Thailand’s Borders opened to Teachers – including TEFL Course, TOEIC and guaranteed placement. Becoming an English teacher in Thailand is one of the best ways to legally live in the Land of tropical islands with clear waters, lush mountains and stay for a longer period. Every year thousands of people apply for teaching positions in Thailand. Pandemic has made things worse for all of us but most schools and recruitment agencies are intensely hiring foreigners who are currently in Thailand and remotely hiring outside the country. This country has attracted many travellers due to their low cost of living, the perfect weather and laid back atmosphere which makes this country a perfect expatriate destination. Many people can obtain a teaching job without a degree, but just know you are working illegally and the Thai government catch you, severe legal punishment will be taken against you. Make sure to study up the requirements to teach overseas in Thailand in detail. Don’t skip anything- everything written here is crucial.
Lifestyles in Bangkok
There are seemingly endless options when it comes to teaching English Thailand and overseas. Thailand has been at the top of many expats’ lists (mine included as I am currently living here in the capital city, Bangkok). The magnificent beauty and culture of Thailand attracts many tourists each year.
Now if the opportunity to live abroad, travel frequently, and make money at the same time sounds like a dream come true to you, then this article will help you a lot. We all live in a digitally influenced era where travelling and teaching are now perceived as a luxury. Social platforms are filled with people who live abroad, teaching English across the globe, and making a living out of it while still earning to sponsor their lifestyles— there’s no doubt that some people envy them.
It’s important to realize it takes a lot of time, research/analysis, financial planning, the proper qualifications, and knowing yourself enough to know if you’re truly ready for this experience of living abroad or not. Working abroad lifestyle is not for the faint fainted.
About Teaching in Thailand, Visa, TEFL, TOEIC, Experience
Table of content
- Basic requirements to teach in Thailand
- TEFL information + Authentication
- Police Clearance Certificate
- Types of scholar and teaching job websites
- Classroom management & Culture
- Salaries & Visa processes
- Finding a Job Teaching English in Thailand 30 sites & Facebook groups to join to advertise yourself
Basic requirements to teach in Thailand
Bachelor’s Degree (3-4 Year Degree)
A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university is a basic requirement to qualify for certification from the Teacher’s Council of Thailand, which is also a basic requirement for qualifying for a work permit. As a result, it is the most recurring basic qualification in many positions. Immigration or the Department of Labour will require the original copy of your degree and the transcripts, so make sure you pack them along when you come to Thailand.
You don’t need to be a teacher by profession in order to be a teacher in Thailand or Asia. You can be an engineer, a software developer, an artist or an actress like me. As long as you have an authenticated degree or SAQA certificate plus original degree. Different schools may require documentation, depending on whether it is public, private, or follow a particular teaching methodology. As you apply to different agencies or schools be open to different requirements.
Be Native English Speaker
Most of the Asian countries, including Thailand requires English native speakers. To qualify to teach English abroad, you must be a native speaker of English (which the Thai government defines as those holding a passport from the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand) South Africans also get hired and some schools recognise them as native speakers of English. Countries like China and South Korea still recognise South Africans as native English speakers. If you hold a passport from any other nation you need to prove your fluency in English by providing a TOEIC score of 600+ or an IELTS score of 5.5+.
TEFL Certificate (Optional) for Thailand
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course is crucial for your as it will boost your chances of landing yourself a great offer in Thailand. TEFL certification is not always a requirement but a substantial bonus. There are lots of companies on the market, which provide such courses. You can complete it in South Africa, China, or you can do it here in Thailand but I would highly recommend 180 hours Ofqual regulated TEFL 5 TEFL Course when you have completed your TEFL, they can even assist you in securing a great offer.
