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Author Topic: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life  (Read 256 times)

Rex (Admin)

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Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« on: November 29, 2017, 11:50:14 AM »
Wed 29 Nov 2017, 11:47 am

Hi ForumMates,

If a young person (or an old person)  was thinking about coming to LOS and teach English, what is the one most important piece of advice you would give him or her?

And how would you counsel them on the realities of living in LOS on between B28K up to  optimistically B40K (Bangkok) salary?Could they still enjoy quality of life and still have some cash left over to travel and maybe have a few laughs?



mrpunch

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 01:10:01 PM »
Wed 29 Nov 2017, 11:47 am

Hi ForumMates,

If a young person (or an old person)  was thinking about coming to LOS and teach English, what is the one most important piece of advice you would give him or her?


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mrmister1964

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 03:03:33 PM »
Live very modest at first, and then see if one can upgrade the standard of living.
Too many sprint out of the start blocks spending like crazy, for so wake up one day in financial trouble.
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fceligoj

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 08:39:58 PM »
To some Thais who have recently graduated from KKU, 28K THB would be a fabulous salary.  My wife's son graduated as a Civil Engineer from the School of Engineering.  His starting salary four months ago was 14,000 THB per month!  He is working 7 days a week, at least 10 hours a day and has been upgraded to Projects Manager and is now making 18,000 THB a month.  Most of his classmates still DON'T HAVE JOBS.  Her 2nd son graduated from RAJAMANGALA Technical University as a business programmer making 14,000 THB a month working 5 days a week, 8 hours per day, also gets overtime pay.  Now that he has been qualified, he is now making 18,000 THB a month and is happy as a pig in sh*t to having a job and making a living.  He too has said that most of his classmates do not have jobs still.

So from a Thai's perspective, a farang coming in and stepping into a job that they are usually minimally qualified and make 28K-30K is simply outrageous.  It is also kind of interesting, we know a group of KIWI CERTIFIED teachers who make quite a bit more that what you suggest.  Why?  Because they are fully qualified when they arrive and have extensive experience and a teaching certificate from their home country.

So from my perspective, the individual who comes to Thailand w/o the formal teaching certifications to get a good job should stay in their home country and make a living.  If they graduated from a college or university in their home country and tell you they can't find a job, then they must be minimally qualified or lack the grades in their own country to get a job!!

kowpot

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 05:46:02 PM »
Just out of curiosity. Do you know of a Thai teacher that is qualified enough to earn 28,000 a month teaching English?  My wife has family in Amnat, Roi et. All English teachers. There is not one of them that is even close to being fluent.  One of them was even the superintendent of the school in that town.
 They all graduated Univerisity with teaching degrees. What a joke. roll

fceligoj

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 07:29:54 PM »
To me, the bigger joke is a bunch of English speaking farangs, mostly with accents almost no one can understand, going through the'ritual' of getting a TEFL certification allowing themselves to get hired to teach English, most of which have never seen the inside of a classroom before they were hired in Khon Kaen or other parts of Thailand.

At least the Kiwi crowd from the upper class school on Lao Nadi Road, Khon Kaen Vithes Suksa Bilingual School, had real certificates issued in their home country and had the educational background necessary to being a teacher with years of experience teaching in New Zealand.

My wife's sons, where two of the three have graduated already and the third is in KKU received poor English Communication skills in the primary and secondary schooling. They said the farangs teaching them would not allow any questions to be asked in the classes and everything was a prepared set of words and sentences made up from the grammar portion of the class!

screamer

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 07:36:55 AM »
I had big argument once with an American about how you pronounce, "Chang" in English. I am English a speak with a neutral accent but he just would not accept he was speaking with a very strong American accent.

And it bugs me that my niece is being taught that the last 3 letters of the alphabet are x, y and zee (etc etc).

martin

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 07:50:47 AM »
... farangs teaching them would not allow any questions to be asked in the classes and everything was a prepared set of words and sentences made up from the grammar portion of the class!

Maybe the foreign teachers had constraints put on the way in which they were allowed to teach by the type of Thai teachers mentioned by Kowpot. Grammar is taught (I understand) by Thai teachers while conversation is the teaching area for foreigners. I've heard many stories of foreign teachers being shown no respect and having their opinions & methods overridden by Thai teachers. Maybe the foreigners take the path of least resistance and accept the instructions from the Thai Head of Department. 

Many years ago, just out of curiosity and with no real intention of taking it any further, I visited the top local school to get a 'feel' for teaching English (or maths & science, which would have been my real area of interest, if I'd been serious). I was presented with a list of hundreds of words that I'd have to teach and the kids would have to learn, many being words that I'd never use in my daily life, despite having quite a wide vocabulary. Two I remember were 'beget' and 'beseech' - I didn't get beyond 'B' but there were many more such obscure words.

