How much do TESOL teachers make in Korea?

There is no doubt that South Korea is one of the most popular destinations in the world for teaching English overseas. Each year, many thousands of newly qualified and experienced teachers pour into this part of Asia as the salaries on offer are as good as any in the region and the typical working conditions are very comfortable. On top of this, the economy of South Korea is one of the strongest in Asia, which means that the infrastructure is generally excellent. Crime rates are very low by western standards and there is plenty of scope for exploring and enjoying this friendly and peace loving nation.

What are TESOL salaries in South Korea?

How much you can realistically earn when teaching English in South Korea will vary depending on several factors such as the employer you work for, your teaching qualifications, and your level of previous classroom experience. The typical average monthly salaries are as follows:

Public schools

  • First time teachers = 1.8 to 2.0 million KRW ($1,600 to $1,800 USD)
  • Experienced teachers = 2.0 to 2.7 million KRW ($1,800 to $2,400 USD)

Private schools

  • First time teachers = 2.0 to 2.1 million KRW ($1,800 to $1,900 USD)
  • Experienced teachers = 2.1 to 3.0 million KRW ($1,900 to $2,700 USD)

What other benefits can I expect when teaching English in South Korea?

If you sign a contract to work as an ESL teacher in South Korea you can expect to receive an additional benefit package alongside your salary. Your airfare might well be covered by the employer, either up front or once you arrive on the ground. Most teachers will also have accommodation included, typically in the form of a furnished apartment in a good neighborhood. You will have full access to the national healthcare system, although a small contribution will normally be taken from your wages to cover this. An end-of-contract bonus is also a common part of many job offers and this is usually an extra month's pay. The average job will include three weeks of paid holiday and around 18 other national holidays off per year. If your job is in the private sector, holidays are usually two weeks a year plus all national holidays.

How much can I save while teaching English in South Korea?

When compared to many western countries, and some others in the Asian region, the cost of living in South Korea is relatively low. This great mix of higher than average earnings and lower than average outgoings means that foreign teachers can reasonably expect to save a considerable percentage of their monthly income. Although it obviously varies significantly based on your chosen lifestyle, an average English language teacher in South Korea should be able to put by up to 50% of their salary. This figure adds up to around $800 to $1,200 per month.

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