It’s highly recommended that you complete at least 120 Hours of TEFL certificate. Without a TEFL certificate, you can also work as a volunteer especially if you don’t have teaching experience at all. (That’s optional, though). Irrespective whether it’s required or not, I’d urge you to take this 180 Hour Ofqual Regulated Level 5 TEFL course because forthcoming English teachers do get a TEFL certificate beforehand. Not only this course would get you in the front line of thousands teacher but it will guide you with a training prior to getting started as a teacher, and aid you with the strong skills that you need to provide a good English education to your students. Last but definite not last, many schools in Asia require 120 TEFL Course, and is even a legal requirement in some countries to obtain their work permit.
Although having a TEFL certificate is not always a prerequisite to teach in. Thailand but, getting certified can open the door to endless opportunities in more countries, especially if you are from the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.
The Gulf countries and many major Asian countries, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, prefer to hire native English speakers. It is still possible to teach english as a non-native speaker, but your level of fluency, training, and experience should all be considered. In Vietnam they require CERF certificate and you can obtain that certificate for absolute free here
TEFL, DEGREE, POLICE CLEARANCE, AUTHENTICATION & PUBLIC NOTARY
- Submit a copy & original TEFL certificate to a lawyer (Public Notary) I personally used Louwrens Koen in Pretoria her website is here
- Address is Office 4, 2nd floor, Gate 12 Loftus Versveld Stadium, North Pavilion, 416 Kirkness street, Arcadia
- Business Number +27 84 316 3765
- Google Maps if you are in South Africa
- Then submit those documents to High Court or DIRCO their address is here
- Degree you simply submit a copy of your bachelor’s degree accompanied by SAQA certificate which you can obtain after 20 working days depending on the priority selected and availability.
- You must email them first here email@example.com
Verification letter for tertiary qualifications obtained in South Africa. Download below of here
For Police Clearance you simply submit it all together with your Degree, TEFL and supporting documents from your school if you are applying for Non-B in South Africa which I highly recommend, but if you want to travel with a tourist visa and convert as soon as you arrive in Thailand then, you don’t need Police Clearance at all. Once you have arrived in Thailand then take one. Just remember to authenticate your Degree and TEFL plus bring your TOEIC certificate if you intend to work in Bangkok, immigration offices will ask for it when you apply for a Non-B visa which will cost you about ฿1900, $56 (Rands is R900)
Once you have gotten all your documents ready then submit the documents at DIRCO offices by yourselves or your agency. If you want her details kindly comment down below.
DIRCO PRETORIA ADDRESS
O R Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Tel: + 27 12 351 1000
Fax: + 27 12 329 1000
TOEIC TEST for Non Native Speakers
What is TOEIC Test?
Basically, the TOEIC Test Score is needed to verify your English Proficiency level. The TOEIC Test can be taken at centres across 160 countries, including in Thailand. The great is, if you are already in Thailand, the organisation that conducts the TOEIC Test is called Centre of Professinal Assessment which administers language testing services to professionals and individual.
CPA (Thailand) offers regularly scheduled testing for the TOEIC Listening and Reading Test, TOEIC Speaking and Writing tests. There are two locations, one in Bangkok and the other is in Ching Mai. Click on this link to take a Free TOEIC Practice Test. This certificate is for Academic purposes, and personal resting (individuals), since covid-19 restriction things slowed down a lot, there was even a point where both testing centres were closed. When you decide to go for the test, make test reservations at least 1 working day in advance of the required test date. The sooner you reserve, the better! In South Africa, there’s TOEIC Test Centre as well. You should check one in Durban which I’d highly recommend when you are in South Africa.
Here in Thailand reservations must be made either in person at the CPA office, or by simply calling the call centre between Monday-Saturday between 8:00 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
For more information check the information below.
- Bangkok Test Centre
- Tel: 02-260-7061 or 02-259-3990.
- English Ext is 603
- Their Facebook page
- Toeic Test website in Bangkok
Chiang Mai Test Center
- Tel : (053) 241-273 or (053) 241-274
- (053) 241-275
- Google more information regarding TOEIC in case you still don’t understand.
