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Job Prospect - Thailand

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Thailand's public education system is expanding very rapidly. Just a few years ago, there was compulsory (and free) public education till the 6th grade. Thereafter, students used to drop out because they could not afford the tuition fees being charged. Each year, schools around the country are adding at least one or two more compulsory years, and the demand for teachers is soaring. Also, English is now being taught at lower and lower grade levels.

ESL teachers serious about wanting a career in teaching can find work in Thailand, as some schools around Thailand are strict about teachers' qualifications. Opportunities are abound for TEFL teachers, with the constant need for both newly qualified and experienced teachers. There is a wide range of positions available, from private kindergartens to government secondary schools to universities. There are many positions available in private after-school language academies as well. While a large proportion of teaching jobs can be found in Bangkok and Chang Mai, jobs outside of these two cities can be found in rural government primary and secondary schools and universities. As a native English-speaker and a TEFL trained teacher, you will find it easy to pick up private tutoring or other teaching jobs in Thailand. One positive aspect of private lessons or teaching in private schools is that the pay per hour is often significantly higher than at other schools although working hours are longer.

On the other hand, those working in government schools work fewer hours and receive lesser pay. For a newly-qualified teacher at private academies can expect to earn between 30,000 to 35,000 baht a month before tax while a newly-qualified teacher in a government school can expect around 20,000 to 25,000. Most schools start at the bottom end of the scale unless you have special qualifications like the TEFL certificate. To encourage teachers to stay longer, many schools base raises on the length of time teachers work at the school. Government regulations require that, for a school to be registered, it must employ suitably qualified teachers. Basically, to teach, you need a degree and a teaching certificate such as TEFL. Due to the difficulty of finding suitable people, however, some schools will hire people without these qualifications if they are self-confident, well-dressed, and speak good English.

The boom of globalization that has touched the shores of Thailand has multiplied the demand for learning English even among the Thai adults. With absolute material reasons like getting a decent job, the objective behind learning the language today in Thailand is 'compulsion' more than anything else. The classrooms thus often reflect a laid-back attitude and low motivation placing the onus of learning entirely on the teacher. This is an arduous yet challenging task for a dedicated ESL teacher in Thailand. Yet, this is a lucrative sector nonetheless. Another lucrative market for the TEFL trained teachers in Thailand is the corporate sector where the job is to teach company staff ranging from secretaries to managers at their workplace. Encompassing all the positive and negative aspects, corporate-teaching pays well at around 450 to 700 baht per hour with teaching hours generally after 5pm when the companies finish working. In addition to regular high schools, ESL teaching is also required in nursery schools and kindergartens. Either full-time or part-time employment is available in Thai schools. If freelance teaching is handled well, it can turn out to have tremendous prospects for TEFL trained teachers in Thailand. The fact that the Thais are willing to cough up huge amounts for guidance in conversational English, grammar, academic, business writing, TOEFL preparation, and many more, should be good news to native English teachers. The availability of work permits depends on where the teacher is employed. For instance, in Bangkok, a degree and a TEFL or possibly a BA in English alone fetches a work permit (as most likely a PGCE, BEd, MA TESOL etc. would). Other schools may have other requirements. In some other provinces, it possible to get a work permit purely with a TEFL certificate. Those who are attached to business or corporate houses may have their work permits reflected as a consultant or of some similar profile.

So whether you're a serious ESL teacher intent on living and teaching in Thailand or a traveller who has a keen passion in teaching, teaching job opportunities are abound for you.

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