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School and salary in Phuket

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by cardelle, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter

    Hi all,
    I have been offered a job at an International school in Phuket.
    Having worked in the international setting already (Bangkok and China).
    I noticed the wage to be very low, 80k before tax. Also they offer no initial flight or annual flight only a flight at the end of the contract...
    However, they do pay extra for ECA as well as further responsibilities can earn you more money.
    The no flight sounds dodgy to me, however i have heard wonderful things about the school from parents who have put their kids into this school.
    Should i be questioning the head and requesting flights as a basic to International teaching, there is no moving in allowance or anything...
    Any advise or thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. pedrfawkes

    pedrfawkes New commenter

    Many tier two schools in Thailand don't pay flights and others only pay for those recruited from overseas not those recruited locally in Thailand. For a class teacher with a few years experience 80,000THB is about right, even slightly generous. So many people want to work in Thailand that schools simply don't need to pay more. If you're chasing bucks, there are better locations than Thailand - unless you have a good enough CV to get you into one of the Tier 1 schools in Bangkok which pay very well by any standards.
  3. lottee1000

    lottee1000 Occasional commenter

    I earned 100,000 per month eight years at a small, tier two school in bangkok, with flights, shipping and medical, so it sounds low to me, especially as Phuket is not as cheap as it was, and you'll pay more for accommodation and flights than if you were in Bangkok.
    However, the lifestyle will be so good you may not have to travel so much, so that might balance out a bit... It's low but not undoable, so it depends on your priorities.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  4. asiantiger

    asiantiger New commenter

    Best to go back to China then and just travel to Thailand during holidays. Then if enough teachers don't work for these salaries, they wil have to put the prices up. Ask them this question will you: How many students do you have and how much does it cost per year for a student to attend? If they say " we have 350 students paying $20,000 each per year", then do the maths and ask for an appropriate slice of the cake. I make that $7000,000 and if there are 30 expat staff all paid 80k Thai baht a month. it means they pay out just short of $1000,000 and pocket $6000,000. Think of it in those terms before accepting any job.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  5. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Have you spent a few weeks in Phuket to get a feel for the place? If so, you should know it is possibly the most expensive area in Thailand to work in, and yes, your salary is low, very low. I would have expected B100,000-B120,000 plus benefits (flights, medical and possibly accommodation), more if it is one of the top schools. As said above, it’s supply and demand, and demand to work there outstrips supply.

    If you are in your early 20s, doing the job so you can be by the beach, have fun and don’t need to save, you will get by but are unlikely to save anything. The baht is very strong at 42-43 to the pound and has refused to budge for years. If you are looking to save as well as have a good time, you need to pass on this one (or at least negotiate) and look to China, Singapore, Hong Kong or Brunei.
    cardelle likes this.
  6. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    Does it include accommodation allowance, as even with that it is a low salary, but if you have to get accommodation on top that , it will could be a bit tight. There are quite a few school salary scales available in Bangkok on their websites, have a look and compare it, I haven't see a wage as low that before for any decent International school. My first job in Thailand I had 4 years experience, I was earning more that that after tax, had housing provided and flights.

    If no housing allowance I'd want 100K after tax.
  7. sah79

    sah79 Occasional commenter

    How long is your contract? Re: flight, my school only offers at the end of contract, so the first year I didn't get it paid, but now I renew on one year contracts so I get a flight back every year. I'm in Bangkok, but I would imagine salaries in Phuket don't need to be that high as plenty of people want to work there so the schools do not have to entice people with great packages.
  8. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    The math is actually quite different.
    First, let's remember to pay everyone, not just expat teachers. Secretaries, maintenance, drivers, everyone needs a salary.
    Then let's add in all the other HR costs, like insurance, flights, taxes, visas, tuition. Professional development. Recruiting costs.
    And perhaps we should consider the cost of buying/renting and maintaining a few buildings. Electricity, water, insurance, paint, lawnmowers. Occasional plumbers and such.
    Some school busses. Insurance.
    Hundreds of desks and chairs.
    And perhaps some educational resources. Computers, paper, internet, art supplies, science supplies, subscriptions to online resources, Maths manipulatives. Oh so many things...
    And the list goes on.

