Thinking about teaching English in Thailand? It's a great choice, but first you'll need a TEFL Certificate, as the Ministry of Education requires this.
The good news is that you can take your TEFL in Thailand, or online.
In this post, I'll use my experience to help you understand exactly what it's like being a teacher here. I discuss the pros and cons, and what to expect on a day-to-day basis.
I'll also cover exactly what you should be looking for in a TEFL , and give you the best TEFL course in Thailand options and the requirements you'll need to meet for each.
If you can't be bothered to read through all my advice and deep overviews of each course, you can skip to my comparison table below for a quick overview of each. On that table you can click on the ‘Visit Site' buttons to go to the website of each provider.
Best TEFL Courses in Thailand
Courses available in London, Birmingham, Sydney, the United Kingdom, Ireland, North America and Australia.
Certification from different cities in the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, and Asia. In Thailand in Chiang Mai and Hua Hin.
Located in the wonderful city of Chiang Mai. If you’re looking for a culturally-immersive learning experience with a guaranteed job, this is it!
On location training in the pretty coastal town of Hua Hin.
100% online & fully optimised for mobile/tablet access - study from anywhere in the world. You can also sign up for a free 2-day course before you commit to buy (see ‘Visit Site’ link above).
The TEFL Academy provides courses offered online, enabling you to study from anywhere in the world.
Online and classroom learning TEFL opportunities and certifications available.
Both onsite TEFL certification classes and online courses are offered.
SEE offers a 4-week TEFL course and a paid internship. Internship is identical to the 4-week course but only 2-weeks long and tailored to teachers who don’t want to commit to staying in Thailand longer than 5 months.
4-week training, 120 hour TEFL.
120 Hour TEFL Certificate. Graduates will receive both a physical and digital certificate from TEFLPros.
Level 3 TEFL Certification and Level 5 TEFL Diploma.
You don’t need any qualifications, though that non-native speakers must have a good understanding of English with a Cambridge CAE qualification or equivalent.
A degree is not required to take a course, however, ITA reminds students that age limits to teach English abroad vary by country and school. That said, to teach in Thailand, a TEFL is all that's required
The 4-week TEFL course requires English language ability of IELTS 6.5 equivalency. However,you must be a native English speaker to attend the internship placement.
Non-native and native English speakers with Bachelors degree (any subject). Native English speakers also accepted without degree.
Students do not need to be native English speakers to enroll in TEFL Pros but must have a high level of English proficiency.
Native English speakers will naturally be above the minimum standard of English for this course. Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced) as a minimum.
Two online TEFL certificates available: Professional 120-hour certificate and the 60-hour foundation TEFL certificate.
Online 11-week part-time, and a 4-week full time, 170-hour TEFL certification is available.
There are no online certifications available. Study is limited to the Chiang Mai location.
No online courses are offered.
TEFLPros only offers an online certification. All those who pass will get both a physical and digital certificate from TEFLPros.
All courses offered are online only.
Job prospects depend on both the course you decide to take as well as where you take the course.
Graduates are offered a guaranteed job placement, and lifetime job assistance, including learning how to contact schools directly and network effectively.
Graduates are guaranteed a job after completing the 4-week course.
*Guaranteed job after successful completion of the course.
TEFLPros offers job support through their team to help you navigate the job search process and find employment.
On completion of the course you can start applying for jobs abroad on the exclusive jobs board. Jobs are posted daily.
120-hour TEFL costs $199 and the 60-hour foundation TEFL certificate is $279. Onsite pricing varies greatly and will depend on program choice.
Thailand onsite course costs $1,349, or $1,399 wih deposit option. Online course costs $1,349 for 11-week part-time or $1,899 for 4-week full-time.
Course costs $1,395. Pay a $495 deposit, and $900 on completion of your first training day.
1,997 USD, including accommodation and guaranteed job placement. .
The 120-hour course costs between $1,500-$2,000 depending on current promotions
Prices range from $150-$200, depending on the course you choose.
