One of the best ways to travel and experience a new country is by teaching abroad. Many countries around the world are searching for native English speakers to join their schools as teachers.
In this post, you will learn exactly how to teach English in Thailand including what requirements are necessary to the amount of money you’ll make and everything in between.
What Are The Requirements For Teaching English In Thailand?
In most Thai schools, they require:
1. A native-level of English
2. A Bachelor’s degree
3. A TEFL/TESOL certificate
Note: A TEFL certificate isn’t always necessary, but some schools do expect this. Others look highly upon teachers that have TEFL certifications and offer them a higher salary.
If you plan on teaching abroad in other locations in the future, obtaining a TEFL certificate is a good idea. Thailand is one of the few countries that usually doesn’t require a TEFL certificate to teach English, while many other countries do.
How Do I Get A TESOL/TEFL Certification?
There are two ways to get a TESOL certification. You can do it online or in-person.
Courses range from 60 hours to well over 200 hours depending on what kind of certification you want.
Two TEFL certification programs that we recommend are:
Premier TEFL is the best online source for TEFL courses. They offer a variety of certificate options.
Personally, I believe the 120-hour online course will suffice, however, having more training (180 hours or 240 hours) will help you stand out from other teachers.
ITA (International TEFL Academy) is a great source for in-person TEFL certification classes.
Take a peek at their website to find a location near you. They offer courses all over the world!
Both of these programs are accredited and meet the requirements for classrooms around the world. Although I preferred to complete my TEFL certification online, others feel more focused in a classroom setting.
How Do I Get A Job To Teach In Thailand?
There are two definite ways to get a job teaching English in Thailand. You can either go through an organization or find a job on your own. Both of these options have their pros and cons.
1. Teaching Through An Organization
There are several different organizations that help native English speakers find jobs teaching English in Thailand. Personally, I went through an organization called CIEE Teach Abroad.
Using an organization to find teaching jobs in Thailand is beneficial in many ways.
As a new teacher, the process to teach abroad can be a bit daunting. Moving to a new place half-way around the world is intimidating on its own; finding a job and a support system is even more difficult.
Teach abroad organizations like CIEE take care of everything for you. Simply apply, submit all necessary paperwork, and pay a fee and you’ll be well on your way to a job placement at a Thai school.
Before teaching in Thailand, I had never been to Asia. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
Having a group of people to rely on and starting this journey with hundreds of other eager teachers was reassuring. CIEE was there to help us with working visas, health issues (if they ever arose), and any problems we had with our schools.
Although it was very helpful to have an organization there for support, it came at a hefty price.
Not only do aspiring teachers have to pay a fee to get accepted by CIEE, but Thai schools typically pay teachers from CIEE far less than they would any other native English speaking teacher.
I would suggest looking into CIEE and other teach abroad organizations, weighing the pros and cons, and deciding whether this would be a good fit for you.
2. Finding Your Own Teaching Job In Thailand
While some choose to go through an organization, others opt to find their own teaching jobs.
Did you know, native English speakers are a hot commodity in Thailand?
Schools around the country are constantly looking for qualified teachers to join their programs. Finding an English teaching job in Thailand is quite simple.
How To Find Your Own Job Teaching English In Thailand
There are two ways to go about finding a job on your own.
The first way is by arriving in the country and searching for a job in your desired destination.
Through research, decide where in Thailand you would like to be located. Whether it’s in the northern cultural hub of Chiang Mai or the beautiful beaches of Ao Nang, it’s important to know where you’ll be comfortable living.
Book a one-way flight into Thailand using these cheap travel websites:
Next, find a hostel or hotel to stay in for a week or two.
This will give you time to find and rent your own apartment. You can also use this time to search for schools in the area and talk to them about potential English teaching jobs.
Rent in larger cities should cost approximately $200-300 per month. Rent will be significantly less in rural towns.
Approaching schools about English jobs is a lot less scary than it sounds. Many schools will hire a native English speaker on the spot, so long as they have a Bachelor’s degree.
