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.
Degree, TEFL certificate, local interview preferred.
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!
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|
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