Teaching English in Bangkok: A Dream Job?

Teaching English 

Every second person you meet will tell you they’re still in search of their dream job. A job where getting up in the morning won’t be a chore. Many are looking for a way to combine travelling and working, and spending a portion of your life abroad is not uncommon anymore. When travelling around Thailand, we often encounter people earning their crust through teaching what they know: English. They tell different stories of their work lives, that make me think teaching isn’t a dream job for them after all. However, it does seem a viable option if you want to pursue travelling, gain new experience, and get paid for it. And it’s certainly more worthwhile and stimulating than selling fridges from an office in some lonely, concreted Western city.


Knowledge of English is now a desired skill for Thais and many schools are willing to invest in a foreign teacher. In Bangkok – a business hub and a stronghold of the middle classes – the demand is even higher. Private, government and international schools are hiring foreigners to improve kids’ levels of English, and boost their academic and prestigious ranking. Teachers report different standards, salaries and resources available in different schools. It seems they don’t make a fortune, but enough to continue happily living and exploring Thailand.


A teaching certificate, or a certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), is not always required. However, it’s beneficial to have one. Not only for the ease of landing a job, but also to equip you with teaching techniques. Just being able to speak English does not necessarily mean you know how to teach English. TEFL courses are offered throughout Thailand, if you don’t have one already.


Other requirements include being a native speaker (although we did come across some teachers with a very thick foreign accent) and having a bachelor’s degree or above (again, we met some that did not posses such). Also, it seems that Caucasians are preferred and so are those who look under 40.


If you decide this could be the professional path for you (or just an interim one-off), consider carefully which school you go for and check the visa arrangements. You are not allowed to work on a tourist visa, so make sure the school provides you with the proper paperwork.

Teaching in Bangkok might be a good stepping stone to your next destination, or could be a great way to stay in the place you love.

English teacher in Thailand