Average ESL Teacher Salary in South Korea for 2023

In this article, we will look at the average ESL Teacher salary for 2023 in South Korea and how that compares to other countries and professions. We'll also look at interesting salary data points like median salary, 25th and 75th percentile salaries, salary amounts based on experience, bonus ranges and more!

The data in this article has been compiled using official government salary data, salary surveys, and other sources such as job postings which contain salary information.

All salary information is in the local currency, which is the South Korean won. To keep things simple, we are using the KRW currency code instead of the currency symbol โ‚ฉ.

How Much Does an ESL Teacher Make in South Korea?

An ESL Teacher working in South Korea will typically earn around 40,321,500 KRW per year, and this can range from the lowest average salary of about 18,598,500 KRW to the highest average salary of 64,079,200 KRW.

Average Annual Salary
40,321,500 KRW
Average Monthly Salary
3,360,125 KRW

Lowest Annual Salary
18,598,500 KRW
Lowest Monthly Salary
1,549,875 KRW

Highest Annual Salary
64,079,200 KRW
Highest Monthly Salary
5,339,933 KRW

These are average salaries for an ESL Teacher in South Korea and include benefits such as housing and transport. It's also possible for an ESL Teacher to earn more or less than the average salaries shown above.

ESL Teacher salaries will vary a lot based on your experience, location, skills, and gender. Keep reading below to research more data on each of these areas.

Distribution of ESL Teacher Salaries in South Korea

So we've looked at the average salaries an ESL Teacher will earn in South Korea. The next interesting data point is the distribution of salaries.

Salary ranges

We already know that an ESL Teacher can earn between 18,598,500 KRW and 64,079,200 KRW on average in South Korea. This is known as the range in statistics.

The difference between the maximum and minimum values is a good indicator of variability in salaries, and can be used by employers to figure out how much they can expect to pay, and for employees to know how much they can earn.

Median salary

The median salary for an ESL Teacher in South Korea is 43,559,400 KRW. This is the middle value in the distribution of salaries.

What this means is that approximately 50% of the population earn less than 43,559,400 KRW, and 50% of the population earn more than 43,559,400 KRW.

If you are earning more than the median salary, that's a good indicator that you are being paid well.

If you're not earning more than the median salary, your objective should be to increase your earnings to be at least as high as the median salary (which you can do by asking for a pay rise, looking for a better paying job, etc).


Percentiles are similar to the median salary, but instead of looking at the middle value, they look at the values in the top and bottom half of the distribution.

For the average ESL Teacher salary in South Korea, 25% of the population are earning less than 27,960,400 KRW while 75% of the population earn more than 27,960,400 KRW.

75% of the population earn less than 58,079,300 KRW, and 25% of the population earn more than 58,079,300 KRW.

Like the median salary, the 25th and 75th percentile salaries can be used to determine which quartile you fall into so that you know whether you are being paid well enough compared to others in your profession and location.

The difference between a median and an average salary

The median and average salary are both indicators you can use to see if you are being paid fairly based on the overall population.

  • If your salary is higher than the average and the median salary, you are earning well compared to others.
  • If your salary is lower than the average and the median salary, it could indicate you are not being paid well enough.
  • If you are somewhere in between then it's tricky to determine if you are being paid well enough and you might need to research more closely.

ESL Teacher Salary by Experience Level in South Korea

The most important factor in determining your salary after the specific profession is the number of years experience you have. It stands to reason that more years of experience will result in a higher wage.

We have researched the average esl teacher salary based on years of experience to give you an idea of how the average changes once you've worked for a certain amount of time.

  • 0 - 2 Years Experience. An ESL Teacher in South Korea that has less than two years of experience can expect to earn somewhere in the region of 20,999,200 KRW.
  • 2 - 5 Years Experience. With two to five years of experience the average ESL Teacher salary would increase to 28,078,900 KRW.
  • 5 - 10 Years Experience. From five to ten years of experience as an ESL Teacher, the average salary would be 41,520,800 KRW.
  • 10 - 15 Years Experience. Once you have more than ten years of experience the average salary reaches around 50,639,500 KRW.
  • 15 - 20 Years Experience. An ESL Teacher with 15 to 20 years of experience can earn an average of 55,201,700 KRW.
  • 20+ Years Experience. For an ESL Teacher with more than 20 years, the expected average salary increases to 59,758,700 KRW.

