Read 3968 times

  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 565

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Korealand
Good credentials and expeorience combined with a good personality can keep you employable. 

There is no such thing as absolute job security unless you own your own business.

For foreigners and even permanent residents, you are always disposable unless you have a solid contract or work as a govít employee while protected with certain rights.

Iíll give you an example, I worked at my university for 8 years but am currently employed back in Canada for the federal govít.   My semester schedule is there but I cannot return even if I wanted to since I have my posting orders.  My current contract is 6 years to start.   That was based on my experience in Korea and education level I obtained while in Korea. 

Your job security is your employability, not your contract.   Itís easy to get a contract, itís extremely rare to make a go of it long-term or transition to a professional position back home.   Though everyoneís circumstances are unique to them, remember that your time in Korea can be a career builder or brick wall when you want to change in the future.   


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1062

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Those who say do a good job or get more qualifications.  For what, to make the same and just get by with less and less while the cost of living goes up?  Is it really worth it?  No.


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1062

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be. 


  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 565

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Korealand
Those who say do a good job or get more qualifications.  For what, to make the same and just get by with less and less while the cost of living goes up?  Is it really worth it?  No.

I agree.   This is why Iíve returned home to a career change.

Iím simply saying if you are going to spend some time in Korea, make it worthwhile in the eyes of employers back home. 



I feel like job security continues to go down as new technologies (apps, A.I., and cheaper english teachers from philippines) continues to rise and take over the english market in Korea.   Everytime I watch youtube, I'm constantly bombarded with english tutoring apps and english tutors from the philippines.   I even know many of my students who have stopped using hagwons and started using english tutors from the philippines because it's so cheap. 

A.I. assisted programs will make it so much easier, and even fun for people to learn languages....it starts to make us human teachers feel less and less valuable and important.  There will always be a need for human teachers, but the numbers will be significantly less as access to language learning acquisition will become so much more available, efficient, and cheap.

Maybe it's time to join the masses of people starting youtube channels trying to teach english online and make my own "REAL CLASS" from the REAL *chuckles*




Quote
I feel like job security continues to go down as new technologies (apps, A.I., and cheaper english teachers from philippines) continues to rise and take over the english market in Korea.   Everytime I watch youtube, I'm constantly bombarded with english tutoring apps and english tutors from the philippines.   I even know many of my students who have stopped using hagwons and started using english tutors from the philippines because it's so cheap. 

People were saying the same thing twenty years ago when the internet first took off. Never happened. Or teach yourself DVDs, (going since the 90s) which are basically like learning from youtube. Also there's no guarantee that people from the Philippines, India or other countries with English as a second language are native speaker quality. I frequently test them at IELTS and they often get below a 6. Students who switch to Philippine phone lessons instead of hagwans are probably attending bottom of the barrel hagwans in the first place - ie places it wouldn't be worth working at as a teacher.   


  • leaponover
  • Super Waygook

    • 433

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be.

Two edges to this sword.....what is normal paying 2.1 to 2.3 million ten years ago or doing that now?  People talk about the glory days, but teachers were exceedingly overpaid back then for what they were bringing.  It's kind of the reverse now, but I can guarantee you that every solid applicant is asking for more than that.  Whenever we put a job posting up I get the folks that have been teaching for 10 years and got a master's from some foreign university in something irrelevant and ask for 4 million a month.

This may all sound snarky, but everybody on here knows that at least 80% of us walked into this job not knowing what the tenses were called and having to look up stuff only to find out we've been doing it wrong.  I'm not saying Western teachers don't bring value to the job, it's just limited when it comes to it being educational value for a vast amount of the applicants.


  • NorthStar
  • Super Waygook

    • 252

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be.

Two edges to this sword.....what is normal paying 2.1 to 2.3 million ten years ago or doing that now?  People talk about the glory days, but teachers were exceedingly overpaid back then for what they were bringing.  It's kind of the reverse now, but I can guarantee you that every solid applicant is asking for more than that.  Whenever we put a job posting up I get the folks that have been teaching for 10 years and got a master's from some foreign university in something irrelevant and ask for 4 million a month.