If you are not from the United Kingdom, the United State of America, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada, then you must also have taken a TOEIC test to prove you have the English ability of a native speaker and have a certified C2 to B2 the score (600 score and above), the higher your score the higher your chances of getting a teaching job in Thailand and a work permit as an English Teacher which is called Non-B Visa. Bear in mind some schools may not require TOEIC tests especially in small cities but in Bangkok, they are a bit strict especially when it concerns the visa process.
Try to apply for Non-B Visa in your country to avoid Toeic Test and the lengthy process in Thailand. This process can messy, tiring and you are on your own. If you are lucky enough then one member of the school will accompany you but usually private Thai schools let their teachers handle their visa process and go to immigration Division 1 all by themselve, which I personally do not like. There’s always a struggle with a language barrier or cultural differences when you are new in the country. If you overstay on a tourist visa before converting to Non-B visa then you won’t be allowed to convert but rather you’d be forced to exit the country then re-enter to apply from scratch so please, constantly nag your school to provide your with all necessary documents to apply for Non-B Visa before is too late.
Some teachers had their visas expire under the school’s watch, some teachers overstayed and their schools didn’t even alert or remind teachers to extend their visas at least 15 days or more prior to the expiring date, these schools don’t even bother to explain how Non-B visa work. I went through the same problem- it was a nightmare when I got here and I was so angry with my school and I even considered quitting because I didn’t feel valued enough. Unfortunately, if you came on a tourist visa and you overstay, you are not legible to apply for a Non-B visa. And in such cases, I fully blame the school’s lack of communication, involvement, and professionalism to let a foreign teacher go through such a traumatic experience under their watch. Shortly after joining the school, you have to go to the police station for the fingerprints, once again- you will go on your own perhaps in your experience- they might accompany you to the police station. For me the school didn’t, I went there alone and used google maps to reach my destination, yup “ I know, it sucks and it sounds horrible”. From converting from Tourist Visa to Non-B Visa – the school will simply give you piles of documents and then you are on your own for submission. In a normal and professional environment or school, usually foreign representative or HR should handle such issues, well not in Thailand or at least in my experience. They are not very supportive and involved in helping their teachers with this critical phase and this kind of treatment makes them look awful and unprofessional as a school.
My pro advice or tip to you: Try to obtain a Non-Immigrant B Visa in your country before entering the Thailand, then, after arrival you can go straight into applying for a work permit.
Non-Immigrant B Visa
To obtain this visa you will need:
- Passport with at least 6 months validity and two full blank pages
- Passport photos
- Original copy of your bachelor’s degree
- Certified criminal background check
- Visa application fee (varies)
- Various documents that should be provided by your employer upon hiring
𝑷𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒚 𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒖𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒐𝒓 𝒓𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒐𝒏 – 𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒄𝒌 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒐𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒚.
𝒜𝓁𝓁 𝒻ℴ𝓇ℯ𝒾𝑔𝓃ℯ𝓇𝓈 𝓂𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝒶𝓅𝓅𝓁𝓎 𝒻ℴ𝓇 𝒶 𝓌ℴ𝓇𝓀 𝓅ℯ𝓇𝓂𝒾𝓉 𝒶𝒻𝓉ℯ𝓇 ℴ𝒷𝓉𝒶𝒾𝓃𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝒶𝓅𝓅𝓇ℴ𝓅𝓇𝒾𝒶𝓉ℯ 𝓋𝒾𝓈𝒶 (𝒩ℴ𝓃-ℐ𝓂𝓂𝒾𝑔𝓇𝒶𝓃𝓉 ℬ 𝒱𝒾𝓈𝒶) 𝓊𝓅ℴ𝓃 𝒶𝓇𝓇𝒾𝓋𝒶𝓁. 𝒯𝒽ℯ𝓇ℯ 𝒾𝓈 𝓃ℴ 𝓈𝓅ℯ𝒸𝒾𝒻𝒾𝒸 𝓋𝒾𝓈𝒶 𝒻ℴ𝓇 𝒯𝒽𝒶𝒾𝓁𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒶𝓁𝓁ℴ𝓌𝓈 𝒻ℴ𝓇ℯ𝒾𝑔𝓃ℯ𝓇𝓈 𝓉ℴ 𝓌ℴ𝓇𝓀. We all use NON-Immigration B Visa
