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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Why Do Farang English Teachers in Thailand Accept Low Salaries?

    This is a question I've always asked myself. Is this guy correct?

    Why Do Farang English Teachers in Thailand Accept Low Salaries?



    One thing I’ve never been able to figure out since I moved to Thailand more than a decade ago, is why so many farang English teachers accept low salaries? After all, living on 35,000 baht a month is difficult to do in a city like Bangkok, yet this type of low salary is quite commonplace among many farang English teachers in Thailand. Why?
    First, let me preface this by giving a little background about salaries for English teachers in Thailand.

    When I moved to Bangkok to teach English more than 10 years ago, the average salary for an English teacher had not increased in at least 5-8 years. Now, 10 years later, that average salary for an English teacher in Thailand still hasn’t increased. So, an average salary for an English teacher at a government school in Bangkok, for instance, 15 years ago was around 35,000 baht. The same average salary 15 years later.
    Yet…..the cost of living in Thailand has increased by around 20-25 percent since I moved here. That means, what you could buy with 35,000 baht back in 2002 isn’t remotely what you can buy with the same money in 2013.
    How much can an English teacher in Thailand make?

    In my first teaching job in Thailand 11 years ago, I earned a 49,000 baht salary plus a 2,500 baht housing allowance, giving me a total of 51,500 baht per month. Already 16,500 baht more than the actual average back then. I walked into that job with one interview. In fact, it was the first teaching job I interviewed for.
    When I left the school three years later, I was making a total of 56,500 — 21,500 baht or $715 a month more than the supposed ‘average’. Most of my friends who had university degrees and were teaching in Thailand were making the same amount or more.
    When I left the teaching profession four years ago, I was making 70,000 baht a month. Again, from a job I walked into with a 15 minute interview.
    Why do farangs still accept low teaching salaries in Thailand?

    So, why is it so many farang English teachers in Thailand, mainly men I might add, are still accepting English teaching jobs paying 35,000 baht a month and sometimes even less?
    I have three philosophies. Thai women. Mistaken understanding of actual Thai salaries. Low self-esteem.
    Most male western teachers are in Thailand because of Thai women

    For many ‘English teachers’ in Thailand, the only reason they live here is because of Thai women. Whether they have a Thai wife or a Thai girlfriend, or like to pay to have sex with Thai prostitutes, it all boils down to one thing. If farang men weren’t allowed to have sex with, date or marry Thai women, 95 percent of them wouldn’t be here.
    That also means many of the men who teach English in Thailand aren’t qualified English teachers. A large percentage don’t even have a university degree. So, when a job comes along that requires at least a university degree in any subject, and pays 50,000 or more, many of these men are simply not eligible.
    Misunderstandings about Thai salaries

    Add onto that the mistaken belief that making 35,0000 baht as an English teacher gives you a lot more money than a Thai and it’s no wonder these guys take pathetically low salaries to teach in a Thai school 40 hours a week.
    While, sure, 35,000 baht is more money than most working class Thais earn, where the average salary is around 10,000 baht a month, 35,000 baht a month is nowhere near what an averagely educated Thai will make — not once they’re above the age of 30.
    My closest Thai friends all make at least 60-70,000 baht a month working in banks, offices, accounting firms, law firms, department stores etc. My oldest Thai friend, ‘old’ meaning the one I’ve known the longest as she’s only 33, just started a new job making 110,000 baht a month. She’s an accountant.
    So when these farang English teachers talk about their jobs allowing them to ‘make more money than Thais’, they are mistaken as they really have no idea what an average Thai worker in a mid-sized company makes.
    Low self-esteem often means low salaries in Thailand