This may all sound snarky, but everybody on here knows that at least 80% of us walked into this job not knowing what the tenses were called and having to look up stuff only to find out we've been doing it wrong.  I'm not saying Western teachers don't bring value to the job, it's just limited when it comes to it being educational value for a vast amount of the applicants.

Fair point(s). Though I would have to add, that while many actually DID/DO try to improve their knowledge regarding their craft, it possibly made things worse.  Once the the TEFL knowledge flowed in the blood, the more folks realized Koreans can be abysmal regarding said craft. 


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3471

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be.

Two edges to this sword.....what is normal paying 2.1 to 2.3 million ten years ago or doing that now?  People talk about the glory days, but teachers were exceedingly overpaid back then for what they were bringing.  It's kind of the reverse now, but I can guarantee you that every solid applicant is asking for more than that.  Whenever we put a job posting up I get the folks that have been teaching for 10 years and got a master's from some foreign university in something irrelevant and ask for 4 million a month.

This may all sound snarky, but everybody on here knows that at least 80% of us walked into this job not knowing what the tenses were called and having to look up stuff only to find out we've been doing it wrong.  I'm not saying Western teachers don't bring value to the job, it's just limited when it comes to it being educational value for a vast amount of the applicants.
"Exceedingly overpaid"?!?

Speak for yourself.

Right, you are!


  • leaponover
  • Super Waygook

    • 433

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be.

Two edges to this sword.....what is normal paying 2.1 to 2.3 million ten years ago or doing that now?  People talk about the glory days, but teachers were exceedingly overpaid back then for what they were bringing.  It's kind of the reverse now, but I can guarantee you that every solid applicant is asking for more than that.  Whenever we put a job posting up I get the folks that have been teaching for 10 years and got a master's from some foreign university in something irrelevant and ask for 4 million a month.

This may all sound snarky, but everybody on here knows that at least 80% of us walked into this job not knowing what the tenses were called and having to look up stuff only to find out we've been doing it wrong.  I'm not saying Western teachers don't bring value to the job, it's just limited when it comes to it being educational value for a vast amount of the applicants.
"Exceedingly overpaid"?!?

Speak for yourself.

Right, you are!

So, everyone brags about how lucrative it was to work here back in the early 2000's and what a cakewalk it was, but  suddenly they were paid their worth?  C'mon now.  Can't have it both ways.  A guy in my town who came here back then said that money went a long way and he definitely felt like he was getting paid a lot of money just because he could speak English.  I've seen that sentiment echoed.  Of course I'm not speaking for everyone, but it's out there and it is what it is.


  • CypherSoul
  • Veteran

    • 137

    • May 02, 2018, 07:51:18 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
    more
If you want to know what job security is, talk to a local (Korean) teacher. Those guys have it made.

Amen to that!

And there is no job security in an English teaching gig. I just wanted a break from life, a chance to live in a different country and learn a new language and to see if I enjoy teaching. But it's not permanent.
Slay My Life! Walk boo boo walk! Cat Walk for me boo boo! This isn't cat walking, this is a hyena walking! Lion walking! Tiger walking! Leopard walking! Enter my Queen!


Quote
So, everyone brags about how lucrative it was to work here back in the early 2000's and what a cakewalk it was, but  suddenly they were paid their worth?  C'mon now.  Can't have it both ways

Their worth was calculated by the numbers of Westerners prepared to work here, which was influenced by the ease of living here, which was much tougher compared to Korea in 2019. 


  • leaponover
  • Super Waygook

    • 433

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be.

Two edges to this sword.....what is normal paying 2.1 to 2.3 million ten years ago or doing that now?  People talk about the glory days, but teachers were exceedingly overpaid back then for what they were bringing.  It's kind of the reverse now, but I can guarantee you that every solid applicant is asking for more than that.  Whenever we put a job posting up I get the folks that have been teaching for 10 years and got a master's from some foreign university in something irrelevant and ask for 4 million a month.

This may all sound snarky, but everybody on here knows that at least 80% of us walked into this job not knowing what the tenses were called and having to look up stuff only to find out we've been doing it wrong.  I'm not saying Western teachers don't bring value to the job, it's just limited when it comes to it being educational value for a vast amount of the applicants.

