FAQ / TIPS / ADVICE / VISAS
located in the heart of Bangkok a stone's throw from Subway Station MRT Param 9
FAQ by KruTeacher
- What is the meaning of NES?
Native English Speaker.
- What is the meaning of NNES?
Non Native English Speaker.
- Can a NNES make as much as a NES?
It depends. If you have graduated from a western university based say in the UK, US, Australia and your accent is neutral or native-like and you’re truly proficient in English then you "should" be able to command similar wages as native speakers. Same goes for especially Europeans hailing from Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands with native-like fluency of the English language, possessing a BA, a TEFL cert or dip, you "should" be making about the same as native speakers.
- Will I make less as a NNES in Thailand having gotten my Bachelor’s degree in a non-English speaking country?
In most cases you will. However, if you are experienced and a licensed teacher in your home country, it is possible to make the same or in some cases even more working at an international school in Thailand. There is a shortage of experienced qualified licensed foreign high school teachers capable of teaching Biology, Chemistry, Science and Math subjects in Thailand.
- Is there a shortage of NES female kindergarten teachers in Thailand?
Yes, there is.
- What recourse do I have when treated unfairly by my Thai employer?
The Thai Ministry of Labor is known to side by the foreign teacher in most cases. So, yes even in Thailand you got rights. Most foreign teachers who have taken their employers to court have won!
Some useful links:
- Are there any teacher recruitment agencies in Thailand?
Yes, there over two hundred or so teacher recruitment/placement agencies in Thailand. Some are legit, some aren’t. KruTeacher can only give its seal of approval to Teachers for Thailand at this time. We are sure there are other reputable teacher placement/recruitment agencies in Thailand, however, we do not know much about them, and therefore we cannot vouch for them. Teachers for Thailand are probably the only ones that do Skype interviews with qualified NES still overseas. They are also one of the very few agencies offering 12 month contracts. They do airport pick up, help find accommodation, offer constant support, and pay for work permits. They will also do the paperwork for their teachers.
- Do I pay an agency to find me a job?
No, You don't. If you're asked for some kind of a deposit, or payment, run. These are scammers. Legit agencies e.g. Teachers for Thailand will never ask you for money.
- I don’t have a Bachelor of Arts (BA). Can I still find a job in Thailand?
You certainly can. However, you will be breaking the law as you won’t be able to apply for a work permit in most cases and If caught you will be deported and blacklisted. We do not recommend teachers to work illegally in Thailand. A BA is a prerequisite to obtain a work permit in Thailand as a teacher. This is Thailand not your home country where you can get a job with just a TEFL or a TESOL. Different rules apply over here!
- I don’t have a BA. Can I work as a teacher assistant or consultant for a Thai school?
Yes, you can. How this works exactly, we do not know. You may want to ask this question in our forum Teaching Jobs in Thailand.
- I have a TEFL/TESOL. Will it help me gain legal employment as a teacher in Thailand?
No. Thai labor law stipulates that only foreigners with a BA can work as teachers in Thailand. Most (but not all) Thai school owners won’t even know or care whether a job applicant has a TEFL/TESOL. However, in neighboring Cambodia you can legally work without a degree provided that you are an English native speaker. For more go here.
- Can you tell me more about teaching licenses in Thailand?
- Are there any popular job sites you would recommend?
Yes, our website www.kruteacher.com - you can also post your self-intro or resume with us FREE of charge.
We recommend browsing jobs listen on KruTeacher even if a job posting is a week old it does not necessarily mean that the vacancy got filled. We would say, apply, and see what comes out of it.
- Can you recommend a few visa agents as I need to leave the country to get a non-imm B visa?
There are so many to choose from. Google is your friend. We don't know enough about them to give them our seal of approval.
- When is it a good time to be in Thailand and actively look for a job?
March for a May start for government and private schools.
Anywhere between end February to end November for language schools.
- I currently hate my job, can I just call it quits?
You certainly can. There is a 3-month probation period. Talk to your current colleagues on how to do this without jeopardizing your final paycheck. It is not uncommon for some schools or agencies to mess about with your final paycheck upon hearing you’re planning on quitting.
- What is the average monthly salary for experienced, qualified and licensed NES ESL/EFL teachers at international schools, and do I go about finding such a position?