Average Salary by Experience Chart

0-2 Years
20,999,200 KRW
2-5 Years +34%
28,078,900 KRW
5-10 Years +48%
41,520,800 KRW
10-15 Years +22%
50,639,500 KRW
15-20 Years +9%
55,201,700 KRW
20+ Years +8%
59,758,700 KRW

ESL Teacher Salary by Education Level in South Korea

As well as experience in a job, your education plays a big role in how much you can earn. A lot of higher paying positions require a high level of education, but how much can a degree increase your salary?

In our research we have compared the salaries of employees in the same job and career level with different levels of education to see how much more you can earn at each education level.

The salary you can earn based on your education is very specific to both your location and the career path you choose.

In our research, we looked at the average salary for an ESL Teacher in South Korea based on the education level of the employees in order to find out whether a better education level would increase your salary.

  • Bachelor's Degree. An ESL Teacher in South Korea with a bachelor's degree education can earn an average salary of 24,478,500 KRW.

  • Master's Degree. An ESL Teacher in South Korea with a master's degree education can earn an average salary of 47,280,300 KRW.

Average Salary by Education Chart

Bachelor's Degree
24,478,500 KRW
Master's Degree +93%
47,280,300 KRW

How Much is a Master's Degree or MBA Program?

The approximate cost of a master's degree or post-graduate program like an MBA in South Korea is around 19,400,000 to 58,300,000 KRW and takes two years to complete.

As you can see above, there are financial benefits from reaching master's degree level, but don't expect to see much of a salary increase until you have completed the degree.

It's common for people to pursue an MBA or other post-graduate program in order to switch to a a job that pays more. On average, you can expect to earn around 10% more when switching to a new company.

Whether you decide to pursue a master's degree depends on many factors. If you are able to afford it, the numbers suggest that the return on investment is worth it and you could recover the costs in a few years from the salary increase you would receive.

ESL Teacher Salary Compared by Gender

In the modern age, we know that there should never be a pay gap between men and women. Unfortunately, in many professions, there is still a significant difference between the salaries earned by men when compared to the salary of women in the same job.

In South Korea, a male esl teacher will earn an average of 41,878,100 KRW, while a female esl teacher will earn around 38,760,100 KRW.

This means that a male esl teacher earns approximately 8% more than a female esl teacher for performing the same job.

Average Salary by Gender Chart in South Korea

41,878,100 KRW
Female -8%
38,760,100 KRW

ESL Teacher Average Pay Raise in South Korea

In many countries, an annual pay raise is often given to employees to reward their service with a salary increase.

From our research, we can see that the average pay raise for an ESL Teacher in South Korea is around 11% every 17 months.

The national average pay raise across all professions and industries in South Korea is around 9% every 16 months.

In this case, we can see that the number of months between the average pay raise is higher than the typical 12 months.

To make the data more meaningful, we can calculate what the approximate annual pay raise would be using a simple formula:

Annual Increase = ( Increase Rate ÷ Months ) × 12

So for this example, it would be:

Annual Increase = ( 11 ÷ 17 ) × 12  = 8%

What this means is that an ESL Teacher in South Korea can expect to receive an average pay raise of around 8% every 12 months.

Annual Pay Raise by Industry in South Korea for 2023

In the chart below, you can see the average annual pay raise percentages for each of the major industries in South Korea.

You will see that companies in bigger and more lucrative industries tend to have the higher annual pay raises.

Information Technology

ESL Teacher Bonus and Incentive Rates in South Korea

Another part of your overall compensation in a job is how much bonus you receive. Some job roles will be more likely to pay a bonus than others and also more likely to have higher bonus rates.

Generally speaking, jobs that are more involved with direct revenue generation will receive higher bonuses based on the performance towards revenue goals.

An ESL Teacher is a low bonus based job, with 34% of employees reporting at least one bonus in the last 12 months.

66% reported that they had not received any bonuses in the previous 12 months.

For the employees that did receive a bonus in the previous 12 months, the reported bonuses ranged from 0% to 4%.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

What are the Types of Bonus?

There are a number of difference types of bonus you can receive in a job. Including:

  • Individual performance bonus - This is a bonus that is awarded to an individual employee for general performance in the job. It's the most common type of bonus.
  • Company performance bonus - This is a bonus that is awarded to a company employees to share profit with the staff.
  • Goal based bonus - This is a bonus that is awarded to an individual employee (or a team) for achieving specific goals, objectives, or milestones.
  • Holiday bonus - This type of bonus is usually paid around the holidays, often the end of the year, and is a token of appreciation for the hard work throughout the year.

Government vs Private Sector Salaries

Another commonly asked question is whether you get paid a higher salary working in the public (government) sector or the private sector.

Public sector employees in South Korea earn approximately 6% more than private sector employees in the same role.

Public Sector
47,880,300 KRW
Private Sector -6%
45,239,100 KRW

Salaries for Jobs Similar to an ESL Teacher

In the table below, we have salary information for jobs that are similar to an ESL Teacher in South Korea.

Job Title Category Salary
Academic Advisor Teaching / Education 52,201,800 KRW
Academic Assistant Teaching / Education 38,158,300 KRW
Academic Coach Teaching / Education 48,961,500 KRW
Academic Librarian Teaching / Education 34,799,800 KRW
Academic Manager Teaching / Education 58,798,900 KRW
Academic Specialist Teaching / Education 44,998,200 KRW
Academic Staff Teaching / Education 39,481,900 KRW
Accompanist Teaching / Education 41,399,600 KRW
Achievement Coach Teaching / Education 52,558,300 KRW
Admissions Specialist Teaching / Education 45,478,500 KRW
Agricultural Sciences Teacher Teaching / Education 38,158,300 KRW
Anthropology Teacher Teaching / Education 41,158,900 KRW
Arabic Language Teacher Teaching / Education 38,039,000 KRW
Archeology Teacher Teaching / Education 39,960,800 KRW
Architecture Teacher Teaching / Education 44,161,600 KRW
Archivist Teaching / Education 32,879,500 KRW
Art Teacher Teaching / Education 35,398,900 KRW
Assistant School Principal Teaching / Education 51,119,900 KRW
Assistant Teacher Teaching / Education 33,961,700 KRW
Biochemistry Professor Teaching / Education 73,440,100 KRW
Biology Teacher Teaching / Education 40,559,300 KRW
Bursary Scheme Manager Teaching / Education 48,480,700 KRW
Business Teacher Teaching / Education 40,439,700 KRW
Careers Advisor Teaching / Education 50,281,100 KRW
Careers Consultant Teaching / Education 50,398,300 KRW
Chemistry Teacher Teaching / Education 39,358,400 KRW
Child Care Coordinator Teaching / Education 41,040,700 KRW
Child Care Worker Teaching / Education 33,599,200 KRW
Childcare Worker Teaching / Education 32,280,500 KRW
Classroom Assistant Teaching / Education 30,841,400 KRW
Clinical School Psychologist Teaching / Education 60,720,600 KRW
College Aide Teaching / Education 50,519,600 KRW
College and Career Readiness Specialist Teaching / Education 54,239,900 KRW
College Dean Teaching / Education 90,358,800 KRW
College President Teaching / Education 88,921,600 KRW
Communications Teacher Teaching / Education 39,119,300 KRW
Community Education Officer Teaching / Education 33,961,700 KRW
Computer Science Teacher Teaching / Education 37,800,500 KRW
Computer Teacher Teaching / Education 36,960,300 KRW
Creative Writing Trainer Teaching / Education 48,239,000 KRW
Credit Counselor Teaching / Education 50,158,700 KRW
Cultural Studies Teacher Teaching / Education 38,641,600 KRW
Curriculum Coordinator Teaching / Education 48,841,700 KRW
Curriculum Developer Teaching / Education 52,078,500 KRW
Curriculum Specialist Teaching / Education 51,841,000 KRW
Dean of Faculty Teaching / Education 89,999,900 KRW
Demonstrator Teaching / Education 34,561,900 KRW
Deputy Controller of Examinations Teaching / Education 46,680,900 KRW
Director of Learning Technology Teaching / Education 53,398,300 KRW
Distance Learning Coordinator Teaching / Education 45,478,500 KRW
Economics Lecturer Teaching / Education 67,920,100 KRW
Economics Teacher Teaching / Education 40,079,600 KRW
Education Administrator Teaching / Education 46,438,700 KRW
Education Assistant Teaching / Education 36,480,500 KRW
Education Assistant Director Teaching / Education 50,398,300 KRW
Education Assistant Librarian Teaching / Education 31,320,700 KRW
Education Assistant Principal Teaching / Education 44,878,500 KRW
Education Assistant Professor Teaching / Education 57,598,800 KRW
