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English Teacher Salaries in Korea

Teacher salaries in South Korea haven’t increased much over the past 5 years. Public schools have set salary rates that are pre-determined by the Education Offices (i.e. no negotiating) and the Korean government now has laws in place that limit the amount of money private schools can charge for tuition each month. As a result private schools can only allocate so much money to teacher salaries because their profits are restricted by the governments set tuition limits. That’s why jobs advertised by recruiting companies with substantially higher salaries tend to require additional classes or weekend work from the teacher; if the teacher is teaching more classes the school can enroll and accommodate more students which brings more revenue to the school.
Applicants with limited experience and credentials 
Most applicants with limited or no teaching credentials can expect to make somewhere between 2.0 – 2.2 million KRW a month. Many people assume that getting TEFL or CELTA certified is going to land them a substantially higher salary. We regret to tell you that this is definitely not the case – sorry. Having a 100hr TEFL certification is actually the minimum requirement for many of the education offices in Korea these days (public schools) and private schools rarely offer higher salaries for getting certified. Due to the competitiveness of the industry having a 100hr TEFL certification may help you land the job; however, it won’t have much impact on your actual salary. Click the following link to get your TEFL Certification.
Applicants with some full-time teaching experience and credentials
Applicants who have some full-time teaching experience (this requires a minimum of 1 year) from an accredited school and are able to supply a quality reference can generally make somewhere between 2.1 – 2.3 million KRW a month. We regret to tell you that most schools don’t view 1, 2 or 3 full years of teaching experience much differently; meaning, people with 3 years of experience are generally in the same salary range as people with 1 year. This is because tuition laws make it difficult for schools to offer diversified salary ranges.
Education majors or licensed teachers with full-time teaching experience 
Qualified teachers with good references can expect to make somewhere between 2.2 – 2.6 million KRW a month. How much qualified teachers can earn monthly depends on the needs of the school and market conditions. If schools are receiving lots of applications from qualified applicants then the salaries drop, if otherwise the salaries increase. Please visit our Education Majors page for more information.
Location affects salary level 
Contrary to what many people assume, schools in the big cities such as Seoul, Busan and Incheon tend to offer lower monthly salaries then schools in smaller cities. This is because schools in the major cities receive countless applications to review and there are always lots of applicants for these schools to select from. Basically, there are lots of westerners willing to take a slightly reduced salary in order to live and work in a highly desirable location…and the schools know this! Exception: Highly qualified teachers with education majors and former teaching experience can generally find higher paying jobs in the major cities.
Visit our EPIK Pay Levels page to view the current pay rates for public school teachers. 
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