TEACH ENGLISH IN THAILAND

Everything you need to know to get a job teaching English in Thailand.

 
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About Teaching English in Thailand

In order to teach English in Thailand, most teachers will need a TEFL certificate and a bachelor's degree. Native English proficiency is also expected to find a TEFL job in Thailand. The average salary range for an English teacher in Thailand is between about $850 - $1,500 USD per month.

Known as the "Land of Smiles," Thailand represents one of the fastest-growing job markets for teaching English in Asia. With a TEFL certification and a four-year degree, native English speakers and qualified non-native speakers find jobs to start teaching English primarily in May & November. Most jobs in Thailand will be found in public or private formal schools teaching children or young adults. In larger cities such as Bangkok, it is possible to teach in private language institutes/schools teaching to children, young adults, or adults/business professionals.

English teacher Christian Lopez teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand with his students ESL teacher Summer Schlageter in Chiang Mai, Thailand with her students


While most job interviews for teaching English in Thailand are conducted in person, some are completed in advance over the phone or Skype. English instructors in Thailand are typically responsible for airfare and housing expenses. Housing is typically very affordable and many English teachers in Thailand share accommodations with other English teachers. Contracts typically last 5 to 12 months with jobs available to teach business professionals as well as children. English teachers typically teach on a Non-B Immigrant Visa.

Most English teaching jobs in Thailand are found in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, and Nakhon Si Thammarat, although teaching jobs are plentiful in smaller cities too.

How to Teach English in Thailand: Requirements

TEFL Certification Thailand

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Thailand. You do not need professional teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired.

Because a majority of job interviews are conducted on the ground, in-person, most Americans and Canadians take one of our TEFL course options listed below, including our TEFL course in Thailand, in the city of Chiang Mai.

Read more: What are the basic requirements to teach English in Thailand?

Native English-Speaking Proficiency

Although not required, native-English speakers from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa are highly preferred, however, qualified non-native English speakers will also be considered for ESL teaching jobs in Thailand.

Degree Requirements for TEFL Teaching in Thailand

English teachers need a bachelor's degree to teach English in Thailand. Please note, your bachelor's degree does not need to be in education, it can be in any field.

TEFL Thailand Background Check

You will need a clean background check to teach English in Thailand. This can be a federal background check or a local police check from your state of residency. You may obtain a police check from a police station in Thailand if you plan on processing your visa after your arrival in Thailand. 

TEFL Jobs in Thailand

English Teaching Jobs in Thailand

Most TEFL jobs in Thailand will be found in public or private formal schools teaching children or young adults. In larger cities such as Bangkok, it is possible to teach in private language institutes/schools teaching children, young adults, or adults/business professionals, and there are some positions also available in smaller Thai towns around the country.

Many English teachers in Thailand make extra money by teaching English online.

Finding Thailand TEFL Jobs: Hiring & Visa

ESL teachers in Thailand can expect to find jobs in February through April and again in August through October (formal schools). Language institutes typically hire year-round.

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 in advance over Skype/phone.

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 the visa prior to leaving 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.

ITA highly recommends you check your home country's state department or foreign ministry website before traveling abroad to learn about current travel requirements, necessary documentation, and travel warnings. Once abroad, you should register with your embassy in case of an emergency abroad to receive updated travel alerts. Check the US Department of State's Travel page here and check out the State Department's Thailand page here.

Teaching in Thailand: Hours

English language schools in Thailand offer approximately 20 to 25 hours of work per week, allowing for plenty of time to travel and explore.

Teaching Thai Students

It is most common that your students will be school-aged children but depending on your job, you may find yourself teaching business professionals.

TEFL Thailand Salary & Cost of Living

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,500 USD (31,350 - 47,000 THB). These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Thailand until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like accommodation until you find a place to rent, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

What is the Average Salary for Teaching English in Thailand?

A generous monthly salary of $850 - $1,500 USD affords those teaching English in Thailand the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle. Some teachers may also choose to teach English online to bring in additional income.

Some schools will provide you with housing or an added rent stipend, but don't expect to see this everywhere. Flight reimbursements occur in very rare cases, so you should not count on this being one of your benefits. It is best to discuss with your school about what benefits they offer and be sure to have these included in your contract.

How Much Does It Cost to Teach English in Thailand?

The cost of living typically ranges between $500 -  $800 USD (15,700 – 25,100  THB) - this provides an opportunity to save between $450 - $700 USD per month after expenses.

