To be a teacher in Thailand you must have the following.
A Degree A 120 hour TEFL certificate A teachers licence (from the Thai ministry of education) A work permit (from the Thai labour department) a one year visa and finally there is talk of every new teacher attending a cultural training program this is for everyone including long term Thailand TEFL teachers.
Most non legal teachers are resigned to leaving the country every 30 days or depending on which visas they currently hold. This is known as border hopping. The Thai government have clamped down in this heavily since 2006 and after three consecutive 30 day tourist visa upon arrival stamps this will no longer be allowed you have to leave the country for 3 months.
When your visa is due for renewal a run to the countries border is required to renew your visa. This will require you to leave the country temporarily. Most people go to Malaysia Laos Singapore and or Cambodia.
How do I get my work permit or get the process started?
Thai visa rules change swiftly more than any of the other countries mentioned on this site. Firstly you must have a Non Imm B visa to start the process. The way to get one is to have a letter of employment from your employer. Then if your coming from overseas you need to apply for a Non Imm B at your local Thai embassy. If youre in Thailand already then you will need to leave the country and produce the paperwork at the nearest Thai embassy.
After this the school or language centre you are working for will then start the extremely long process of obtaining you youre work permit. This normally involves you filling out a number of forms providing a small fee which the school shall pay for and a number of photographs. Once this has all been submitted and stamped and you have also paid a visit in person to immigration (to see you really exist) then a work permit shall follow. Times may vary I waited three months for my first permit.
Salaries can range from 28000baht starting for a private or government school and from 32000baht to 43000baht for a language centre. Within a Thai province you are more likely to find salaries ranging between 25000 to 35000 baht a month and international schools and universities can range well into the 100000baht range and more for management positions.
Most institutes now will ask for a minimum of a degree a four week TEFL not a 2 week one and a teaching licence which is obtained within the country upon landing your first job. Please refer to our visa FAQ for Thailand for more in depth details of the laws of working legally in Thailand. However without the above qualifications it is still possible to obtain work but please remember you will be illegal and the Thai authorities will come down on you hard as far as even black listing you from returning.