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Salaries and wages in Thailand
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  1. #1
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    Salaries and wages in Thailand

    I've searched a little bit on the forums, and found some old threads on mimimum wages, but I'm still a bit unclear how much various people earn in Thailand. I've recently been visiting friends in Ang Thong province so I'm curious how income compares with expenditure.

    It's clear that there is a big different in income between different occupations.

    My impression is that basic unskilled workers would get a few thousand baht a month but teachers, police, and various other professionals could be earning upwards of 20,000.
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  2. #2
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    I did a search on our new www.paknamwebsearch.com site

    (http://www.paknamwebsearch.com/index.php?s=wage)

    And came up with an old blog I wrote on how much people earn:

    http://www.richardbarrow.com/content/view/123/78/

  3. #3
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    Hi Mike:

    The next time youre in Angthong you ought to pop into Suphanburi! Just down the road.

    I think the minimum daily wage in Bangkok is 175baht a day. THis is Labour Day today and the govt has pledged to increase that by 6baht! The people have been asking for an increase to 233 day.

    Even 175 a day seems to much to some employers and they are still bringing in hoards of immigrants from Burma, Laos and Cambodia and paying them even less than 175!

    There are trucks which drive around town this month blaring out::

    "If you know any illegal immigrants (Asians, no Farangs!), or anyone employing them - tell the authorities and we will have them arrested!"


    Unskilled labour, yes, pays the absolute minimum. Very often, less than the legal requirement, if the employers provides food and room.

    State teachers, police, army etc...... are all paid by the government. Starting off, at the bottom of the pay system - just about 6,500 a month.

    Not just rank, but number of years in the service, helps to boost that up to over 20,000.

    At my school, where most of the teachers are pretty old, the average salary after bonuses (a lot of them!) is about 25,000. The temporary teachers however who have just graduated (teaching kindergarten) are paid like 4,000 a month!

    Private schools, like the one the Webmaster here teaches at pay far less than the government ones. Foreigners usually get paid more though!

    Examples for police and army:

    Start off, the same as teachers.

    I used to live with a friend/student in Bangkok a few years ago who was about 40 and an Army Lt Colonel. His salary, after bonuses etc...... was around 30,000. A friend of his once came to visit a full colonel and 'chief of staff' of a northern province, he was around 52 and he told me he earned a total of 50,000 a month.

    Another student of mine, an F16 pilot in Khorat, holding the rank of Major, was getting 30,000 (10,000 of that danger money!)

    A very old friend, kinda drinking partner!, retired a couple of years ago over at Bangkok Noi. He was a policeman, who had just got promoted to First Lieutenant before his retirement. His final salary was 25,000.

    I have a friend here in Suphanburi who is a sargaent in the army. (located in BKK) He is about 32 and even though he isnt a commissioned officer still gets 19,000 a month.

    Bonuses for government workers include 'Accommodation money', 'Location Money' (when they are moved to a position outside their home province), 'Rank Money!' Whatever that means! and even i think 'transportation money!'

    One teacher at my school proudly told me that she gets bonuses for:

    3,000+ - location
    3,000+ - accommodation
    3,000+ (i think it was) - rank money

    Not bad, Thai teachers may complain to foreigners "Ooooh, my salary is so little" but they always forget to mention the 'perks' of the job!

    There is a huge difference in pay within the private sector Bangkok vs The Provinces.

    30,000 a month in Bangkok, working for an international company, isnt that much. But in provincial towns like mine, thats a small fortune to earn!
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the information Richard and Steve. it's very useful to have some idea of what people earn. As Richard's blog says, it's hard to see how some people survive on what they get in some Asian countries. I was impressed how everyone seems compelled to keep working on something. People too old to be working a regular job would at least pick a few mangos to sell... Makes me feel positively lazy...

    Steve: I was taken to a few places in the Suphanburi area (such as Don Chedi). Next time I come to Thailand I do hope to catch up with a few of you in person...
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  5. #5
    Jitwadee Guest
    Thai teachers may complain to foreigners "Ooooh, my salary is so little" but they always forget to mention the 'perks' of the job!
    Very well put, Steve! Many foreigners don't know about these perks - and here is another 'secret' about extra incomes:

    One problem with Thai teachers earning so little is that many focus on these 'perks' more than on their actual job! They teach only a fraction of what they should in the classroom, so that students who need the grades and the knowledge to pass the uni exams, need to do the extra-school - often taught by the same teacher!

