Working in Phuket

Monthly Earnings 39,000 to 50,000 Baht

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

I am a teacher/training manager in a 5-star hotel in Phuket. I earn the minimum of 39,000 baht in the low season (+ service charge soaring up to 10,000 baht during the high season) I also have an average 4,000 baht extra income from private students.

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

30,000 baht goes straight into my savings account each month towards my future wedding.

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

I live in a studio-type condo and the rent is 5000 baht per month.

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


None. The hotel provides free transportation for the staff. From the town to the hotel, everyday, back and forth. There are also two big shopping malls and a fresh food market just a few minutes walk from my condo.

Utility bills

Electricity is about 700 to 1000 baht, water 100 baht, and internet 800 baht.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

From zero to 2,000 baht. I get two free meals from our hotel’s canteen (breakfast and lunch). On top of my salary, I also have an officer’s check amounting to 8000 baht per month which I can spend at the hotel’s restaurant. This covers my evening and weekend meals. Sadly though, this cannot be converted to cash if I cannot fully utilize it in a month. I spend more on toiletries and cosmetics to be honest.

Nightlife and drinking

No nightlife, no drinking. Done with it. As I mentioned in my cost of living survey last 12 months ago, my money would go on healthy fruit shakes at the beach with a relaxing massage and a nice manicure or pedicure, and a trip to the movie theater.

Books, computers

Nothing. I have everything that I need.

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

I am living a great life, working at a beautiful place in Phuket. The hotel provides fantastic benefits – delicious food, free transport, free spas, uniform, trips to islands, free laundry, etc. I only work Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm (3-4 hours of teaching) and get weekends off. I have no lesson plans to prepare or grades to compute - just a monthly report to submit and that is so easy to do. I’m provided with all the materials to use in my training and I’m away from stressful, annoying, noisy students.

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

Food and clothes are cheap.

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

I really don’t know but I guess it depends on the lifestyle you want. I’ve lived on 18,000Baht/month and I can remember living comfortably and not just surviving. However, on an 18k income, you can’t really afford trips back home.

Phil's analysis and comment

I think this is a survey that will make a fair number of teachers green with envy. It's not just the fact that Mae earns a decent salary but also that so many of life's other essential expenses are taken care of by her employer. Mae has secured herself a remarkable deal here. 5-star hotel quality food twice a day - need I say more?

I'm pleasantly surprised at Mae's basic salary as well. Thailand's hotels, even the 5-star joints, have always been notorious tightwads when it comes to rewarding in-house teachers. 25K salaries are not uncommon.

As Mae mentioned, she's no stranger to our cost of living section and she first featured in January of last year. Back then she was earning 18K a month. What a difference a year can make!   

Mae also sent me this message with her survey.

Hi Phil! This is my second time doing your cost of living survey. I think it's nice to give you a little background about myself. And hope you remember me.  The first survey was last January 2015 when I was working in Sattahip. I worked there in a private school for 7months (Nov 2014 to May 2015) and moved to Phuket last June for a new job as a training manager in a 5 star hotel.

I'm a Filipina and same with the rest of the Filipinos out there, I experience the Thai discrimination when picking a good and skillful teacher.

I think I am just blessed to have found employers who appreciate the skills of a person, and picking employees not based on skin color. So here I am happy with my new job.

I just also hope that my survey will open the minds of many Filipinos. I would like to give them a message that teaching is not only limited at schools. There are other opportunities out there that offers a better pay (I know my pay is not that big compared to other farangs, albeit, better than other Filipinos).

All you have to do is be aggressively ambitious diligent to search for opportunities and to run after your goals, by no means a hopeless daydreamer. Sell yourselves well in a job interview and show them what you got.

By the way, I'm 39 years old, getting married to a longtime French boyfriend in France. I am not a teacher by education. I am a graduate of BS Biology, and Bachelor of Laws.

Thank you, Phil. Your website helped me find those jobs. More power to you!

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