Why Become a Teacher?
I think this is a good place to start. I mean, before you jump into a TEFL course, you should be really sure as to why you want to do this.
It's a big life decision.
Like you, happy mediums are hard for me to come by. I can never seem to find that perfect balance between what I want to do and what I should be doing.
You know, like really enjoying my life, seeing new places and people, but also earning some money and getting valuable work experience.
The good news is, I found that balance working as a teacher in Thailand.
Consider this: I'm done by 4pm most days, meaning I can hang out at the mall, go out to eat, meet friends, whatever I want. I live close to the school, so don't have a stressful commute. And on my breaks, I am able to fly down south to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, or explore mountainous terrain in the north
All the while, I'm gaining experience teaching kids, making friends and culturally enriching my life.
How Much Does a Teacher in Thailand Get Paid?
Okay, so now to the not so great part. Compared with salaries back home, teaching in Thailand isn't well paid. However, while the pay might seem insufficient at first, the cost of living in Thailand is very low.
I don't save a great deal, but I don't worry about money and I actually live more comfortably here than I would back home, that is not having to borrow money to get through the month!
Pay starts at around 35,000 Baht per month. Easily enough to live. Think 6-7k on rent, 10k on food and travel, 10k on socialising, and 8k to save or go on a trip.
Moreover, your pay will rise the longer you stay at a school, and you can do private teaching to earn more money. And who knows, once you have gained experience, you might land a job at a private school or language center for a lot more money.
Additionally, Thailand will be just the start of your teaching career. You can go on and teach in other countries. A friend of mine moved to Vietnam and got a job with an agency there. He earns a really good salary!
But here's the thing, it’s not only you who benefits. You really are doing great work for the kids and country.
International studies measuring English proficiency show that Thailand ranks 62 out of 70 countries. That's pretty bad.
The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) also showed that other Asian countries are doing well in comparison to Thailand, ranking it the third worst Asian country in English proficiency.
Tourism is also one of the biggest job industries in Thailand, with an estimated 8,140,000 jobs expected in 2025, according to the Authority on World Travel & Tourism.
For these reasons, English teachers are an important part of Thailand's future development.
So now that you know you are needed, let’s talk about how it is we get you there.
What's the Difference Between TEFL & TESOL?
TEFL stands for teaching English as a Foreign Language, and TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
They are, essentially, one of the same, as both certifications are interchangeable when trying to find a job overseas.
Both certifications give you the qualification required to teach abroad in a classroom where you may be the only person able to speak proper English for miles.
Regardless of your degree, or lack thereof, as many schools don’t actually require one, getting your TEFL certification will help you take on a classroom in Thailand or elsewhere with confidence.
7 Benefits to Having a TEFL
Before we jump into the courses and help you pick one, let me just summarize the benefits I have uncovered in my life by teaching English:
1) Travel while you work
Never has it been so easy to travel for work than it is when you have a TEFL or TESOL certification.
While you may have completed your certification in Thailand, that doesn’t mean you are confined to this country’s borders.
Oftentimes, those who teach in Thailand will jet off to other countries in Asia after they feel their work here is done. You can even go to teach in South America, the Middle East, or Europe.
2) A job always in demand
Schools in Thailand are always in need of native English speakers.
Back home, you may face a job market that has leaves you in the confines of your parents’ spare room while flipping burgers or waiting tables. Even those with a university degree may struggle to find work.
Having a TEFL certification, however, opens up so many opportunities for work, from having your own classroom to private tutoring to online teaching. You may even end up freelance online, giving you ultimate work freedom.
A job is never hard to come by, especially in Thailand, for those who have a TEFL certification.
3) Meet awesome friends
If you get your TEFL certification onsite in Thailand, you will meet many like-minded people before you even start teaching.
I met two of my best friends through my course. These people will most likely become your support group as you tackle working and living abroad together.
Not to mention that once you start teaching you'll meet more people, too.
4) International work experience
What better way to make your resume stand out other than having international work experience?
Some may raise their eyebrows at you when you decide to teach abroad with a degree that doesn't’ necessarily correlate with education, but working abroad is one bullet point on your resume that will set you aside from the rest.
Teaching abroad shows confidence. It shows that you are ready to take on a challenge and learn new things. It also shows that you have worked outside of your comfort zone, with people of another race and culture.
These are valuable resume assets to have in the modern day.
5) Get to work to your strengths
If you have a degree in biology, you can teach science in Thailand. Have a passion for math? you can teach algebra!
While you may have initially traveled to Thailand with the intentions of teaching only English, many schools are in need of different subjects to be taught in English, so you may well find yourself taking a different path than you originally intended.
Again, this will look great on your resume.
6) Work with amazing kids that will change your life
I’ll be the first to say that I was never a fan of young children. Noisy, messy, naughty – no thanks! Little did I know, however, how much I would fall in love with my students.
At the end of my first term, I had an overwhelming amount of students crying and taking one too many selfies with me on the last day of school. Have a look at the picture below.
It doesn’t get more rewarding than that. Adorable.
7) Awesome food, wonderful landscapes & very nice people
While teaching abroad, you will slowly learn the language of the country you find yourself residing in, as well as learning so much about different cultures and communities.
Thailand is a land of kind, happy people, awesome cuisine and beautiful sights. You'll experience so much here, wherever you're based.
One thing I have to say about living in Thailand is that it never gets boring. Every day feels like you're on holiday. It's always new. I guess that's because it's just so different from home.
Okay, so now you know what the potential of having a TEFL certificate holds in store for you, you'll need to choose the right course.
There's a ton of them out there, which makes it overwhelming to choose. But don't worry, I'll guide you through the process.
Let's start with some key considerations when choosing your course.
6 Considerations for Choosing a TEFL Course
1) Does the course offer onsite support?
As someone who has gone through food poisoning and a lost passport on my travels (yes, I'm just unlucky), I cannot stress how important it is to have some support after you arrive in Thailand.
The language barrier will be a bit daunting to begin with, so you'll want a TEFL provider that helps with visa advice before you arrive, accommodation when you get there and general help in case you have any needs and questions during your first few weeks.
The likelihood is that nothing will go wrong, but if it does, it's reassuring to know you have someone to turn to for help.
2) Where is the course located?
I highly recommend picking a course that is located in Thailand. It gives you the chance to slowly immerse yourself in the culture before being thrown into a classroom of your own.
You can also narrow down your search to where it is in Thailand you would prefer to train. It might be Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Bangkok, or Phuket; take your pick!
3) Does the course provider help you find a job?
Finding a job in Thailand isn't difficult, if, that is, you know how to do it.
Being new in the country and having to reach out to schools independently could be a challenge because of the language barrier, and for the simple fact that you probably don’t know where to start.
So it goes without saying that courses that offer job support when you first start are of great value. Some courses offer a job guarantee at the end of the TEFL course, which makes for a smooth transition from student to teacher.
4) How much does it cost?
Cost is obviously a factor, and online courses are always going to be cheaper because they have fewer overheads. But in-class, in-country courses have a huge advantage, not least because they usually include real-time teaching experience with a class of kids.
Moreover, online courses generally can't offer a job guarantee. Some people don't mind, as they are confident enough to step off a plane and knock on doors until they find employment. Others, however, prefer to assimilate and acclimatize while on the course inside the country, and have the help of the program when it comes to finding a job.
Bear in mind that some courses are more in-depth, too. Some TEFL course are 60-hour and others 120-hour, some, like ITA (see below) are 170-hour. It really depends on the level of learning you want to undertake.
For example, if you're teaching Kindergarten, then a 60-hour TEFL is most likely sufficient, whereas if you're teaching 8-15 year olds, you will require a higher level of ability and therefore a more in-depth TEFL (120-hour +) that covers deeper lesson planning.
6) Look at the course’s reviews
A company’s website might blow you away with its distracting colors and promises of riding off into the sunset while getting your certification. The quality of the program, however, could be seriously lacking.
And that's where I'm here to help. All the recommendations below come from personal experience.
I've met many people in the industry over the years, and I know numerous people who work for and even own TEFL certification companies.
So let's find you the perfect course.
Oh, but first, in true Thai style, let's take a selfie!
Best TEFL Courses in Thailand: My Personal Picks
Picking a company to take your TEFL certification with is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make when deciding to teach abroad.
This company can, and most likely will, be the catalyst of your experience abroad, especially in the first couple of months.
Picking the wrong company can completely affect your entire experience.
If you choose a program provider whose instructors are incompetent, you will find yourself struggling with lesson planning and student engagement.
There are six companies I recommend, all highly rated and fully vetted for reputation and professionalism.
I personally took the first one on this list, and I've spoken to and had interaction with all the others over the years, so I know these are all reputable companies with a good track record.
Let's get started:
1. SEE TEFL (on location in Thailand)
If you want to study in Thailand, SEE TEFL is one of two top options, and for good reason.
Located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, you are guaranteed a culturally immersive learning experience, with a guaranteed job at the end of the course.
In addition, SEE has a reputation for being extremely helpful to its students in organizing both pre and post course life. This includes things like assistance with accommodation, an airport pick-up when you first arrive, help with getting a SIM card and phone data package, and help setting up a Thai bank account if your choose to stay and teach in Thailand.
SEE offers a 4-week TEFL course, as well as a paid internship.
The internship still contains the TEFL qualification, but with the remaining time spent at a paid placement that lasts 5 months.
The TEFL includes:
- 6 teaching practices at local schools.
- 8 hours of Thai language instruction.
- 1-day of Thai Cultural awareness training.
The Internship is followed by a 4-5 month managed teaching placement in, or outside of, Chiang Mai, with a guaranteed minimum salary of 35,000 THB per month.
The 4-week TEFL program accepts any nationality, so long as you are competent in the English language. The recommended level is an IELTS 6.5 equivalency.
In order to be eligible for the internship, you must be a native English speaker and have basic computer skills.
There are no online certifications available. The course is run from the Chiang Mai location.
Graduates are guaranteed to get a job shortly after completing their 4-week course, which is great because graduates can immediately start earning a teaching salary.
SEE TEFL Pricing:
The TEFL course costs $1,395. To secure a seat, registration and a deposit payment of $495 are required. The balance payment of $900 is not due until the first day of onsite training.
SEE TEFL offers the option to book a 30-night hotel stay for $350 USD (single) or $400 USD (double occupancy). While entirely optional, many participants prefer to arrange their own accommodation from the abundant options available in Chiang Mai.
Two internship options are available:
1. Managed Chiang Mai placement (limited to 10 interns per intake) for 1 semester (extendable) + 4-week SEE TEFL onsite training/certification + 30 nights accommodation with breakfast at the 3* Darley Hotel during the training period. Price: USD$2,650.
2. Managed placement outside of Chiang Mai for 1 semester (extendable) + 4-week SEE onsite TEFL training/certification + 30 nights accommodation with breakfast at the 3* Darley Hotel during the training period. Price: USD$2,450.
Payment involves two parts:
– A USD$900 deposit payment via our Registration page, securing a place in the Internship program.
– A balance payment of USD$1,750 or USD$1,550, due one week before onsite training commences in Chiang Mai.
2. TEFL Heaven (on location in Thailand)
TEFL Heaven is the other great choice for an in-Thailand TEFL, and presents a great alternative to SEE TEFL if you'd rather study near the beach.
You'll participate in a 4-week on-site training course and cultural orientation in Hua Hin, a pretty beachside town approximately a two-hour drive from Bangkok.
