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What is the average wage in Korea?


The average wage in Korea is a topic of interest for many people, especially those who are planning to work or invest in the country. It is important to know the average wage to understand the standard of living and the cost of doing business in Korea. In this article, we will explore what the average wage in Korea is, factors that affect it, and how it compares to other countries.

What is the Average Wage in Korea?

The average wage in Korea varies depending on a range of factors such as industry, education level, and experience. According to data from 2020, the average monthly wage in Korea was around 2.63 million won (approximately $2,300 USD). However, this figure can vary greatly depending on the sector and region of work.

Factors that Affect the Average Wage in Korea

There are several factors that affect the average wage in Korea. One of the most significant factors is education level, with those who have a higher degree earning more than those with only a high school diploma. Additionally, experience and skill level play a role in determining wages, as well as the industry and region of work.

Industries with High Wages in Korea

Certain industries in Korea have higher wages than others. For example, finance and technology sectors tend to offer higher salaries than service or retail industries. Additionally, jobs in Seoul and other major cities may offer higher wages due to the higher cost of living.

Industries with Low Wages in Korea

Some industries in Korea offer lower wages. For example, jobs in agriculture or manual labor may pay less than jobs in other sectors. Additionally, entry-level positions typically offer lower salaries than higher-level positions.

Minimum Wage in Korea

The minimum wage in Korea is set by the government and is reviewed annually. As of 2021, the minimum wage in Korea is 9,160 won per hour (approximately $8 USD). This rate applies to all workers regardless of their industry or experience level.

Gender Wage Gap in Korea

Like many countries, Korea faces a gender wage gap. On average, women earn around 63% of what men earn. However, efforts are being made to close this gap through policies such as affirmative action and anti-discrimination laws.

Comparison with Other Countries

When compared to other countries, Korea’s average wage is relatively high. For example, the average monthly wage in the United States is around $4,000 USD, while the average monthly wage in China is around $1,000 USD. However, it is important to consider factors such as cost of living when comparing wages across countries.

Wage Trends in Korea

Over the past decade, wages in Korea have been steadily increasing. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy, some industries have seen a decline in wages. Nonetheless, many experts predict that wages will continue to rise over time.

Wage Issues in Korea

Despite the overall positive trend in wage growth, there are still issues that need to be addressed in Korea. One challenge is ensuring that wages keep up with the rising cost of living, particularly in urban areas. Additionally, some workers face issues such as unpaid overtime or lack of job security.


In conclusion, knowing the average wage in Korea is important for understanding the country’s economy and job market. While there are factors that affect wages such as education level and industry type, efforts are being made to close the gender wage gap and ensure fair pay for all workers. As Korea continues to grow and develop, it is likely that wages will continue to increase alongside it.

How much does Korea pay hourly?

The minimum wage in South Korea has increased to 9620 KRW per hour or 1174.329 USD per month as of 2023. The minimum wage for employees ranges from 600 KRW per hour to 8720 KRW per hour.

Is $100 dollars a lot in South Korea?

In my opinion, spending US$100 per day should be sufficient. However, I found that Itaewon, compared to other areas in Seoul, can be pricier and requires some bargaining to get the best prices.

Is cost of living in Korea cheap?

It is a well-known fact that South Korea is a costly country, with its capital city, Seoul, often being ranked amongst the most expensive cities to live in globally. As per the 2022 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Seoul is placed 14th out of 227 cities.

Is Korea cost of living high?

The cost of living in South Korea is fair, not as inexpensive as some Asian countries but not as costly as Japan or Singapore. Typically, the highest expenses can be found in the capital city of Seoul.

How much is rent in Korea?

As of February 2021, the average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartments in Seoul, South Korea was approximately 510,000 South Korean won, an increase from the previous month’s average of about 480,000 South Korean won. The data is accurate as of February 28, 2023.

How much does a house cost in South Korea?

As of January 2023, the average cost of buying a house in Seoul, South Korea was roughly 912 million South Korean won. Apartments had an average cost of approximately 1.27 billion South Korean won, whereas detached and row houses were priced at roughly 962.7 million and 347 million South Korean won, respectively. These figures were recorded on January 30th, 2023.

Another issue that needs to be addressed in Korea’s wage system is the prevalence of temporary and contract workers. Many employers in Korea hire workers on a temporary or contract basis, which often results in lower wages and limited job security. This has been a topic of debate in recent years, with calls for stronger protections for temporary and contract workers.

Furthermore, the Korean government has implemented policies to encourage companies to increase their employees’ wages. For example, they have introduced tax incentives for companies that raise their employees’ salaries and penalties for those who do not. The government has also increased the minimum wage annually to ensure that workers are paid a fair wage.

It is worth noting that Korea’s high average wage is largely due to the country’s highly skilled workforce and technological advancements. In recent years, Korea has become a leader in industries such as information technology, electronics, and automotive manufacturing. These industries offer highly specialized jobs that require advanced skills and qualifications, which naturally results in higher wages.

In conclusion, while the average wage in Korea may vary depending on various factors, it is still relatively high compared to many other countries. However, there are issues such as the gender wage gap and the prevalence of temporary workers that need to be addressed. With continued efforts from both the government and employers, it is hoped that these issues will be resolved, leading to fairer wages for all workers.

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