    Finally, when you throw in the low self-esteem some of these men have (you’d kind of have to think poorly of yourself to be boffing prostitutes on a regular basis, I’d say), it’s no wonder they think earning 35,000 baht a month is all they are worth.
    All I wonder though is how long do these men think they can afford to live on such a poor salary? Into retirement, when they won’t have much of a pension, if any, if they’ve lived in Thailand for many years? Because, let’s face it, when you’re making the low salary of 35,000 in a country that’s rapidly becoming more expensive, how on earth are you ever going to save for retirement?
    And the Thai government certainly doesn’t give you one.
    The moral to this story is this. If you are planning on coming to teach English in Thailand and have a university degree, don’t even think about accepting a job at 35,000 baht a month. Not if you don’t want a lifestyle where a big percentage of Thailand is living better than you, including all the other farang English teachers that won’t work for such a pittance.
    http://tastythailand.com/why-do-fara...-low-salaries/

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic
    Why Do Farang English Teachers in Thailand Accept Low Salaries?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic
    When I moved to Bangkok to teach English
    You could probably answer your own question.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    I didn't move to BKK.

  4. #4
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    How many of these foreign English teachers were actually employed teaching English in their own country prior to coming to Thailand to be with a Thai woman , marry a Thai woman or have sex with Thai women in Thailand ?

    My daughter has a Masters degree in Elementary Education and teaches first grade in a primary (Elementary) school in greater Seattle.She wouldn't even consider moving to what she regards as an academic shytehole to "teach"...let alone without full benefit and pension packages.

    I wonder what was the author's vocation and background was prior to moving to Thailand for s3x ?

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeeCoffee
    She wouldn't even consider moving to what she regards as an academic shytehole to "teach"...let alone without full benefit and pension packages.
    I can see her point. So what is it that attracts teachers to Thailand?

  6. #6
    Harbinger of Doom

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    Is this guy correct?
    More or less, no. In fact, he sounds like a fucking idiot.

    Thai women. Mistaken understanding of actual Thai salaries. Low self-esteem.
    Certainly some TEFLers are here to get laid but I guess your perceptions of how prevalent that is depends who you spend your time with or where you go. If you're a whore-fucker and you hang out in places where other whore-fuckers hang out, some of the people you meet will inevitably be TEFLers but I can't say that the OP's description matches my experience.

    The average monthly salary in Thailand is about 13,500 baht so 35,000 is 2.5 times that. If you TEFL in much of Europe, you won't come anywhere near that so in that regard it's a pretty good deal. When I worked in Britain for the local council teaching English, I was only getting around 70% of median wags, which made me officially poor. In fact, proper teachers in Britain typically earn only slightly over median wages so presumably teachers (real ones) there are dumbfucks for not getting jobs as accountants.

    As for self-esteem, that's not something I've ever seen in TEFLers. More common is that fact that (at least at the bottom end) it's pretty much unskilled work. If you're not a total fuckup and you have some kind of basic grasp of your mother tongue, you should be able to do an OK job but most TEFLers seem to think that they deserve much more than they get (and some certainly do), which works against the idea that they're all suffering from low self-esteem.

    So why do they do it? It can be easy. It can be fun. It can be extremely rewarding. It's a good way to earn money whilst travelling. It's also a good job if you want a year or two off from something more serious. If you take the work seriously (though perhaps fewer do than one would hope), it can be at least somewhat challenging, certainly enough to maintain one's interest for several years. And obviously some Thai TEFLers meet a woman (or man) here and settle down. Does that then mean that they are in Thailand to have sex with Thai (wo)men? No, that's a ridiculous way of describing the situation. I used to TEFL (and I still help out with various things occasionally). I started because I was disillusioned with life in London and wanted to get away and do something different for a while, and living in Thailand and doing a job which had at least a little social value was attractive. The pay was better back then, in relative if not absolute terms, but like many people who end up doing these kinds of jobs, money was obviously not a big motivator. It was enough...and that's enough.

    My daughter has a Masters degree in Elementary Education
    Good for her but then she's unlikely to work as a TEFLer so what she might or might not do in some hypothetical situation isn't really relevant, is it.
    Last edited by Passing Through; 15-06-2016 at 02:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passing Through View Post

    My daughter has a Masters degree in Elementary Education
    Good for her but then she's unlikely to work as a TEFLer so what she might or might not do in some hypothetical situation isn't really relevant, is it.
    Kind of the whole point I would have thought. English teachers do not work for that kind of money.

