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How much does Korea pay English teachers?


Korea is a popular destination for English teachers looking to teach abroad. One of the biggest questions that potential teachers have is how much they can expect to earn while teaching in Korea. In this article, we will dive into the details of how much English teachers can expect to earn in Korea.

Overview of Salaries

In general, English teachers in Korea can expect to earn around 2.1-2.5 million won per month ($1,800-$2,200 USD). This amount can vary depending on factors such as experience level, qualifications, and location.

Qualifications and Experience

English teachers with higher qualifications and more experience can often command higher salaries. For example, those with a Master’s degree or teaching certifications may be able to earn more than those without.


Salaries can also vary depending on the location where you are teaching. Teachers in Seoul or other large cities may be able to earn more than those in smaller towns or rural areas.

Type of School

The type of school where you are teaching can also impact your salary. Teachers at public schools may earn less than those at private language academies (known as hagwons), but they may also have more vacation time and benefits.


In addition to salary, many English teachers in Korea receive additional benefits such as housing subsidies, health insurance, and severance pay upon completion of their contract.


English teachers in Korea are typically responsible for paying income taxes, which can range from 3-5% of their salary. Additionally, some schools may deduct social security contributions from your paycheck.

Currency Exchange Rates

It’s important to keep in mind that the value of the Korean won can fluctuate against other currencies, such as the US dollar. This means that the amount you earn in USD may vary depending on exchange rates.

Working Hours

English teachers in Korea typically work around 22-30 hours per week, with additional time spent on lesson planning and other administrative tasks. Some schools may require teachers to work evenings or weekends.

Cost of Living

While salaries for English teachers in Korea may not be as high as in some other countries, it’s important to keep in mind the relatively low cost of living in Korea. This means that teachers may be able to live comfortably on their salary.

Job Market

English teaching is a popular industry in Korea, and there is often high demand for qualified teachers. However, competition for jobs can also be fierce, especially in major cities like Seoul.

Cultural Experience

Teaching English in Korea can be an incredibly rewarding cultural experience. In addition to earning a salary, teachers can immerse themselves in Korean culture, learn the language, and make lifelong friends.


Overall, English teachers in Korea can expect to earn a decent salary with additional benefits and the opportunity for a unique cultural experience. While salaries may not be as high as in some other countries, the low cost of living and other factors make Korea an attractive destination for many English teachers.

Is there a high demand for English teachers in South Korea?

Teaching English overseas is currently a promising opportunity. South Korea is a highly sought-after location for those interested in becoming an English teacher, as there is a high demand for this skill there. As a TEFL teacher in Korea, you can anticipate receiving an excellent salary, various impressive benefits, and a satisfying job where you feel valued.

Is it worth it to teach English in South Korea?

South Korea is known for being one of the top destinations for teaching English overseas. English instructors in Korea receive generous compensation, excellent benefits, and a high standard of living, particularly those who teach with EPIK.

Do English teachers in Korea get free housing?

One of the benefits of teaching in Korea is that schools provide free accommodations. This means that you will either be given a rent-free apartment or receive a monthly housing allowance on top of your salary to cover rent expenses.

How much is rent in Korea?

As of February 2021, the typical monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Seoul, South Korea was approximately 510,000 South Korean won, which had increased from around 480,000 South Korean won in the previous month.

Is it hard to get an English teaching job in Korea?

Whether or not you’re a suitable candidate for the job depends on various factors such as having a criminal record, holding a college degree, and being a native English speaker. If you meet these criteria and are willing to put in the effort, the job is most likely yours. However, for non-native English speakers, the job may be more challenging, but still achievable.

Do English teachers pay tax in Korea?

If you are a teacher working on an E-2 Visa in Korea, you are required to pay Korean taxes, which will be automatically taken out of your monthly paycheck by your employer. However, you still need to file taxes in your home country despite paying Korean taxes.

Visa Requirements

Before you can start teaching English in Korea, you will need to obtain a work visa. The visa application process can take several weeks, and you will need to provide documents such as your passport, diploma, and criminal background check. It’s important to research the specific requirements for your visa type and ensure that you have all necessary documents before applying.

Cultural Differences

While teaching in Korea can be a rewarding experience, it’s also important to be aware of cultural differences. Korean culture may be different from what you are used to, and it’s important to be respectful and adapt to local customs. For example, bowing is a common form of greeting in Korea, and it’s important to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home.

Language Barrier

While many Koreans speak English, there may still be a language barrier when communicating with students or colleagues. It’s a good idea to learn some basic Korean phrases before arriving in Korea, and consider enrolling in a language class once you are there.

Teaching Materials

When teaching English in Korea, you may be provided with textbooks and other teaching materials. However, it’s also important to be creative and develop your own lesson plans and activities to keep students engaged.

Career Development

Teaching English in Korea can also provide opportunities for career development. Some teachers may choose to pursue further education or certifications while in Korea, while others may use their experience to launch careers in other fields such as translation or international business.

Social Life

Teaching English in Korea can also provide opportunities for a vibrant social life. Many English teachers join local expat groups or clubs, which can help them make friends and explore the local culture.


Teaching English in Korea can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. While salaries may vary, the opportunity for a unique cultural experience and career development make it an attractive option for many teachers. By being aware of cultural differences, preparing for the visa application process, and being creative in your teaching approach, you can make the most out of your time teaching in Korea.

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