Fair point(s). Though I would have to add, that while many actually DID/DO try to improve their knowledge regarding their craft, it possibly made things worse.  Once the the TEFL knowledge flowed in the blood, the more folks realized Koreans can be abysmal regarding said craft.

Yes, I'd agree with that.  Especially if they found joy in it and the money was good that's all the more reason. 

As far as the Korean side of it, makes me nauseous that being in a smaller city we can't find good candidates.  We got a phone call just 30 minutes ago where the woman said she wanted to apply for the position.  My wife asked her if she had any experience and the all too familiar sentence came through the phone, "no, I just like English".  Korean's impression of teaching English is so bad that those even with a tiny bit of speaking ability think they can get a job at an English Hagwon and get paid to learn English.    It's annoying.  The good candidates only want to work part-time because they are perpetually studying for a civil service exam.  I can see them answering "I'm a civil service test studying student" when asked what they do for a living.  If only Moms and Dads would kick their kids out of the house here we might have some competent full-time teachers.

Then the other end of the spectrum we get a candidate in her late twenties that has been teaching since she graduated university and just quit a countryside hagwon where she was teaching 9 hours a day and getting 3 hours of sleep a night.  Our hagwon is nothing like that, we only have max 5 hours teaching because we want teachers to have well prepared material for their class.  Her salary demand, 3.6 million.   I'm so desperate if it was just me I might have said okay, but my wife just couldn't rationalize paying her money that a teacher who has been teaching for 20 years would be making.


Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be.

Two edges to this sword.....what is normal paying 2.1 to 2.3 million ten years ago or doing that now?  People talk about the glory days, but teachers were exceedingly overpaid back then for what they were bringing.  It's kind of the reverse now, but I can guarantee you that every solid applicant is asking for more than that.  Whenever we put a job posting up I get the folks that have been teaching for 10 years and got a master's from some foreign university in something irrelevant and ask for 4 million a month.

This may all sound snarky, but everybody on here knows that at least 80% of us walked into this job not knowing what the tenses were called and having to look up stuff only to find out we've been doing it wrong.  I'm not saying Western teachers don't bring value to the job, it's just limited when it comes to it being educational value for a vast amount of the applicants.

Fair point(s). Though I would have to add, that while many actually DID/DO try to improve their knowledge regarding their craft, it possibly made things worse.  Once the the TEFL knowledge flowed in the blood, the more folks realized Koreans can be abysmal regarding said craft.

Yes, I'd agree with that.  Especially if they found joy in it and the money was good that's all the more reason. 

As far as the Korean side of it, makes me nauseous that being in a smaller city we can't find good candidates.  We got a phone call just 30 minutes ago where the woman said she wanted to apply for the position.  My wife asked her if she had any experience and the all too familiar sentence came through the phone, "no, I just like English".  Korean's impression of teaching English is so bad that those even with a tiny bit of speaking ability think they can get a job at an English Hagwon and get paid to learn English.    It's annoying.  The good candidates only want to work part-time because they are perpetually studying for a civil service exam.  I can see them answering "I'm a civil service test studying student" when asked what they do for a living.  If only Moms and Dads would kick their kids out of the house here we might have some competent full-time teachers.

Then the other end of the spectrum we get a candidate in her late twenties that has been teaching since she graduated university and just quit a countryside hagwon where she was teaching 9 hours a day and getting 3 hours of sleep a night.  Our hagwon is nothing like that, we only have max 5 hours teaching because we want teachers to have well prepared material for their class.  Her salary demand, 3.6 million.   I'm so desperate if it was just me I might have said okay, but my wife just couldn't rationalize paying her money that a teacher who has been teaching for 20 years would be making.

I imagine that hagwans in the sticks have it hard recruiting anyone from abroad. Westerners either go through EPIK to get fewer hours and better security or they go the hagwan route to get the location they want. You might get teachers quoting a big salary because they don't really want to work there but still would if the salary was attractive enough. 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 07:07:19 pm by eggieguffer »


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3471

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Being in demand is a form of job security. I think if you're teaching English in Korea, you can be pretty sure that you could still teach English in Korea 10 years from now. Beyond that, however, there's not much security. There's no guarantee that you'll have a job a year from now as positions generally go from contract to contract. The pay is stagnant and often includes or is tied to housing, which means that changing your job means you have to move with no idea of where you'll be living, or potentially negotiate with your employer to take over a housing contract tied to your previous employer.

