As above, forget working in Thailand on a casual basis. You could teach English if you have a certificate, a uni degree and teaching experience, or work at a dive shop if you're a certified instructor with experience and there aren't any Thai people better qualified, but you still need a work permit which requires a Thai employer to sponsor you. Wages are very low and not going to realistically top-up anyone's travel budget, and you'd need to make a commitment of at least a few months or more. Still interested?
Hi! No disrecpect intended to those above who have likely been here longer, are thus more versed in all things Thai, but I must offer a largely contrary opinion.
Given that each individual's take on this situation is - to a large degree - determined by their unique experience, decisions, and their prevailing perceptions and attitudes, my girlfriend and I have found it extremely rewarding to work short-term TEFL jobs in Thailand. We are reasonably intelligent and educated, but are by no means optimally qualified for TEFL work, and have been offered jobs - in Bangkok and our present city in central Thailand - at 5 out of 5 schools we have walked in to. Only 1 received a CV from us first. The working conditions at all of these schools have been better than we were led to expect on net forums.
We had aspirations very similar to your own before coming to Thailand and have discovered that short-term TEFL jobs - are widely available. We are in Phitsanulok, Thailand and have both found work at a local government high-school filling in for a teacher who left mid term. In addition, we are working a few hours a week at three other private language schools, and really have been enjoying the our time here. All of our present jobs materialized with only moderate effort on our part.
We have been open and honest with ALL of our employers - and those students who have asked - about our intention to move on in a couple of months, and without exception, they are all appreciative of whatever time we can give. And, contrary to what I've read about short-term work being of less benefit to students, it seems like we are making some real progress with many of our kids, and that if we hadn't taken our jobs, they might be getting lower quality instruction or none at all.
With a letter from your place of employ and some credentials - depending on the job - a work permit is a relatively simple matter. NONE of our schools (even the big government school) have required one, all being quite willing to look the other way, rather the onus has been on us to get the paperwork so that we are "legal".
Again, this has been OUR experience. Maybe we're just hopeless optimists and are thus deluded by our inherently rosy view of the world. But by the same measure, possibly those who say it's rough, tough, and all lemons, reside at the other end of perception's spectrum.
Don't believe what you read - my bit included. Come here and find out for yourself!
Questions and critisms are welcome.
If you care to, read my blog for more info - and a peek at what Thailand has been like for us.
As with all things in Thailand TIT. This Is Thailand. Rules today change tomorrow or are simply not enofrced - somethimes. My understanding is that you are not allowed to work as a teacher without a degree. Also, I know from others working here that government schools are more 'flexible' than private schools and this varies from region to region.
"a work permit .... NONE of our schools (even the big government school) have required one, all being quite willing to look the other way, rather the onus has been on us to get the paperwork so that we are "legal".
Do you know the pentalty for working in Thailand without a work permit?
Having had to pay a large sum of money to keep myslef from being sent to Phuket monkey house (that's the local prison) over missing legal paper work maybe some people have a different view of the world.
However, may your glasses stay rosey!!!!
like bob, most of the expats i've seen working in thailand, apart from the serious professional types who are there with multi-national companies, are the diving instructors or the english teachers that bob mentioned. and frankly, none of those folks were living very high on the hog when i knew them because, as bob mentioned, wages were low.
apart from diving instructor or english teacher, the only other working westerners i've seen on the backpacker circuit are guys and gals helping out with the family guest house or restaurant of their local sweetie or of course those married to a local.
but even if you could work in southeast Asia as a backpacker, why would you? unless you are going to be there for a significantly long time or have some really cherry skills, odds are you'll be making next to nothing. why not just work more back home where the wages are hopefully better, even if it means shortening your trip or taking on an extra temporary job before you go? at least that way you'd have the extra money for when you are on the road and the time out would be entirely yours to enjoy. make sense?
having said that, i really liked the input from hendrixlives and think their model would be a great way to finance a long-term stay for folks looking to really get to know another country. but i'd want to get the work permit too because i'd sleep better knowing i had one. cheers.
NONE of our schools (even the big government school) have required one, all being quite willing to look the other way, rather the onus has been on us to get the paperwork so that we are "legal".
Like Mike said, that is not a good thing. It's your employers responsibility ( not yours) to get the work permit sorted. They are not *looking the other way*, they're doing it on the cheap and ducking out of their legal responsibilities. You may be being open and honest but they aren't!