Education Associate Teaching / Education 37,561,000 KRW
Education Consultant Teaching / Education 49,198,300 KRW
Education Consultant Teaching / Education 56,280,700 KRW
Education Coordinator Teaching / Education 43,680,700 KRW
Education Counselor Teaching / Education 48,721,100 KRW
Education Director Teaching / Education 67,558,400 KRW
Education Program Specialist Teaching / Education 49,919,200 KRW
Education Researcher Teaching / Education 57,118,900 KRW
Education Resource Specialist Teaching / Education 44,040,700 KRW
Education Services Facilitator Teaching / Education 47,158,400 KRW
Educational Psychologist Teaching / Education 64,560,300 KRW
EFL Teacher Teaching / Education 39,481,900 KRW
eLearning Trainer Teaching / Education 37,681,400 KRW
Elementary School Teacher Teaching / Education 33,599,200 KRW
Engineering Lecturer Teaching / Education 66,359,800 KRW
Engineering Teacher Teaching / Education 56,401,100 KRW
English Teacher Teaching / Education 37,800,500 KRW
Faculty Assistant Teaching / Education 50,878,500 KRW
Foreign Language Teacher Teaching / Education 35,758,400 KRW
GED Teacher Teaching / Education 34,441,600 KRW
Geography Teacher Teaching / Education 37,561,000 KRW
Head of Mathematics Department Teaching / Education 56,401,100 KRW
Head of School Teaching / Education 65,519,800 KRW
High School Teacher Teaching / Education 44,519,300 KRW
History Teacher Teaching / Education 41,040,700 KRW
Infant Teacher Teaching / Education 29,641,500 KRW
Instructional Assistant Teaching / Education 40,199,100 KRW
Instructor Teaching / Education 46,560,900 KRW
Kindergarten Teacher Teaching / Education 32,398,700 KRW
Language Instructor For Expatriate Teaching / Education 33,599,200 KRW
Law Teacher Teaching / Education 58,441,700 KRW
Learning Designer Teaching / Education 46,080,100 KRW
Lecturer Teaching / Education 66,720,300 KRW
Librarian Teaching / Education 33,599,200 KRW
Library Assistant Teaching / Education 27,001,700 KRW
Library Director Teaching / Education 45,478,500 KRW
Library Specialist Teaching / Education 34,198,600 KRW
Library Technician Teaching / Education 30,479,000 KRW
Life Sciences Teacher Teaching / Education 40,439,700 KRW
Math Lecturer Teaching / Education 73,198,300 KRW
Math Teacher Teaching / Education 44,161,600 KRW
Mathematics Teacher Teaching / Education 46,438,700 KRW
Mentor Teaching / Education 45,361,500 KRW
Middle School Teacher Teaching / Education 41,399,600 KRW
Music Teacher Teaching / Education 36,960,300 KRW
Nursery Manager Teaching / Education 60,720,600 KRW
Nursery Worker Teaching / Education 25,440,400 KRW
Paraprofessional Teaching / Education 56,641,700 KRW
Physical Education Specialist Teaching / Education 43,680,700 KRW
Physical Education Teacher Teaching / Education 34,919,600 KRW
Physics Teacher Teaching / Education 42,601,100 KRW
Political Science Teacher Teaching / Education 39,960,800 KRW
Post Doctoral Researcher Teaching / Education 61,919,600 KRW
Preschool Education Administrator Teaching / Education 44,040,700 KRW
Preschool Teacher Teaching / Education 31,919,300 KRW
Primary School Teacher Teaching / Education 34,319,800 KRW
Principal Teaching / Education 58,919,600 KRW
Product Specialist Teaching / Education 44,998,200 KRW
Professor - Accounting Teaching / Education 74,399,600 KRW
Professor - Architecture Teaching / Education 76,678,200 KRW
Professor - Biology Teaching / Education 68,158,300 KRW
Professor - Business Administration Teaching / Education 67,321,200 KRW
Professor - Chemical Engineering Teaching / Education 74,879,200 KRW
Professor - Chemistry Teaching / Education 74,639,200 KRW
Professor - Civil Engineering Teaching / Education 70,199,400 KRW
Professor - Communication Teaching / Education 70,560,500 KRW
Professor - Computer Science Teaching / Education 75,360,300 KRW
Professor - Dentistry Teaching / Education 71,999,700 KRW
Professor - Drama Teaching / Education 67,200,800 KRW
