What is Living in Thailand REALLY Like?

Making Money in Thailand | Teaching English

Two Isaan girls from Thailand old enough for marriage and maybe looking for a foreign expat.
University girls from Isaan. There are many different groups of Thais you can teach English to, choose the right one for the most job satisfaction.

Teach English!

Teaching Overview and How to Get Started

OK, let’s get this one out of the way. Everyone knows it, but it would be irresponsible not to mention teaching English when you’re overseas and trying to earn some extra income. Teaching English, or whatever language you speak and that locals want to learn – is an easy way to pull in enough income to live in most places across the globe.

If you are a qualified English teacher in your home country, and English is the first language, you may be able to find a decent job in the country you land in. Teaching English is fun for some people, it is bearable for others. It is out of the question for some people. That is quite understandable. We are not all born to be teachers, and most of us, upon trying it as an option, realize two things eventually:

1. Your students are not benefitting from your wealth of inexperience and poor motivation.

2. It isn’t the good time you thought it might be. You’re not enjoying yourself as much as you should be.  

So, if you’re living in a place where teaching English jobs are easy to come by, and provide enough income to keep you happy… do it for a while and see how it goes. Are you cut out for it?

Here in Thailand, I’ve watched many expats try it, and few stick it out for very long. They try for a short time and then search desperately for something else to do that will get them away from the classroom. If you aren’t really enjoying every day as a teacher – your students sense it, and they won’t learn as much as they could with someone that had a real passion (and skill) for it.

Living here and seeing just how few English teachers really enjoy it, was at least part of my motivation in writing this book. My hope is that you’ll find some viable alternatives here that you can put into practice and get away from teaching if it is not for you.

There are two basic options for getting started teaching language in a foreign land:

1. Teach for someone else.

2. Teach freelance, make your own hours, charge a rate you think is fair.

Most people just teach someone else. There are nursery, primary, secondary, university, tech, medical, and other schools that hire English teachers to teach classes to their students. There are businesses and individuals that hire teachers directly too – they are not hard to find, and once you’ve been in a place for a while, made some friends and contacts, the job offers sometimes come to you.

You will need to decide – which population of students do you most want to teach?

Some teachers start with one group, and move to different positions to see – which group is the most fun, or easiest to teach? Others move based on pay upgrades as they get some experience.

Teach English to non-native English speakers, or those that want to improve with a native speaker. teach in a school, or a company, a hotel, or private lessons – ideally. Teach in their home or yours, or rent out some simple office space.

See more ways to Make Money in Thailand here >

Teaching English in Thailand Positives

1. Relatively easy job with little real stress. In many cases, your employer needs teachers badly and they’ll bend for you.

2. If you have advanced training, meaning “teacher training” or are actually registered as teachers of English in your home country, you can enjoy a very decent living – multiples of what other unqualified English teachers can make in the same country.

3. Relatively set hours, weekends or a couple of days free per week.

4. Opportunities usually exist for teaching private classes after your regular work hours – or on the weekends. This can substantially increase your income but kill your fun time.

Teaching Negatives

1. No freedom to set your own schedule.

2. Days off might not correspond to those of friends.

3. Low pay if not qualified as a certified teacher in your home country.

4. Teaching is either great fun, or you’re not enjoying it. It is usually the latter. There are few expats that truly love it – but maybe you are one!?

Comments about Teaching English in Thailand

The salary range for full-time employed teachers from the USA, UK, AUS, CA in Thailand is usually around $660 – $1,100 USD. Enough to live, not enough to really thrive and save for the future. In other countries, the pay of course varies, but they usually pay enough that you can survive on just your full-time job. Teachers often teach more classes at home to private students for extra cash, though it is technically illegal in Thailand, in some other countries you can do it legally. On the high-end, there are qualified teachers at international schools making over $3,300 USD here in Thailand and elsewhere.

I’ve known dozens of expat teachers here in Thailand, only six of them are still teaching English after more than five years and four of them were teachers back in their home country. Teaching works for a while for most people, but eventually, they start looking for something else – anything else, to get them away from the classroom. I know a couple of teachers that are dying to get out. I hope they benefit from having this book available.


Kent M. Blakeney’s Ebook, Teaching Overseas: An Insider’s Perspective” at Amazon.com.

Here is a paperback book that got great reviews, by Susan Griffith, Teaching English Abroad: Your Expert Guide to Teaching English Around the World”

If by chance, you are considering coming to Thailand to teach English, I’ll be posting this book for FREE here at ThaiPulse within the next couple of weeks (August 2019). “The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Thailand.”

See more ways to Make Money in Thailand here >

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