YOU are the one who will suffer if a work inspector catches you working without a proper work permit, not the school. You risk getting thrown into a Thai jail for a bit and then deported. And don't expect your employers to lift a finger to help you if a work inspector catches you working illegally at their school. They almost certainly won't....they told you that the onus was on you.
It doesn't sound like you'd be eligable for a work permit anyway....you say you're not properly qualified to teach and you have multiple part time jobs. I think you'd need to get a work permit for each and every job to be working legally. Because of all the paperwork involved and the cost for the employer, it's practically impossible to get one unless you're prepared to work full time and sign a long contract (ie a year or two)
Anyway, cross your fingers and FYI here are the hoops you'd have to jump through to work legally in Thailand!
I just wanted to add that if someone in the community knows that you are in fact working without a WP and for some reason do not like you or your employer they may report you. Why? Because they get a cash reward for every foreigner that they report working illegally.
#9 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252
im thinkin of singing up for this
this site looks really good but im not too sure about it, is there some kind of scam?
I love the idea of earning money as you travel wherever you want whenever you want...you could travel forever! lol
what does everyone think?
#10 henoo92 has been a member since 25/5/2011. Posts: 3
I'm not sure how easy it would be to get Thai guesthouses to cough up $150 to get listed in a not very well known travel guide (well I've never heard of it!) when they can get listed for free on TF or in LP.
I'm not a legal expert, but my guess is that you wouldn't need a WP for this kind of work. You're being employed and paid from outside Thailand and your salary goes into a foreign bank account (presumably). I can't see how that would be subject to Thai employment laws.
If you are interested in long-term travel I have found you need a job that you can do in a lot of different locations (thailand too), so most people might advise teaching english, travel blogging or some other kind of job that makes money online.
I have been selling timeshares for the past few months, and you can also do that long term and actually make money at it. Timeshares are in 100 different countries and it is fairly seasonal, so you could do 4 months in one beautiful spot in high season then go to another for their high season when the season ends. Here is my latest blog post on how to get a timeshare sales job if you are so inclined. good luck.
#12 80WorldJobs has been a member since 7/3/2012. Posts: 1
Teaching English has always seemed to be a possibility there. They pay isn't the best but you can get by. Another option is to ask around at bars and hotels where backpackers/foreigners hang out. English speakers are always needed there.
#13 travelkru has been a member since 15/8/2012. Posts: 1
Current Backpacker Job Opportunity
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#14 travelguruya has been a member since 8/9/2012. Posts: 1
Easy to work in thailand if you prepare before you go...I teach English in Pattaya and am American having no grief..Flew to Phenom Penh took Teaching Class in country and went to work in Thailand after 4 weeks...Little cost for class with certificate..$1450. and with flight from Wash. ($1100-Roundtrip-Open) work about 25 hours a week making $1200 USD a month...Apartment is only 350 with all goodies-Satellite-Water-Elec-Food about 200 mo. I save about 400-600 a month depending on situations...I am 55 years old male/Divorced and have been here for two years having a great time...No Jobs at home when I left so sold car and came here-Had a total of $5000. -No Credit Cards, 1 Duffle bag and 1 Backpack- Large Kelty- Doing Great - Life Is Smooth, Sweet, Calm, and Comfortable.. Something to consider..Next year going to teach in Vietnam or Cambodia for year, then off to Spain..
#18 LordTurtle has been a member since 17/1/2014. Posts: 2
Only Need Teaching Certificate in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Spain, Morocco, Argentina, Ecuador and many more...Hike around, ask schools - That's How I Got Work..Talked to many school, showed them my resume, Teaching Certificate, Only had AA degree in Criminal Justice and smiled "alot" and good eye contact and "good to go"!!! Go Abroad or Stay Home!!! While its occasionally nice to see faces from home, I am just as happy without them and traveling while I am happy and healthy-Exercise here much more than ever at home-Better weather-Beaches-Climate- Did International TEFL -Contact Justin Gilmore and he'll get you sitted!!! No high blood pressure, better health-better food for the money...Travel cheap-See More-Talk to people-see things-write blogs-Live NOW or There May Be No Tomorrow!!! Help Those On The Road and In turn You Will See More Generosity and Kindness!!! People I've never met before buy me drinks, meals, offer me to share their company and experiences...
#19 LordTurtle has been a member since 17/1/2014. Posts: 2