Other times, the school’s administration will refer you to another school searching for an English teacher. Nine times out of ten, there will be a job available in the area of your choice.
The other way to secure a teaching job before getting to Thailand is by looking through job boards.
There are several websites that regularly post opportunities to their job boards. A few of the best websites include:
Many schools will help you find housing and take care of your health insurance costs as well. Keep this in mind when applying for jobs and ask about any benefits available.
Teaching English In Thailand Salary: How Much Can I Make?
The most important question of them all: will I be able to pay my student loans while I’m teaching in Thailand?
In other words, how much money will I be making?
Salaries for English teachers in Thailand differ depending on the school, your qualifications, and other factors.
But you can expect to earn anywhere between 25,000 baht per month to well over 100,000 baht per month.
Understand that if you decide to sign up through an organization like CIEE, expect to make far less than if you found the job by yourself.
For example, I chose to teach English in Thailand through CIEE. The school that I was set up with paid me 25,000 baht per month (approximately $800 USD) and also paid my rent.
Based on Thai standards, 25,000 baht per month is a LOT of money.
I was able to live comfortably, travel every weekend, and my apartment had awesome amenities. I even saved money each month and was able to bring home over $1500 in savings over the course of six months.
Alternatively, a friend I met while living in Thailand found her own job through a job board online. The school she worked for paid her over 100,000 baht each month (approximately $3200 USD).
She was responsible for paying rent, but with rent hovering around $250 per month, she was still making a lot more than me.
To answer the question, English teachers in Thailand can earn between 25,000 to well over 100,000 baht per month. Either way, English teachers live lavishly in Thailand.
If you’re worried about being able to pay student loans while teaching in Thailand, consider having your loans deferred for the time you are abroad. Another way to combat high student-loan debt is to get a side job while teaching in Thailand. Check out my side job recommendation below (alternatives to teaching English in Thailand).
Pro-tip: Some teachers opt to split their time between two schools for extra earning potential.
What Kind Of Contract Will I Sign?
The contract you sign with your Thai school will depend entirely upon their policy. Some schools recommend at least a year of teaching, while others will hire you for one semester.
Thai schools typically look for teachers willing to stay longer, but again, shorter contracts are an option.
Personally, I signed a contract for six months, which seemed to be the perfect amount of time. Others chose to stay in Thailand for years.
The Perks of Teaching English In Thailand
The perks of teaching English in Thailand are endless. Here are a few things you will enjoy while living and teaching English in Thailand:
1. Thailand is one of the most visually beautiful places in the world. There is plenty to explore.
2. Thai people are kind and helpful to foreigners and offer guidance whenever asked. It won’t be difficult to adjust to the Thai way of life.
3. The cost of living in Thailand is very cheap. I made approximately $800 USD per month and was able to save over $1500 within a six month period.
Quality apartments are plentiful, food is delicious and cheap, and traveling is affordable. In fact, I recommend traveling to a new location each weekend!
Alternatives To Teaching English In Thailand
Some teachers prefer to constantly be on the move; brick and mortar jobs aren’t for everyone.
If you’re keen on traveling full-time, consider signing up to teach English online! We use VIPKID for full-time income while we travel the world.
The pay is really great and you can do this job wherever there is stable WiFi.
Check out my recent post about VIPKID and how to become a successful online English teacher:
The Wrap-Up: Teach in Thailand
Immersing yourself in Thai culture is an amazing learning experience. If you’re interested in experiencing a new way of life or traveling to a new part of the world, I recommend that you teach in Thailand.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to a new adventure.
Want To Be A Travel Blogger?
Since you’ll be traveling throughout Thailand, why not start a travel blog?
We were able to take our small hobby blog and turn it into a 6-figure business in 16 months and the coolest part? It all started because I was living in Thailand.
Grab our free guide where we share the 6 steps we took to turn our travel blog into a full-time business by entering your name and email address below:
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