Pros and Cons of being an ESL Teacher in Bangkok
Bright lights, awe inspiring scenery, magnificent architecture, and a vibrant night life make Bangkok a popular town for foreigners in Thailand. There is so much to experience. Foreign ESL teachers often view their positions as a way to earn money while exploring the beauty of Thailand’s capital city. If you live for adventure, signing up to be an ESL teacher in Bangkok for a year can be an exhilarating experience. Before diving into this life-changing experience, however, you need to understand the pros and cons of being a teacher in Bangkok. Weigh your options and determine if this adventure is right for you.
ESL Teachers are in High Demand
Bangkok needs ESL teachers! Many schools have allocations in their budgets for hiring ESL teachers. It’s basic economics…where there is a low supply there will always be a high demand. So, you never have to worry about not having a job.
Good Pay is Possible at Higher Levels
Let’s be real. Teaching ESL at Thai schools isn’t going to make you rich. A Thai teacher’s salary is often much less than the average salary of an American public school teacher. Pay in the primary and secondary school system depends on the type of school. Public school teachers earn a lower salary than private school teachers.
Bangkok universities do hire ESL teachers, but you can guess that the qualifications required can be much greater than those for a secondary or primary school teacher (international schools not included). ESL teachers at the university level are sometimes required to have a master’s degree in TESOL or a CELTA. Experience can also be mandatory. In many cases you won’t have any luck here if you’re just starting out. However, there are many entry level positions that don’t require any experience. If you are an expert at teaching grammar, there are many schools that would love your experience.
Private Tutoring and Language Centers Offer Lucrative Income Possibilities
Private tutoring can help you earn a good chunk of change in your spare time. Its only pitfall is that you’ll have to give up a lot of your evenings and some of your weekends. The sacrifice, however, is worth the reward.
Several language centers exist in Bangkok; inspiring language centers that may rekindle your fire for teaching. Class sizes are small at these centers (usually no more than 5 students in a class). Such small class sizes are any teacher’s dream! These learning centers also offer adult classes in the evenings and on weekends. Teaching adults is a rewarding experience because they are more focused and serous about their studies.
The benefits of language training centers don’t stop there. Many language centers also offer corporate training programs. This is where the higher pay rates come. Only the best ESL teachers are chosen to lead these training programs. Work at being the best and you’ll get the best opportunities.
Options for Furthering Your Education
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital, its metropolitan oasis. There are good university options. In fact, some Bangkok universities offer master’s degrees in TESOL, business, and some other fields that are much cheaper than comparable degrees in America.
The Work Permit Battle
Getting a work permit in Thailand can be a tedious and frustrating process. However, having a work permit is what makes your tenure as an ESL teacher legal. There are some legitimate organizations that help people with the process for a price. Yes, it can be a lot of money, but you’ll be able to earn that money back in no time if you have the right approach to working in Bangkok. English Gang offers work permits to qualified teachers.
Bangkok is a city of adventure and becoming an ESL teacher in Bangkok will help you live that adventure. The pros far outweigh the cons. If you mix traditional teaching with tutoring and working at language centers, you can earn a decent income. Take the steps to become a qualified ESL teacher in Bangkok today.