    At my school, the only students doing well in class were the ones who forked out cash for the extra classes with the teacher. Sadly I'm not alone with this experience. :/

  6. #6
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    I have no idea of perks pay for my wife, she says her shoulder boards say she is a Colonel and she has 22 years service as a teacher with 18 years at the same school and her base salary is 15,000 a month, other than that I don't know as it is her business and I don't ask..We never talk of money, hers or mine..
    Field workers here make 100 a day with some at 150 baht. and is the same in house construction with masons making 200 to 250 a day..

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    Does anybody know how much on average teachers (female or male) spend for clothes? When I was teaching at local schools teachers used to tell me that they have very little "ngeun duean"... but they always came to school in their finest silk tailored costumes. Of course they changed clothes every day, and it would take about a month before I saw the same costume again...
    It seems that Thai people (generally? Or teachers?) tend to spend quite a big percentage of their salary on clothes. (compared to many European countries at least). Can anyone estimate how big that percentage is? I don't know how much the percentage is for Switzerland, but for me it would be less than 10percent. - Others?

    And another question: I know quite a few field workers (though not how much they earn). Every now and then they told me they were broke because they hadn't received their salary this month, they had to wait for next month. This seemed to happen rather often, and I wonder whether it is common in Thailand that people have to wait quite a long time for the salary? (They always got their money in the end, but they needed to borrow money until it was there)
    life is wonderful!

  8. #8
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    Just going on from what Jitwadee said.

    She was a student so knows perfectly well. Sure, one major reason that parents have to send their children to extra-tutorial classes is that they will be given better grades from their teacher!

    Even though it is against Min of Education rules and regulations (no more than 7 students) many teachers earn more salary from teaching 50 kids at home at the weekends than they do actual salary.

    There are a few teachers in town whose house resembles a huge playground/school on Saturdays, absolutely raking the money in! A couple of teachers who like to gossip, put those teachers monthly earning just from privates at 50,000+!

    Ive been quiet on the blogging scene over April/Summer Holidays cause i concentrated on earning some serious money ((for a teacher anyway!) just teaching at me friend's little pvt school i doubled my salary for this month ie... i earned from my what privates, same what i earned from my full-time job.

    Got the idea from Thai teachers! 'As in Roman..........'
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  9. #9
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    Faranginphetch wrote she says her shoulder boards say she is a Colonel i dont get it. There isnt any such ranking for teachers. The teachers ranks here are the same as the American governernment system. For example, a school director at a good urban school in Thailand holds a rank of 'C9'. C9 ranking pays about 45,000 up.

    Maipenrai asks about clothes. Personally, i think the Thai teachers, especially the females, spend a lotta money on clothes! On Mondays, Thai teachers wear their civil servants outfit, then for the rest of the week i sees them kitted out in the nicest newest clothes! The local dressmaker here makes fine money from their patron and prices dont come cheap.

    Lets talk about the police. Much is said about the force receiving back-handers but id prefer to stay away from such gossip.

    On top of salaries and bonuses many of the police also earn extra llawful commission as incentive.

    If you are ever fined down at the police station for say driving offenses, the police get a commission on that! For every 500 baht driving fine, the officers will receive 100 baht. Believe it or not, its part of their incentive scheme to actually get the police working

    Thailand has its own FBI. I wrote up a blog a long time back about busting for fake DVDs entitled 'Working Undercover' then i used to teach in the evenings at me local police station on the Thonburi side of Bangkok. So, as you can imagine i got to know pretty well what the police get up to in their freetime etc....

    I had one police friend again in Bangkok Noi who was FBI and his expertise lay in busting for drugs and i mean the big dealers. Really risky job but it paid well. I met him one time after he had busted one dealer with 20,000 tablets. His commission on that: 1 baht for every pill = 20,000 baht. On top of that he got 'travel allowance' 'danger money' etc....
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  10. #10
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    Is it true that the police have to buy their own guns and bikes, hence the flashier the gun or bike then the bigger kickbacks and backhanders the cop is getting.
    On the teacher point I have just left BKK to live in Prachinburi, nothing happens here and the cost of living is next to nothing, I've been told I should be able to live on my extra salary and keep my regular salary in the bank. Here's hoping

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