What Are Thailand Expat Teachers Doing Long-term?

I used to know a lot of expats teaching English in Thailand. Now I know a few. Some make a decent living over the years as they stick with one school and their salary goes up. The salary is good for the area they are in, and invariably they meet someone they want to marry – and then start a new phase of life.

Some teachers I know make as much as 48,000 THB per month, and they’re living in a low-cost area. They stayed on for years, and in some cases – the school they are at is going to start outsourcing jobs to a staffing firm instead. The teachers that were once paid well will be out on their backsides, while new meat replace them at 28,000 THB per month instead.

So, though a teaching job looks steady in some way here in Thailand – it probably is NOT – unless it’s your own school. Meaning, you started the business.

Because I’m not in Bangkok, I only really know two kinds of people in Thailand. Those that are retired and have enough to live on – to do what they want. They travel around Thailand a little bit. They spend what they make on pension each month usually, some save a bit. They’re basically set. They worked their asses off during their younger days – and have a couple thousand dollars per month to show for it. Nice.

The other group I know are those that are usually younger, and that are struggling like hell to make more than 30,000 THB per month in Thailand. God help them if they’re living off that and trying to raise a family. I know a couple of guys like this. My wife has a Thai friend she went to school with that married a Canadian guy. They had one kid, now #2 is on the way. He’s taking them all to China to try to make more money and get a bigger savings.

Does that sound like a viable option? How many years would you need to work in China before you have a decent savings? 25? 35 years? The difference in pay is just not that much, and living in Shanghai – costs a lot too.

I’m trying to understand – how long are they going to do this? Rely on his teaching I mean.

How long can someone go year after year making less than $1,500 USD per month and being satisfied with that?

When do you crack and return home to get a job and bigger savings? When do you finally put a boot to your ass and learn some new skills that will get you a better job? When do you decide that $1,500 is so far behind the poverty line that it doesn’t work even in Thailand?

I wrote this today – and am thinking about it today because of a forum post I just read. A guy is returning to the UK after 4.5 years of living in Thailand because he’s afraid he’s going to join the “Condo Diving Club” in a few years if he totally crashes and runs out of money.

He has some foresight anyway.

I don’t know that everyone does.

If you’re teaching in Thailand and you have a wife and kids, girlfriend and kids – whatever your situation, you have a family… what is your long-term plan?

Anybody care to share?

Are you hoping that the teaching situation does a 180 turn and you’ll make better money in a couple years? Are you training toward doing something else? Are you waiting for your parents to die at home and will you the house?

Just curious – thinking about this a lot today.

Thailand Book Recommendations: Teaching in Thailand

Cover of book: The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Thailand

(Click the image above to see more information and for the ordering page.)

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Thailand is a well put together book that I highly recommend because I wrote it. ;)

I looked at all the different things I would want to know as a teacher coming from abroad to teach English to Thais and I jammed it all into this book. I know it’s American style to tell you it’s the Ultimate Guide… but in truth, I’ve seen nothing else that is current and that covers as much as this book covers. Not only will you learn all the requirements for teaching in Thailand, but you’ll have the “big picture” view about costs of housing and furnishings, short briefs on places you might want to live in Thailand, and the salary expectations you might have coming here in 2010-2011.

If you look on Dave’s ESL cafe or Ajarn (com) you can see that currently there are very few teaching jobs outside of Bangkok. There’s a reason for that. We’re in the slow hiring period. When is the good hiring period? You’ll find out in the book. Where are the cheapest places to live in the country? You’ll find out in the book. Where are the least stressful jobs at? In the book.

If you are considering coming to Thailand and you’ve already read the reams of outdated information online, get this “Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Thailand” in ebook format and it will help you make your decision for, or against, coming to Thailand to teach.

If you leave a comment below asking for a copy of this teaching book. I’ll give away 5 freebies. If you’ve already received a free ebook from this site before – sorry, this offer is just for those that haven’t received any free ebooks in the past here.