First Time Teachers

Teaching Jobs For Non-Qualified Teachers & Recent Graduates


Will this be your first time applying for an overseas teaching job? Although many schools and programs in Korea prefer applicants with previous teaching experience, there are still lots of opportunities available for college and university graduates who have unrelated majors and/or a lack of formal teaching experience. Gone2Korea represents hundreds of first time ESL teachers from North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand every year.

qualified teachers

What are schools looking for in candidates with no experience?

Above and beyond related educational backgrounds and work related experiences, school directors place a lot of value in a teacher’s personality and character. Assuming you have a friendly and outgoing personality, combined with a legitimate interest in working with children, your chances of securing a credible job in South Korea is highly possible.

Is there anything I can do to make my application more appealing to potential schools in Korea?

Anything you can do to make your application more ‘attractive’ to potential employers will help. Although additional credentials (above and beyond a degree) are not mandatory for teaching in Korea, having related work experience or certifications will show potential employers that you’re serious about the opportunity. The easiest way to enhance your application is to enroll in an ESL Certification course (i.e. TEFL or TESOL course). Many courses are available online and completing these courses on weekends or during free time is easier than you’d think. Note: If you decide to enroll in an ESL certification course then make sure the course is accredited and consists of at least 100 course hours.

Salaries for first time teachers and recent graduates

The salary you would be eligible for will depend on a number of variables. These variables include but are not limited to; your college/university major, credentials and experiences, the location (cities and provinces in Korea) you choose to work in, student age groups, the sector (public or private) and the number of hours that the school will require you to work each week. Most first time teachers can expect to make somewhere between 2.0 – 2.2 million Korea won a month. The Universal Currency Converter

If you have no experience and you’re expecting to make 2.5 million won or more each month then chances are we won’t be able to help you. Yes, we realize there are certain jobs posted on various sites and forums that offer salaries above the industry benchmarks, however, if you read the fine print or apply for the position you’ll likely find they are looking for candidates with specific qualifications or is willing to work above and beyond the standard work week. Additionally, some ESL recruiting companies post jobs online with inflated wages in order to get more people to apply.

It’s important to understand that there are industry standards in Korea and rarely do employers offer salaries above and beyond the benchmarks. Likewise, public school programs have set salary rates and private schools usually employ numerous western teachers with similar credentials. In summary, schools aren’t going to start offering different salaries to teachers with similar credentials because if would cause too many problems between co-teachers.


qualified teachers

Job options for first time teachers in Korea

There are two types of teaching opportunities in South Korea for recent graduates and first time ESL teachers:

Private schools in Korea or Public schools in Korea

Worried about taking the first step alone?

So you want to teach abroad but you’re nervous about doing it alone! We realize that leaving the ‘normal life’ you’re accustomed to and travelling abroad is not an easy decision if you’ve never done it before. We would like to point out that South Korea is a very safe and highly developed country with an established ESL teaching industry. South Korea is also one of the world’s largest employers of ESL teachers (from western countries) with more than twenty thousand western teachers currently employed – many of which are first time teachers. Lastly, Gone2Korea is a credible company with 10+ years of recruiting experience. We work closely with teachers to ensure their transition goes smoothly and we provide numerous documents, information packs and updates to ensure you’re aware of the country, job, culture and school expectations before your departure and throughout the duration of your contracted term. We’re here to help and we do our best to make sure your overall experience is memorable.