The Best Teaching Jobs in Thailand
Opportunities for the Experienced English Teacher
Whilst teachers without a degree or EFL certification may be able to find work in a few Thai government schools and private language institutes, an experienced and highly qualified teacher has far more options available.
The highest salaries can be found by teaching in Thailand’s many upmarket international schools. While most are based in Bangkok, more are opening up in other provinces such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya. These schools provide teachers not only with a good salary but teacher accommodation and opportunities for self development too. Most schools detail their recruitment packages on their respecive websites. The Thai Ministry of Education provides a detailed list of international schools and their contact information.
Teaching in Thai International Schools
In international schools and bilingual programs students are not necessarily Thai. They may be children of an expatriate couple or from a mixed marriage between a Thai and ‘farang’- the Thai word for foreigner.
Working in such a cosmopolitan atmosphere is both motivating and rewarding. Students study with many other nationalities, using English as their medium of communication, a common third language to facilitate conversation between each other, be it Thai and Swede, French and German, Korean and Japanese. Consequently, their learning curve is much shorter as they immerse themselves in English, both for social and academic purposes.
International Schools also offer the teacher structure and support. They have the best teaching facilities and employ non-teaching staff to provide assistance to both students and teachers. Most schools are based on the British Curriculum, such as Dulwich International College or St John’s International School. Others follow the International Baccalaureate, Australian or American system.
Other benefits include long holidays and many schools offer a flight allowance and relocation assistance, a rare commodity in Thailand. International school teaching vacancies listed on the job database at ajarn.com, (Thailand’s foremost source of teacher recruitment) show the range of benefits available, with salaries levels quoted at around 60,000 baht per month ($1900) for a qualified and experienced teacher. This is considerably more than the average English teacher’s salary in a government high school or private language institute, who advertise their salaries at 30,000 - 35,000 Baht per month.
An additional bonus is that job opportunities are often advertised in Educational publications outside of Thailand such as the Times Education Supplement (TES) and the Education Guardian, a supplement of the British based Guardian newspaper (online versions are available). This is unusual, as most Thai schools insist on a face-to-face interview and therefore tend to advertise locally.
Teaching in Thailand’s Hotels and Tourist Resorts
Don’t overlook the advantages of teaching in the private sector. Some of the best teaching positions are to be had in the major hotel chains in Bangkok and the main tourist resorts. The Marriot Group, The Hilton and Six Senses Resorts are just a few of the hotels which are likely to employ their own English language trainers.
Salaries are usually around 40,000 baht per month but are topped up with a guaranteed monthly gratuity (a share of the tips) and a food and beverage allowance for use within the hotel’s restaurants.
Students (hotel employees) are adults and are often highly motivated, eager to apply what they have learnt in the classroom to their job. Planning lessons and writing materials are also easier for the teacher as employees share a common background and similar work ethic. It is therefore much easier to provide examples in a specific work context, whether it be a vocabulary lesson, visiting a guest room to identify the items in it, or use of the hotel menu to learn how to take food orders in English and describe dishes to guests.
Whilst the contracted holiday allowance is not as attractive as in International Schools, the paperwork and record keeping is considerably less, avoiding the time consuming completion of a mountain of attendance sheets, student reports, school lesson plans and teaching records, currently required by the Thailand Ministry of Education.
Bear in mind that hotels do not always advertise their vacancies, as often potential applicants enquire ‘on spec’. Sending a resume, references and copies of your qualifications to the relevant Personnel department will enable your details to be kept on file.
Where to Find a Job
In addition to the teaching vacancies advertised on ajarn.com, look in the local, regional newspapers for jobs in the main tourist areas. Thailand’s most popular English language daily, The Bangkok Post, regularly features teaching positions in its classifieds section and publishes an Educational Supplement (The Learning Post) every Tuesday. Local teaching websites are another good source of job hunting.