English Teacher Salaries in Korea

English teacher salaries in Korea haven’t changed much over the years. This is by design. Public schools have set salary rates which are determined by the Education Offices and the Korean government regulates the private schools by placing restrictions on student tuition. Therefore, schools can only allocate so much money towards staff salaries because their profits are limited by the tuition caps.

Teaching in Korea Salaries (per month)

How much do English teachers make in Korea?

Salaries for first-time teachers with no experience and no credentials

Most applicants with degrees in unrelated fields, and no teaching credentials or classroom experience, can expect to make somewhere between 2.3 – 2.5 million KRW a month. Many people assume that getting TEFL certified will land them a substantially higher salary. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Having a 100hr TEFL certification is actually the minimum requirement – just to qualify – for public school jobs with the Education Offices in Korea. Private schools obviously prefer TEFL certified candidates but they rarely offer higher salaries because of it. In summary, having a 120 hour TEFL certification, or greater, will help you land a job but it won’t have much affect on your actual salary.

Salaries for candidates with previous full-time teaching experience

People with some full-time teaching experience (minimum 1 year of full-time teaching) can generally expect to make somewhere in the 2.4 – 2.7 million KRW a month range. In most instances a proper reference from your former school will be requested from the new schools you’re conducting interviews with. We regret to tell you that most schools don’t view 1, 2 or 3 full years of teaching experience much differently. As such, 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 more diverse salary ranges.

How much can education majors or licensed teachers make?

Qualified teachers with good references can expect to make somewhere between 2.5 – 3.0 million KRW a month. How much qualified teachers can earn monthly depends on the needs of the schools and market conditions. If schools are receiving lots of applications from qualified candidates then the salaries tend to drop a little. Similarly, the salaries tend to rise when schools aren’t receiving an adequate number of qualified candidates. There are some opportunities (i-schools, select private schools, corporate) which pay 3.0+ million for highly qualified teachers, although these types of jobs are scarce and hard to land.

Location affects salary

This may sound odd, but it’s not uncommon for schools in the smaller cities to offer higher salaries to first-time teachers, than schools in the big cities such as Seoul, Busan, Daegu and Incheon. There are two reasons for this: The first being, schools outside of the major urban areas have a harder time filling their job vacancies so they offer salaries above market rates in order to attract more candidates. Secondly, because operating costs are substantially lower in small cities and rural areas, employers can afford to allocate more money to their staff, despite the government tuition limits.

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Gone2Korea is your connection to full-time teaching jobs in South Korea. Western graduates, primarily from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, use our services to secure jobs with trusted Korean schools, and schools use our services to find and hire enthusiastic teachers from the West.

Worth noting: We’re not a job ‘sourcing’ agency or recruiter that finds new schools on the fly. On the contrary, we work with a select group of schools and programs that we know and trust. 

In addition to helping you land a job, we’ll also be helping you with your work visa, departure, arrival, and offering support for the entirety of your contracted term.

Prior teaching experience and related degrees are NOT prerequisites for teaching in Korea. Here’s what you’ll need in order to qualify.

Korean schools and programs offer western English teachers highly competitive benefits packages which includes: