Get your first teaching job in Thailand.

What do I need to be an effective teacher here in Thailand and get my first job?   

I can get into detail later on some of these resources to teach in Thailand, but let’s keep it simple for now.

  1. TEFL Certification   

….. but Matt, I read in Facebook and other chat rooms that you don’t need one to teach in Thailand. 

Yeah, this is true. I’ve worked with many people here who didn’t have a TEFL certification but were amazing TEFL teachers. They were also naturally annoying people who did everything right the first time. Not all of us are like that. You need to get some sort of training so you can do an effective job as a teacher. Also if someone directly tells you don’t bother getting one, they are a douche bag. Seriously. What they are saying is, “You don’t need to know what you’re doing to get hired.” What if you get put in a room and the school says, “Just go ahead and teach them something.” What are you going to do with no books, materials or knowledge?”

Yes you are if you tell new teachers they don’t need certification so they know what they are doing!

There are two types of certifications you can get. The absolute best is a CELTA. You can get those at International House Bangkok or International House Chiang Mai. I got mine there, and it was $1600. That’s only for people who want to do this in the long term though. It opens new doors for you and you get exclusive rights to jobs were people won’t even look at you if you don’t have a CELTA.

This is my graduating class when I took the CELTA. They were a great group to work with. Please don’t identify the girl in the black shirt. The mysterious people who do things are out to get her.

If you don’t want to be here for more than a year or two, or honestly if you don’t know where you want to go with this career yet, you can get a TEFL. The one place I would ask you to PLEASE go is International TEFL and TESOL Training. It accredited compared to a lot of the other websites where you can get a TEFL and just point and click. They have in-class 30 day intensive like the CELTA, but the best route to take is an online course. I took it and I can attest to the fact that it is hard as hell (it took me three months to finish) but it prepares you to teach. If you click on my link you get a 15% which saves you about $50.

Here is a more detailed explanation of my TEFL certification and at the end of the video I talk about the TEFL certification I got and then at the end I talked about a CELTA.

  1. Do you need a degree?

If you don’t have one, I would look elsewhere. Lately it’s been getting way to hard and it can be done, but there are other countries that don’t care and I would focus on them.

  1. Getting your first job.

Some countries will do a Skype interview with you when you’re in your home country. I had one with my first job in Indonesia. Most places in Thailand want you to be here for an interview. The times for hiring season is between March and May because the school year starts in May. It will be difficult for you to get a job if you just e-mail but you’re not in Thailand. If you come during that time frame and do some door knocking, you will do alright. It’d be good to guesstimate $1000/month for expenses until you get a contract.

One company you could give a try is the one is, Sine Education. It’s a company that contracts with Government Schools to teach conversational English. We’re not miracle workers. It’s just for the experience for them to learn from a native teacher. All of the lesson plans are done for you, you don’t have to worry about making tests. They treated me right when I had a blood clot at the beginning of the school year in 2016 and when I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2017.

If you’re from a native English speaking country like America, Canada, UK, etc, and have a bachelors degree, you can possibly work for them. They’re pretty strict about both since that’s their business pitch to the schools, no exceptions. It’s Thai owned but western run so if, for example, you’re in America and you send them your information, they can accommodate you with a Skype call.  They are recruiting now I can get you bumped to the front of the line. Send your resume/cv to and someone will contact you ASAP to set up an interview. I will be upfront and tell you I will get a fee if you sign a contract but SINE has taken care of me since I’ve started working for them. I don’t agree with everything they do but nobody is perfect. I wouldn’t lead you in the wrong direction. My reputation is too important to do something like that.

If they can set you up with a job before you get here, that’s one less thing to worry about. Positions in Bangkok are tight right now. If you’re open to work outside of Bangkok in the smaller towns, you have a better chance of getting a position at a good school. You can discuss it when SINE contacts you for an interview.

There were some agencies who had a good reputation at one time but they don’t now so I took them off of my blog.

An add on for 2018….

Score an online job before you get here. I work for DaDa ABC which is an online language company where you can teach English to 5-16 year old’s in China. To give you the short version, I’ve loved the hell out of it. Look at what I said about it on a post and some tips to pass the interview and demo class.

Before making this post I have asked how many people have been hired with no previous teaching experience and many teachers in the DaDa teachers room spoke up and said yes. The main thing they look at is how you interact with the kid (yes an actual kid) in the demo lesson.

