5 Things To Know About Teaching English Abroad in Thailand
The booming tourism industry in Thailand demands more and more English-speaking staff. Thus, it’s getting increasingly easy to find an ESL teaching job in Thailand. What’s better than teaching and living in the land of beautiful, jade blue beaches and islands, lush green mountains covered with dense forests (and elephants!), and tasty spicy food (like Pad Thai or Tom Yum)? Your working abroad experience will just feel like one long holiday!
Here are 5 things you should know about teaching English abroad in Thailand:
1. English Teaching Job Requirements in Thailand
To qualify for an English teaching job in Thailand, you must have:
- A passport from a native English speaking country
- A college or university degree
- A TEFL/TESOL certificate
- Previous teaching experiences are optional
- A Master’s degree is required for teaching positions at the university level
This is not to say that qualified non-native English speakers won’t have a chance. However, it might be more challenging for them and the pay will be less. Overall, being armed with the correct certification and attitude will put you in a good spot to nail an ESL teaching job in Thailand.
2. Types of ESL Teaching Job in Thailand
There are generally three types of ESL teaching jobs in Thailand:
- Private and International Schools: These have smaller classes, higher costs, and stricter requirements for teachers. As the competition is higher for these schools and they often have long waiting lists, you’re strongly recommended to apply early. You will have to follow the particular school’s admission process, which may include prior academic records examination and placement tests.
- Public or Government Schools: These have bigger classes, lower pay, but more relaxed competition. The schedule is very typical: daytime Monday through Friday.
- Higher Education: Colleges and universities are taken very seriously in Thailand, thus the hiring process will be lengthy and comprehensive.
It’s good to work with an experienced agency who can help you find a suitable opportunity, depending on your needs and qualifications, as well as guide you through the hiring process.
We can help you find English teaching jobs in Thailand!
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3. Where to Live and Teach in Thailand
There are a few popular destinations for ESL teachers in Thailand:
- Bangkok is a massive, convenient capital city with millions of people, diverse neighborhoods, and plenty of things to do.
- Chiang Mai is a smaller city in the north with cool climate, highlands and historical sights.
- Phuket is a great place to work in with the perfect blend of city and island life!
- Surat Thani and Krabi have fewer English teaching job options yet have access to Thailand’s beautiful coast.
4. ESL Teaching Salary in Thailand and Cost of Living
The average ESL teaching salary is around 30,000 Thai Baht per month (approximately $1,000), which is double what local teachers earn and enough for a comfortable lifestyle in Thailand.
Additionally, if your qualifications are great, private institutions are willing to pay up to 100,000 Baht per month. Therefore, it’s an attractive destination for many foreign English teachers who wish to live abroad and travel.
5. Some Taboos in Thailand to Know Before Moving Here
Here are some of the things you should avoid doing as an ESL teacher in Thailand:
- Touching somebody’s head is usually considered to be highly disrespectful.
- Defaming the Thai Royal Family or Buddha/Buddhist monks is taken seriously here and can even put you to jail.
- Don’t point the soles of your feet at another person as they’re considered the lowest and dirtiest parts of a human’s body!
There are a few more but I’m sure you’ll quickly pick up these cultural differences once you move there. The locals would definitely cut foreigners some slack since they know you didn’t do it on purpose.
Are you looking for opportunities to teach English abroad in Thailand? Check out our Teach English Abroad Facebook group for daily job listings.