English Teaching jobs in South Korea

English Teaching Jobs in South Korea: A Comprehensive Guide (2023 – 2024)

South Korea has become a global hub for English language education, attracting thousands of foreign English teachers every year. The demand for Teaching English in South Korea is ever-increasing due to the country’s strong emphasis on globalization and the importance of English in the global job market. If you are considering a career in English teaching in South Korea, this comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable insights into the job market, requirements, and the experience of teaching English in this vibrant East Asian nation.

The Growing Demand for English Teachers

South Korea’s enthusiasm for English education can be traced back to the early 1990s when the government initiated the “English Fever” campaign to promote English proficiency. Since then, the demand for English teachers has steadily grown. South Korean parents recognize that English is a crucial skill for their children’s future success, and they invest heavily in private English education, creating a robust market for English teaching jobs.

Types of English Teaching Jobs

  • Public Schools: South Korea offers various public school programs, including the EPIK (English Program in Korea) and SMOE (Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education) programs. These programs hire native English speakers as English teachers to work in public schools throughout the country. Typically, public school positions provide stable working hours, paid vacation, and benefits such as health insurance and housing. (JOB POSITION IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER)
  • Hagwons (Private Language Institutes): Hagwons are private language academies that offer supplementary English education to students of all ages. They are prevalent throughout South Korea and often hire English teachers to work in the evenings and weekends. While hagwons can offer competitive salaries, the work hours may be less predictable than in public schools. (TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES AT “I CAN READ” IN CHINA)
  • Universities and Colleges: For those with advanced degrees and teaching experience, teaching positions at universities and colleges are an option. These positions are highly competitive but often offer attractive compensation packages and a more academic environment. (REQUIRE NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER FOR UNIVERSITIES)
  • Corporate Language Programs: Some companies in South Korea hire English teachers to provide in-house English training for their employees. These positions usually require a more business-oriented approach to teaching.


Qualifications and Requirements

To secure an English teaching job in South Korea, there are certain qualifications and requirements you must meet:
(Check comprehensive details: MANDATORY DOCUMENTS)

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A minimum requirement for an E-2 visa, which is necessary for teaching English in South Korea, is a bachelor’s degree in any field. However, having a degree in education or English-related fields may make you a more competitive candidate.
  • TEFL/TESOL Certification: While not always mandatory, possessing a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification can significantly enhance your job prospects and salary potential.
  • Criminal Background Check: You must provide a clean criminal background check from your home country as part of the visa application process.
  • Native English Speaker: English teaching positions in South Korea generally require that you are a native English speaker.
  • Health Check: You will need to undergo a medical examination in your home country or upon arrival in South Korea to obtain a health certificate.


The Application Process for Teaching English in South Korea

  1. Job Search: Start by researching job openings through various job boards, recruitment agencies, and websites dedicated to English teaching in South Korea. Be sure to read job descriptions carefully to find the right fit for your qualifications and preferences.
  2. Application Documents: Prepare your application documents, including your resume, a cover letter, a copy of your diploma, TEFL/TESOL certificate (if applicable), and a recent passport-sized photo.
  3. Interview: If your application is successful, you will likely have a Skype or phone interview with a potential employer. Be prepared to discuss your teaching philosophy and experience.
  4. Visa Application: Once you have accepted a job offer, your employer will guide you through the visa application process, which includes submitting your documents to the nearest South Korean embassy or consulate.
  5. Arrival in South Korea: After obtaining your visa, you will arrive in South Korea and complete an orientation program, which may include training and cultural orientation.

Working Conditions and Benefits

Teaching English in South Korea offers several benefits, including:

  • Competitive Salary: English teachers in South Korea can earn a comfortable salary, which often includes housing or a housing allowance.
  • Paid Vacation: Many contracts include paid vacation time, usually around 10 to 15 days per year, in addition to national holidays.
  • Health Insurance: Employers are required to provide health insurance, covering a significant portion of medical expenses.
  • Housing: Some employers provide housing or a housing allowance, while others offer assistance in finding suitable accommodation.
  • Airfare Reimbursement: Many contracts include a one-way or round-trip airfare reimbursement.
  • Cultural Experience: Teaching in South Korea provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Korean culture, learn the language, and explore the country’s rich history and traditions.

(Check all opening teaching positions: Teach in Korea)


Challenges and Considerations

While teaching English in South Korea can be a rewarding experience, there are challenges and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Cultural Adjustment: Adapting to a new culture and language can be challenging, and it may take time to feel comfortable in your new environment.
  • Workload: Depending on your employer, the workload and teaching hours can vary significantly. Some hagwons may require evening and weekend classes.
  • Limited Job Security: Hagwons, in particular, can be subject to abrupt closures or changes in management, which can affect job stability.
  • Language Barrier: While teaching English, you may encounter language barriers, both in the classroom and in daily life, as not all Koreans are fluent in English.
  • Isolation: Living in a foreign country can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, so it’s important to seek out social opportunities and connect with other expats.


Jobs you make like:

English as a Second Language Jobs:
While teaching English in South Korea, you are essentially providing English as a second language instruction to Korean students.

English Speaking Jobs in Korea: Your role as an English teacher in Korea involves facilitating English speaking and communication skills among your students.

Teach in Korean: While your primary language of instruction will be English, learning some basic Korean phrases can enhance your teaching experience and communication with locals.

English Teacher Jobs in Korea: These positions are in high demand and offer opportunities for native English speakers to teach in Korean schools.

Korean Teacher Jobs: While you may be teaching English, you may also have opportunities to learn from Korean teachers and immerse yourself in the local culture.

High Salary Jobs in South Korea: English teaching jobs in South Korea often come with competitive salaries, making it a viable option for those seeking high-paying opportunities abroad.

English Teaching Job in South Korea: These jobs are at the heart of the English education system in South Korea and provide a platform for teachers to make a meaningful impact on students’ language skills.


Teaching English in South Korea offers a unique opportunity to experience a vibrant culture while advancing your career. With the growing demand for English education and a range of job options, it’s an attractive destination for aspiring English teachers. By meeting the necessary qualifications and considering the challenges, you can embark on a rewarding journey to help

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