You'll also receive complimentary accommodation in Hua Hin during your course.
After your course, TEFL Heaven will help you find a job. They will place you in a school in Thailand, based on your individual preferences.
120-hour TEFL course covering everything you need to know about teaching English and living in Thailand.
There is also a TEFL certification option for those without a degree, but the job guarantee is not given; though assistance is provided.
Start dates are generally every few months and exact start dates can be given via email.
Both degree and native English non-degree holders can apply. Age limit is 55 years old.
Native English speakers with a Bachelor’s degree are guaranteed a paid job in Thailand after the TEFL certification.
TEFL Heaven Pricing:
1,997 USD, including accommodation. You will put down a $695 initial deposit.
You'll receive a 120 hr TEFL certificate, a guaranteed teaching job, full time assistance, visa help and accommodation for the 3-week TEFL certification period.
Embark on a transformative journey with a 1-week induction, 3-week TEFL training, and certification in the scenic beach area of Hua Hin, Thailand. This experience culminates in a rewarding paid teaching placement in Thailand.
3. International TEFL Academy (online & on-location)
The International TEFL Academy is an online and on location TEFL option.
You can get your certification from many different places, including the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, and Asia, but Thailand is their most popular onsite training location.
One very attractive aspect of the ITA course is their Guaranteed Job Placement Program, which is hugely popular.
1. Onsite in Thailand
A professional-level TEFL certification course to run daily (5 days a week) with 15 to 20 students maximum per class. Student teaching (practicum) is often completed in the evening or some weekend hours with local ESL students.
In addition, the The International TEFL Academy offers a number of short professional development and specialized courses for graduates in Thailand, including Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Online, Tutoring English, and Teaching Test Prep Skills.
There is also a 5-day cultural orientation course in Hua Hin.
Option 1: Full-time, 4-week long intensive course that runs 5 days a week at 40 hours per week. This course covers 40% more content than standard 120-hour online TEFL classes.
Option 2: Part-time, 11-week TEFL course with 10-12 hours of work a week. This course covers 40% more content than standard 120-hour online TEFL classes.
You don't need a degree or any other qualification to do the course, but the company does advise you that age limits to teach English abroad vary by country and school, as does whether or not you need hold a degree.
For the most part, however, neither will stop you from getting a job in Thailand.
Graduates are offered the Guaranteed Job Placement Program, and lifetime job assistance, which includes showing participants how to contact schools directly, network properly and utilize resources like job boards.
The onsite course in Thailand costs $1,399 (50% deposit) with the job placement program, or $1,349 if paid in full.
An online certification costs $1,349 for a 11 week part-time course, or $1,899 for a 4-week, full time intensive course.
4. TEFL Pros (online only)
TEFL Pros is 100% online. It's a comprehensive, state of the art course designed for the digital generation.
Compatible on all mobile devices, tablets and computers, it is well suited to those who want to study anywhere, anytime.
What's more, they also offer a 2-day introductory course – FREE. See here.
So you get to test-run the course before you fully commit to buying. That's pretty cool and not something any of the other online companies are doing.
Types of Courses Offered:
TEFL Pros offers a a 120-hour TEFL online course, but with some significant differences to others of the same length.
They combine over 50 hours of video content, weekly coaching calls and one-on-one support with professional instruction and practical skill-building methods.
There is a an emphasis on classroom management, lesson planning, and confident teaching.
What's more, job assistance is provided to help you find your first career placement at a school.
Students do not need to be native English speakers to enroll in TEFL Pros but must have a high level of proficiency.
Check out the site for recommendations on how good your English should be to take the course.
Graduates will receive both a physical and digital certificate from TEFLPros.
I really dig the fact that they post you out a physical certificate and don't just email one for you to print out.
The TP staff offers post course support on helping you find a job. Armed with a polished resume, a portfolio of awesome lesson plans, and your teacher training, you are guaranteed employment.