    The margin on schools is much smaller than one might presume from the classroom.
    blueskydreaming and mermy like this.
  9. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    Give this one a miss. An NQT should expect more than that at ANY school in Thailand, the flights thing is also very strange. If you are employed as an overseas hire you should get a flight, no quibbling. Who cares if you get paid for ECA's? You can bet that the school are making more. As someone above has mentioned, Phuket is an extremely expensive place to live these days, also as a foreigner you will always be treated as a tourist and therefore incur higher prices almost everywhere. There are some bad schools here in Bangkok but I have yet to hear of one that pays this little for a qualified teacher and expects them to make their own way here!


    dannythedog and cardelle like this.
  10. tjh102

    tjh102 Occasional commenter

    Perce... I know of at least one international school in Bangkok that pays a lot less than 80k (the teachers would kill for 80k!). But they do pay flights.

    A lot of the newer schools pay around 80 - 95k for NQTs. With the high number of applications and the strength of the baht, they are able to claim 80k as a good salary, whereas teachers just a few years back wouldn't have budged for less than 100!
  11. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    Ok, I stand corrected and must admit that there are so many new little ones now that I don’t know the score on each one! I still think that this one sounds ropey though....

  12. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter


    When I was in Bangkok I earned over 90k but no housing allowance but annual flights.

    I’m 28 - 6 years into teaching.

    I have heard the school is really good.
    I get a flight at the end of my two year contract.

    The feel of the school feels excellent but the package seems a little low. Just don’t want to pass up on being back in Thailand and having a good standard of living...

    Could I request more or is that a little cheeky? I feel like asking why is the salary so low along with no flight or housing allowance.

    Cheers all for the feedback.
  13. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter

    I wouldn’t work in China for all the money in the world...

  14. simon43

    simon43 New commenter

    I lived in Phuket for 15 years, although I wasn't a teacher. I also know the location of the international schools on the island. The salary on offer is unlikely to have been made by the sporty academy, (which is in a relatively lower-cost area and accessible to nice beaches).

    That suggests to me that this school is one which lies close to Phuket Town, which really is not a good location if you want to enjoy the Phuket lifestyle of beaches ans nightlife.

    The salary and package on offer is very low - Phuket is the most-expensive place to live in Thailand.
  15. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter

    Thank you! I’m hesitant now hearing the wage is so low. I’ve already said yes, but haven’t signed anything...

    Having lived in Thailand before i would be eating street food, not partying loads.
    I lived comfortably in Bangkok on 90k, is Phuket therefore more than Bangkok as I was looking at accomodation and it seemed a hell of a lot lower.

    I can ride a bike and was hoping to commute to work each day to be closer to the beach?

    So you think I could state that the salary etc is low and would this mean my contract being taken away.

    I have other interviews, however was keen to get something sorted and living on the island appealed.

  16. asiantiger

    asiantiger New commenter

    How come? No cheap bars galore and smog? Work for LESS than you earn in the UK then by going to Thailand on 95k before tax and with NO housing allowance as you have said and the OP, and see how much a Farang has to pay for accommodation in Phuket then. I bet it's £500 a month. This means you will be left with £1000 in your pocket per month to spend of food, drink, not to mention the younger gf on your arm and HER food and drink. Some teachers from China always go to Thailand during holiday time. I don't get why they always want to go to Thailand. :rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2018
  17. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter

    Cheers for your input

    I worked in China before and I didn’t enjoy the country. Work for less? Which part of China did you work for less in? As with Nord Anglia, i worked from 6.45am-6pm most days along with Saturday fixtures... but I guess I was working at a Top tier school.

    I’ve seen apartments and places to rent for under 500 with a pool...? But once again sir you made some awesome points, thanks for commenting ;)

  18. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Ford Anglia - top tier school? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    BTW - query for the mods, its OK to mention the commpany directly but not any of their schools directly?
  19. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter

    Hahahaha quite clearly a typo haha, bet your students love your sense of humour. The company I’m asking about hasn’t been mentioned :) it’s not what I’m asking...

    The question at hand is for a job in Phuket, perhaps, let’s keep on topic, ie living standards of Phuket and lack of flight.

    Thanks all who have given informative information so far.

  20. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter

    Contract two years with flight at the end of the year along with a bonus.
    I think after doing ECAs I will be earning 90k no housing.

    Yes it’s weighing up being in Phuket with a good outdoor lifestyle or going to bangkok for more money.


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