Do you want to work in Korea but don’t speak Korean perfectly just yet? Find out what your options are for jobs in Korea! We have teaching jobs in Korea as well as non-teaching jobs in Korea along with visa sponsorship information as well. Read on to see how you can come and work in Korea!
This post is for those looking for jobs in Korea, but whose Korean isn’t perfect (yet ;)). Of course, you’ll need a proper visa if you want to work in Korea. But lucky for you, we’ve included that information in the post too. Now like us on facebook
Popular job sites in Korea (English): craigslist.co.kr, worknplay.co.kr, daveseslcafe.com, Koreajobfinder.com, hiexpat.com.
Popular job sites in Korea (Korean): saramin.co.kr, jobkorea.co.kr, incruit.com.
The majority of teaching jobs for foreigners in Korea are English teaching jobs. Many Korean people feel that they need to learn English to gain a step over the competition. So even if people don’t want to learn English, many Koreans feel like that have to learn English. And for kids, whether they love or hate learning English, pretty much every Korean kid is sent to an English hagwon (academy) at some point in their life. All of that equals many teaching jobs in Korea. Typical benefits include free housing, paid round-trip airfare, insurance, year end bonus (1 month’s salary). Also, you can dance like a money in a classroom and be loved by little Korean kids.
Basic requirements: native-English speaker, 4 year degree from a university in an “English-speaking” country (Asian English-speaking countries such as Singapore or India typically don’t apply :(), non-criminal background, etc. Entry level jobs usually don’t require any job experience.
Don’t forget to check out Seoulistic’s post on the highest paying (English) teaching jobs in Korea!
There are of course students that learn languages other than English, but generally, the money and the benefits are not as good as teaching English in Korea. The most popular languages to learn in Korea other than English are Chinese and Japanese. But European languages such as French, Spanish, Italian and German also have a presence here in Korea. These jobs are available but are not as easy to find as English-teaching jobs in Korea. It may be hard to find a place that will offer visa sponsorship, but at least they’re a bit more relaxed with the requirements :P.
Basic requirements: native-speaker (not always a requirement), university degree (not always)
Tutoring is one of the best ways to make good money in Korea. It’s usually higher pay then just working at a hagwon (학원/academy), and the hours are more flexible. Tutoring subjects range from language to test prep. But the problem is that tutoring jobs in Korea are hard to find! You can try registering on Korean tutoring sites, but they’re not so easy for most non-Koreans to navigate. So Seoulistic.com suggests getting tutoring jobs how Koreans get tutoring jobs: by knowing lots and lots of people! Meeting as many Korean people as you can will lead to tutoring job opportunities. Make Korean friends, join a knitting club (with Korean people), join a biker gang or just chat it up with your janitor. They all know someone who wants to learn English or is studying for a test. Putting yourself out there will make sure you’re the person everyone thinks of when they’re looking for private tutoring lessons!
Tip 1: No visas issued (Boo! :(). But most are cash jobs (Yay! :)).
Tip 2: Depending on the subject, tutoring rates can start from 25,000 won an hour to even a 100,000 won an hour or more!
Maybe education isn’t your thing. If you’re one of those ultra good looking people that everyone had a crush on in high school, why not give modeling/acting in Korea a try! If you’re sexy enough, talent agencies in Korea will offer visas for the right candidate. But even if you just want part-time work, you can usually find a few one day gigs on craigslist.co.kr, or worknplay.co.kr. Most of these jobs don’t require Korean ability, so you’ll get paid for just sitting there and looking pretty. But if you’re not the next Brangelina, don’t worry; there are also acting and modeling jobs for the average foreigner too. There are some castings for just general “foreigners.” In addition to acting and modeling jobs in Korea, there are also radio or television jobs in Korea that don’t require being on air (i.e. writers for shows, etc.). There is more part-time work than full-time, so it’s perfect for supplemental income.
Tip: Work experience or mega good looks will usually get you a visa sponsorship. But no experience is usually ok for part-time gigs.
Even if you don’t like coming out on camera, you can take your acting talents behind the mic. Voice acting jobs in Korea include English language material, voices for GPS (“turn left here!”), reading maketing copy for TV or radio, reading shopping mall announcements, and tons of other opportunities. The more experience you have in voice acting (and of course, the more awesome your voice), the better paying jobs you can get. But even for those with no experience at all, many of these jobs simply look for native speakers of other languages. Not all voice acting jobs are advertised on the internet, so if you have a demo tape (or can make one), try going by foot to these studios to sell your services. There are plenty of part-time opportunities advertised on the internet at decent rates, but visa sponsored jobs are extremely rare. These are great for supplemental income, not so great for main income. Be sure to have your own job!
If you’re not a teacher, but pretty good with words, there are a number of editing jobs in Korea (mostly for English). Many of these jobs can be found with agencies that will look stupid if they have super Konglish (Korean-style English – e.g. “Now, Happy Sunny Smile Day with Us!”) on their work. Most of the work is to make sure the company or agency doesn’t look stupid. The pay is comparable to teaching English in Korea, and there are many opportunities for full-time, visa-sponsored work. Most of these will be advertised on the internet, but are of course not as numerous as teaching jobs. Don’t forget to constantly check Korean job sites to apply as soon as possible. Oh yea, and be good at English too
Tip: There are editing jobs for languages other than English, but not common.
The English-teaching industry in Korea is so big that there are non-teaching jobs in Korea for education companies. The very same companies that offer English teaching jobs in Korea will also offer non-teaching jobs in Korea, including human resources, trainers, content development & research jobs. These jobs usually have to do with teaching English but will not require you to be in front of a classroom teaching kids that’ll run circles around you. You’ll most likely be the ones making the English language textbooks or hiring/training other teachers. Full-time work with occasional visa sponsorship.
Maybe you want to go the corporate route. If you do, and don’t speak much Korean, there are still some marketing job opportunities in Korea (usually full-time work with visa sponsorships). Many of these will still greatly prefer Korean speakers to make inter-company communication easier, but it is not a must. Experience is also usually the same (preferred, but not always a requirement). Because these companies sometimes have to market to non-Koreans, they’ll need someone with a non-Korean mindset. So be ready to sell your own peeps some Korean stuff. If you’re good with social networking, job opportunities will also increase as well. All those 4 AM facebook sessions weren’t a waste after all!
If you’re uber talented and have specialized skills, you might be able to score a few jobs in Korea. Usually this is with IT jobs (programming, engineering), but if you’ve got the goods, you don’t have to speak too much Korean. Just be sure that you can show them your skills. Visa sponsorship is usually offered for full-time work.
Have you worked any of these jobs in Korea? Tell us your experiences in the comments section!
Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started seoulistic.com as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea. Personal Blog: gyopokeith.com Facebook: facebook.com/gyopokeithkim Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeith e-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at] gmail.com