Working in Shanghai

Monthly Earnings 116,000

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

I earn the equivalent of 116,000 Thai baht a month. This includes working full-time at an international school and 4,000 baht/week is from doing two hours of private tutoring a week.

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

I save approximately 45,000 baht a month.

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

Rents are quite high in Shanghai. I get 35,000 baht a month on top of my salary I quoted for housing. I use all of that rent subsidy to rent a one-bedroom apartment and that isn't downtown Shanghai.

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

a) Transportation

I bicycle to my job and choose to live 20 minutes away. The subway is very cost efficient (20 baht on average) and goes everywhere as well

b) Utility bills

I have to pay approximately 4,000 baht for utilities (electricity, water, gas). Internet is cheap and you usually pay a fee for the entire year which is about 10,000 Thai baht a year. Electricity, water and gas are relatively inexpensive (800-1000 baht per month).

c) Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

My school pays for my lunch, which saves me some money. I eat out two to three times a week and mostly eat Western food. I spend quite a bit on Western food, about 2000 baht a week. I don't eat much Chinese food but it is cheaper than Western food. Food at the market can be costly for meat and imported food. Easily spend about 4-5000 baht a month on food from the market.

d) Nightlife and drinking

I go out a few times a month. Beer can be expensive (175 for local beer and up to 300 baht for imported beer)

e) Books, computers

I don't really buy English books in China as they are hard to find.

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

My standard of living is pretty good as I don't worry too much about spending. I don't go partying every weekend but spend money on travelling on holidays. I can still afford to save and travel some. I travel once or twice a year out of country. I do think the cost of living in Shanghai is high and it is very easy to overspend on entertainment and nightlife if you wanted to. You can easily spend money on drinks and food as well. Rents are high especially if you live closer to the center of the city.

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

Jo did not answer this question.

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

You need at least 75,000 baht a month to live a decent life in my opinion, but I'm sure people live on less.

Phil's analysis and comment

Always good to hear from a teacher in China because it's quite often a popular next destination for those who have grown tired of Thailand.

You've suprised me with your 'at least 75,000 baht' figure Jo. I would have thought about 55-60k might be enough but you're the expert. 

It sounds like you live a very comfortable life there. Not much more I can add.

Back to the main list

Featured Jobs

Early Years Sports Teacher

2 hours ago

฿40,000+ /month

Samut Sakhon

Grade 5-6 School Teacher

8 hours ago

฿40,000+ /month


NES Kindergarten Homeroom Teacher

1 day, 6 hours ago

฿60,000+ /month


Key Stage 1 Teacher for February Start

1 day, 7 hours ago

฿80,000+ /month


English Teachers

3 days ago

฿400+ /hour


Professional Teachers for Next Academic Year

4 days, 2 hours ago

฿40,000+ /month

Chiang Mai

TEFL Courses & Training

Get off to a good start...

Take your course
in Thailand!

Training Directory

Featured Teachers

  • Peter


    Indian, 27 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Matthew


    Canadian, 56 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Jelicia


    Filipino, 20 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Naizer


    Filipino, 26 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Paul


    American, 29 years old. Currently living in Thailand



    Indian, 29 years old. Currently living in India

  • Matthew


    British, 25 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Alesha


    Indian, 38 years old. Currently living in India

  • Patrick


    New Zealander, 53 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Kelzang


    Bhutanese, 25 years old. Currently living in Bhutan


Mediakids Academy

Top TEFL job placement provider with competitive benefits and an unforgettable experience.

English Planet

To be internationally recognized as the leader in quality English language training.


Vacancies for in-house and corporate teachers at the finest schools in Suphanburi City


We get you a job! Options for school placements all over Thailand

BSI Broker

Brokers for ajarn health insurance and for all your Thailand insurance needs.

Siam Computer & Language

Competitive teacher packages with benefits and bonus incentives

Kajonkietsuksa School

First bilingual school in Phuket. Vacancies for kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers.

Kasintorn St Peter School

Progressive English program school near Bangkok employing NES and Filipino teachers

Inlingua Thailand

Premier language school with many branches and corporate training.

Space available

Become an ajarn dot com sponsor

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.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

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

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!

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

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

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

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.