Korea is one of the top countries for teaching English abroad. Korea is a very clean and advanced country with great transportation, technology and quality of life. There are thousands of teaching jobs available in all parts of Korea. Koreans, despite being taught English grammar in elementary school, often lack English conversation ability. This has created a huge demand for native English speaking teachers. Young Korean adults are often highly motivated to learn English because many are required to take the TOEIC exam to apply for jobs.
It is necessary to have a university degree to teach English in Korea and a TESOL or TEFL certificate is also highly advantageous. Teaching in Korea requires an E-2 type of visa that would allow you to work as a teacher in any type of school, public or private. An E-1 type of visa is required to work in a Korean University. Work visas in Korea are tied to the sponsoring company or school, which means that teachers are locked into one employer and can not look for other work. Regardless of your working conditions you are stuck unless you leave the country. Unscrupulous employers have been known to take advantage of teachers, so do your research and make sure you are going to work for a reputable company.
The typical salary of a teacher in Korea is between 1.9 – 2.3 million won per month (US$1900-$2300) with many employers paying for airfare, accommodation, and a portion of medical insurance expenses. Most English conversation schools will have you teaching 25 to 30 hours per week. It is also common to get a month’s severance pay after completing a year’s contract. This one month bonus is mandated by the Korean government, however some employers have found ways to avoid paying. Make sure you discuss this with your potential employer in advance. It is your responsibility to find the best remuneration so do your homework.
Average salaries are second only to Japan, but with lower living costs and provided accommodation, you can probably save more money than a typical teaching job in Japan. Korea is a beautiful country, with friendly people and great food. Korea should definitely be at the top of your list for countries to teach English in.
TEFL English teaching job listings in Korea
Detailed living costs for teaching English in Korea.
Information on visa requirements to teach English in Korea.