Teaching Job Salary and Benefits in Thailand
Thailand is among one of the most sought-after locations when it comes to TEFL. Asia is counted as the most lucrative region and Thailand is a nation that is developing rapidly and many English teachers are able to earn enough to save 30-40% of their salaries after all the expenditures.
Why Thailand is among the most sought-after destinations for TEFL aspirants?
A different cultural experience
Low cost of living
The scope to save 30-40% of the salary
Exploring the exotic land and water
Before planning to enrol in a TEFL course Thailand, you must know the teaching job salary and benefits in Thailand. Payment varies wildly in Thailand and salaries of TESOL qualified teachers at Thai schools depend upon the type of institution (public or private) and the level of instruction (secondary or post-secondary). Full time positions tend to be salary based with part-time positions paying an hourly rate.
In most Thai government institutions, English teaching jobs can fetch you a basic salary of 30,000 - 35,000 Thai Baht (approximately 850 - 1000 USD) which any TEFL certified fresher teacher can expect. At commercial schools, you can expect to earn about 500 Baht per hour along with perks as health care, vacation, visa arrangements and other expenses. It should be noted that these high paying jobs at international schools don't usually involve English teaching but rather other subjects such as science or math and the average salary at such schools is probably a bit under 100K. Further, recruitment is usually from overseas, and is often dependent on the curriculum used by that school so if the school uses the British curriculum they'll recruit from England; American curriculum they'll recruit from the USA etc.
Is 1000 USD a seemingly low monthly salary?
1000 USD per month may not be enough for major US cities like San Francisco, Boston or Chicago, but you need to remember that the costs of basic goods & other services in Thailand (including food, travel & rent) are typically low and a fraction of what it is in the US or Western Europe. Whether in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, you can eat a scrumptious meal for about 1-2 USD and your rent will be a part of what it would be in any American city. After all your expenses, if you are able to save 250 USD, in terms of purchasing power, that's roughly equal to 1,000 USD in the US.
Earning of around 25000 Baht/month for a fresher English teacher is considerable, provided he or she has a TEFL certification. However, any figure less than that is not acceptable in order to maintain a decent lifestyle. As an experienced and qualified teacher, one should be earning over 35,000 baht a month. The highest confirmed salaries are supposedly provided by high schools, international schools and language schools, at The British Council. Most Thai schools pay overtime for hours worked over and above the contracted number of hours; however, they pay only the same hourly rate at par with the standard pay or in a few cases even less.
Salaries to the TEFL qualified English teacher are usually paid monthly, on the last day of the month, although some firms pay twice a month. While most schools will pay you via direct credit into your bank account, there are some schools that will pay you via cheque. At some schools, part-time may staff get paid in arrears, as late as the 12th of the month following the month in which they worked.
Those who have done the ESL teaching certification course in Thailand need to know that:
Thai schools occasionally provide free housing and other benefits, which amounts to a saving of 4,000 or 5,000 baht per month.
Some schools/companies provide medical insurance facility as well.
Often, teachers are also assigned 2 or 3 evening classes a week, which earns them another 2,000 to 3,000 baht per month as overtime pay.
Foreign teachers, who acquire jobs at the colleges on their own, can earn about 30,000 baht but they have to pay for housing, which can be grossly expensive in a city like Bangkok.
Private high schools such as Bangkok Christian College pay about 35,000 baht. Universities, Thailand's paramount educational institutions, pay about 35,000 baht to 40,000 baht.
Meet and network with the local community of English teachers. Apart from making new friends and getting some invaluable advice, chances are that you may get some private students from other teachers who may be leaving or moving away.
Inquire with your employer regarding the prospects about paid vacation. English teachers in Thailand usually get two breaks, that ranges from 4-8 weeks! You can get paid over those breaks and even more, those same schools can often offer summer camps or work hours over said breaks. You just have to look for it.
If you are a TESOL teacher training certificate holder, then try and find work for a really prestigious or respected institution in Thailand as those institutions entail other benefits. The first is that once the locals know you are an instructor at "Highly Prestigious Location", they will all want to study with you - and they will be prepared to pay big money for the privilege.
Finally, it is really important for all those who are interested in teaching English in Thailand, to know that in Thai society, teachers are looked up to and can attract instant admiration and respect in public. Someone working at a prestigious university will get even more respect and an ID badge from such a school carries real weight and if you were to say get pulled over by the police for example, showing them such a badge would in the case of anything minor see you on your way without any further problems. Some schools take training seriously and may even organize training sessions and seminars in resorts, with everything paid for.