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Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« on: January 27, 2022, 01:25:17 pm »
I keep seeing ads for "pt" jobs that just seem like highway robbery.  If you calculate the per hour rate of these, many tend to be in the 13.5k~16.5k/hr range. And since they are pt jobs the employers save on housing, health, pension, etc.

Taking into consideration that we have entered prime hiring season and covid has made it very difficult for new teachers to enter from abroad....my expectation was that there would be an increase in the hourly rate. But sadly it isn't so.

I dont think I've ever seen it so bad out there.

My pt job pays 40k/hr bit I've been at this job for 2 years. I'm afraid i may not find another like it

What's driving this race to the bottom?


  • Bakeacake
  • Super Waygook

    • 455

    • July 12, 2010, 01:35:40 pm
    • Pohang South Korea
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2022, 01:49:21 pm »
idiots actually taking them. Theres a hagwon in my town who repeatedly hires international students illegally from the local university. They are students from Ghana, Nepal, India, Russia. The school hires them for 2 days a week, then fires them a couple months later when parents complain about their accents / English level. They work for peanuts basically because its illegal for them to work at all. These kinds of jobs will never get a qualified teacher from one of the 6 regions that are eligible for the E2. But, if they never get caught hiring illegally...  then theres no incentive for them to actually hire a full time E2 or F visa holder. They arent bound by paying for housing, airfare, competitive wages, admin and paperwork. And they can fire them at any time with zero negative effect because they know the worker will never complain because they were violating their student visa in the first place.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4681

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2022, 03:24:07 pm »
idiots actually taking them. Theres a hagwon in my town who repeatedly hires international students illegally from the local university. They are students from Ghana, Nepal, India, Russia. The school hires them for 2 days a week, then fires them a couple months later when parents complain about their accents / English level. They work for peanuts basically because its illegal for them to work at all. These kinds of jobs will never get a qualified teacher from one of the 6 regions that are eligible for the E2. But, if they never get caught hiring illegally...  then theres no incentive for them to actually hire a full time E2 or F visa holder. They arent bound by paying for housing, airfare, competitive wages, admin and paperwork. And they can fire them at any time with zero negative effect because they know the worker will never complain because they were violating their student visa in the first place.

1. Simply being from one of the 7 countries doesn’t make one “qualified” to teach ESL. Ghana is a native English speaking country as is India.

2. Notice how these “unqualified” people aren’t being fired for things like poor pedagogical practice, poor knowledge of the English language, poor curriculum, poor classroom management etc…but rather for something as stupid as “the wrong accent” or perceived “English level” by parents who can barely speak the language themselves. The parents are as big a problem as people who truly believe being from 7 countries makes one a “qualified” esl teacher.

3. ESL is in the state it’s in today because it’s an unregulated industry dictated to by clowns (parents) and controlled by opportunists (businesses who will give the parents whatever they want as long as the moolah keeps rolling in).

The market got this bad because in the past 2 years,  hagwons in Korea have learned how much further they can push/bend/stretch/take the piss with their docile foreign staff…who only keep coming back for more and applying to be treated like shit in droves. They (hagwons) spent 20 years doing that pre-covid , depressing wages, gradually reducing benefits, increasing workload (lunch duty, bus duty, toilet duty etc), doing tons of shady things, but people kept coming for lower and lower pay while profits kept soaring.

And then when they thought covid would be the straw that would break the camel’s back, they were astonished to discover teachers were even willing to endure 2 weeks of quarantine in filthy, barely furnished and decaying one-room-tels and even not get paid for a few months (because hagwon has no students, but owner still drives that luxury German car)…all for the chance to be in “trendy” Korea!

Even EPIK now has a pomposity-riddled application process where even having tattoos in places where students and colleagues would most likely never see them would disqualify applicants…all for the grand starting salary of 1.8 million krw per month before tax!

I predicted esl in Korea would get worse when the pandemic started, in high it has. I’m predicting now it hasn’t even reached halfway to rock bottom. Until foreign teachers bring the industry to its knees by leaving and staying away, things will continue to be in free fall mode.

ESL doesn’t have to be a dead end job. For those who want to take it seriously as a long term career, my suggestion would be to get properly qualified (teaching certificate/license/M.Ed etc) and go where the money matches the qualifications…that and/or consider ELA in international as a viable option as well.


  • Augustiner
  • Expert Waygook

    • 523

    • December 06, 2021, 01:18:06 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2022, 03:36:59 pm »
1. Simply being from one of the 7 countries doesn’t make one “qualified” to teach ESL. Ghana is a native English speaking country as is India.

2. Notice how these “unqualified” people aren’t being fired for things like poor pedagogical practice, poor knowledge of the English language, poor curriculum, poor classroom management etc…but rather for something as stupid as “the wrong accent” or perceived “English level” by parents who can barely speak the language themselves. The parents are as big a problem as people who truly believe being from 7 countries makes one a “qualified” esl teacher.

