If you’re considering coming to Thailand to teach English, don’t just presume you’ll be teaching Thai children in a primary or high school. In fact, there are so many different types of teaching jobs available, you might be surprised what you end up doing. Here are some kinds of teaching jobs you might get.
Teaching Children in Thai Schools – One of the main ways of making money in Thailand as a teacher is to teach at a Thai school. Kindergarten, primary and high school jobs are available at Thai government schools, as well as teaching positions at Thai bilingual schools, and international schools based here.
Salaries for these positions start at a barely-liveable 28,000 baht for a low-level government school, to between 40,000 and 65,000 baht for a bilingual school. International school salaries usually begin at around 55,000 for a mid-level school and 85,000 baht for a higher level one, and go up from there.
To teach at a Thai school you are now expected to have an undergraduate degree and, preferably, TEFL certification.
Teaching in Language Schools – Many of the jobs going in Thailand for teachers are in language schools. Here, you’ll either end up teaching Thai teenagers TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS preparation classes (see below), general English classes to adults, or basic English classes (ie: a lot of games) to Thai kids.
Most language schools require no teaching experience, and often don’t ask for a university degree or a TEFL certificate either, even though by law they’re supposed to require one.
Language schools pay between 250 baht and 600 baht per hour, with the average around 450 baht. You have to teach a lot of hours to make a liveable wage so, unless they offer you a full-time job with a set salary, a language school is often the worst type of full-time job. They are, however, a great way to make some extra money in the evenings or on weekends.
Teaching TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS Preparation Courses – Many students take TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS preparation courses to help them pass the exams. TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS are needed to go to university overseas as well as for some jobs in international companies, so the students you’ll teach tend to be a bit more motivated to learn.
Most language schools offer the classes, so there’s always steady work, and they usually pay between 400 and 600 baht per hour, which is nice pocket money if you can get it.
Teaching Corporate English – Many companies in Thailand need western teachers to teach their employees English. Most jobs are part-time (early mornings or evenings) but you will occasionally see full-time jobs being offered.
Even though you’re working for a major corporation though, salaries aren’t usually particularly high. If you work through an agency teaching part-time corporate English, you’ll be paid between 500-700 baht per hour. Full-time jobs begin at around 55,000 baht and, at the odd company, will pay as much as 85,000 but that’s rare.
Working part-time teaching corporate English though is a good gig, and a great way to make some extra money. Students are usually extremely friendly and nice, and motivated to learn.
Teaching Private Students – You’ll also have a chance to teach private students, which you can find from talking to students at other places you work at or, you’ll find Thai friends and neighbors will ask you to teach their relatives.
The going rate for teaching private lessons is around 500-700 baht per hour. Some western teachers will charge only 300 baht per hour, but they are often those who are not qualified to teach in Thailand. Few reputable teachers will work for that low an hourly rate.