Thailand ranks as one of Asia's most appealing hotspots, frequented by generations of backpackers and huge numbers of package tourists. For those considering a lengthier stay, the high demand for English language educators across the country is welcome news. While the wages might not compete with those in some other Asian nations, they are sufficient to live comfortably and savor all the wonders of this magnificent country.
What qualifications are required to teach English in Thailand?
Previously, it was commonplace for teachers to operate informally, without the correct work permit. Those times, however, have passed. Today, appropriate documentation is mandatory to secure a decent wage in Thailand. Possessing a degree in any field is a prerequisite to obtaining a work permit, and completing a TESOL training course before job applications is advisable.
Even though a TESOL certificate isn't a legal requirement to teach in Thailand, it is increasingly becoming an expectation among schools, with many now enforcing it. TESOL training widens your available job market, boosts earning potential, and equips you with the necessary skills and confidence to lead your first classroom effectively.
Who are the main employers of English teachers in Thailand?
Public schools and private language institutes are the chief employers of foreign English teachers in Thailand. Government schools usually operate from Monday to Friday, with several public holidays interspersed throughout the year. Private schools tend to pay slightly more, but working hours often extend into evenings and weekends to accommodate students' spare time. Teachers with added qualifications and substantial experience can apply to international schools and universities that offer better salaries and more responsibilities.
If your wage isn't covering your needs as anticipated, private tutoring is an excellent means to augment your income during free hours.
How should I apply for English teaching jobs in Thailand?
While it is feasible to secure a teaching job in Thailand from your home country, either through a recruitment agency or by responding to job advertisements, it might not be the optimal strategy. Only a minor fraction of employers list job vacancies online, preferring to hire candidates already in the country.
Given the importance placed on appearance in Thai culture, local hiring policies provide a simple way for employers to assess if you are a good fit. These policies also benefit teachers, allowing them to visit various schools, meet the staff, and evaluate the facilities before committing to a contract.
When should I apply for English teaching jobs in Thailand?
As TESOL qualified teachers are in demand all year round, there isn't a specific 'peak hiring period' in Thailand. However, job hunting might be slightly less fruitful during December and January.
Generally, you can arrive at any time of the year and immediately start making connections and setting up interviews. While Bangkok, the vibrant capital, has the most opportunities, Chiang Mai in the north and Phuket in the south also host popular teaching destinations.
Also read: Where should I teach English in Thailand?