If you’re an experienced, and a licensed teacher in your home country, work for an international school can be found through Search Associates or TES. Or simply visit the career pages of international schools. You can use Google or find a list here. International schools often have fancy career pages with an HR email listed. If there are no current vacancies, they may keep your resume on file and contact you later. Top tier international schools pay around 150,000 Baht, benefits on top, second tier international schools will pay teachers around 75,000 Baht plus benefits. Third tier international schools in Thailand are just private schools really with the word “international” embedded somewhere in the school’s logo/name; these type of international schools don’t offer that many benefits, but it’s good way to get one’s foot through the door so to speak and move on to something better after a while. Some international schools will consider hiring non-native speakers, mainly to teach subjects. NNES can command similar wages as their NES counterparts. These NNES teachers are obviously licensed teachers, the real deal, with years of teaching experience in their home countries, with a native like command of the English language. For more go here.
- What is the average monthly salary for NES ESL/EFL BA holders at private and government schools?
Around 45,000 Baht in Bangkok, less for NNES.
Around 40,000 Baht outside of Bangkok for NES, less for NNES.
Qualified NES and NNES teachers holding a PGCE or are licensed teachers in their home countries should in our opinion not accept anything less than 80,000 Baht a month. But this is strictly our opinion. Qualified, experienced licensed Filipino teachers for example will often accept jobs for less than the 75k we mentioned.
- I am a Filipino with a BA. Is it alright for me to work for less than 25,000 Baht a month?
Your choice your life. But be aware that by accepting anything under 25k you are ruining it for the rest of the hard-working Filipino teachers based in Thailand. Anything below 25,000 Baht must include free accommodation!
- Are South Africans considered Native English Teachers?
Not in Thailand. They are considered NNES. All non-NES teachers need a TOEIC of at least 600 points or more. For more go here.
- Are schools/agencies offering me an eleven or a ten month contract good schools/agencies to work for?
- Are schools/agencies offering me a contract without health coverage good schools/agencies to work for?
- Are schools or agencies not willing to assist me even with my BA and all the required documentation ready to get a work permit and gain legal employment ok to work for?
- Is it legal for a school to make me teach more than 24 periods a week?
No. Anything over 24 periods a week needs to be paid extra.
Note, language schools are exempt from this rule.
- Will a good school or agency deduct money off my salary for my visa run?
No. Good schools and good agencies will not do this.
- Any affordable primary/secondary schools for expats?
If it's a tier 2 school, they usually offer 50% off or thereabouts for tuition. The tier 1 are extremely expensive, and can cost about 750,000 to 1 million Thai Baht. The five schools that come to mind are NIST, ISB, and Shrewsbury, Bangkok Pattana, Harrow. The Tier 2 are much more affordable, offers discounts to non-Thai students, and are schools like Berkeley International School. In all cases, one should ensure the school is accredited by an outside, foreign agency (i.e WASC for American international Schools), and you get a good feeling about the school. All schools should have a website as well. We would advise to look at how much they pay their teachers too. If they pay low, the teachers would be low quality. Some private catholic, christian, bilingual schools may give you a discount on your child's tuition fees if you're working there - ask before signing on the dotted line. Again, If they pay low, the teachers would often be of low quality too, possessing a BA in an unrelated field with very little or no teaching experience. More can be found on the following website.
- Any websites for teachers of English, or maybe student they can self-access and learn?
We recommend Richard Barrow's 'The English Room. Which he created as an e-learning project for students. This website gets KruTeacher's seal of approval!
- Would it be possible for a non-degree holder with a TEFL and a year teaching experience in Thailand to get a position as a sports coach or instructor?
The law is very clear. A TEFL is not a required document in Thailand to teach. A degree is. It is needed to legally work in Thailand. However, in Cambodia you can legally teach with a TEFL and no degree. However, it is not unknown for schools to employ teachers with other types of credentials e,g, a diploma in teaching plus experience and/or an MA in linguistics without a degree, if this teacher has proven his worth at his school and this school totally wants him to stay, this teacher will then be employed as a teacher assistant or as an consultant. Many successful businessmen also have a work permit without a degree.
HOWEVER, KruTeacher in collaboration with South East Asia's leading TEFL provider do assist non degree holders with training and job placement in Cambodia. For more go here.
- Are you sure I need a work permit to teach English to kindergartners in Thailand?
Having a job here without a work permit is like living here with an expired visa. You might get away with it for a while, but eventually you'll get caught and have a large problem on your hand.
No Thai would believe you if you told them Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Jack Dorsey, Richard Branson, just to name a few haven't got a degree.
To a Thai a degree means "everything" or something along that line. We all know that some of the best TEFL teachers aint got a degree, sadly, Thailand does not care nor do they want them in their classrooms. In their eyes, they are undesirables.