Professor - Economics Teaching / Education 73,558,300 KRW
Professor - Education Teaching / Education 73,319,100 KRW
Professor - Electrical Engineering Teaching / Education 77,399,200 KRW
Professor - English Teaching / Education 71,039,200 KRW
Professor - Environmental Engineering Teaching / Education 77,041,100 KRW
Professor - Foreign Languages Teaching / Education 65,519,800 KRW
Professor - Geological Sciences Teaching / Education 68,760,500 KRW
Professor - History Teaching / Education 70,438,600 KRW
Professor - Industrial Engineering Teaching / Education 70,801,500 KRW
Professor - Law Teaching / Education 77,881,500 KRW
Professor - Legal Support Teaching / Education 70,318,900 KRW
Professor - Liberal Arts Teaching / Education 74,399,600 KRW
Professor - Marketing Teaching / Education 74,879,200 KRW
Professor - Mathematics Teaching / Education 74,518,900 KRW
Professor - Mechanical Engineering Teaching / Education 73,920,200 KRW
Professor - Medical Administration Teaching / Education 75,598,300 KRW
Professor - Medicine Teaching / Education 86,278,600 KRW
Professor - Music Teaching / Education 66,841,000 KRW
Professor - Nursing Teaching / Education 69,599,200 KRW
Professor - Pharmaceutical Sciences Teaching / Education 74,279,700 KRW
Professor - Philosophy Teaching / Education 68,639,200 KRW
Professor - Physical Therapy Teaching / Education 73,198,300 KRW
Professor - Physics Teaching / Education 76,560,700 KRW
Professor - Psychology Teaching / Education 70,560,500 KRW
Professor - Rehabilitation Teaching / Education 66,720,300 KRW
Professor - Social Work Teaching / Education 66,359,800 KRW
Professor - Sociology Teaching / Education 73,440,100 KRW
Professor - Special Education Teaching / Education 68,518,700 KRW
Psychology Teacher Teaching / Education 57,359,300 KRW
Public Management Assistant Professor Teaching / Education 60,720,600 KRW
School Counselor Teaching / Education 55,801,900 KRW
Science Educator Teaching / Education 39,840,400 KRW
Science Laboratory Assistant Teaching / Education 34,679,400 KRW
Science Teacher Teaching / Education 39,358,400 KRW
Secondary Mathematics Teacher Teaching / Education 42,239,100 KRW
Secondary School Teacher Teaching / Education 37,078,800 KRW
Special Education Teacher Teaching / Education 40,439,700 KRW
Special Needs Assistant Teaching / Education 33,360,800 KRW
Statistics Lecturer Teaching / Education 69,119,600 KRW
Student Accounts Coordinator Teaching / Education 38,878,700 KRW
Student Development Specialist Teaching / Education 45,361,500 KRW
Student Employment Specialist Teaching / Education 43,559,400 KRW
Student Services Teaching / Education 36,121,000 KRW
Student Services Coordinator Teaching / Education 36,960,300 KRW
Student Support Manager Teaching / Education 49,919,200 KRW
Substitute Teacher Teaching / Education 34,078,800 KRW
Teacher Teaching / Education 36,841,600 KRW
Teacher Aide Teaching / Education 31,678,800 KRW
Teacher Trainer Teaching / Education 45,839,700 KRW
Teaching Assistant Teaching / Education 30,240,200 KRW
TEFL Teacher Teaching / Education 42,119,100 KRW
Training and Development Specialist Teaching / Education 53,521,300 KRW
Training Coordinator Teaching / Education 34,319,800 KRW
Tutor Teaching / Education 40,321,500 KRW
University Teacher Teaching / Education 70,318,900 KRW
Vocational Education Teacher Teaching / Education 40,199,100 KRW

Salary Comparison by City

If you want to compare salaries with different cities in South Korea, you can use the links below to explore the data for each specific city we have researched.

City Average Salary
Bucheon 36,001,200 KRW
Busan 45,361,500 KRW
Daegu 40,799,600 KRW
Daejeon 40,799,600 KRW
Goyang 36,960,300 KRW
Gwangju 40,679,700 KRW
Incheon 45,239,100 KRW
Seongnam 38,641,600 KRW
Seoul 45,361,500 KRW
Suweon 40,559,300 KRW
Ulsan 41,040,700 KRW

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