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It is easy to get started as a teacher in Korea, but there are a few important steps before you can begin…

Here is a list of the qualifications you must meet to teach in Korea:

  • Native Speaker of English. You must be a citizen of one of following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.
  • Bachelors Degree in any field. You must hold a standard 3 or 4 year Degree from any college.

  • Criminal Record Check. To work legally as an English teacher in Korea, you must be free of any criminal record.
  • Health Conditions. Applicants should be both mentally and physically healthy. Upon arrival in Korea, all new employees must undergo a physical checkup, which includes both drug and AIDS testing. 
  • Ability to relocate to Korea is essential. This one is pretty self-explanatory, don’t you think?
  • Be friendly and willing to learn. Personality and attitude are major factors for consideration and success in this job. An ideal candidate should be flexible, patient, friendly, and have a sense of adventure. Most of all, have a belief in lifelong learning.

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Here are some of the responsibilities you’ll have when you teach in Korea:

  • General English teaching, including the four basic skills of teaching: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • Preparing lesson plans, assign and correct homework, grading and evaluating students. 

  • Assisting the development of educational programs and materials.
  • Participating in staff meetings and training[/minti_listitem]

  • Assisting with activities related to English language education and other extracurricular activities.

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Our partner schools provide attractive benefits.

  • Period of Employment.
    One Year Contract/ 12 month, E-2 visa.
    Though the visa expires after one year, it is renewable upon agreement between the school and the teacher. Schools offer classes year-round, with some short breaks . Once hired, you may enter during a school session or during vacation/break. Usually teachers are given some time for orientation.
  • Salary. From two million one thousand won to two million five hundred thousand won per month (2,100,000 Won – 2,500,000 Won). To find the current exchange rate click here

  • Criminal Record Check. To work legally as an English teacher in Korea, you must be free of any criminal record.
  • Income Tax. Income tax and retirement taxes will be deducted from the salary according to Korean tax laws (Currently 3-6% graduated depending on salary). During your residence in Korea, you will not be responsible for U.S. or Canadian income taxes. 
  • Overtime PayAll teaching hours, in excess of the hours agreed upon in your contract, are considered overtime. The overtime pay will range from 17,000 to 20,000 Won per teaching hour. Attendance at scheduled staff meetings and workshops cannot be considered overtime
  • Severance Pay. The Employer will pay a severance payment of one-month’s salary to the teacher after the completion of the contract.
  • Airfare. A one-way economy class ticket to Korea will be provided so that the new teacher can travel to Korea without incurring the expense of airfare.
  • Schedule.
    Monday through Friday. Approximately 25 to 30 teaching hours per week.
    Teachers are expected to spend some time at the school preparing for classes or assisting in other non-teaching activities.  For Kindergarten through younger elementary your daily schedule will most likely be between 9 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. For the elementary and Junior high programs, your daily schedule will most likely be either between 1 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
  • Class Size. 8-12 students per class. You will have your own classroom.
  • Housing. The School will provide furnished living accommodations. In most cases this will be a single occupant studio apartment. Shared housing can be arranged for friends or couples who want to work and live together. Furnishings provided by the Employer include; comforter, pillow, television, bed, kitchen table, chairs, two-burner gas hot plate, refrigerator, wardrobe, telephone, air-conditioner and washing machine. Check out our blog for more in-depth info.
  • Medical Insurance. The teacher will be covered by medical benefits under the Korean Insurance Union— 50% paid by the employer and 50% by the teacher. Monthly payments will be deducted from the teacher’s salary. The current rate is  2.4% of the teacher’s monthly salary.
  • National Pension Plan. This is a retirement plan for all full time employees in Korea. The teacher contributes 4.5% of his or her salary into the plan and the employer contributes an amount equal to 4.5 % of the teacher’s salary into the plan.  Since there is an agreement between Korea and North America (including Canada and the U.S.) teachers will be able to withdraw all the money from their pension plans when they leave Korea.
  • Vacation & Holidays. Two weeks of paid vacation per year plus Korean national holidays are provided for teachers. There are normally 16 national holidays per year.
  • Financial Benefits. Because it all depends on one’s lifestyle, we do not promise any exact amount teachers may save. However, through reasonable spending, most of our teachers are able to save from one half to one third of their salaries. Also, after successful completion of the contract, teachers receive one month extra salary and reimbursement from the national pension plan. Combining the end of contract bonuses with the savings from throughout the year, teachers are usually able to save between 13,000,000 won and 17,000,000 won.

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Teacher Tech will assist each applicant in the visa process step by step. Based on where you are, the detailed information will vary and we will assist each applicant with detailed information each step.

