If you’re thinking about moving to teach English in Thailand, you might be wondering what kind of jobs are available. Positions vary greatly throughout the country, and so do the salaries.
Newly-qualified TEFL teachers with a sparkling new TEFL certificate can easily find work, but will primarily be looking at public schools or language institutes rather than higher-paying positions at international schools.
TEFL jobs can be found at all times of the year, although, for public schools, peak recruitment times are in the months before the terms begin. Many teachers can find a job in April to start with the new term in May.
For those with good qualifications (a master’s degree or PGCE is sometimes necessary) and several years of experience, there will be a range of international or bilingual schools you can apply to when you decide to teach English in Thailand, as well as the more lucrative language school positions.
If you have experience with CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), make sure to point this out, especially at international and bilingual schools where they’re keen to hire English teachers who can also teach other subjects.
Thai students are fun, friendly and polite, and it’s not just the children who enjoy playing classroom games!
Expect your lessons teaching English to Thai students to have a focus on spoken fluency rather than accuracy, apart from Business English lessons and university roles. Despite the fun and laid-back nature of many TEFL classrooms, don’t be sloppy – you’ll be expected to dress professionally, and might be surprised to find that even at university students have to wear a uniform.As well as positions teaching children, there’s also good scope for teaching to adults in the tourism industry, particularly corporate lessons at big hotels.
If you’re new to teaching in Thailand, you’ll most likely find yourself working at a public school. Each school will be different but teachers can expect large class sizes of between 20-50 pupils, around 15-20 hours of teaching time per week and plenty of time off during the school holidays to travel around Thailand. You’ll work regular hours, Monday to Friday, and have your weekends mostly free, except in the case of school events.
The school location, size and whether or not they’ve previously had TEFL teachers will make a difference in terms of what resources you can expect on arrival. But don’t worry about this too much as there are numerous websites offering free resources for English teachers. You may also receive training from the Ministry of Education in Thailand before you start.
New teachers at a public school in Thailand will usually make between 26,000 THB - 32,000 THB (£600 - £740 / $800 - $1000) making this the least lucrative but most common option for those without experience.