Thailand has long been a desirable destination for those wanting to teach English abroad. With its dreamy beaches, mouth-watering cuisine, low cost of living, and year-round warm weather, it’s easy to see why thousands of ESL teachers make Thailand their home away from home.
How Do I Become an English Teacher in Thailand?
To get a job teaching English in Thailand, you must follow a number of steps, including researching your options, getting a TEFL certificate, preparing for your move overseas, getting a work visa, and applying for English teaching jobs.
How to Apply as an English Teacher in Thailand in 2023
Now, let’s take a detailed look at the following 6 steps to help you teach English in Thailand:
1. Call an Advisor and Begin Your Research
Not sure where to begin? Download a copy of our free Teaching English in Thailand ebook or give us a call at 773-634-9900 to speak with an ITA expert advisor to discuss your options and questions. All of our Admissions Advisors at ITA have spent extensive time living, traveling, and teaching English abroad. They will work with you throughout your research and will answer questions on up-to-date teaching market information, hiring procedures and timelines, average salary and living costs, education requirements, visa eligibility, and more.
If you already have been assigned to an advisor, send them an email or give them a call to set up a time to talk.
To learn more about teaching English in Thailand specifically, check out the following resources:
Additionally, check out the Thailand section of our blog and video library where you can discover hundreds of FAQs, Q&As, articles, and day-in-the-life alumni videos giving you a firsthand glimpse into what life teaching English in Thailand could look like for you!
2. Enroll in a TEFL Course
Completing an accredited TEFL Certification course will provide you with the skills and qualifications needed to teach English in Thailand. This is a recognized qualification that thousands of schools and institutes in Thailand and worldwide seek and require when hiring new English teachers. Even if you are a certified or experienced teacher, unless you have a degree in TESOL, you will still want to get TEFL certified.
Because many schools in Thailand recruit and interview locally in Thailand, most ITA students take our 170-hour online TEFL course or our in-person TEFL certification in Thailand, in the city of Chiang Mai. Both are excellent options that cater to different lifestyles and timelines. Let’s take a closer look at these two options:
- 170-hour Online TEFL Course
- Part-time: This course spans 11 weeks offering you the flexibility to get TEFL certified while working or going to school full-time.
- 20 Hours of Hands-On Live Practice Teaching: This course includes a mandatory live practice teaching component that you will be expected to complete to fully prepare you for the classroom.
- One-on-one lifetime job search assistance is guaranteed whether you just graduated or are looking for a teaching position a few years down the road.
- The online TEFL class is the most cost-effective way to earn your TEFL certification.
Looking for other TEFL certification options? Check out ITA’s complete index of online and in-person TEFL courses around the world.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand In-Person TEFL Course
- Full-Time: This course spans 4 weeks (40+ hours a week) with required class time typically being anywhere from 6-8 hours each day.
- Classes are capped at 20 students.
- Hands-On Live Practice Teaching: This course includes a mandatory live practice teaching component with local ESL students.
- Receive job search guidance in Thailand and one-on-one job search guidance for life!
3. Prepare for Your Job Search & Make Travel Arrangements
ITA’s Student Affairs team will provide you with the resources, expertise, and guidance you need to get ESL jobs in Thailand. You will team up with your own personal Student Affairs Advisor, who can help you with the following:
- Preparing your resume and cover letter;
- Resources to connect you with recruiters, job listings, and recommended schools in Thailand looking to hire;
- Visa information, processes, and much, much more.
Most schools in Thailand conduct face-to-face interviews, meaning you will need to be on the ground and in Thailand to interview for jobs. Although rare, some schools will interview you in advance from your home country over Zoom.
If you plan to interview for teaching positions in person in Thailand, you will need to make any necessary travel arrangements, including arrangements for flights and accommodations. Also, you will likely enter Thailand on a tourist visa.
4. Apply for Positions and Interview
ESL teachers in Thailand can typically expect to find jobs in February through April and again in August through October (formal schools). Language institutes typically hire year-round. When schools interview locally in person, they are typically looking to fill positions where you will begin teaching right away, or as soon as any required paperwork can be completed.
Most commonly, your students will be school-aged children at private and public schools or private language schools. Some positions may entail teaching adults.
Remember to keep your options open. If you have the opportunity, interview at a handful of different schools and compare the offers you receive to see which school provides the best fit and offers the best benefits. As part of ITA’s lifetime job search guidance, our Student Affairs team can review your contract to ensure it is fair and that the offered salary is in line with pay averages in the region where you plan to teach.
5. Sign a Contract and Make Visa Arrangements
Once you’ve accepted a job offer and signed your contract, you will need to file documents to receive your work visa. To teach English in Thailand, you will require a Non-B Immigrant Visa. There are two scenarios that can play out here:
- If you secure employment in advance, you will apply for your visa prior to leaving home and then process your work permit in Thailand.
- Most people enter Thailand on a tourist visa and find a job on the ground. In this case, you will convert your tourist visa to a Non-Immigrant B Visa either at the local immigration office in Thailand or by visiting a neighboring country.
Your visa and work permit are typically valid for the length of your teaching contract.
For a detailed breakdown of the Non-B Immigrant Visa process for Thailand including all the documents needed, please read What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Thailand?
6. Begin Your New Job!
While it may seem like the adventure has already begun, that was just the beginning! You’re about to put all that training into action and help change lives! Congrats and best of luck with your English teaching job in Thailand.