EPIK | English Program in Korea

EPIK Public School Teaching Jobs

Teaching opportunities with the Korean Education Offices in 2020

EPIK is a popular teaching program which attracts a lot of interest from western graduates every semester. Due to the high demand, limited number of job vacancies, and first-come, first-served placement policies, most public school jobs get filled months in advance. As a result, making preparations to apply early isn’t just advised, it’s imperative. Having your visa related documents at your disposal is NOT necessary to begin the EPIK application process – you can apply and start the process before you’ve managed to collect the respective documentation.

What is the EPIK Program?

English Program in Korea


EPIK Logo - english program korea
The English Program in Korea, known as EPIK, was set up by the Korean Ministry of Education in 1995 in order to bring foreign English teachers into the Korean public school system. Its goal focused on three primary objectives: to improve the English speaking capabilities of the Korean population, to reform and unify existing English teaching approaches throughout the country, and to build and develop cultural exchanges with other countries around the world.


EPIK Application Dates & Deadlines


Spring 2020 Hiring Session [Closed]

Application Deadline: November 25th
Arrival Date: February 17th – 19th 2020
Contract Start Date: March 1st 2020


Fall 2020 Hiring Session [Closed]

Application Deadline: May 21st
Arrival Date: August 19th – 21st 2020
Contract Start Date: September 1st 2020

Spring 2021 Hiring Session [Not Open Yet]

Application Deadline: N/A
Arrival Date: February 17th – 19th 2021
Contract Start Date: March 1st 2021

Am I Eligible to teach in the EPIK Program?

The English Program in Korea is interested in enthusiastic individuals who have a desire to teach and a passion for learning about new cultures. Teachers should be friendly, outgoing, open minded and have the means to commit to a full year (12 months) term in South Korea.

In order to qualify candidates must be native English speakers and hold a valid passport plus a bachelors level degree from 1 of the 7 designated English speaking countries; USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.  Please visit our Eligibility page for complete details. Being TEFL / TESOL certified (120hrs minimum) is also a prerequisite for all EPIK candidates (TEFL exception: education majors or people who possess a valid teaching license.)   


Video Credit: Nicole Mekker – An Endless Adventure

Public School Job Benefits


Settlement Allowance
  • 300,000 Won settlement allowance (moving bonus) issued upon arrival
Free Studio Apartment
  • A private studio apartment will be provided rent free during the
    duration of your contracted term
  • Furnishings include: bed, wardrobe, cooking range, fridge,
    microwave, washing machine, TV, table and chairs
Severance Pay
(Completion Bonus)
  • A severance package (contract completion bonus) equal to 1
    month’s salary will be deposited into your account at the end of
    your contract. The severance pay is in addition to your last months’ wages.
Airfare Allowance
  • 1.3 million Won will be issued within 3-4 weeks of your arrival in addition to successfully passing the mandatory health check. This amount is to compensate you for your flight costs getting to South Korea
  • An additional 1.3 million Won will be issued at the completion of
    your contract to cover the cost of your flight home
Medical Insurance
  • Expect to receive 50/50 medical coverage during your contracted
  • Medical coverage includes: doctors visits, hospital visits, emergency care and extended care only
Tax Exemption
  • All nationalities (excluding Canadians) are exempt from paying taxes
    in Korea during their first 2 years of work in the public school sector
National Pension Plan
(North American only)
  • Public school teachers are required to pay into the Korean national pension fund which equates to 9% of your monthly salary. 4.5% is deducted from your monthly wage adn the education board matches this with an additional 4.5%
  • American and Canadian teachers are eligible for a lump sum return (9% of their annual income) on their pension contributions.
Contract Renewal Bonus
  • After your contract has been completed you will have the chance to renew your contract for another year.
  • If you renew your contract within the same Province or Metropolitan
    city then you will be entitled to a 2.0 million won renewal allowance
    and an additional two week vacation period between the end of your current contract and the start of your new contract (teachers are not eligible for additional settlement allowances and entrance airfare allowances with this scenario – teachers are entitled to an exit allowance of 1.3 million won at the end of their second contract).



EPIK Working Conditions


Working Hours
  • 8:30am – 4:30pm (Monday through Friday)
  • OR 9:00am – 5:00pm (Monday through Friday)
  • OR 9:30am – 5:30pm (Monday through Friday)
  • All 3 work schedules listed above include: class preparation time,
    1 hour lunch break and other scheduled break times throughout the day
Teaching Hours
  • 22 in-class teaching hours per week (roughly 4.5 hr / day)
  • Classes are 45 – 50 minutes in length
Vacation Time
  • 18 – 20 business days per year
Sick Days
  • 15 paid sick days per year.
Class Size
  • Class size and student numbers vary from school to school;
    however most classrooms will consist of 30-35 students.
  • Curriculum and teaching materials / resources are provided by the school.
  • You will be partenered with a Korean English teacher when you
    begin working at your designated school. Your partner teacher will accompany you to each class and help you with any problems that
    may arise. Your partner teacher will guide you through the curriculum and teaching resources that are available.
Job Description
  • Conduct English conversation classes
  • Implement English activities and curriculum
  • Organize and prepare English teaching materials
  • Assist in the development of English teaching materials
  • As a western teacher at your school you will be conducting classes
    in one of the following ways: Assisting Korean English teachers with their classes, and/or jointly conducting English classes with your Korean co-teacher, and/or conducting your own classes.

Note: Job benefits may have slight variations depending on the office of education you’re working for.


What type of salary will I receive as an EPIK public school teacher?

How much EPIK teachers make

Salaries are predetermined by the Education Offices. What monthly salary you qualify for depends on your teaching credentials. Click the button below to view the different public school pay rates.

Working locations you can request when you apply

EPIK is responsible for providing foreign teachers to all of the Education Offices in Korea. As an EPIK applicant you can select your top (preferred) working and living location when applying, however, there are no guarantees you will secure employment in that location. In many instances you will need to accept the location that EPIK offers you.

Metropolitan Offices of Education

  • Busan Office of Education
  • Daegu Office of Education
  • Daejeon Office of Education
  • Gwangju Office of Education
  • Incheon Office of Education
  • Seoul Office of Education
  • Ulsan Office of Education

Provincial Offices of Education

  • Chungbuk Office of Education
  • Chungnam Office of Education
  • Gangwon Office of Education
  • Gyeongbuk Office of Education
  • Gyeongnam Office of Education
  • Jeju Office of Education
  • Jeonbuk Office of Education
  • Jeollanam Office of Education

Common questions about the EPIK Program


Q: Will I receive any training prior to teaching?

Teachers who gain employment through EPIK will be provided with a thorough training and orientation period in Korea. In most cases, teachers are expected to arrive 8 days prior to the contract starting date in order to complete the EPIK orientation period. The training will consist of in-class lectures about teaching methodologies, group activities, cultural tours, presentations, movie nights and much more.

Q: Can I submit my application and begin the process before I’ve collected all of my required documentation?
Yes. You don’t need to have all of your required documents at your disposal in order for Gone2Korea to submit your EPIK application and have your official interview scheduled. All we need in order to submit your application and schedule your official interview (1st stage) is a completed EPIK application form and two (2) letters of recommendation.

Q: Can I choose specific cities or provinces to work in?

Yes, applicants are allowed to make requests for specific cities or provinces on the EPIK application form. However, location requests are granted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis so the location you request is not guaranteed.

Q: Are TEFL certificates mandatory for securing employment with EPIK and SMOE?

It depends on your degree/major and other credentials. If you have an unrelated major and no teaching credentials (e.g. teaching licence, full time teaching experience, master’s degree, etc.) then getting TEFL certified is now requested by the EPIK and education offices. Note: Getting TEFL certified will provide you with valuable knowledge (teaching methodologies, lesson planning, class activities, etc.) that will help you with your transition into the English teaching field (it’s beneficial to the students you’ll be teaching as well). Additionally, getting certified will provide you with more international teaching opportunities later on. Learn more about TEFL and how it impacts your application.

Apply today to start an epic adventure in the EPIK Program!