3. ESL is in the state it’s in today because it’s an unregulated industry dictated to by clowns (parents) and controlled by opportunists (businesses who will give the parents whatever they want as long as the moolah keeps rolling in).

The market got this bad because in the past 2 years,  hagwons in Korea have learned how much further they can push/bend/stretch/take the piss with their docile foreign staff…who only keep coming back for more and applying to be treated like shit in droves. They (hagwons) spent 20 years doing that pre-covid , depressing wages, gradually reducing benefits, increasing workload (lunch duty, bus duty, toilet duty etc), doing tons of shady things, but people kept coming for lower and lower pay while profits kept soaring.

And then when they thought covid would be the straw that would break the camel’s back, they were astonished to discover teachers were even willing to endure 2 weeks of quarantine in filthy, barely furnished and decaying one-room-tels and even not get paid for a few months (because hagwon has no students, but owner still drives that luxury German car)…all for the chance to be in “trendy” Korea!

Even EPIK now has a pomposity-riddled application process where even having tattoos in places where students and colleagues would most likely never see them would disqualify applicants…all for the grand starting salary of 1.8 million krw per month before tax!

I predicted esl in Korea would get worse when the pandemic started, in high it has. I’m predicting now it hasn’t even reached halfway to rock bottom. Until foreign teachers bring the industry to its knees by leaving and staying away, things will continue to be in free fall mode.

ESL doesn’t have to be a dead end job. For those who want to take it seriously as a long term career, my suggestion would be to get properly qualified (teaching certificate/license/M.Ed etc) and go where the money matches the qualifications…that and/or consider ELA in international as a viable option as well.

Newman!!!


  • SPQR
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1372

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Sierra Leone
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2022, 04:34:44 pm »
I think the reason is quite simple.

There has always been an interest for some people in western countries
to venture out and explore. So the supply of teachers has not changed.

Korean demographics are another matter. With the lowest birthrate in
the world the number of students is shrinking. So demand is contracting.

This will obviously lead to a lower price being offered to prospective teachers.
Add to this most teachers are completely untrained and of dubious
value to any business.


Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2022, 04:42:08 pm »
Yes, the market is the worse I've ever seen, too.
Bakeacake is right. I've had people from various ex soviet countries knock on my door from time to time, looking for holiday teaching work. I also think many businesses are lacking students so they are trying to cut corners where ever they can...salaries and conditions being the first. They're trying their luck and hope someone will bite. I'm pretty sure full time newby jobs with horrible salaries and hours are still being filled, again driving the market down for others.
As fo P.T jobs. I'm starting to think non native F. visa people are taking them. No right-minded person would even consider what is being thrown around, presently.

It's probably those F visa marriage migrants from countries like the Philippines or some European countries, that don't qualify for full-time English teaching positions, so they take on a few part-time jobs to make a few extra bucks while their kids are at school. And the international students seem to be a sought-after target group for these part-time jobs as well. Recently there is a really big English play-based Kids Cafe Franchise which has been opening up branches all across the country, and they had some ads for pt positions claiming that University students and non-native speakers could apply as this is not an "English-teaching" position, but more of an interactive cafe where all you do is "play" with the kids in English.  These cafes are in some of the biggest department stores and I'm sure the owners are making a mad profit from this as the moms probably pay huge fees for their kids to join in while they pay the non-native English speakers 12,000 an hour.  They have full-time positions for native English speakers from the 7  Elite English-speaking countries, but it only goes up to 2.6 and there is no housing stipend or housing offered at all.


Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2022, 05:07:32 pm »
1. Simply being from one of the 7 countries doesn’t make one “qualified” to teach ESL. Ghana is a native English speaking country as is India.

2. Notice how these “unqualified” people aren’t being fired for things like poor pedagogical practice, poor knowledge of the English language, poor curriculum, poor classroom management etc…but rather for something as stupid as “the wrong accent” or perceived “English level” by parents who can barely speak the language themselves. The parents are as big a problem as people who truly believe being from 7 countries makes one a “qualified” esl teacher.

3. ESL is in the state it’s in today because it’s an unregulated industry dictated to by clowns (parents) and controlled by opportunists (businesses who will give the parents whatever they want as long as the moolah keeps rolling in).

The market got this bad because in the past 2 years,  hagwons in Korea have learned how much further they can push/bend/stretch/take the piss with their docile foreign staff…who only keep coming back for more and applying to be treated like shit in droves. They (hagwons) spent 20 years doing that pre-covid , depressing wages, gradually reducing benefits, increasing workload (lunch duty, bus duty, toilet duty etc), doing tons of shady things, but people kept coming for lower and lower pay while profits kept soaring.

And then when they thought covid would be the straw that would break the camel’s back, they were astonished to discover teachers were even willing to endure 2 weeks of quarantine in filthy, barely furnished and decaying one-room-tels and even not get paid for a few months (because hagwon has no students, but owner still drives that luxury German car)…all for the chance to be in “trendy” Korea!

Even EPIK now has a pomposity-riddled application process where even having tattoos in places where students and colleagues would most likely never see them would disqualify applicants…all for the grand starting salary of 1.8 million krw per month before tax!

I predicted esl in Korea would get worse when the pandemic started, in high it has. I’m predicting now it hasn’t even reached halfway to rock bottom. Until foreign teachers bring the industry to its knees by leaving and staying away, things will continue to be in free fall mode.

ESL doesn’t have to be a dead end job. For those who want to take it seriously as a long term career, my suggestion would be to get properly qualified (teaching certificate/license/M.Ed etc) and go where the money matches the qualifications…that and/or consider ELA in international as a viable option as well.

EPIK is just becoming a really comfortable internship position for the young privileged youth from the 7 Elite English Speaking Countries.


  • SPQR
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1372

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Sierra Leone
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2022, 05:32:56 pm »

EPIK is just becoming a really comfortable internship position for the young privileged youth from the 7 Elite English Speaking Countries.


That's about it. And they're a dime a dozen. They're is still money to be
made if you are freelance or have a business, but that to is becoming
less.


Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2022, 05:36:23 pm »
Dude! I’m going through this now. I specifically pointed out the savings and they still try to short change. Good news is I can walk out anytime. Hagwon owners may not be the sharpest knife but man they can haggle with the best of them.

https://youtu.be/SXveyAvkjbc
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 05:42:35 pm by thunderlips »


Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2022, 06:31:30 pm »
It's probably those F visa marriage migrants from countries like the Philippines or some European countries, that don't qualify for full-time English teaching positions, so they take on a few part-time jobs to make a few extra bucks while their kids are at school. And the international students seem to be a sought-after target group for these part-time jobs as well. Recently there is a really big English play-based Kids Cafe Franchise which has been opening up branches all across the country, and they had some ads for pt positions claiming that University students and non-native speakers could apply as this is not an "English-teaching" position, but more of an interactive cafe where all you do is "play" with the kids in English.  These cafes are in some of the biggest department stores and I'm sure the owners are making a mad profit from this as the moms probably pay huge fees for their kids to join in while they pay the non-native English speakers 12,000 an hour.  They have full-time positions for native English speakers from the 7  Elite English-speaking countries, but it only goes up to 2.6 and there is no housing stipend or housing offered at all.

They claim they're looking for Native speakers but I can't fathom who'd do it

https://seoul.craigslist.org/edu/d/english-kids-cafe-need-tutors-in-bundang/7437709432.html


Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2022, 07:10:56 pm »
They claim they're looking for Native speakers but I can't fathom who'd do it

https://seoul.craigslist.org/edu/d/english-kids-cafe-need-tutors-in-bundang/7437709432.html

This is definitely aimed at those University exchange students with a high level of English... That is like 1,000 won above min wage.. no self-respecting Native English Speaker would take this kind of pay.
Maybe a Native speaker here could mean someone who attended an international school in their home country and can speak English almost as well as a Native Speaker.


Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2022, 07:17:31 pm »
Yes, there are a lot of people here who can't get a full time position, but can speak and teach English to a fairly high level. My bet would be they get employed under the table for less money and no conditions.

As for this new Kids Cafe thing, I'd never heard about it. Very creative! I guess that's what everyone needs to get...more creative, if money making is your object (and it is for most). My wife and I were actually talking about this (not the kids cafe), this morning. Looks like 2022 might be a busy, get off my arse some more, year.

The Kid's Cafe Chain is called Creville.
Here is a job ad for it ....https://www.theworknplay.com/Work/Detail/Job/215422
The full-time salary for a Native English Speaker is 2.5 mill (without housing), a bit on the low side, but there is literally no prep, it's just come in an play / engage the kids with all materials provided.
I guess it is more of a summer camp leader- facilitator kind of role.

