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Thread: What's up with the low pay these days?

  1. #31
    Striver Array Mr Pants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Key View Post
    Tip No:1 - 90% of any job is just turning up. That's not a smart-arse comment. Be reliable.
    I got my first job here by being the only one to show up to the interview

  2. #32
    Established User Array Hollywood's Avatar
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    Hi Anna. I have a good work ethic, so showing up on time, ready to put in some work, isn't a problem for me. Hell, I'll even show my pearly whites and blink my blue eyes at the parents while working gate duty.

    However, based on your comment, are you suggesting the low pay is based on the quality of teachers available? I would think it's fair to say at least 75% of those on this forum are quality teachers, based on them taking enough interest in their career to converse with others in their profession about ways to improve (this forum just isn't a BSing session, but rather has some excellent advice for those in the TEFL industry). So then, if you are indeed suggesting the low pay is a reflection of the low quality of teacher working in the TEFL profession in Thailand, then I wonder what the percentage of TEFL teachers are (active) members of this forum.

  3. #33
    Möbius Strip Tease Array Anna Key's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    However, based on your comment, are you suggesting the low pay is based on the quality of teachers available? I would think it's fair to say at least 75% of those on this forum are quality teachers, based on them taking enough interest in their career to converse with others in their profession about ways to improve (this forum just isn't a BSing session, but rather has some excellent advice for those in the TEFL industry). So then, if you are indeed suggesting the low pay is a reflection of the low quality of teacher working in the TEFL profession in Thailand, then I wonder what the percentage of TEFL teachers are (active) members of this forum.

    You've answered some of your own questions really, Hollywood.


    I can't extrapolate my own limited experience to encompass the whole of Thailand, its schools, their hiring practices and the wages they are prepared to pay. But I have a pretty fair idea of how it works in my part of the country.

    Walking into a high-ish paying job is perhaps difficult because any new teacher is an unknown quantity. Perhaps after a year the money will go up. And the year after that. It's a 2-way street after all, and schools have as many 'horror' stories about falangs as we do about schools.

    Somebody said, or inferred, above that anything is possible - of course it is. Of course. You seem to have your head screwed on. You'll work it out.

    Now. Tea.
    Last edited by Anna Key; 14th May 2011 at 00:58.
    "Take this, brother; may it serve you well."

  4. #34
    Established User Array slamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pants View Post
    I got my first job here by being the only one to show up to the interview
    That's how I got my job this week.

    Of course I'm eminently qualified & experienced, blazed the interview (confused the interviewer) & have a rosy complexion.

  5. #35
    Established User Array Hollywood's Avatar
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    Thanks Anna. I understand your point more clearly now. Starting salaries at THB 30k are well known because they're advertised, however we don't know what a teacher in his/her second or third year teaching at a school is making. Thus, it's quite possible (probable?) quality teachers are making a decent wage after proving their worth. Don't tell me if I'm wrong about that...give me something to cling to.

    Enjoy your tea.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaitanium View Post
    The current situation seems to be fine for those who are collecting retirement and/or social security checks every month to supplement their income, and for those who are just doing a teaching holiday for a year. Or if people in those groups still have a problem with the rate of pay, at least it doesn't effect them as significantly as it does those who are in it for a career
    Yes I am just about to be in this category, just reaching 50 and will be able to draw my pension and have property mortgage free in the UK. However, I will not be taking a teaching job at 30,000 baht a month but will be starting a private English institute. I do no expect to be making much more than 30,000 Baht a month untill the institute has gained a good reputation based on offering a good product at a reasonable price. I have no complaints if this is the case for in a competative market one has to be able to justify their worth.

    However, I would like to make a few points based on some of the previous posts. I personally would never expect to come out to Thailand and set myself up for the rest of my life teaching. The rate of pay and current state of the Thai education system does not have the infrastructure to enable Thai teachers, never mind Western teachers, to be able to do this. Thats why I have chosen to wait until I am financially 'sound' before even considering relocation to what is still an underdeveloped country. I love Thailand but realise to fully enjoy and to have a reasonable lifestyle one has to see it for what it really is. I do appreciate that what is comfortable for one person is not always the case for others.