I think teaching is a great job and I know many great teachers here, even people without formal qualifications related to education. I just don't think it's a great bet in Korea, anymore. If you're in your early 20s or just here for a couple of years at any age, disregard this. If you like teaching and enjoy the flexibility it offers (flexibility is different from security), by all means continue. If you're trying to save money or possibly start a family, I don't think a typical teacher's salary on an E2 is a great option.

Working full-time at the minimum wage now yields a monthly salary of 1.7 million KRW. Many places can beat this, like working full-time at a Nike store, which pays about 2.1 million a month plus benefits like money for gym memberships, holiday and performance bonuses, as well as paying your share of your pension payments.

That doesn't mean anyone working for 2.1 or 2.2 is a failure or a loser, but like many other industries back home, ELT in Korea just isn't paying that well despite requiring a university degree, additional certifications and reams of paperwork. When you consider the likelihood of a position to get cut or eliminated, or just to be not that good in the first place, I think it's certainly worth considering other options in Korea or overseas.

That's the problem right there.  Ten years ago, minimum wage here was 880,000 a month or so 10 years ago, when many hakwans were paying 2.1 to 2.3 with return flight.  It's why you want to punch some of these idiot newbies in the face for accepting still low offers and keeping the wages low for everyone.  Though I think there is plenty of low wage work here.  The Great Recession had disastrous effects on Korea's ESL industry.  It killed the golden era.  If you came here 10 to 20 years ago, you could roll in the money.  I heard about Korea by word of mouth.  Folks came back to the Maritimes (cause it's the poorest part of North America) and said, go to Korea - you can make a lot of money.  It sure isn't that way anymore.  But it's the fault of foreigners for caving in 2019 for the lowball offers. 

Korea is only now recovering from the disaster the last recession had.  Some wages are slowly increasing if you search a lot of Facebook ads.  If everyone would stand firm and refuse to collectively take jobs below a certain wage, it would go up.  It is starting to now as the US economy is finally doing well in some places and folks realize it is worth more there than here now.  Also, many senior teachers have been exiting to China and other places more recently.  It is still good for me.  But it won't be for much longer.  The sharp spike in the minimum wage is fueling a lot of inflation.

Eh, as a hagwon owner I can say most successful, teaching driven hagwons are prepared to pay for someone with advanced experience in teaching.  Our hagwon certainly does.  But to think that wages will just go up based on cost of living to hire the next child that just graduated university and wants to "figure their life out" by teaching in Korea....nah, they aren't going to get any more money. 

My attitude has always been, this is an EFL teaching job and we need teachers who are able to do that.  We are willing to pay for those who actually have training or experience to teach, but those candidates aren't usually that easy to find because A) you have to wade through all the "poli sci I want to teach English now" candidates and B) they are already being taken care of by their current hagwon because they recognize their contribution and reward them as such.

That's my two cents anyway.

You can run your business anyway you want.  But the reality is hakwans paid 2.1 to 2.3 million a month 12 or so years ago.  Now many still pay that and only do one way flight with the cost of living being much much more.  It use to be kids came over here to pay off their debts.  Must not be necessary anymore, I guess.  Kids still come over and accept it unless they are genuinely ignorant and think it is good money like it use to be.

Two edges to this sword.....what is normal paying 2.1 to 2.3 million ten years ago or doing that now?  People talk about the glory days, but teachers were exceedingly overpaid back then for what they were bringing.  It's kind of the reverse now, but I can guarantee you that every solid applicant is asking for more than that.  Whenever we put a job posting up I get the folks that have been teaching for 10 years and got a master's from some foreign university in something irrelevant and ask for 4 million a month.

This may all sound snarky, but everybody on here knows that at least 80% of us walked into this job not knowing what the tenses were called and having to look up stuff only to find out we've been doing it wrong.  I'm not saying Western teachers don't bring value to the job, it's just limited when it comes to it being educational value for a vast amount of the applicants.
"Exceedingly overpaid"?!?