Oh, while I think of it, my stepson was 'taught' English about 25 years ago at the local catholic school. In 2010, the same teacher was still there, nearing retirement, and I was introduced to her. She understood almost nothing of what I said to her and anything she tried to say made almost no sense. It seems she'd made very little progress in her English over her career - how can someone like that teach 'their subject' to students? It's almost like me trying to teach Thai to another person.

As an aside, as a former professional Design Engineer with UK post-grad. qualifications, I'd be horrified if an engineering graduate, only 4 months out of university (if I read your post correctly - "... his starting salary four months ago ..."), was employed as Project Manager on a project I'd designed. A fresh-out-of uni. engineering graduate, with Bachelors or Masters degree but no working experience, is near the bottom of their career learning curve, not the top, and should have a number of years supervised working before being let loose alone. They certainly wouldn't be let loose in UK and probably USA too.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 08:31:47 AM by martin »

mrmister1964

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2017, 10:09:53 AM »
A 7-11 employee makes what? 9-10 000 a month?
A newly educated (or trained) Police Officer makes?
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fceligoj

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 09:37:42 PM »
If someone really the info, I could get the starting salary of a policeman.

With 7/11 employees, since most of them are part-time, they get a daily wage of 300 baht, just like a basic male construction laborer, women who are a basic laborer make less.  I guess the construction companies have a way to skirt the minimum daily wage for the women.

fceligoj

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 09:41:34 AM »
Another current interesting example, our village is establishing the Homeowners Association and they have to hire an Office Administrator.  So several of the committee put together a typical Thai hiring request and took it to the Labor Department on Wednesday to see if they could get some candidates.  Guess what, there were over 100 person at the Labor Hall, waiting for job postings!!  The Homeowners Assoc. requires either some basic office experience or a technical school degree or both.  At least 10 people signed up for interviews.

It is a full time job, 8:30 to 5:00, Mo - Fr and 1/2 day on Saturday.

Salary: 9,000 baht a month!

fceligoj

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 09:52:11 AM »
Martin,

Your quote "I'd be horrified if an engineering graduate, only 4 months out of university (if I read your post correctly - "... his starting salary four months ago ..."), was employed as Project Manager on a project I'd designed. A fresh-out-of uni. engineering graduate, with Bachelors or Masters degree but no working experience, is near the bottom of their career learning curve, not the top, and should have a number of years supervised working before being let loose alone."

First, he was not hired as a Project Manager, but as a civil engineer, responsible for the all the concrete work, i.e., foundation structure, etc.  He then took Thailand's Professional engineer's test and passed.  He was given the authority to sign off on that type of work.  Over the 4 months, the company continued to expand his responsibilities.

He went from the concrete structures guy to site engineer (he is the only engineer in the company), to project engineer then to over company engineer and finally to Project Manager.  I too am very surprise that anyone could move up that fast, never in the USA.  It would take at least 4 years to get to site engineer unless it was a simple job site!

Oh yes, the company has contracts with PEA, Provincial Governments, etc.  So it is not a fly by night one.  Before he was hired the owner was the 'engineer' and the senior technician at each site was the 'site engineer'.

martin

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 11:08:44 AM »
That was interesting Frank. Thanks.

Apologies if the following (and the original quote from me in your post) sounds critical of your stepson - it's not meant that way at all. Perhaps more a criticism of the Thai system.

I looked at the Council of Engineering (Thailand) website.

From that I found:-
- there are 4 categories of Engineer; Senior Professional (highest), Professional, Associate & Adjunct (lowest).
- Lowest grade, Adjunct Engineer, requires at least 2 years documented experience, gained in Thailand, and support from a SPE or PE who's familiar with the candidates work experience (e.g. a direct supervisor or engineer employed by current/past employers).

Admittedly, those criteria appear to be for a foreign applicant - although I'd imagine and hope they applied across the board.

A recent graduate cannot have accumulated the required 2 yrs. + experience and somebody who's been employed as sole engineer in a company cannot have the support of SPE/PE. So how can the Engineers' licence be granted in those circumstances?

Perhaps now we have some idea of why so many engineering products in Thailand appear second rate (or worse).

Wow!!! Way off-topic!

fceligoj

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Re: Cost of living vs. Quality of Life
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 03:18:21 PM »
Martin, I agree with you wholeheartedly.  I would imagine the large companies have those requirements, and the small companies work around it.  Personally, I think his company is putting him in a no win situation if there are any problems.

They now take a test, which his company required him to do, and he passed with an excellent score.  He now has an Engineering ID stating as such!

Remember, an architect establishes the set of construction dwgs, and the engineer executes them, or at least monitor those who are doing the actual work whether it is employees of the company or subcontractors, and approving of the work plan and execution.

His first job was an electrical substation out on Lao Nadi Road.  He now has oversight for other jobs in the Khon Kaen area, and later will be transferring to Chiang Mai to be the project engineer for a job there.