Thailand is one of the undisputed top destinations in Southeast Asia for ESL teachers. Jobs are relatively easy to find in many areas of the country, although the average salary is not as high as in several other countries across Asia. However, many teachers still flock to Thailand to enjoy the laid back lifestyle, vibrant culture, and extensive entertainment options.
What are the requirements for teaching English in Thailand?
In years gone by it was common for teachers to work in Thailand without an official work permit, however, things have moved on and you will now need to meet the set requirements if you want to earn a good income. The main requirement for gaining a work permit is a university degree in any subject. A TESOL qualification is not officially required, although without one you may struggle to find a job with a reputable employer.
What kind of school will I work in teaching English in Thailand?
The two main employers of foriegn teachers in Thailand are government run schools and private language centers. Government schools follow a typical weekly routine from Monday to Friday with a large number of public holidays spread throughout the year. Language schools often pay a better salary, but you should expect to work during the evenings and weekends as classes are aimed at students outside of normal school/work hours. If you have high level teaching qualifications and previous classroom experience you might also be eligible to work in international schools and universities which generally offer higher salaries and greater responsibility. Many teachers who find the average salary is not enough to provide the lifestyle they were hoping for turn to private tutoring as a way to earn extra cash in their spare time.
What is the best way to apply for jobs teaching English in Thailand?
Some teachers are able to arrange a job in Thailand from within their home country via a recruitment company or by applying to individual job posts online. However, as only a small proportion of employers advertise their vacancies this way, the majority of teachers find a job from within the country. Thai culture puts a high importance on appearance which means that most employers want to meet you in person before offering you a contract. This is actually a very good thing for the teacher as it allows you to meet the staff you could be working with and get a feel for the school and the local area.
When is the best time to apply for jobs teaching English in Thailand?
Demand for teachers is always high in many parts of Thailand so there is no specific time that is best for job hunting. December and January are typically the quietest months, but at other times you can simply contact schools and language centers in person or via email to arrange an interview. The capital city of Bangkok is home to the largest number of jobs, although other areas such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya are also popular.