Christopher

Working in Khorat

Monthly Earnings 30,000 baht

Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?

I work for a renowned language school in Korat. My net income is about 30,000 baht per month. The pay is hourly (360 baht during the week, 480 at the weekend)

Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?

If I lived a more humble life, I could save at least 10,000 baht per month.

Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?

I share a serviced room with my girlfriend (who teaches with me) in a new condo block. The rent for a large ensuite room with all of the modcons is 12,000 baht per month. However, you can live in more modest rooms for less than 3,000 baht

Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?

Transportation

500 baht

Utility bills

1,500 baht

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

5,000 baht

Nightlife and drinking

500 baht

Books, computers

N/A

Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?

Comfortable, with occasional luxuries such as weekend breaks, a nice gym membership and hotel buffets.

Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?

In local eateries, a bowl of Som Tam costs just 30 baht. The songthaews charge only 8 baht for single fares in the city and 20 baht to places like the zoo, which is 15km from where I live.

Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?

In Khorat, you can live comfortably on 20,000, especially once you have shelled out for your initial visas and permit. 50,000 baht per month would allow you regular splurges.

Phil's analysis and comment

I last taught at a private language school in the year 2000 and was getting 320 baht an hour. I'm not that surprised that thirteen years later, a teacher is earning just 10% more than that, but it goes to show how little teacher salaries have risen over the past decade or more. Tapping a few numbers into my calculator, I would guess Chris has to do in the region of 20 contact hours a week to make what is a 'modest' salary.

One of the downsides of teaching at a private language school is that because you are teaching different kinds of students at different levels, there is often a considerable amount of lesson prep. It's not like a government school, where maybe a teacher teaches the same groups at the same level each week and one lesson plan fits all. 20 contact hours a week at a private language school doesn't sound like a work overload but you have to factor in the time spent preparing lessons as well.

Then of course you have to bear in mind that private language schools are often at their busiest during the weekend, so you don't get those nice weekends off that other teachers enjoy.


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