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South Korea A woman smiling at a screen while traveling in South Korea.

Getting Into Teaching In South Korea

Teaching in South Korea is a great option for educators who want to learn about and work in one of the world’s most advanced economies.

South Koreans are some of the brightest, most informed and engaged citizens on the planet. They have a passion for learning and an appetite for knowledge that is only increasing. Teaching in South Korea can be a rewarding experience, both financially and intellectually. You’ll gain new perspectives on your work as a teacher, as well as new skills that will help you succeed in today’s globalised society. In addition, opportunities to work with top-tier institutions in Seoul make teaching here an irresistible proposition.

But, whether you’re looking for a career in Korea or your home country, you probably want the highest-paying position possible. You can make even more money teaching English in Korea if you know where to search, despite the fact that entry-level teachers can make a respectable living teaching English in Korea. The majority of major chains do not pay higher salaries, however boutique hagwons pay enough to allow you to live well and save money each month.

Where Can I Find These Employment Opportunities?
Easy… Follow the cash flow. In Seoul, this is Gangnam, and in Gangnam, Daechi-dong, the mecca of hagwons, is where you should go (English acadamies). There, boutique academies such as Ian English, Chase Academy, Peai, and Hoyah Academy offer some of the highest-paying employment opportunities in Korea. Where else can these jobs be found? Apgujeong, Cheongdam, Samseong, and Bundang are affluent regions to search.

There are a multitude of these high-paying academies, but the majority do not promote online. There are a limited amount of open opportunities, and many teachers gain employment through personal connections.
These are not your ordinary language institutes. See “Work Description” below.

Salary And Hours
Generally, entry-level teaching positions in Korea begin at roughly 2.0 million won per month for eight hours each day. Some of the higher-paying teaching jobs in Korea pay beginning teachers 4 million won per month for as few as six hours of labour every day. Those positions are obviously the most comfortable (most places will have a normal 8–10 hour work day).

If your only goal is to make the most money possible, the best paid jobs in South Korea can pay up to 10 million won each month. (Hackers Education Group teachers are rumoured to earn more than 10 million won per month for long/arduous work hours).

In addition, some of these top-tier hagwons give performance- and contract-based raises. If you remain long enough and work hard enough, managerial roles can begin with a monthly salary of 6 million won (that comes with more work of course).

The high income comes at a cost. You would likely have to say goodbye to free flights, health insurance, severance money, and free lodging, all of which are popular perks for teaching jobs in Korea. However, depending on the institution and their desire for you, you may be able to negotiate a plane ticket and/or house key money. They have the funds, but it is not often part of the agreement.

What Are the Conditions?
A Bachelor’s degree from a four-year accredited university, a criminal background check, and visa eligibility are required, as they are for all Korean academies. For some of these elite academies, that is essentially all that is required. Having teaching experience is clearly advantageous, yet some teachers are hired with no prior experience.

The requirements vary greatly depending on the academy to which you apply. Some positions need bilingualism, while others demand several years of teaching experience. It is up to each individual school to decide what it desires.

Many of these high-paying academies do support E-2 visas, but they prefer to hire individuals with their own work permits.
Many high-paying academies in Korea prize experience teaching SAT and debate sessions.

What does the work entail?
Be prepared to work weekends, as this is a common requirement. Some places require employees to work on national holidays, but there is typically a fair exchange for vacation days. Many of the students are tremendously motivated to learn, but teaching can be facilitated by the fact that classes are typically taught exclusively in English. You can rest assured that you will be generously reimbursed for your hard work!

The teaching profession in South Korea is one of the highest paid in the world. It has a high level of respect. Teachers are respected and valued members of their community. South Korea has benefited by promoting the importance of education to students and parents alike. if you are a student looking to study in South Korea, check out our article on the application process.

James Yeong
James Yeong

Once a quaint dweller of the English countryside, James is now a vibrant voice narrating his adventures in the bustling heart of South Korea. Since relocating to Seoul in 2019, James has immersed himself in the dynamic tapestry of Korean culture, from the serene temples tucked away in mountainous terrains to the neon-lit streets of modern cities.

This blog has become a haven for those seeking an outsider's yet intimate perspective on South Korea, often shedding light on hidden gems and local favourites rather than just the typical tourist hotspots. With a keen eye for detail and a writing style dripping with wit and warmth, James has managed to amass a devoted readership from all corners of the globe.

Whether you're planning a trip to the Seoul, the surrounding cities or just vicariously traveling from the comfort of your couch, Jame's tales of exploration and discovery are sure to ignite a passion for the Land of the Morning Calm.

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