    People with few other skill besides a native language ability, do.

  8. #8
    Harbinger of Doom

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    ^ The thread is about TEFLers. This is obviously something different to people with post-grad qualifications in education so complaining about the latter not doing the former's job is a bit weird. That said, I've met quite a few 'English teachers' who did work as TEFLers in Thailand so it's just incorrect to say that they don't do so.

    People with few other skill besides a native language ability, do.
    Not quite sure what inference I'm being invited to draw there. As I said in my post, there are few barriers to working as a TEFLer (in Thailand or elsewhere) but it would be shitty reasoning to think that therefore people who work as TEFLers have few skills.

  9. #9
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    the article sounds like it was written by smeggles

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PeeCoffee
    She wouldn't even consider moving to what she regards as an academic shytehole to "teach"...let alone without full benefit and pension packages.
    I can see her point. So what is it that attracts teachers to Thailand?
    The pussy prag, some guys will work for peanuts just have access to the clam

  11. #11
    Sauerkraut stroller's Avatar
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    35k baht isn't a low salary in Thailand, a school director in a government school gets less.

    The article is humbug.

  12. #12
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    I have low self-esteem. I love to bone Thai women and no idea what a Thai earns. I do it for the work permit.

  13. #13
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    Kan anneywon teech Englist in Tailand?

  14. #14
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    ^ your highered

  15. #15
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    Because they won't give you anymore.

  16. #16
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    There's a few fuckin teflers on here spouting shite how clever they are, sucking up to the Thais and counting their pennies until they die.
    Then come on here and spout long words
    They do it cos they are fuckin losers

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    The simple answer is that a 30-35,000 Baht a month job is a good paying job for Thailand.

    Sure, if you want to work for some snobbish private school and teach privileged brats, you can expect more, but if you're teaching normal Thai children in a Government school, that's decent pay by local standards.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    One suspects that your typical Teacher of English in Thailand is not a qualified teacher in their home country. One suspects that if one has a bearable accent, can stay sober, turn up regularly and not abduct too many students one can hold down a teacher of English role in Thailand.

    Hence it is not a job for monetary gain, more a lifestyle gain - to some.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh
    One suspects that if one has a bearable accent, can stay sober, turn up regularly and not abduct too many students one can hold down a teacher of English role in Thailand.
    Up until a year or so ago the English teachers at the local government senior school were from The Cameroon even though they spoke with French accents. Someone had a clamp down and they all got rounded up and deported.

  20. #20
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    It's a good job they found those Scousers to replace them. That'll teach those Thai hisos. There are a few young students, 10 to 12 years old, in the town who speak with a whiny US accents, it's such a shame. I'm sure their teacher must be chewing gum during the English lessons.

  21. #21
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    ^
    No scousers working in Thailand mate
    It's hard enough getting the robbing bastards working in Liverpool

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbobs View Post
    ^
    No scousers working in Thailand mate
    It's hard enough getting the robbing bastards working in Liverpool
    I do use the word "working" in a very loose sense.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh
    Hence it is not a job for monetary gain, more a lifestyle gain - to some.
    Nothing wrong with that. Relatively is a qualitative change if you have nothing & then go to something different plus a little more... respect (maybe)... pussy (definitely) ... expendable income (probably).

  24. #24
    Sauerkraut stroller's Avatar
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    ^
    That's how I look at it, but fortunately, I haven't had to resort to teaching. As I am not a teacher, salary expectations would have to be very low, specially in the middle of nowhere.

    I have helped out on special weekends, as a favour. I've yet to meet a local English teacher who can speak English.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    I've yet to meet a local English teacher who can speak English.
    The local school English teacher is a very pretty lass, an Issan lady, who knows more English than any other teacher, hence she is good.

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