While money isn’t everything when it comes to teaching in Thailand, it is key to helping you fund your travels and a better lifestyle...as well as saving up money or paying off debt (if those happen to be your financial goals!)
So it’s no surprise that English teaching salaries in Thailand continue to be a hot topic for teach abroad hopefuls everywhere. That’s why, this week on the blog, we’re looking at Thailand teaching jobs and the kind of salaries you can expect, depending on your own experience and qualifications.
With the help of our teach abroad salary calculator and our data from ESL teaching job postings, let’s take a look at what you can expect to earn as an English teacher in Thailand:
How much do ESL teachers make in Thailand?
- Most inexperienced teachers with a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification can expect to earn around $1,000 - 1,200 USD a month teaching English at a public school in Thailand, which is just about enough to cover your daily living costs.
- If you’re an experienced ESL teacher, your pay will be bumped up to about $1,700 - 2,000 to reflect this - especially if you can land a job teaching English at a private ESL language school in Thailand. This is in exchange for about 25 teaching hours a week - not bad at all! You will need to be somewhat flexible with your working schedule as odd hours (evenings and weekends) are the norm.
Extra benefits could include free housing, a one-way flight and a contract-completion bonus (usually the equivalent of one month’s teaching salary).
- If you hold a teaching license and have a couple of years of classroom experience under your belt, then salaries at international schools in Thailand do increase exponentially.
BASIS International School in Bangkok, for example, pay as much as $3,300 USD a month for English teachers, but the average range is around $2,300 - 2,800 USD per month. In addition to a great salary, you’ll also get to avail of some excellent benefits, including paid vacation, return airfare and health insurance
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Um, the starting salary for ESL teachers in Thailand seems so low...😞
We get it - if you’re living in Toronto, Chicago or London, a $1,200 monthly salary seems totally unrealistic.
What you need to bear in mind is that the cost of living in Thailand is but a fraction of what it is where you’re likely living right now.
You can expect to live comfortably, put aside anything from 20 - 50% of your teaching salary and still have enough to cover any travel adventures in your spare time. Even if you’re on the hook for your own rent and healthcare, a one-bedroom apartment will only cost around $250 a month and a doctor’s visit will set you back a mere $20. (And don’t fret about your oral health suffering during your teach abroad adventure in Thailand - fillings cost as little as $30 a pop!)
Your grocery bill will be a whole lot cheaper too - around $175 for the less frugal shopper. A meal from a local restaurant will set you back less than $2. Your internet bill? A measly $15. Public transport costs are more than manageable, too, at around $25 a month.
Note: While we’ve done the US currency conversion for you as a guideline above, please bear in mind that you’ll be paid in Thai Baht. Check out xe.com to help you do the math on converting your local currency to THB.