    Its not only Thailand where the economy is 'driving' down wages. Like many in the UK my wage has fallen while inflation and trebled over the last few years. I know this is heartbreaking for those wanting to live the 'dream' in Thailand but its reality. Another point to consider is that 30,000 Baht a month is three times more than most Thai teachers earn. Whether this is right or wrong how would we feel if we were teaching in our own country and a foreign teacher was working the same hours and getting paid three times more than we were.

    Hope I have not offended anyone but just wanted to raise these few points.

    Regards

    Andy
    Last edited by Firfox; 14th May 2011 at 01:17.

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  8. #37
    Möbius Strip Tease Array Anna Key's Avatar
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    Some good points there, Andy.

    I'll say no more.

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    Enjoy your tea.
    It's brewing right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    Starting salaries at THB 30k are well known because they're advertised, however we don't know what a teacher in his/her second or third year teaching at a school is making. Thus, it's quite possible (probable?) quality teachers are making a decent wage after proving their worth.
    Yep - in a nutshell, that's what I see here. I think 30k is what a new teacher would get at my school, but the increments to 60k come very quickly. Also, the free return flight back to your home country after the first year (and every year after), the annual Christmas bonus after the second year, the health insurance, the housing allowance., paid holidays, private students (on school grounds 'cos of the work permit issues), the automatic sorting out of visa issues, work permits.. Those are the things that add up to a good deal, worth much more than a bald 30k once you sit down and sketch it out.

    I had to fly home for for a bereavement two years ago. Nothing was too much trouble for the school. They can be demanding, but they are fair.
    Last edited by Anna Key; 14th May 2011 at 01:21.

  9. #38
    Established User Array Hollywood's Avatar
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    Andy...you actually quoted me there rather than Thaitanium. You make good points. I do realize it can be a long shot, but I'll give it my best. Who knows, maybe I can make it work, maybe I can't, but at least I won't go broke trying. Best of luck to you with setting up your own program!

    Anna...Earl Grey? Sounds as though you work for a great school. If it's in Issan, clue me in! 555 Seriously though, I was unaware of the bonuses, free flights home every year, and other perks. It seems I read so much about the actual amount of the paycheck, but see very little mentioned about the extras. Wonder why that is. It reminds me of the pay when I was in the military. While the actual pay was on the low side, when you figure in free housing, free food, various extra allowances (hazardous duty pay, overseas pay, tax free, etc), and paid vacations, it evened things out.

  10. #39
    Möbius Strip Tease Array Anna Key's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    when I was in the military
    Ach - I knew it. You'll be just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    .Earl Grey?
    Tetleys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    I was unaware of the bonuses, free flights home every year, and other perks
    That's not across the board - but those jobs are out there. Fact. Take your time when you get here if you can. The internet is full of shit. Some great advice on your thread though I have to say.

  11. #40
    Tao
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    Panhunger...yes, I've picked up on the general perception that schools want a young, white male (but a white female is even better) with blonde hair and blue eyes. In fact, I've read that on more than one forum. Looks do tend to go a long way in Thailand. Thankfully, I don't crack mirrors when looking into them. 555

    However, I believe looks can get you only so far. If school administrators and the parents of your students notice significant improvement in your students, that could be awarded. Not saying it WILL be awarded, but the possibility is there. What's to say a school that's very happy with you won't agree to a raise after a year or two? More so if you have the parents of students wanting to keep your around. I'd venture to think parents who are paying THB 80k for their child to attend an EP would want to ensure a teacher they like is retained. As I said, I'm an optimist.

