One popular route for teaching English in South Korea is to join a government-sponsored English teaching programme. If you’re looking for job security, paid holidays, and fewer teaching hours, a job teaching at a South Korean public school might be the right choice for you.
You’ll teach English alongside a South Korean co-teacher, coordinating classroom instruction times and creating lesson plans together. For any new TEFL teachers, this can be a great way to ease into teaching without the pressure of managing a class on your own.
The hiring times are around six months before starting dates, which are usually at the beginning of March and September. You can expect your salary to start at ₩1.6 million to ₩3.2 million ($1,350 to $2,700) which will give you a comfortable lifestyle in most places in the country.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, take a look at our recommended English teaching programmes in South Korea below.
English Programme in Korea (EPIK)
The EPIK programme, or Government (Public) School English Teaching Programs in Korea, is affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education. The programme aims to improve the English-speaking abilities of both Korean students and teachers.
As a teacher, you’ll sign a one-year teaching contract (52 weeks) in a Korean public school once you complete the programme. While the EPIK programme is the largest employer for English teachers in South Korea, they won’t place teachers in Seoul or Gyeonggi provinces.
To qualify for the EPIK programme, you must meet the following requirements.
- Citizenship: Be a citizen from one of the Big 7 English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, or South Africa.
- Education Level: Have a bachelor’s degree from a university located in one of the countries mentioned above. If your degree is not education-focused, the programme will require that you have a 100-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited provider.
- Non-Native Speakers: If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof that your education from junior high (or 7th grade) onwards was conducted in English.
- Health: You must be under the age of 62 and in good physical and mental health.
- Background Check: You need to have a clean criminal background check.
With the EPIK programme, you’ll have furnished housing, roundtrip airfare, 18 paid vacation leaves per year, and a paid 9-day orientation once you arrive. You’ll earn an average salary of ₩2.0 million to ₩2.2 million ($1,800 to $2,000) on top of allowances. Beyond that, you’ll also have a monthly bonus if you’re assigned to a rural area or multiple schools.