- Does my wife need a degree to legally work as a teacher assistant in an international school part-time?
No, she does not. However, the accreditation agency (i.e. WASC) may require all teachers to have degrees. Generally, the people whom they hire are unemployed spouses of expats whose children are attending the school, to provide a discount, to perform teaching assistance jobs. These are mostly word-of-mouth jobs.
- How to become an English teacher in Thailand?
(for NES and NNES)
Subscribe to ttompatz's chanel and watch the dozens of very informative videos here.
- Do Africans or people of color have opportunities as well?
They certainly do. They may have to work a little harder to get their foot through the door, but it is not impossible for black Africans to find work here. Most of the jobs are on the very outskirts of Bangkok and outwards. School directors prefer white teachers, this is a sad fact. Caucasians remain the most preferred.Having said this, all is possible especially if you’re proficient in English, possess a neutral accent and can teach math, biology, chemistry or science at the high school level. Get your tourist Visa, your authenticated certificates, and a police check from your home country. When you get here do your TOEIC and you are good to go (book your seat many months in advance as they can get quite busy) http://cpathailand.co.th/. Many black Africans have successfully landed jobs here, and so can you. Will it be difficult? Yes! Is it impossible? No! Ensure you bring US$ 3,000 preferably more in funds with you to cover your expenses for your first 3 months. Be here during recruitment season, March-April for a May start. Do not come here after recruitment season has ended. You need to have very thick skin over here in Asia. Blacks or people of color (non Caucasians) with a Bachelor's of Arts in an unrelated filed will have a hard time here until they land their first teaching gig, keep this in mind. Unless as we mentioned earlier, you possess a B. Ed, a PGCE or are a licensed subject or language teacher in your home country, skin color does not matter that much since you could then apply for a post with first and second tier international schools.
- What is the needed documentation and how can I meet the requirements for visa, teacher licensing (temporary permit to teach in Thailand), and work permit?
Authorities will need to see a Bachelor or Arts degree. And, they want to see the paperwork done their way. They can make exceptions but it all depends on which immigration office you're visiting that day and who's the immigration officer. Visa issuance is all or nothing. As mentioned earlier some folks are employed as teacher assistants or consultants and manage to get a work permit that way. How this works exactly we're unsure, but what we do know is that the school must really push hard for that teacher to get those documents accepted. Often it's an associates degree, or a diploma in teaching with experience.
In most cases you will need: an authenticated bachelor’s degree with university issued academic transcripts. Most immigration offices with not settle for anything less with many immigration offices now also requiring a police clearance (current and valid), and that is how it should be unless you're teaching at a university. Several foreign pedophiles have been caught teaching in Thai schools in the past and immigration wants to stop those type of teachers teaching Thai children- and rightly so.
English proficiency test certificate (TOEIC 600 up or IELTS band 7 up) for non natives.
Passport with more than 1 year validity remaining.
If you have your paperwork done you can get legal work in Thailand.
- What is the purpose of that teaching license waiver?
If you’re a qualified teacher i.e. you possess a B.Ed, a PGCE or you are a licensed teacher you are exempt from this requirement. University Lecturers don’t need one either.
However, a teaching license waiver is required by the Teaching Council of Thailand for teachers who work in government and private primary and secondary schools. The majority of foreign teachers in Thailand hold a Bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field, they can only legally work in Thailand for up to six years. In other words, the Teacher Council of Thailand gives them enough time to gain “qualified teacher status” by getting a related qualification e.g. a PGCE, a B.Ed or something similar. Teachers are given three waivers (two years x three).
- Any additional useful websites?
Thailand Visa Options by See TEFL Thailand.
The Thai Ministry of Labour's website.
The Thai Ministry of Education's website.
The Thai Immigration Bureau's website.
Getting a Job in Thailand – Tips and advice by Mr. Benjamin Hays
I was talking to a school director, and there is a big gap between the people who are looking for jobs as teachers and school’s expectations of teachers. To help all of you job seekers out, here’s some advice that’ll make your job search much more successful. This is general “best practices”, and may not apply in all situations.
1. Include certain information on your CV/resume. Your CV/resume must have the following: A professional headshot on a plain background, in the upper corner. It should be similar to your passport picture.
- Your nationality. Different nationalities have different requirements to get the Non-B (“Work Permit”) visa. Some people may have to return to their home country for the Non-B visa, and others can be done in Laos for example.
- Your current visa (if it applies). In certain cases, a Non-B visa is not required to legally work in Thailand. A person can also work on a Non-O marriage visa, for example.
