What to Prepare Before Living in Thailand as an English Teacher

Posted on Jun 10 2020 - 10:40pm by Sarah Smith

If you’re interested in traveling as more than just a tourist, getting your TEFL certification (teaching English as a foreign language) will allow you the chance to immerse yourself in many regions of the world as an English Teacher. While some countries don’t require a TEFL certification, Thailand does, so to get teaching jobs in Thailand you’ll want to decide where you’re going to get certified and what format you prefer to receive your education; both online and in-person are available, depending on where you live.

The Training

Are you fluent in English? It doesn’t have to be your first language, but you will need to be fluent and conversant in English to teach in Thailand. In addition, a college degree in any subject is preferred, but not required.

Your TEFL training can be gained in a variety of ways. You can study online or find a concentrated, in-person TEFL course in one of several major cities, here and abroad. In addition to teaching positions, there are TEFL internships to explore while you get started in your teaching career.

The Work

As an English Language teacher, you can expect a good salary. In US Dollars, your teaching payout will be between $940 and $1,300 dollars per month. That’s not much to survive in a major US city, but the cost of living in Thailand is quite low. In the Thai currency, your salary would translate to 30,000 to 42,000 Baht. You can rent a home for 5,000 Baht, and eat a meal for 50.

English proficiency is key to the leadership of Thailand, so teachers have a lot of flexibility and options. You will likely find plenty of work in the major cities, but there will be options in the outlying areas as well. No matter what you’re looking to do or how many hours you want to work, you will likely find a post that will suit your needs.

The Travel

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. If your goal is to work hard for a time and see the country when you’re not teaching, you may want to start in this travel hub. Be sure to get a lift from a tuk-tuk, or auto rickshaw. These vehicles have neither fixed rates nor seatbelts. Prepare for adventure and negotiate the fee before you get in.

The train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya offers beautiful views and a chance to visit the Ayutthaya Historical Park, a Unesco World Heritage site from when Thailand was Siam. There’s a bus as well; you can digest the scenery more slowly and save some money.

You’ll find a large community of digital nomads and expats in Chiang Mai. You can easily get around this area in a Songthaew, or covered pickup with seats. Visit the World of Insects and the Temple of the Golden Mountain. Fans of time on the beach should head over to Phuket to enjoy time in the water.

Short-term rental opportunities are a good plan when you first get to Thailand. You may want to start in an Airbnb so you can explore each city a bit. Once you have your first teaching job, consider renting a house for privacy. Rent is negotiable in Thailand, so don’t sign anything until you see the place.


Teachers make a difference all over the world. You, as an English teacher, can help connect the next generation of Thailand to the global community. Study the certification requirements and find a course that will suit your budget and schedule.

Sarah Smith
Follow me

Related Posts

About the Author

Sarah is a small business owner and is currently learning about marketing, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.