 

What Does Teaching in Thailand Look Like?

Watch ITA alumna Mackenzi Bell-Nugent show us a day in her life living and teaching English in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day-in-the-life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in Thailand could look like!

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Teaching English in Thailand FAQs

What qualifications do I need to teach English in Thailand?

To teach English in Thailand you must meet the following criteria:

  • A TEFL certification;
  • A bachelor's degree (or higher) in any field/major;
  • Be a native-English speaker from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa or a qualified, non-native English speaker (you must be fluent in English and speak at a native level);
  • A clean criminal background check;
  • A valid passport and several other pieces of documentation to get your Non-Immigrant B visa processed and approved.

Read more: Qualifications for Teaching English in Thailand.

How much money do English teachers make in Thailand?

Conservatively, a typical first-time English teacher in Thailand can expect to make 30,000 - 35,000 Thai Baht (approximately $850 - $1,000 USD) and many are able to make more. This means that most English teachers can realistically expect to save $150 - $250 USD a month and in many cases, teachers actually make enough to save up to $500 per month. Salaries and living costs will vary from school to school and are also dependent on the region in which you live. Those with prior teaching experience can often make even more.

Don't forget, you can always teach English online to bring in additional earnings.

Read More: How Much Money Can You Earn & Save Teaching English in Thailand?

What type of visa can I use to teach English in Thailand?

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 the visa prior to leaving 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.

The type of visa you'll need in Thailand (and how you get that visa) will depend on your nationality, teaching job, and perhaps other factors like whether you get your job in advance of your arrival, or if you get hired locally in Thailand. Be sure to speak to an International TEFL Academy Advisor by calling 773-634-9900 to discuss your specific questions and concerns about your visa for teaching English in Thailand.

Read More: What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Thailand?

Will I face age restrictions teaching English abroad in Asia?

In some countries, a teacher's age can play a factor in the hiring process. Certain teaching markets, especially for positions in Asia teaching English to children, look for younger teachers (21-35) and abide by certain age restrictions for hiring and qualifying for work visa sponsorship.

It’s important for mature teachers to fully understand the market they’re interested in and understand the specific age restrictions when considering teaching abroad in Asia, such as the retirement age in the country you are interested in.

If you are over 40 and are looking to teach English in Asia, be sure to talk with your International TEFL Academy Admissions Advisor at 773-634-9900 to run through options. 

Read More: Will I Face Age Restrictions Teaching English Abroad in Asia?

Are English teachers in demand in Thailand?

Yes, teaching English in Thailand is very popular. English teachers in Thailand are very much sought-after by Thai natives who are eager to learn English.

Is teaching English in Thailand worth it?

Teaching English in Thailand is arguably one of the best teaching experiences you will have. In addition to living like a local, embracing Thai culture and making new friends, you'll enjoy its low cost of living and laid-back lifestyle.

Recommended TEFL Courses for Teaching English in Thailand

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Reviews From ITA Students Who Now Experience TEFL in Thailand

David Gardiner

Teaches English in Thailand

David Gardiner

I chose ITA because they are internationally accredited and recognized by some of the big-name companies in the industry such as GoAbroad.com. ITA also provides life-long job search guidance and a network of teachers that have many years of experience. I would recommend teaching in Thailand. The salary is not as high as what you might find in China, South Korea, or Japan, but the people here are very welcoming, you will fall in love with the Thai culture and food, and you just might come to learn that money doesn't always buy happiness!

Anastashia Knight

Teaches English in Thailand

Anastashia Knight

I wanted to have an upper hand on other teachers in the ESL job market - that's when ITA's Online TEFL Course was suggested to me. At the time I had three jobs, so the part-time course was very convenient. The assignments were relatable and even the history of language was interesting. I also had an awesome teacher! I think having a practicum component was invaluable because now that I'm here in Thailand, there are so many "teachers" here with no obvious classroom experience. I moved to Nakhon Pathom, Thailand at the beginning of 2019 and plan to stay for as long as I can.

Sierra Duke

Teaches English in Thailand

Sierra Duke

I am most grateful for ITA's course practicum requirement. Here, I felt I was really able to put everything I learned into practice and become comfortable with teaching English in-person. Almost every aspect of the TEFL training has been applied to my current teaching position. I still use the knowledge I learned on lesson planning to create plans for my students, including the templates provided by ITA. My current situation in Sriracha, Thailand, allows me enough money to live comfortably, travel, and save, as well as pay my bills back home (student loans, car payment, etc.).