If you combine the paycheck with SINE and DaDa, let the good times roll. If you didn’t go with SINE for whatever reason or you just have no interest, you can still make some money while searching for work.

If you didn’t get hired with DaDa that’s fine since there are 25 other letters in the Alphabet. You can go and join the Online Teaching English Jobs. Join up this Facebook group Online English Teaching Jobs and get something to hold you over until you get your first contract. .

  1. Visa run companies

These are a pain in the neck but it’s a way of life here sometimes. You could always try and get a tourist visa in your home country so you’re prepared when you get to Thailand, or even a Non-B (business visa) if you get hired before coming here. If not, these are two companies that run out of Bangkok that are the way to go. I used Mesuk Travel because they were supper efficient, but I heard a lot of great stuff from the other company too.

Thai Visa Service

Mesuk Travel

Keep in mind, both of these run out of Bangkok, if you’re in other areas, ask your school.

  1. Job Websites

Again, thanks to the Teaching Jobs in Thailand room for this information. – The best one out there. I even write for them too.

Just to pimp them out again, Teaching Jobs in Thailand is a great room to join if you’re on Facebook. They’re pretty strict making sure companies that post jobs in their room don’t screw you over. Plus they took a lot of time to get deeper into advice about how to have a rewarding time here in Thailand. I appreciate them for putting this information together for me to share on my blog.

  1. Hey Matt, can you help me find a job?

I just did with hooking you up with my company e-mail your cv/resume to If it’s any other company or school, no. I am not a job search agency.

  1. Did I miss anything?

I think I’ve covered just about everything on here. One thing I do want to do for future plans is to do a vlog where I interview an Attorney who can answer questions about visas. The reason why is a lot of people are mis-informed about visa rules and regulations even though everyone seems to be an Attorney on Facebook as well as different parts of the internet. When I do get the interview and upload the video I’ll keep you guys informed.

Let me know if I missed anything. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and please subscribe to my youtube channel.


  • Hello Matt,

    Thank you for all of the useful information you provide on your website and youtube  I’m a fellow American, 43 years old and living in Hawaii.  I have a bachelor’s degree, and completed a TEFL course inBangkok in December. I had to come back to Hawaii for some work obligations, but plan on returning to Thailand by the end of April to look for work as an English teacher.  I want to apply with Sine in the meantime, and will email them my CV this week. Do you think there’s any chance I could work at one of their schools in Bangkok if they hire me, or are those jobs very competitive?  I’d really like to work in or near the city, but I realize I can’t be too picky as a newbie teacher.  Also, do you think I could find work in a language school in BKK after I arrive within a few weeks, if I stop by a few in person? Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

    Kind regards,

  • Hey Sean. Sorry for taking so long to get back with you.

    Be sure to use the e-mail if you’re going to send the resume to SINE. It’s how I get some credit if you’re offered a contract. If you do it after you read this message, you can probably get an interview and a possible job offer next week. When I interviewed with them, I got a job offer that day that’s how quick it was for me, and I believe a friend I helped had the same thing happen to him. Like I said in this article, you can score a job with this company and have employment waiting for you when you get here. I can’t tell you where they can place you. You’d have to talk with the hiring manager to see what is available.

    Now your question about the Language centers. That is a good idea but here is the problem.

    The last I heard, and I admit, I could be wrong, is most don’t provide work permits. They are no obligated to do so even though you need one to legally work here. You would have to go to a Law Firm to get one yourself. Things might have changed since immigration has made it harder to renew tourist visas. One of the few I know that does is International House in Bangkok. The thing is they will only hire you if you have a CELTA.

    There are language centers who will hire you and get you a work permit, I just don’t know what they are.

    I’m not trying to do a hard cell here, because even though I do get some cash for signing people up, it’s nothing spectacular.

    I’m just trying to point you and others in the right direction.

    Good questions though man. If you have more, keep them coming. They will help others.

  • Sorry man I wasn’t thinking, when you were talking about the language schools did you mean for “additional income”? I think that’s what you meant.

    If that is what you meant I honestly would not bother. You would get paid 300 baht an hour, and that’s only if people show up. You can make at least that working online. You can try applying for DaDa ABC but if they don’t work out I gave a link to a Facebook group where companies post openings for online jobs all the time. It’s better than making 300 baht an hour with travel time. That sucks.

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