Ajarn Street

Teachers' licenses - laws and links

All the rules and regs regarding teacher licences

Many thanks to Ajarn Forum member, Stamp, for supplying the following links to information on the complex topic of teacher licenses - and how you can teach legally in Thailand.

As of 2008, The Royal Thai Immigration Bureau has adopted the requirements set by The Teachers' Council of Thailand in Police Order 777/2551.

As of the beginning of 2011, The Ministry of Labour, Department of Employment adopted similar requirements when applying for an initial work permit or a work permit renewal.

The Teachers' Council of Thailand requires that applicants for a teacher license hold a degree in education or equivalent.

The Teachers' Council of Thailand distinguishes 3 routes when applying for a teacher license. 1) Degree in Education or equivalent, 2) Successfully completed the TCT Professional Knowledge Tests or 3) Possessing of foreign of teaching credentials.

Teachers can sit the Professional Knowledge Tests when they hold a bachelor degree or equivalent.

The employer of a teacher who doesn't meet the TCT requirements yet, can apply for a provisional teaching permit. Such a permit is granted for 2 years.

Please note:
- The provisional teaching permit is actually a permission to the employer to employ the teacher. When leaving the employer, the teacher has to apply for a new provisional teaching permit.
- Having personal experience with new teachers in our school, the TCT knows which schools and teachers they've granted a provisional teaching permit in the past.
- The first provisional teaching permits were granted at the beginning of 2008. It is reported that when applying for a second provisional teaching permit the employer/ employee must show progression in meeting the TCT requirements.


I am all for getting good teachers and also qualified teachers but let us face some sort of reality here. The Thai education system has shown it is very weak in English and is one of if not the lowest in ASEAN.
Like most things here in Thailand it is of no significance and the Thai culture training is a joke and teaches you nothing about Thailand or it's culture and as far as I can see every visiting teacher has complained and said it is crap and just another money spinner to fill someones pockets and to rip people of.
If they want to give a licence to teach make them sit a TOEIC, TOEFL or IELTS test to see if they are up to the task at hand.
I know for a fact that not one of the Thai teachers I have worked with could pass an IELTS test and it would be interesting to see just how many could actually pass.

By Dr John Smith, Bangkok (8th August 2013)

One of my friends has today been issued with a work permit without him having a Teachers Licence and only a tourist visa.
The Teachers Council of Thailand themselves telephoned his school and told them how to do this as he does not hold a degree.
They said the school should change the wording of his contract so that it does not say he is being employed as 'a teacher' but as 'a native speaker', and that he is paid hourly not as a full time salaried employee.
His school did this today and his work permit was issued without question.
Has anyone else heard of this.

By Richard B, NakhonRatchasima (21st May 2012)

I am teaching here in Thailand since 2 ½ years. I already have my “Thai culture and professional ethics course” and would like to register for the “ Professional knowledge test. On the webpage of the Teachers’ Council of Thailand., there is a nice .pdf document explaining how to proceed and register. Problem is the topic “ Application for Testing of teaching profession Knowledge…” is nowhere to be found. Has anybody registered and could help me find this form?

By Soreia, Lampang (21st January 2012)

Do I have to pass that test if I have an equivalent education, TEFL certificate and more than one year experience of freelance guitar teaching?

By Konstantin, Russia, Krasnoyarsk (3rd October 2011)

When and where is the next Professional Knowledge Test?

By Bob, Bangkok (5th September 2011)

Having fulfilled all the requirements and hold the TCT liecense. I have Just walked away from a nice school, because the agency (First time working for an agency), who offered me, what I believed to be the correct documents (normally 2 weeks for work permit issue and registering with SS etc., ) I found all the other 'teachers' were on tourist visas, and held nothing! and then to find out that the agency was deducting 'tax' and work guarantee money, because it knew that it couldn't supply the WP etc., and these other teachers wouldn't say anything due to the legal nature of their situations. And the school stated thats nothing last year the teachers went on strike as they hadn't been paid for 3 months from another agency! So what is the point of trying to do it right in the first place? when you can get a job anyway!

By Mr. Peter, Bangkok (19th August 2011)

Really Stamp!!!

Thanks for this info but you left out the biggest point... very few farangs pass all the tests and thus are able to get the teaching licence. Over the years that this has been running, I very much doubt that the failure rate is due to farangs being stupid. Winning the lottery might offer better odds than the TCT tests.

Studying in Thailand is a complete waste as those that did do the Masters level/Graduate Diploma wasted hundreds of thousands of Baht as the TCT refused to grant licences to the farangs that qualified!

I can't fault some of these courses, from well established universities in Thailand with genuine Western lecturers with real teaching qualifications from abroad and PHDs from abroad too. It is a shame how many of these honest farang teachers were treated after qualifying and spending more money than one could save in 5 years of teaching in Thailand!

After all this trouble one would have been better off only spending a couple of hundred dollars and doing the computer based tests at any internationally famous Pearson Vue testing centers in bangkok for either the New York State Teaching Licence or the Massachusetts State Teaching License - one does not even have to be a US citizen or living there.

By Mr D, Thailand (19th August 2011)

many thanks for the update!

By Matt, Trang (8th August 2011)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Full-time Native French Teachers

฿45,000+ / month


Science Teachers

฿42,300+ / month


Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher

฿50,000+ / month

Chiang Rai

Teacher of Sciences

฿92,000+ / month


English Instructor

฿40,000+ / month


Math, Physics, Chinese, Computer Teachers

฿35,000+ / month


Featured Teachers

  • Cecil

    French, 41 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Artem

    Russian, 34 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • George

    British, 39 years old. Currently living in United Kingdom

  • Graham

    Irish, 27 years old. Currently living in Vietnam

  • Chacha

    Indonesian, 25 years old. Currently living in Indonesia

  • Maudy

    Zimbabwean, 35 years old. Currently living in Zimbabwe

The Hot Spot

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?