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Can You Teach English In Thailand Without a Degree?

The answer may surprise you…

Many believe you have to have a four year degree in order to teach in Thailand. While having a degree offers you the ability to make more money and have a better choice of schools, but you can work in Thailand without a degree. A degree isn’t necessary as long as you are able to read, write, speak English and earn a TEFL certification from a well known TEFL provider like Pro TEFL.

The problem is that finding a teaching job in Thailand without a degree isn’t very easy. You will need to go with a company where you can earn a TEFL certification and get job placement assistance. Pro TEFL has a placement staff that scours the Kingdom of Thailand for teaching opportunities and finds schools willing to hire non-degreed teachers that come through their award winning TEFL program. Students are relieved to know that Pro TEFL has awarded TEFL certificates to over 5,000 students and has been able to place 100% of their degreed and non-degreed graduates in paying teaching jobs throughout Thailand.

You’re probably thinking, how can I possibly teach in Thailand if I can’t speak Thai? “Actually, schools actually prefer if their native-speaking teachers don’t speak Thai,” said Neung McNaughton, Placement Director for ProTEFL. “Thai Schools want their students to be completely immersed in an English-language classroom, with no choice but to speak English with their teacher”.

It’s important to note, Western teachers who don’t speak Thai are not without a lifeline. Many schools keep a Thai teacher in the room to help manage the classroom.

What teachers will find when they come to Thailand is that many of the upper level students already have a decent grasp of the language because they’ve been studying it for years, as well as picking it up from Western TV, movies and music. Foreign teachers for these students are generally tasked with improving pronunciation, grammar and intonation skills.

The Thai school year begins in May and ends in March, with breaks in October and April, plus several local holidays. The majority of hiring is usually the month before each term, teacher placement can be found year-round. Many schools have teachers sign a six-month contract, which allows a great level of flexibility for restless souls who like to travel. That’s not to say you’d be out of a job in 6 months, there are many who come looking for a short adventure, and end up staying for years.

“We get a number of students who leave school to come to Thailand for a year but are heading back to finish their degrees,” said Doug Steinhoff, a senior ProTEFL instructor in Chiang Mai. “It’s an affordable way to do the backpack through Asia thing because these folks are earning incomes while they explore Thailand.”

So whether you’re taking a break from college, or not planning to go at all, teaching in Thailand is an available option.

For more information about teaching in Thailand, go to or contact

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