This is another one of those questions that you frequently hear asked from those wishing to work in Thailand. It is actually two questions; the first is. do you need to have completed TEFL in order to work as a teacher in Thailand? the second question is, should you complete TEFL if you want to teach in Thailand. Let me deal with the first question first.
If you need a TEFL certificate to teach in Thailand is a much debated topic. In regards to the teaching license there seems to be no official requirement to have this certificate. It is most often the schools themselves that are most interested in their ESL teachers having this qualification. I personally only managed to finish half the certificate, but the fact that I have a Post Graduate Certificate in Education means that schools don’t tend to ask me for one. Most schools seem to treat the TEFL as an official requirement and are reluctant to employ people without it if their qualifications are not related to education. It would seem that that this piece of paper is well worth getting for anyone without the traditional qualifications.
The second question is, should you get a TEFL certificate if you want to teach in Thailand and that is a far easier question. If you have no teaching experience then it makes sense to complete a TEFL certificate. This will not make you a great teacher, but it will certainly give you an introduction to the area, and more importantly give you some some supervised teaching practice.