- Original copy of your bachelor’s degree
- Your passport with the Non-Immigrant B Visa affixed
- 6 Passport photos
- A valid medical certificate issued by a Thai doctor I personally used Nopparat Hospital Bangkok
- Evidence of previous teaching experience (if applicable)
𝒜𝒻𝓉ℯ𝓇 𝓇ℯ𝒸ℯ𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓎ℴ𝓊𝓇 𝓌ℴ𝓇𝓀 𝓅ℯ𝓇𝓂𝒾𝓉, 𝓎ℴ𝓊 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓃ℯℯ𝒹 𝓉ℴ 𝒶𝓅𝓅𝓁𝓎 𝒻ℴ𝓇 𝒶 𝓉ℯ𝒶𝒸𝒽𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓁𝒾𝒸ℯ𝓃𝓈ℯ – 𝓌𝒽𝒾𝒸𝒽 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝒻𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓁 𝓈𝓉ℯ𝓅
However, this only applies if you don’t have a degree in Education, therefore, you will need to apply for a temporary license (which will be valid for up to six years). To fully benefit from this golden opportunity, here are a few things that you need.
- Your passport with the Non-Immigrant B Visa attached
- Recent Passport photos
- Thai work permit
- Original copy of your bachelor’s degree
- University transcripts
- Certified criminal background check from Thai Police Station.
If you have PGCE, M.Ed or B.Ed apply jobs at International schools please then select Thailand or desired countries. You can get great offers all over the school including European countries as long as you got QTS status from home country. Make sure you are registered with South African Council for Educator (SACE)
To stay updated about legal procedures , visa, residence and more details then vist Thai Embassy website
CPA TOEIC Test Fees
The cost of taking the test is as follows:
Test Category: Personal Testing
Test Fee: 1990- Baht
Payment: Payable in Cash on the Test Day
Score Pick-Up Day & Time
The best way to get your test results is in the mail! You can provide the address to the test centre representative on the test day, and your results will be safely sent in the mail via recorded delivery.
Test Category: Personal Testing.
Postage Fee: 50- Baht
Payment: Payable in Cash on the Test Day
All required documents must be presented at the time of Check-In. In case of no-show or late arrivals, all previously reserved test seats will be released to Standby test takers at 9:00 A.M, 1:00 P.M, and 4:00 P.M. Also bear in mind that, there is a penalty charge for any test taker who fails to appear at the test centre in time for a test without cancelling the reservation.
Cancellation must be made AT LEAST one working day (not including Public Holidays) before the scheduled test date.
The Penalty Fee/Administrative Charge is 500 Baht, and it is automatically added to the test fee the next time you register. Avoid such incidences and prepare accordingly. CPA (Thailand) reserves the right to take any action – including but not limited to: barring the test taker from future testing and/or cancelling scores due to failure to comply with test administration regulations or directions. Should tests be cancelled, scores will not be reported, and test fees will not be refunded. Test takers who fail to follow test centre policies or proctor instructions may be refused entry into the test room. Tests may be cancelled, and test fees may NOT be refunded.
At the discretion of the test room, proctor test takers may be requested to remove specific items not listed before being allowed into the test room. Individual lockers are NOT provided. While shelving is supplied for personal belongings, CPA (Thailand) accepts no responsibility for any items.
Classroom management And Culture
During the first week trainees learn how to deal with discipline issues in a Thai classroom and familiarise themselves with methodology used in Thai schools. On top of that, there is one day of cultural awareness . Thai students are very somewhat chaotic to handle but overall 80% of them are obedient and 20% are passively rude and disrespectful towards foreign teachers, so you need to have a lot of patience when you come to Thailand. The sweetest and controlled classes are kindergarten classes, you are going to be in love with them, they are very cute and caring. They are constantly taught to show respect to teachers after every class through bowing down.
