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Working Conditions
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Working Conditions

All standard contracts in Korea will contain provisions for the conditions detailed below. If you have any questions regarding any of these conditions, please feel free to contact us

1. Contract length : One year (12 months). Contracts are renewable if agreed upon by both the teacher and the school.

2. Working hours : Standard contracts call for 22-30 hours per week, averaging 100-120 hours per month from Monday to Friday.

1)Private institute // Monday to Friday, 30 ‘class hours' per week consisting of 40-50 minutes of teaching with a ten minute break in between for a total of 120 classes per month. Any classes over this amount are considered overtime. Preparation and other tasks will not be included in overtime calculations. You will generally be asked to remain at the school for an 8 hour workday

2)Public school // Monday to Friday, 20-22 ‘class hours' per week consisting of 40-45 minutes of teaching. Actual workday runs from about 9:00-5:00, with classes being scheduled throughout the day.

3.  Salary : Salaries normally fall between 2 million and 2.5 million won/month depending on experience and qualifications.
1)Private institute // you can expect a monthly salary between 2,000,000 and 2,800,000 KRW.
2)Public school // The current salary range for public school positions is 1,800,000-2,700,000 Korean Won per month.
This range varies depending on location, teaching hours, and qualifications.

4. Class size : Most class sizes are quite small, usually between 7-30 students.
*1)Public school // . between 20-30students
*2)Private institute // between 5-12students .

5. Paid vacations and holidays :

This varies quite a bit between the private and public systems.

1)The standard for private institutes is 2 weeks per year. Teachers should be aware that this system does not follow ours in that we are free to select when our 2 weeks will be. They are generally taken as two separate weeks (one in summer one in winter) when the school shuts down.

2)Public schools designate 3-5 weeks of vacation (depending on the school board) to generally be taken during January, February, or August. The timing can be negotiated with your principal. Teachers in the public system also usually teach a 1-3 week workshop/camp during the winter and summer recess as well.

*In addition, the teacher will receive off all Korean national holidays, usually between 9-14 days per year.

6. Airfare : The school agrees to purchase a one-way ticket for teachers from the closest international airport in their home country to their location in Korea. After completing the one-year contract, the teacher will be provided a return ticket back to their point of origin or a ticket of similar value so that they can travel elsewhere. In the event that the teacher quits before completing their contract, the teacher agrees to reimburse the employer the cost of the paid airfare..


1) Many private ESL institute(Hakwon) prepay the teacher's airfare to Korea in advance

2)but most public schools will request that the teacher purchase their own airline ticket and then be reimbursed for the airfare upon arrival to Korea. In the event that schools ask teachers to purchase the ticket themselves and be reimbursed upon arrival

7. Student ages : Most schools have a variety of ages. Most have some kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school classes.

8. Housing : Housing is provided free of charge either in a single studio apartment or in shared housing with other teachers. You should specify on your application which type of housing you desire. Shared housing is more common in the big cities (Seoul, Busan) where housing prices are higher. In the case of shared housing, each teacher will have their own bedroom and the living room/kitchen area will be shared. The apartment will be fully furnished for the teacher and furnishings provided include bed, TV, microwave, wardrobe, table and chairs, kitchenware, gas range and washing machine. While the apartment is provided free of charge, the teacher is responsible for utilities (gas, cable) and phone charges.

9. Cost of living : In general about 500,000-700,000 won/month will cover a teacher's entire living expenses for one month including utilities.

10. Overtime : Overtime varies from school to school but usually falls between 18,000-25,000 won per hour ($18-25).

11. Severance Pay : Upon completion of the contract teachers will receive a one month severance bonus (one month extra pay). This one-month bonus, paid in the last month, is standard with all contracts and is legally required from all schools under Korean law. The school is not required to pay this bonus if the teacher terminates their contract prematurely.

12.Tax rates : Income tax rates are extremely low in Korea. For many teachers the rate is around 3%. To check out the amount of income tax you would pay, visit the National Tax Service website in English at:

13. Health insurance : Korean employers are obligated to provide their teachers with health care insurance and most schools choose to go with the National Health Insurance Plan. The cost of the medical insurance will be split 50-50 between the school and the teacher. The amount that the teacher would pay amounts to 2.59% of their monthly salary. This insurance is not effective until your residency in Korea has been provided (when you receive your Alien Registration Card), which is usually around 2-4 weeks after arrival to Korea. It is advised that all teachers buy travel insurance with medical coverage for 30-45 days following arrival in Korea. To get more information about the Health Plan, please visit the National Health Insurance website at:

14. Sick leave : Most contracts do have provisions for 3-4 sick days with a doctor's note. However, it is important that teachers use these sparingly as other teachers will be the recipient of your classes in case you need to miss. Emergency leave of up to one week can normally be provided in the case of serious family emergency.

15. Pension Plan : Teachers pay 4.5% of their monthly salary which is fully matched by the employer who also pays 4.5% (so a total of 9% is stored in the national pension). Paying into this pension is legally required in Korea. The teacher will receive their full pension refund (both their contribution and their employer's contribution) when they leave Korea. This can add up to almost an extra month's pay for the teacher at the end of the year. This full refund only applies to teachers from Canada, the U.S. or Australia. Currently, teachers from other countries are unable to get this refund as their government has no reciprocal agreement with the Korean government. For more information about the National Pension Plan, please visit their homepage in English at: