Teach English In South Korea

South Korea is one of the largest ESL job markets. A modern, high-tech economy combined with breathtaking palaces and landscapes, South Korea is an ideal choice for TEFL Certified teachers.

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Recommended TEFL Certification to
Teach English In South Korea

What to Know about
Teaching English in South Korea

Employment Requirements

  • Education

    A minimum university bachelor degree is required to teach English in South Korea.

  • TEFL Certification

    TEFL Certification is required. A minimum of 120-hour TEFL certification is recommended.

  • Citizenship Requirements

    Citizens of a recognized English-speaking country: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa

Contract Hours and Terms

  • Types of Jobs

    Mainly language schools and public schools. Some university job opportunities are available to candidates with higher qualifications and experience.

  • Teaching Hours

    25-30 teaching hours and lesson preparation time

  • Vacation

    Public holidays plus paid vacation. Language schools typically offer 2 weeks of paid vacation while public schools typically provide 4 weeks of paid vacation

  • Contract Period

    12 months

Income and Living Costs

  • Salary

    $1700 - $2200 per month

  • Low Tax Rate

    Taxes for ESL teachers are between 3.5% - 7%. Additionally, ESL teachers (except Canadian and Irish nationals) can qualify for a tax exemption for the first two years of employment.

  • Living Costs

    $700 - 1000 per month

  • Savings Potential

    $1000 - 1500 per month

  • Startup Cost

    $1000 - 2000

  • Housing

    Most employers provide paid or subsidized housing

  • Airfare

    Paid roundtrip or one-way airfare

  • Health Insurance

    All schools in South Korea must cover 50% of the foreign staff's medical plan. The cost of coverage for the teacher is about 1.5% - 2.5% of one's salary

  • Pension Plan

    US and Canadian citizens can claim a 100% pension refund (including the employer's contribution) from the national pension plan at the end of the contract period. Pension contribution is about 4.5% of one's salary, matched by the employer.

Getting Hired

  • Best Time to Apply


  • Hiring Process

    1-2 interviews by phone or Skype, followed by job offer and contract if successful (typically one month)

  • Visas

    To teach English in South Korea legally, employers must sponsor their foreign teachers' E2 work visa.

Popular Cities to Teach English In South Korea

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