Average salary for an English teacher in Bangkok

School in Bangkok

How much can a teacher of English from the West expect to earn in Thailand's capital city? And is it possible to live normally in Bangkok on this money?

In fact, the earnings of foreign teachers vary depending on where they work and what duties they perform. A qualified teacher earns more than a beginner, which is only natural. Understandably, he will get more attractive offers from potential employers. Still, the average salary for foreign English teachers in Bangkok is much lower than in Japan or South Korea.

What can beginners count on?

 The lowest wages are in Thai public schools. Local teachers can earn from 28,000 to 35,000 baht. By the standards of the capital, these are very modest sums that allow you to barely make ends meet. To put it simply, to survive.

Of course, if you have no choice at all, you have to make do. A public school teacher's salary is enough to live in a tiny apartment, one of those that poor locals make do with. Eat cheap food at street food joints. Move around the city on foot or by public transportation. And allow yourself a little entertainment no more than a couple of times a week.

Do you want to live in a decent house and not in a little cage the size of a refrigerator box, buy normal groceries and look decent? Then in Bangkok you need a salary of 50 thousand baht or more. Well, or at the very least - not less than 45 thousand.

Teacher in Thailand

Teacher earnings in higher level schools

The average salary in a bilingual Thai school is higher than in a regular school. But the local authorities know exactly what they are willing to pay good money for. They hire teachers with a university degree, TEFL or CELTA certification, and sufficient experience, usually at least 2-3 years.

My first job in Thailand was in a bilingual school. Very decent conditions: small class, paid eight-week vacation, health insurance and many other benefits. The starting salary was 48,000, plus rent reimbursement (another 2,900 baht a month).

This income allowed me to feel much more confident and to live better than most of my Western teacher colleagues who taught English in public educational institutions. In addition, my employer steadily increased my salary by about two to three thousand each year.

On average, an English teacher in a bilingual Thai school earns between 45,000 and 65,000 baht, again according to his experience and qualifications. This allows him to feel financially independent. And even make some savings for a "rainy day".

Schoolchildren of Thailand

Teacher Salaries at Bangkok Universities

 The higher status of the school does not affect the size of the teacher's salary at all. On the contrary, these positions in Bangkok are considered the lowest paid. If we compare the incomes of English teachers at bilingual universities in the capital, the former are much poorer than the latter.

But there are still applicants for these positions. The fact is that a foreign language teacher at a Thai university has a very modest workload - from 12 to 20 hours a week. Getting the legal 30 thousand baht for a similar "non-dusty job", you can quite easily devote time to finding additional sources of income. However, there are universities in the capital that offer a decent wage of up to 65,000 baht. But this is very rare.

Another little nuance to keep in mind for the future. It is very appealing to mention in your resume that you teach English at university level. Of course, Thai universities are ranked lower than Western, Japanese or South Korean universities, but even this work experience can make a favorable impression on a potential employer.

Lecturer at a university in Thailand

Corporate English Training

Many large corporations invite Western foreign language teachers, offering very good salaries. I held a similar position for about two years, getting 60,000 baht a month. In reality, the employer is willing to pay more, about 70-85 thousand. But if you apply for a job through special agencies, the monthly amount is automatically reduced by the percentage that the intermediary takes away.

What are the advantages (apart from the salary) of corporate teaching? The workload here is relatively light, within the same twenty hours per week. There is a minimum of extra paperwork. You can easily find a decent part-time job to increase your income. And so I did, so at this stage I get more than 85 thousand per month. And this is already the level that allows me to feel like a person close to the elite living in luxury in Thailand.

Teacher in Thailand

Salaries at Bangkok International Schools

That's the real elite! Local salaries really allow foreign language teachers to have nothing. Regular "net" income is between 85 and 150 thousand. Plus full compensation for the cost of housing, comfortable and status, the rent of which can cost up to 35,000 baht a month.

A friend of mine works at one of the best international schools in Bangkok, earning 125,000 a month. He rents a gorgeous four-bedroom house with a swimming pool, for which his employer pays an extra 35,000. This level of wealth is considered very high by Thai standards.

It is clear that it is extremely difficult to get a job like this. Applicants are required to have an appropriate education, a degree, and 5-10 years of teaching experience outside of Thailand. International schools prefer to "write" teachers from abroad and rarely consider those foreign teachers who work in lower-level local educational institutions.

To summarize, to lead a normal life, a Western teacher in Bangkok must earn at least 45,000 baht per month. Ideally, 50,000 to 60,000. This will allow you to save up for emergencies without having to cut back on the essentials.

Perhaps some teachers who receive much less would disagree with me. That's their right. But I see what conditions they live in, what they eat, what clothes they wear, and what entertainment they can afford. And I stand by my opinion.

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