Buddhism teaching

The pros and cons of using a teaching agency in Thailand

Education in Thailand can be a very rewarding experience. From learning all about Thai culture to helping children learn, making a career as an educator here is a noble deed. The road to getting a job in Thailand can be traveled in 2 main ways. Some expats use an agency to get hired at a school, while others contact the school directly. Here we will go over the pros and cons of using an agency find a teaching job in Thailand.

Advantages

Hiring an agency to help you can actually start before you even get to Thailand. Although getting hired directly by a school can also start before landing in the Kingdom, it may be easier to contact an agency abroad, as they generally speak good English. Additionally, an agency can help you get hired at schools they have a contract with, making it easier and faster for you to find a job. With work, however, comes the need for a visa, which then paves the way for a work permit. Because the Department of Education requires all teachers to go through a 90-day probationary period before issuing a work permit, many agencies can speed up the process. This is because they are the ones hiring you, not the school itself.

Thai students

Also, the agencies can help you and usually fill out the paperwork without you having to do much. It can help a lot when you are not fluent in the Thai language. Documents and other documents are also easier to complete and gather when an agency helps you. And, the agencies also mediate with the school to help you get all the information you need to be successful. Also, if your job isn’t working out, agencies can usually transfer you to another school they have a contract with.

Using an agency is also great for finding a good support system among other teachers hired by the agency. Here you can discuss your work, collect ideas and defend yourself if the need arises. While getting hired through an agency might be the best thing for you when starting your teaching journey in Thailand, there are a few things to consider that might not suit your needs.

The inconvenients

Agencies do all the work for you, but it comes at a cost. And this cost usually represents a significant portion of your monthly salary. As agencies are hired by schools to find foreign teachers for them, they are paid when they find a teacher. So if a school says they can pay a foreign teacher a certain salary per month, the teacher usually doesn’t see that amount going into their pocket. Also, the agencies are notorious for hiding the truth when it comes to situations and issues faced by schools.

Tic gives a thank you gift to Pip |  The last day of teaching… |  Flickr

Foreign teacher and Thai student

Many teachers left agencies because there was poor communication between the school, the agency, and themselves, with teachers usually exiting at the bottom. From contract issues to the number of hours agreed to work, it can be difficult to ensure that you are treated fairly. Also, many agencies walk teachers in and out to the point where they feel like a number and not a real person. From unexpected fees and costs to canceled holidays after booking a return ticket or elsewhere, teachers have complained about agencies’ failure to see that they too have a life outside of work.

Whether you choose to search for a job on your own or use an agency, here are some of the very real pros and cons of using an agency to find a job in Thailand. While there are many other things to consider, these details are the main issues and benefits reported by teachers across Thailand.