Everything you need to know before teaching English in Thailand

English teaching in Thailand can be a rewarding and challenging career. If you have the passion, dedication, and drive, it can be a great way to help people learn English in an environment that is friendly and welcoming. You’ll need to commit your time and effort to this field if you want to make a real impact. But with so many options available, what do you need to know before starting your journey? Here’s what you need to know before being an English teacher in Thailand.

What are the best places to teach English in Thailand?

English teacher in Thailand
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English teachers are almost always in demand in Thailand, so you can find teaching jobs practically anywhere around the country.

Bangkok is certainly the most popular area for foreigners looking for teaching jobs. The capital also offers plenty of varieties, from public and international schools to corporate training centres and private tutoring. Aside from Bangkok, lots of foreigners looking for teaching jobs flock to areas that are popular among tourists and expats, such as Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Koh Samui. It’s easy to see why these areas are famous. After all, who doesn’t want to teach English but still feel like they’re on holiday every day? One thing to keep in mind if you want to teach in these areas is that competition can be really tough.

If you want to go off the beaten path and experience the ‘real’ Thailand untouched by tourism, rural Thailand can be great. The demand is high, but the competition is minimal, so you might be able to find a job quickly. However, you may have to deal with language barriers. Plus, there won’t be any “Westernised” amenities and entertainment — something to consider if those things are important to you.

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What is the average salary for English teachers in Thailand?

Everything you need to know before teaching English in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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The salary for English teachers in Thailand varies a lot, depending on where you are, the type of school you are teaching, and your teaching experience. On average, first-time ESL teachers can expect to make around 40,000 – 50,000 THB (around 1,000 – 1,300 USD) per month in Bangkok. This amount is enough to live a relatively comfortable life.

Outside of the capital or expat cities, the average salary range will be lower. You can expect to earn 70% of what you’d get in Bangkok. However, the cost of living will be lower too. Some people can live comfortably with 25,000 THB in rural areas.

International schools typically offer higher salaries, usually starting from 60,000 THB or 1,500 USD a month. However, these schools are only available in urban areas with a large population of foreign professionals and wealthy locals, such as Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.

What are the normal working hours for English teachers in Thailand?

English teacher in Thailand

English teachers in Thailand usually stick to no more than 15 to 20 contract hours — the hours you’ll actually be teaching — per week with their principal employer to avoid burnout. Many schools in Thailand expect you to stay in school, whether you’re teaching or not, for the whole school hours, usually from 07:30 to 16:00. You can use your “free” time grading homework and tests, creating lesson plans, etc. If you’re teaching in a public school, international school, or university, you’ll likely work Monday to Friday, with weekends and public holidays off. Some schools, however, may require you to work on Saturdays.

Should I choose a part-time or full-time teaching job?

Everything you need to know before teaching English in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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Choosing between a part-time and full-time teaching job depends on what you need and your lifestyle. When you work full-time, you are paid a monthly salary for a predetermined number of teaching hours each month. Despite public holidays, extracurricular events, and other sporadic class cancellations, you’ll receive this salary.

Being a full-time English teacher in Thailand also means that your responsibility goes beyond the classroom. If you’re teaching in a high school, for example, you’ll have to attend school assemblies and extracurricular events. It’s also important to note that despite being classified as full-time, some schools don’t offer 12-month contracts. This means that you won’t be paid during the summer.

Part-time English teachers in Thailand are usually paid per class at an hourly rate. The advantage is that you can work as little or as much as you want because your obligations are limited to the classes you are responsible for teaching. The drawback is that a part-time salary is not very dependable, given the number of vacations and cancelled classes that are likely to happen every year. In general, part-time jobs are advantageous for newcomers and retirees who require a hobby to pass the time.

When should I start looking for a teaching job?

Everything you need to know before teaching English in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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You can look for teaching jobs any time of year! Again, English teachers are always in demand in Thailand, so you should be able to find a job opening all year long. However, if you’re looking to teach in a public, private, or international school, February and March are generally the best months. Most schools hire teachers during these months, but some also hire teachers mid-semester, from October and November. For universities, the hiring season usually starts in early August.

The worst times to find a teaching job are around December to January and early to mid-April. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for a job around these months, but job vacancies might be fewer.

Want to learn more about teaching English in the Land of Smiles? Take a look at our article on the requirements for English teachers in Thailand.

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Cita Catellya

Cita Catellya is a journalist and writer who covers a range of topics from medical and property to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter 5 years ago, where she worked with several brands in Indonesia to help them increase their online presence. Cita writes in both English and her native Bahasa Indonesia

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