What Qualifications Do You Need to Teach Corporate English (EFL) in Thailand?

Photo copyright – Victor1558 – Creative Commons License


Although some teachers will tell you anyone can teach Corporate English in Thailand and that there aren’t any requirements to teach in businesses in Thailand, that’s not necessarily true. Some of the lower-level Thai companies will hire “anyone”, but that’s often because they don’t have the money to pay the qualified teachers. However, if you want to teach Corporate English in Thailand at one of the top companies (the jobs that actually pay a good salary), there are certain qualifications most companies expect and, if you don’t have them, they won’t hire you.

You Must Have a University Degree – A decade ago, Thailand was lax about allowing anyone to teach here, even those without university degrees. In the last few years though, that has changed and nowadays for just about every teaching job in Thailand you need a university degree, or you will end up working illegally.

In corporations in Thailand, a university degree is now mandatory for many Corporate English teaching jobs, and the better companies will check. I taught at a top Thai international company for two years and not only did they require at least a BA degree, they called the universities the teachers working at the company said they graduated from to check.

One teacher had lied about having a university degree. He was immediately fired. No questions asked.

You Must Be a Native Speaker – If you are from Germany, France, Spain, Argentina, Malaysia, the Philippines, or any number of other countries where people often speak excellent English, if you are not a native speaker ie: from a country where English is the national language (the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc), most companies will not hire you to teach Corporate English.

Their basic qualification is a native speaker and, no matter how good your English level is, unfortunately, a Thai company will not care. They pay top dollar for Corporate English teachers and, rightfully so….they want someone who has been speaking English from their first words.

Two Years Corporate English Experience – If you are going for a full-time job in Thailand teaching English, many companies now ask for a minimum of two years experience doing it. For part-time jobs, they really don’t often care, which is why part-time Corporate English jobs in Thailand are a great way to get some experience.

Business Experience in Your Native Country – Although this isn’t a requirement for every Corporate English teaching job in Thailand, it is for some, and it makes sense.

A company wants to know that, if you are teaching their employees Corporate English, which requires knowledge of office systems, typical business practices, how to run a meeting, business e-mail, business report writing etc, that you have business experience to back up what you teach.

Before I started teaching Corporate English in Thailand, I had 18 years of management experience at several high-level companies in the US. I was offered every Corporate English job I applied for.

You Must Look Like a Business Teacher – As a Corporate English teacher in Thailand, you will be working in a company where just about everyone is wearing business attire, and you should to.

At the very least a pair of dress pants, a pressed white long-sleeved shirt, dress shoes and a nice tie if you are a guy. For women, a knee-length conservative skirt, and long-sleeved pressed business shirt will usually suffice, although some companies will require both sexes to wear a jacket around the office.

Companies also expect women to wear full shoes (ie: no sandals or sling-backs) with a low heel.

While some of the requirements to teach Corporate English in Thailand might seem strict, they are no different than any other country and actually quite lax compared to some.  Corporations however often pay high salaries for Corporate English teachers in Thailand — with a 65,000 to 100,000 baht ($2,100 to $3,330) salary every month not out of the norm.

For those high salaries, they expect a certain high standard from their Corporate teachers and, no, you can’t blame them.

However, while requirements for teaching Corporate English in Thailand may seem strict, the teaching itself is a lot of fun and far more relaxed than it would be in a western country. I recommend teaching Corporate English in Thailand to anyone who has the qualifications to do it. It really is a blast.