Teaching English in South Korea

Answering the FAQs related to Teaching English in South Korea

The academic industry in South Korea has lucrative opportunities for ESL teachers. If you want to enjoy excellent salary packages, a fulfilling job, and great benefits, read this post. The answers below narrate how to secure a job as an ESL educator in South Korea.

Q1. What Are the Key Requirements to Teach English in South Korea?

If you want to become an English teacher in the country, you need the following requirements:

  • A full-proof teaching experience
  • Must be a citizen of the US, the UK, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, or India 
  • The copy of your TEFL/TESOL certificate (a minimum of 120 hours of class time)
  • A photocopy of your teaching certificate or license
  • A bachelor’s degree in any relevant subject (master’s degree if you want to teach at a university)
  • Candidates should be below 62 years 

Teaching English in the country’s public schools falls under the EPIK program (English Program In Korea). Korean Ministry of Education sponsors this program. After accepting the program, the candidate can enter a South Korean public school.

Q2. Can You Teach English in a Hagwon with Zero Experience?

Yes, a hagwon is a for-profit private academic school in South Korea. It is distinct from the country’s public school system and represents most English teaching jobs.

Since teaching jobs are mostly available in hagwons, securing a job becomes more straightforward at this type of school than in public schools. 

If you have zero experience, teaching in hagwons requires you to possess a BS/BA degree from an accredited university or college. You also need citizenship from a native English-speaking nation and 120+ hours of TEFL certifications. Other requirements to qualify for teaching in Hagwon are:

  • A clean national-level criminal background screening 
  • A health check & drug test

Aspirants who want to advance their educational career abroad can get TEFL certification. This certification opens doors of opportunities for them to secure an ESL teaching job in South Korea.

Q3. What Type of ESL Jobs Can You Pursue in South Korea?

Here’s a rundown of the teaching jobs that are appropriate for you in South Korea:

  • SMOE Job 

SMOE refers to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. It is a coveted teaching program as aspirants get job opportunities in the capital city. Established in 2005, this program focuses on having a native English speaker in each public school.

  • EPIK Teaching

EPIK is the English Program in Korea. The Korean government sponsors it, and this program places teachers in public schools throughout South Korea. 

  • GEPIK Jobs 

Gyeonggi-do school division’s English teaching program offers jobs in Seoul’s satellite cities. 

  • Other ESL Career Opportunities

The ESL market has lucrative job opportunities in hagwons (private language schools), universities, tutoring business enthusiasts, and offering adults one-on-one classes.

Q4. Which Type of Schools Can You Pursue a Teaching Career in South Korea?

If you want to enjoy the premium level of support from South Korea’s ESL teaching sector, there are these options:

  • Public schools

Note that teaching English in public schools in Korea falls under the EPIK program. EPIK refers to the English Program in Korea sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education. If the program accepts an aspirant’s application, they first get placed in public K-12 settings.

  • Private schools

Korean scholars go to public schools and then attend private schools to pursue education in the evening or afternoon. So, private schools or Hagwons offer them the right solution. The private language academies offer after-school classes for teens and children. Besides, the evening and morning classes are for adults.

  • Korean Universities

Although they are available, these positions are difficult to secure as it requires holding a master’s degree.

Q5. Are You Eligible to Teach in South Korea If You Have Tattoos and Piercings?

Yes, you can still become an ESL teacher in South Korea if you have piercings and tattoos. However, you must cover them when you are inside the classroom. One must also remove the piercings during working hours.

Q6. Is TEFL or TESOL Compulsory to Secure an ESL Teaching Career in South Korea?

Prospective educators in the country would require a TEFL or TESOL certificate. 

This certification offers valuable cultural sensitivity training for communicating with students and colleagues in South Korea. With a TEFL certificate, you can teach abroad as it instills valuable professional proficiencies.

A minimum of 120 hours is mandatory for teachers from different countries. But having more than 160 hours of experience offers an edge to your job application. 

Q7. How Much Can You Earn As an English Teacher in the Country?

The salary of an ESL teacher in the country depends on the educational level, teaching experience, and TEFL qualification. With a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, you can earn $1800 per month. Other perks include free/sponsored accommodation, bonuses, flight tickets to and from the home country, and travel allowances.

Hopefully, now you can plan things strategically after reading the FAQ. Get acquainted with international certification from a registered organization.