    Surely some TEFL teachers are making things work out. Who are they? What are they doing right to pull in a THB 60k to 80k paycheck? Are those individuals on this forum? No doubt they're wisely keeping their secrets of success from the rest of us, but it should be possible to crack the code.

    Tao...is it possible to get a job starting out at THB 80k without previous experience (which I'm guessing you don't have since you stated you don't yet have your degree and certification)?
    I'll be doing a year or two outside Thailand before applying. In the meantime I will spend 4-5months a year in Thailand and knock out the rest of this degree.

  12. #41
    Established User Array Hollywood's Avatar
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    Anna...aaaah, those "tiny little tea leaves." Thankfully, I will indeed have plenty of time when I get there. I arrive in October and am not expecting to work until August...lots and lots of time. While I'd prefer Ubon, I'm open to other cities, but am hesitant to work outside of Issan (like the food, people, and lifestyle there too much, although I haven't experienced the north yet...will do that when back in the LOS in a few weeks). Oh...and this isn't my thread...forget who posted it. I've just me monopolizing it, I guess. 555

    Tao...best of luck then!

    ---Update---

    That should read "I've just been*...wonder why the Edit Post option isn't working for me. Must be my crappy Internet...oh well. Oh-Dark-Thirty is going to arrive fast, so I suppose it's time to call it a night anyway.

  13. #42
    Möbius Strip Tease Array Anna Key's Avatar
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    Okay - goodnight. Don't be a stranger.

  14. #43
    Falling From Grace... Array Hollow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Key View Post
    It's a 2-way street after all, and schools have as many 'horror' stories about falangs as we do about schools.
    This is something that is very important and actually took a while to sink in for me. I found it amazing how different things became when I had been at a school for over a year and shown that I wasn't a complete screw up. I think you can tell a lot about the kind of employee a person is if they are still making around 30k after working in Thailand for several years.
    Jesus is coming, open your mouth!

  15. #44
    Something Or Other... Array panhunger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    Starting salaries at THB 30k are well known because they're advertised, however we don't know what a teacher in his/her second or third year teaching at a school is making. Thus, it's quite possible (probable?) quality teachers are making a decent wage after proving their worth.
    This may be true in Bangkok, but most schools outside of Bangkok have a set wage. Not all, of course, but most. The first school I worked at in 2003 paid 35k per month, which is what they pay today, eight years later.

    Proving your worth may just mean not getting the boot. Countrywide, Thailand doesn't run on the merit system. It's not its culture.
    "Goddamn it Lord, bless oh ye this bacon..."

    George Liquor American

  16. #45
    Senior Member Array Bangkok Phil's Avatar
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    I've said it before - Thailand is fast heading towards being Asia's top TEFL gap-year destination. Come and have a year or two in the sun, enjoy yourself and then go back to the real world. Oh and you'll even get paid 30K a month as well.

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
    There is an ad at the moment for a language centre for B240 an hour....The same company gave me B280 an hour, 8 years ago when I was fresh off the boat.....
    This company were paying 180 baht an hour in 1991 so you can go back further than 8 years. To be fair they always had a reputation as one of the lowest payers. Their hourly rate has gone up a couple of bucks in 20 years you might say.

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
    I understand Ajarn just places the ads but this is the worst I have ever seen it. The agencies are dominating the teaching industry now and are driving down the salaries for your average chalkie.
    But for how long I wonder? Because the fact is that most agencies are finding it tough to find decent teachers. I had a chat a few days ago with one of Bangkok's biggest agents - they supply over 50 teachers to Bangkok schools. They are getting inundated with complaints about teachers not being experienced or simply not being good enough. So something has to give if many agencies want to survive. You can't keep on supplying sub-standard teachers to schools and stay in business.

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by dave123 View Post
    This is one of the problems having a forum, linked (ownership wise) with the advertisers. they will always back the advertisers as they pay the wages and we just contribute FA.
    Dave. I think the forum has three advertisers at the moment - and they are all TEFL courses.

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