In order to teach English in Korea each teacher needs an E2 work visa.

In order to get an E2 work visa applicants must summit the documents listed below.

  • A valid passport
  • For U.S. Citizen; FBI Criminal background check
  • For Canadian Citizen: RCMP Criminal Background Check
  • A copy of diploma or an official letter from the school to prove completion of graduation of BA/BS degree
  • A Medical Form
  • 6 passport photos

Overall visa process

  • Prepare necessary visa documents
  • Send out necessary documents to the school that you have contracted with.
  • The school will sponsor your work visa in Korea with the immigration office in Korea. After a week or two the school will have your “Visa Issuance Number”.
  • With your Visa Issuance Number, you will apply to one of the Korean consulates in Canada or the U.S., either by mail or in person.

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It is not easy to pack for a year trip. Here are some tips you may want to consider before packing.

Money: Until you get your first month’s pay check, you will need some money for basic expenses. We usually recommend at least 500 USD. Whether it is U.S. dollars or Canadian dollars, you can usually exchange your money in any local bank in Korea. However, it may be wise to exchange some money at the airport.  You can also bring your Master or Visa credit card. Most businesses in Korea accept these credit cards.

Certificate of residency from your country: U.S. citizens need to bring certification of residency to qualify for exemption from income taxation.

Laptop. A power converter : If you have a laptop, bringing it to Korea will make it easier to keep in contact with your family and friends at home.  If your laptop is less than 15 years old, you don’t need a power converter in Korea, even though Korean outlets use a higher voltage than North America. Laptops are designed for traveling and should therefore be adaptable to any power voltage, but make sure to get the right transformer code for 220V. (To make sure you may want to check this with your local computer store.)

Power Converter. If you decide to bring any electric appliances from home, you will need to purchase a power converter in Korea. However, when you consider the cost of a converter (between 50 and 75 USD) and the trouble of carrying appliances in your luggage, it may be easier to simply buy the small appliances you need in Korea.

Deodorant. It is hard to find any kind of deodorant so you may need to pack a year’s supply.

Clothing. It is not easy to find clothing or shoes in larger sizes. (Women: over B cup brassiere size or shoe sizes over 8.)(Men: waist size 38 or larger or shoe sizes over 11.)

First aid kit. You should pack small first aid kit with all the basic medicines.

Arrival and Settling

At the airport in Korea

Most of the schools either arrange for staff members to pick up teachers at the airport, or an employee of a shuttle service will meet the teacher upon arrival. If the school is too far from the international airport, applicants will need to take a limousine bus (which is an airport bus) to the school area.  The school’s staff member would then meet the teacher.

Teacher Tech, Inc. will give detailed directions prior to the time of the teacher’s departure.


Teachers arriving during a weekend will have time to rest from the trip. However, those arriving on a weekday will need to attend training the day after arrival. The school will help teachers to familiarize themselves with the school’s textbooks, materials, and overall teaching methodology. All new hires will observe another teacher’s class during the training period.

Medical Check

All new teachers need to complete a medical test at the designated hospital close to the school. The staff member or teacher from the school will help teachers through this test.

Alien Registration Card

Once a medical test has been completed, the school will help the new teacher with getting an Alien Registration Card.

Medical Insurance Card

Once a teacher has gotten an Alien Registration Card, the school will begin the process of getting a medical insurance card. This can takes about 3-4 weeks, so for teachers concerned about this one month without medical insurance, purchase of traveler’s insurance is recommended.

Korea has a socialized medical system. Click here for more information.

Opening a Bank Account

The school will assist teachers in opening a bank account at the school’s bank of choice. Opening an account at the bank the school uses, will allow the school to deposit the teacher’s monthly salary automatically every month. Each teacher will also receive a debit card so he or she can withdraw money from a local ATM machine.

Applying for multiple-entry/re-entry visa

Those planning to make trips outside Korea during the contract period will need to get a multiple entry or a single entry visa at the immigration office to re enter Korea. Americans can get multiple entry visas at the time they get the E-2 visa.  Please make sure to get multiple-entry visa, if you have plans to go abroad.

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To Get a TESOL or Not to Get a TESOL?

A TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certificate is not always necessary and there are expensive programs that purposely make candidates feel that they need one. These programs can charge a LOT of money.

If you are interested in a TESOL certification, we can recommend reasonable programs and guide you to find the right program based on your qualifications.


Check out this video from one of our partner schools…

teacher tech teach english in south korea ebook

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Tips on Working in Korea from our Teachers…