No matter if you’re looking for a job in Korea or your home country, of course you want to find the highest paying job you can get. And although teaching English in Korea is not bad money — even for entry-level teaching — there are very high paying teaching jobs in Korea that can be found if you know where to look. Most of the major chains will not be willing to pay you good money, but a select few boutique hagwons will be able to pay your bills, weekend trips to Tokyo and that soju addiction you picked up.
Where Can I Find These Jobs
Easy… follow the money! For Seoul, where are all the rich kids? Gangnam. And for Gangnam, you want to go to Daechi-dong, the mecca of hagwons. There you will find boutique academies such as Chase Academy, Peai, and Hoyah Academy offering some of the highest paying jobs in Korea. Where else can you find these jobs? Apgujeong, Cheongdam, Samseong and Bundang are also some other areas you can go to earn this type of cash.
Tip 1: There are a plethora of these high-paying academies, but most do not advertise on the internet. There are a limited number of positions available, and many teachers get in the door through friends.
Tip 2: These are not your typical conversation schools. See “What’s the Work Like?” below.
How Much Money Can I Make?
Entry-level teaching jobs in Korea typically start around 2.1 Million won for approximately 8 hours a day. If you’re already working one of these entry-level jobs, you might not be so happy to know that you can make nearly double that for less time! There are numerous academies in Korea that offer close to 4 Million won a month, some for as less as 6 hours of work a day. Those are of course the cushiest of jobs (most places will have a normal 8–10 hour work day). If you don’t care about your freedom and are just hoping to make the most money possible, the highest paying jobs in Korea can offer upwards of 10 Million won a month (did anyone else hear a “WTF?!”). (Teachers at Hackers Education Group are known to make more than 10 Million won a month for long/hard work hours).
On top of that, some of these top-tier hagwons offer raises based on performance and contract renewal. If you stay long enough and work hard enough, management positions can start at 6 Million won a month (that comes with more work of course).
Benefits (or lack thereof)
The high pay does come at a price. You’ll most likely have to say goodbye to the free flight, health insurance, severance pay and free housing — all common benefits for most teaching jobs in Korea. But with nearly double the pay, you can pay for your own flight every year, get checkups every few months, pay for your own place, and still save more money than working at good ol’ YBM.
Tip: Depending on the school you apply to and how bad they want you (or how nice they are), you may be able to negotiate a plane ticket and/or key money for housing. They obviously have the money, it’s just not usually part of the deal.
What Are the Requirements?
The most basic requirement for any academy in Korea also applies here: a Bachelors degree from a 4-year accredited university. For some of these top-tier academies, that’s about all you really need. Teaching experience obviously helps, but there are some teachers that are hired with no prior teaching experience (rare, but it does happen).
Requirements really depend on the academy you’re applying to. Some require bi-lingual ability, others require a few years teaching experience. It’s all up to the individual schools to decide on their requisites.
Tip 1: Although many of these high paying academies do offer E-2 visa sponsorships, it seems the preference is to hire people with their own working visas for Korea.
Tip 2: Many of the high-paying academies in Korea value experience teaching debate classes.
What’s the Work Like?
Be prepared to work weekends. It’s typically part of the deal. Some places even require work on national holidays (but theres usually a fair trade off for vacation days). And if they’re paying you the big bucks, you’re going to actually have to work. That means that no more cruising through ABC’s like a hung-over zombie. You’re going to have to actually teach! Many of the students are highly motivated to learn, but it can be easier because the classes are usually all in English. It’s a lot of actual work, but rest assured, you will be compensated handsomely!
Check out our friends at koreajobfinder.com to find a job in Korea!
Do you know any specific academies that offer high pay? Leave a comment down in the comment 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