TEFL Pros Pricing:
Pricing details are provided during consultation, but the general pricing is $1,500-2,000, depending on the promotion they have on at the time.
5. The TEFL Academy (online learning)
Not to be confused with the International TEFL Academy, this company has a similar name.
TEFL Academy a popular company that has won the GoOverseas & GoAbroad Top TEFL Course Awards in 2019, 2020 & 2021!
The TEFL Academy was the first to achieve official recognition from government-regulated awarding bodies in the USA and UK, making your graduation result in a globally acknowledged Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma.
You can enroll in an Online Level 3 TEFL Certificate or in an Online Level 5 TEFL Diploma, depending on how you intend to use your TEFL qualification.
The Level 3 TEFL course is a 120-hour TEFL qualification. This is the best option if you want to find work teaching English in Asia, volunteer teaching, or teaching online.
The Level 5 TEFL diploma course goes into more detail and leads to a 168-hour TEFL diploma. A Level 5 TEFL course is the best option if you want to join a government-teaching program or other advanced organization.
All the courses are offered online, enabling you to study remotely from anywhere in the world.
Native speakers of English will naturally be above the minimum standard of English for this course. Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced) as a minimum.
All of the courses offered are online, though there is an option for a face-to-face level 5 Diploma.
Additionally, TTA offers top up courses in teaching business English, teaching young learners, and teaching one-to-one.
On successful completion of your course, you can start applying for teaching jobs abroad on the exclusive jobs board. Remember to check back regularly, as TEFL jobs are posted daily.
TEFL Academy Pricing:
Prices range from $150-$200, depending on the course you choose.
6. i-to-i TEFL (online & on location)
i-to-i offer courses in London, Birmingham, Sydney, the United Kingdom, Ireland, North America and Australia, as well as online courses and paid internships in Thailand, Vietnam and China.
i-i are popular because of the flexibility to study either in class or online, and because they have established a respected reputation among teflers and education institutions worldwide.
There are both online and classroom learning TEFL opportunities and certifications available, both domestically and abroad.
You don’t need any previous qualifications to take an i-to-i TEFL course, though they do ask that non-native speakers have a good understanding of the English language with a Cambridge CAE qualification or equivalent.
There are two online TEFL certificates available:
A professional 120-hour certificate, and a 60-hour foundation TEFL certificate. There's also a big discount on at the moment!
Job prospects depend on both the course you decide to take as well as where you take the course, but you won't be without work having taken one of the i-to-i courses.
They have hundreds of employers across 23 countries providing the top salaries, perks and progression opportunities. You can search for jobs by region on their website.
i-i Tefl Pricing:
The 140-hour TEFL certificate is currently £249 and the 120-hour TEFL certificate is £149. Prices for paid internships start at £895.
That's it! Pick the best TEFL course in Thailand for you, get your certificate and the world's your oyster.
And don't forget, when you've finished your course, you can find lots of teaching jobs in Thailand right here on the TTL Job Board.
A Final Word
Teaching in Thailand has been a dream come true for me. The benefits are far-reaching and I know that one day I'll look back in my journal and cherish these memories forever.
If you need a reason to teach in Thailand, here's my top 8:
- Thai kids are generally sweet and super fun to teach. They rarely get to interact with other nationalities, so you will be a novelty for them.
- The food in Thailand is as diverse as it is delicious. You'll be saying “I miss Thai food” when you leave, trust me.
- Thai people are so friendly and calm. It's a super-chill, stress-free country.
- The weather is always hot and sunny. Sometimes too darn hot!
- The beaches are beautiful, and, even if you're not teaching near one, you can catch a cheap flight to one on any weekend or when school is out.
- Every day is an adventure; everything always feels new and interesting.
- A TEFL certificate is a pass to teach anywhere abroad. It gives you freedom. Maybe do Thailand for a year or two and then move on…
Don't sit around waiting for life to happen. Try TEFL for a year, what else will you do? Who knows where this pathway will take you.