plus national holidays
Elementary and high schools 1,000 – 2,000 7.30am – 4pm Monday to Friday 6 weeks plus national holidays
Local universities 1,000 – 2,000 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday 8 weeks plus national holidays
International schools 3,000 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Bangkok, Surat Thani and throughout the country.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate, local interview preferred.

The University of Toronto TEFL Online - Internationally Recognized


1. South African teachers need to sit the TOEIC exam and the certificate need to be renewed every two years in order to teach English legally in Thailand.

2. The best schools only employ teachers with a degree although it is still just about possible to find work if you have lots of relevant teaching experience and are able to convince authorities of this. But it will be tough (unless you work illegally).

3. Smiles go a long way in Thailand. Remember this as you discover that the application process for a work visa can seem like a never-ending administrative nightmare!

Red tape

In order to teach legally in Thailand, you need a work permit. Whilst there are lots of teachers who do not have this it is strongly advisable that you do not consider accepting an offer of employment unless there is a guarantee of a work permit paid for by your employer. This should be arranged before you arrive in Thailand because otherwise it will entail leaving the country and returning again on the proper work visa. Once you have the work visa you then need to apply for the teacher’s license but you are free to teach in the meantime (as long as you get one within 2 years of arriving).

Cost of living

Living costs are generally very low in Thailand but accommodation in some areas of Bangkok can be rather expensive.

Tax and salary information

Your employer should pay income tax on your behalf. As usual, expect your salary on a monthly basis.


There are lots of TEFL opportunities Difficult to find a decent job unless you are already in Thailand
Your students are likely to be very pleasant Lots of competition from other Westerners in Thailand
A great social life Not much opportunity for professional development

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

Would you like your school, language centre or recruitment agency to be listed here? Please contact us.

Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in. This is a free service for teachers.


  1. Elizabeth says:

    There certainly are tons of ESLesl job opportunities in Kingdom of thailand.
    If you want a teaching job, the most convenient way to go about
    it is by heading off to Bang kok. Now there you are going
    to discover a lot of companies Ecc, siam, Ef etc. These people are constantly looking to
    enlist educators. Pay is roughly around THIRTY THOUSAND to 40,
    000 baht every calendar month, which is sufficient to live on in the metropolis.

  2. Mike Sweeney says:

    I am currently teaching in Shandong Province, China, at a top private middle school. But when my contract ends next summer.
    I would like to re-locate and maybe teach in Thailand if there are any suitable job opportunities.
    Kind regards
    Mike Sweeney

Leave A Reply