It is no secret within the TEFL world that South Korea is one of the most popular countries for foreign teachers due to the huge number of jobs available every year and the higher than average salaries offered by schools who need to fill their vacant positions. Working conditions are generally very good and the facilities and infrastructure throughout this modern and high-tech nation are as good as any in the region. Crime rates are very low by western standards and the excellent public transport network means that teachers are able to explore all parts of this fascinating country, culture, and people whenever they have time away from the classroom.
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The actual figure you will see on your monthly payslip will depend on several things including the type of school you work in, your level of teaching experience, and what relevant qualifications you have to your name. The typical average monthly salaries are as follows:
- First time teachers = 1.8 to 2.0 million KRW ($1,600 to $1,800 USD)
- Experienced teachers = 2.0 to 2.7 million KRW ($1,800 to $2,400 USD)
- First time teachers = 2.0 to 2.1 million KRW ($1,800 to $1,900 USD)
- Experienced teachers = 2.1 to 3.0 million KRW ($1,900 to $2,700 USD)
As well as a good salary, the majority of teachers who sign a contract with a public or private school in South Korea can expect to receive a generous benefit package. This package will vary from job to job, but it may include paid airfares in and out of the country, plus private accommodation in the form of a furnished apartment in a good neighborhood. Access to the national healthcare system is provided to all teachers and an extra month's pay is typically offered to any teacher who sees out the terms of their contract. Paid holidays are usually three weeks in public schools and two weeks in private schools. All teaching jobs also include around 18 national holidays per year.
Another great benefit of teaching English in South Korea is that the local cost of living is considerably lower than in many western countries. With high wages and low outgoings, most teachers in this part of Asia can reasonably expect to save a decent slice of their earnings each month. Although the exact figure will depend on your lifestyle, the average percentage saved by foreign teachers in South Korea is as much as 50%. If you manage somewhere around this figure you should be able to save between $800 and $1,200 per month.