-Your degree, your university, and when you receive the degree. I know there are exceptions, but no degree, no job.
- TOEIC score, and when you took the exam (for NNES only). A TOEIC score of 600 points or more is required, and is valid for 2 years. Without a TOEIC, a teaching license waiver cannot be issued.
-Include what subject and age range you want to teach. A teacher who’s great at teaching math to 18 year olds may be terrible teaching English to 3 year olds. Different temperament, different skillset needed.
-If you have a TEFL certificate, and from where. As of today, you DO NOT need a TEFL to get a job in Thailand, but an in-person TEFL class will give you some training on classroom management, lesson planning, and other foundations of teaching.
-Outline a list of the jobs you had prior, the companies you work for, the dates you were employed, and how it relates to teaching or education. Most schools like teachers who have some experience.
2. Do NOT include the following on your CV/ resume
-Spelling and grammar mistakes. Your CV/resume is your first impression, and any spelling mistakes will result in your CV/resume getting thrown in the trash. Read your CV/resume out loud, have your computer read it back to you, and get a friend to review it as well.
-“Infographic” CV/resumes. I don’t want to see it, schools don’t want to see it. Having a CV/resume with “five stars”, bar charts, or whatever, tells a hiring director nothing.
-Fake degrees or certifications. All University of Khoasan Road degrees are in the Thailand’s teacher license database. If you’re caught submitting one, at best, you’ll get dismissed. At worse, you’ll get arrested for submitting fake documents. Also, don’t try to skirt around the rules. If you aren’t a qualified teacher, go to another country. Also, degrees that you are currently working on doesn’t matter.
3. Professionalism on Facebook. I am stunned at how many recruiters, school directors and immigration officers are in this Facebook group. I’m also disappointed at the unprofessionalism of some people on Facebook as well. Some schools and directors look at your Facebook before they hire you. Being professional includes:
-Using proper English, and give as much information as you feel comfortable. Basically, include the same information as the CV/Resume above. This is your first impression on Facebook. If you are on your phone, wait until you have access to a computer.
- Being humble. Good teachers are lifelong learners. Nobody knows everything, and a good teacher is always learning. A good teacher either learns from their students or from other teachers.
-Being polite and modest. This includes not “trolling” KruTeacher's Facebook group posts, not criticizing other people’s grammar publicly, and comparing how Thailand does things differently than your country.
-Pictures of bikinis/ tattoos/ drugs or alcohol. Thailand is a surprisingly religious country, and a lot of school directors are older, more conservative, therefore more religious. A lot of parents expect teachers to be role models, and bikini, tattoos, drugs, and alcohol are against Thailand’s values.
-Cursing or other “unprofessional” behavior. Any actions you do in KruTeacher's Facebook group: Teaching jobs in Thailand (or related groups) should be the same actions you will do in a classroom.
-Realize that there are always exceptions, and your experience may not apply to others.
4. Real life professionalism. You either got a job interview, or you’re walking around to schools. You still have to act professional.
- Dress correctly! For men, this is closed loafers, nice ironed slacks, an ironed short sleeve button down shirt, and a professional looking tie – all clean of course. Basically, “business casual”.
- Be clean. No sweat stains (if possible). Don’t have offensive body order (this includes body perfume). Clothes should be clean. Don’t wear black. If it’s father’s day or mother’s day, wear the appropriate colors (yellow and blue, respectfully). Don’t smell like alcohol.
- Respect the culture, and follow people’s lead. If a school director puts out his hand to shake your hand, shake it. If s/he doesn’t, wai. Take off your shoes before you go into class or office the first time, unless you’re told otherwise. Laugh and joke. I suggest reading a good book about Thailand’s culture as well, such as Culture Shock! Thailand: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette by Cooper (2008).
-Include two copies of your CV/resume packet to give to school directors at each school you interview. In this packet, you should have:
a. your CV/resume
b. a copy of the front page of your passport. Redact your passport number though, especially if you’re from the UK!
c. a copy of your degree
d. a copy of your transcripts (if applicable)
e. a copy of your clean criminal record
f. a copy of your TOEIC score (if applicable)
g. a copy of your TEFL certificate (if applicable)
h. copies of other documents you think may be relevant (teaching licenses from your home country, education certificates, etc.).
-Follow the advice I listed above for Facebook, but do it in real life. This includes covering all tattoos and piercings!
If you follow this advice, you’ll have a much higher chance at getting a job as a teacher. And remember, nobody is entitled to a job in Thailand.