Which I personally find extremely adorable and humbling. It reminds me of my days when I was a teacher in China, students are very respectful, obedient, sensitive and caring- all levels. The last classes that I taught in China are grade 4 and grade 5. I will forever love those students- they made me feel loved, welcomed, appreciated and supported. I will forever hold that school dear to my heart. I experienced genuine love
Teaching Job in Thailand & Types of schools
The Thai school year begins in May and concludes in February, with a month break between semesters commencing around the end of September. So make sure you apply on time and have your resume updated. Most schools hire teachers around February and March, however, some do hire teachers mid-semester around October and November. The university schedule has different hiring seasons- if you wish to lecture at the university in Thailand, they usually hire in early August, so stay prepared and connected
Types of schools in Thailand
• Thorough training is giving to teachers from the Thai Ministry of Education prior to teaching. Class sizes are large (around 50 students per class) it reminds is my China days at public schools, I had 10 classes of Grade 5 with 50 maximum students and 14 classes of my sweet Grade 4s with at least 47 maximum students per class but their discipline was beyond amazing. They listened whenever, I spoke to me and they highly respected me as their foreign teacher. At the public school you get at least 2-3 months of paid vacation per year, I miss that. Regrettably, I am currently teaching at the private school. Public school salary is around ฿30-36K, direct hire you can at least expect ฿50 000 per month if you are lucky- LOL. Full 40 hours, Monday to Friday Kru.
Private Language Centers
Private language center, you could find yourself working a more irregular schedule – early mornings to evenings. Class sizes more comfortable and fancier than public schools, with at least ten students per class. Their salary is up to $20 per hour and you only work less than 20 hours per week.
International schools always demand considerably higher requirements from foreign teachers and usually they require a teaching qualification from your home country, similar to university positions. If you are a qualified teacher, don’t even waste time with private, language centres or public schools- apply directly with the International schools. There’s a website called Ajarn which provides lucrative offers from international schools but you need to scan through properly as they are all mixed. By landing yourself teaching position from one of the schools could highly boost you financially and career-wise. You can at least expect to earn anything from $3,000-$5,500 a month at an international school, plus house allowance, great health insurance, many incredible perks and longer holidays. If you are outside the country, they will provide you with everything you need including relocation money and paying for your hotel on arrival. All you need is QTS status (BEd, M.Ed and B.Ed).
Teaching at a university comes with fewer working hours, about 10-12 per week, you can at least expect to earn ฿30K+ and get yourself a part-time job as a Private Tutor. It is pretty normal here in Thailand to tutor part-time for addition income- and if you’re experienced enough you can even make it your full-time job. Private tutors make around 300-650 THB ($9-$15) per hour. Direct Arts or English language centers you can make up to ฿900 -฿1500 per Day
Get placement with PREMIER TEFL
25 Teaching Jobs website in Thailand and Facebook groups to join to advertise yourself
Hiring agencies in Chiang Mai have affixed here. The following list of companies in Chiang Mai help prospective teachers to find jobs go ahead and apply NOW.
- Phone: +6653242-945 or 006653242946
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
International House Bangkok
NAVA School of English
Text and Talk Academy
More Useful sites to find a job in Thailand
- Useful Websites
- https://www.nist.ac.th/employment/ (International School)
- http://www.trueteaching.com (International schools in Europe, Asia and Middle East)
- http://www.teachaway.com (International, Public and Private)
- http://www.seekteachers.com (All)
- https://www.teachingnomad.com/jobs/destinations/teach-in-thailand/ (All)
- https://www.nordangliaeducation.jobs/vacancies.aspx (Thailand & Vietnam )
- https://www.shrewsbury.ac.th/city/academic/early-years (International)
- https://www.edarabia.com/jobs/new/teaching/in/thailand/ (Thailand/Asia and Middle East )
Facebook groups to join
Facebook pages to join to search or advertise your resume or ask about a job
I have many more links on my upcoming booklet – so pre-request or reserve yourself a copy by simply donating $5 or more to get it as soon as is out.
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