Teaching English in Korea

Everything you need to know about teaching English in the land of the morning calm.

So you’ve heard about the savings potential and quality of life in Korea? Fantastic! This destination is worth all the buzz as it combines safe, fun, and fascinating cultural and nightlife opportunities in its cities with spectacular natural diversity.

It’s delightful for campers, hikers, foodies, singers, dancers, cherry blossom lovers, swimmers, non-swimmers, nudists, never-nudes, board game enthusiasts, the sober high-on-lifers, and those who wish to bring their own beer to baseball games. In Korea, you will be spoiled for options, not only in teaching positions, but in lifestyle choices: where to travel, what to eat, who to schmooze with, and generally how to keep yourself entertained.

Read on to get some ideas and plan your own Korea year (or two).



Depending on experience, you can earn between $1,500-$2,500 per month.



Live on the cutting edge of fashion and culture in Asia. Life here can be fast-paced, but you’ll never be bored.



Korean is the official language in Korea, but you’ll also find limited English spoken by younger generations.



Looking for four seasons like those at home? Korea might be for you. Snowy in winter, fresh in spring, warm in summer and beautiful in fall.

TEFL Wages in Korea

The decision to teach in a private or public school will depend on your preferences. Wages hold consistent among schools, and at either you can expect to earn $1,800-2,500 per month. The cost of living can still be relatively low, and depending on your habits and lifestyle requirements will only set you back $500-1,500 a month even in the more expensive locations like big city Seoul or paradise island Jeju.

This is largely split into the following rates of pay:

Positions: Wages:
Language schools $1,800-$2,500 USD p/m
Public schools $1,500-$2,300 USD p/m

As a bonus, accommodation and basic living expenses are often paid for by the school, so most of your salary will stay in your pocket. Sometimes, you’ll even find schools paying towards your flights to/from Korea with a bursary in your first month’s pay.

Where to teach English in Korea

Korea is an urbanite’s dream. Its modern and clean first world cities have excellent transport, entertainment, and food on offer around the clock. However, Korea is also home to some incredible natural attractions, with beaches and mountains to explore.

Korea has a huge choice of cities to call home. Here are some of the top picks:

Get your TEFL training online

You’ll learn all the skills needed to teach English in Korea (or elsewhere!)

Food in Korea

While most people think first of the barbeque and Kim Chi, there are literally hundreds of other flavors to discover.

Stories from Korea

Read stories, tips, and guides from real teachers. Check out our latest blog post about teaching in Korea:

My Six Months Teaching in South Korea

“South Korea is something of a mecca for English teaching jobs abroad, especially in Asia. This is because the perks are amazing. First of all, the paycheck you get each month is enormous in comparison to other English teaching jobs. The saving potential is huge and easy.”

Continue reading

6 months teaching in Korea
Korean E-2 visa guide

Korean E-2 visa guide

South Korean visa guide

To teach English in South Korea you will need an E-2 visa. Getting one can be a bit of a headache without the right guidance.

So to help make the move as simple and stress-free as possible, we have a guide which can help you get through the process. From the preparations, to gaining your visa, and then what you’ll need to do after you arrive, we cover it all.

Full guide

English teaching requirements in Korea

Unlike some other destinations, it can be difficult to show up in Korea and find a job within a week or so. It can help to take the time in your home country to do thorough research, find a good agent and school to suit your needs, and begin processes for the E2 year visa before arrival to make the process and settling in smooth.

In Korea, there is no such thing as sidestepping government rules, so no under-the-table pay, and no way to get a visa to work by finding or starting work while in the country. You’re going to need to do things in the proper order. You will be able to tell good recruiters your preferences without feeling pressured so if you do feel pressure, change recruiters. There are plenty.

Non-native teachers: If you don’t have a passport from the UK/US/IRE/CAN/AUS/NZ/SA, you won’t be able to get a fully legal work permit at this moment in time.

Teachers without degrees: Unfortunately, you’ll also need a degree to get a work permit in Korea.

If you don’t meet these requirements, check out our blog for tips on other destinations, or get in touch to find out what other opportunities are available to you.

Start your journey today!

Get your teacher training with our online TEFL qualification course:

You’ll learn all the skills needed to kickstart your teaching career.