Speak for yourself.

Right, you are!

So, everyone brags about how lucrative it was to work here back in the early 2000's and what a cakewalk it was, but  suddenly they were paid their worth?  C'mon now.  Can't have it both ways.  A guy in my town who came here back then said that money went a long way and he definitely felt like he was getting paid a lot of money just because he could speak English.  I've seen that sentiment echoed.  Of course I'm not speaking for everyone, but it's out there and it is what it is.
I don't think "everyone" considered it a "cakewalk." I never did and most I worked with didn't.

I think you're projecting. For example, you write that you've seen sentiment echoed. It's tough to see sound.


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1269

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
When I was a student way back in high school, I thought "job security" was a horrendous idea baked up by unions or incredibly drab or insecure people.

In university there was a mature student in one of my Philosophy classes (he was enthralled with Wittgenstein's Tractatus) who was working for a railroad company and hated his job but was going to keep doing it for 13 more years to get a killer pension. I pitied him. In fact, it helped motivate me to apply for a one-year volunteer position in Botswana (a gap-year infrastructure development project).

Now, here I am, joyfully looking forward to each Monday of teaching 4 to 12 students. There is no expectation of pay raises or cushy retirement schemes. I have been teaching here in hagwons and what do I have to show for it? Er,.. strange question. I have no kids or bank account to show you or someone else. I do have tons of memories and a Groundhog Day satisfaction of eternal recurrence, as Nietzsche would put it.

I love my "job". I have several "hobbies". Heck, the only real work in my life is cleaning my apartment.

In short, job security is a label that never stuck with me.

Now excuse me, the weekend is beginning and I won't dedicate another minute to this until Monday. Have a good one!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 08:45:48 pm by VanIslander »


  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 565

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Korealand
VanIslander sounds like the grasshopper in the timeless cautionary tale...

https://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/grasshopper/mstory.htm


VanIslander sounds like the grasshopper in the timeless cautionary tale...

https://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/grasshopper/mstory.htm

He's probably in his twenties. Cut him some slack. He'll hopefully grow up to be more cautious and conscious of the future. It's no joke having absolutely nothing to fall back on when disaster strikes (which, inevitably, it does in some form or another).


VanIslander sounds like the grasshopper in the timeless cautionary tale...

https://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/grasshopper/mstory.htm

Fun fact, a couple years ago I was at Seoul Station and on the giant TV there there was an ad for apartments featuring this guy giving the thumbs up non-threatening foreigner seal of approval. Living the dream!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN0nyt8kP3g

Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.



As far as the Korean side of it, makes me nauseous that being in a smaller city we can't find good candidates.  We got a phone call just 30 minutes ago where the woman said she wanted to apply for the position.  My wife asked her if she had any experience and the all too familiar sentence came through the phone, "no, I just like English".  Korean's impression of teaching English is so bad that those even with a tiny bit of speaking ability think they can get a job at an English Hagwon and get paid to learn English.    It's annoying.  The good candidates only want to work part-time because they are perpetually studying for a civil service exam.  I can see them answering "I'm a civil service test studying student" when asked what they do for a living.  If only Moms and Dads would kick their kids out of the house here we might have some competent full-time teachers.

Then the other end of the spectrum we get a candidate in her late twenties that has been teaching since she graduated university and just quit a countryside hagwon where she was teaching 9 hours a day and getting 3 hours of sleep a night.  Our hagwon is nothing like that, we only have max 5 hours teaching because we want teachers to have well prepared material for their class.  Her salary demand, 3.6 million.   I'm so desperate if it was just me I might have said okay, but my wife just couldn't rationalize paying her money that a teacher who has been teaching for 20 years would be making.

From what Koreans have told me, Korean hagwon teachers make like 1.8m a month and get zero housing assistance, and they work similar hours to foreigners making a "paltry" 2.1m and getting a free apartment. If you pay that of course you aren't going to get the best applicants. Even if *you* wanted to pay more there isn't really a great field of candidates because it's mostly young women who want to get married (and stop working to raise a kid) or get a job as a real teacher.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.