And for the nonnative speakers or the underqualified Uni exchange students, it's 12,000 won per hour.
If this was 3.0 mill + housing I would consider taking a full-time position!  Watched a few insta videos and it looks really fun there!
I really love running classes/ teaching / facilitating but really hate the lesson planning prep and making my own materials from scratch.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 07:19:03 pm by HiddenInKorea »


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5492

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2022, 08:38:20 am »
The experienced teachers who are competent at their job will be replaced by those who don't give a crap about teaching and want to do a gap year and live a K drama on Netflix lifestyle.  The arrogant so and so's making the decisions will learn it the hard and the stubborn way when they have more crap teachers.  Get a formal in class TESOL and some other training and find another country, make more money with most likely a longer welcome mat rolled out for you.  Or stay here and work for less. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are losers who are blocked.  Good riddance to them. They will still be in Korea 10 years from now unless they are retired.  Either way, they will be poor since all they know how to do is troll rather than work for something more


  • Bakeacake
  • Super Waygook

    • 455

    • July 12, 2010, 01:35:40 pm
    • Pohang South Korea
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2022, 01:13:50 pm »
This is actually the best market there has ever been for a native teacher. There are not native teachers in this country. You can demand whatever salary you want!  Just dont be a dummy and take the jobs from Scotty .   You could easily get a job at 2.7 with no experience right now.  With experience, you could be making 3-3.5 plus housing. Schools need the foreign teacher. If they dont have one, they lose business to the school that does.  Know what youre worth in the current market! and DON'T work for EPIK!


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5492

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2022, 01:35:46 pm »
This is actually the best market there has ever been for a native teacher. There are not native teachers in this country. You can demand whatever salary you want!  Just dont be a dummy and take the jobs from Scotty .   You could easily get a job at 2.7 with no experience right now.  With experience, you could be making 3-3.5 plus housing. Schools need the foreign teacher. If they dont have one, they lose business to the school that does.  Know what youre worth in the current market! and DON'T work for EPIK!

EPIK in my area has lost so many experienced teachers over the past year.  These are folks who stuck with it through thick and thin for years.    But all the nonsense rule ad ons and increased micromanagement has driven people out. 

Anyways, I just saw a Facebook group.  English Teaching Jobs in Korea/ ESL Teachers/ Private lessons page.  Just liked it.  Seem to have some okay offers though if you can ask for more than what they are offering you may be able to get to 2.8 to 3.0 million for some of their hakwons.  Plenty of lowballs, but ignore those. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2022, 07:39:24 am by hangook77 »
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are losers who are blocked.  Good riddance to them. They will still be in Korea 10 years from now unless they are retired.  Either way, they will be poor since all they know how to do is troll rather than work for something more


Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2022, 05:06:28 pm »
This is actually the best market there has ever been for a native teacher. There are not native teachers in this country. You can demand whatever salary you want!  Just dont be a dummy and take the jobs from Scotty .   You could easily get a job at 2.7 with no experience right now.  With experience, you could be making 3-3.5 plus housing. Schools need the foreign teacher. If they dont have one, they lose business to the school that does.  Know what youre worth in the current market! and DON'T work for EPIK!

Where are most of these good 3.0 ~ 3.5 mill a month Jobs?
Is it certain larger Hakwon chains that are offering this salary?


  • Bakeacake
  • Super Waygook

    • 455

    • July 12, 2010, 01:35:40 pm
    • Pohang South Korea
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2022, 06:01:29 pm »
Where are most of these good 3.0 ~ 3.5 mill a month Jobs?
Is it certain larger Hakwon chains that are offering this salary?

apply for a job, interview,   demand the salary you want.  dont take the job if they dont meet your requirement. 


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5492

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2022, 07:38:48 am »
Where are most of these good 3.0 ~ 3.5 mill a month Jobs?
Is it certain larger Hakwon chains that are offering this salary?

Well, check the Facebook group I mentioned.  I saw a few in there. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are losers who are blocked.  Good riddance to them. They will still be in Korea 10 years from now unless they are retired.  Either way, they will be poor since all they know how to do is troll rather than work for something more


  • gogators!
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6141

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2022, 07:39:21 pm »
"Every morning about this time, my baby's on me and she cryin'
About a job
At breakfast every day, she throws the want ads my way
She never fails to say, get yourself a job

(Get a job)

And when I read the paper, I read it through and through
And my girl never fails to see if there is any work for me
And when I get back to the house, I hear that woman's mouth
Preaching and a cryin', tellin' me I'm lyin' about a job
That I never could find

(Get a job)"


  • Sagi Keun
  • Super Waygook

    • 385

    • May 10, 2018, 11:47:23 am
    • Los Angeles
Re: Is this the worst the market has ever been?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2022, 06:14:46 pm »
This is actually the best market there has ever been for a native teacher. There are not native teachers in this country. You can demand whatever salary you want!  Just dont be a dummy and take the jobs from Scotty .   You could easily get a job at 2.7 with no experience right now.  With experience, you could be making 3-3.5 plus housing. Schools need the foreign teacher. If they dont have one, they lose business to the school that does.  Know what youre worth in the current market! and DON'T work for EPIK!

That was true until they shelved the quarantine requirement one week ago.

Add in the soaring inflation and discarded covid regulation in the west now, and I bet the market is just about to become flooded with applicants.