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  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 704

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Vancouver Island
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2022, 11:54:59 pm »
So you're going to compare salary after deductions in Korea with salary before deductions in America? What?

And you're not including housing as a benefit because you don't feel like it. People who don't like provided housing just take housing allowance, bumping up their salary by 300-400k.

What's next? Are you not including the value of health insurance because you don't like doctors who eat kimchi?

At least be honest in your comparisons.



Yes.  I can do that because I wanted to.  People do not really think about their gross, it's their net that they are most concerned with.

For example, I make about $94k/yr gross, but I keep about 69% of it after my deductions.  You see what I mean?  5.32M a month is what I have to play with.  It's not that hard to do.

As for housing, it is only a real benefit if it adds to your life.  I don't think the shit housing offered to people here offers anything of value other than checking off a box.  If they gave you a new 32 pyeong place that was clean and in a nice area, sure..but not the shitboxes that are offered to most places (that means...no roaches).

I don't include health insurance because I'm Canadian.  I know for Americans the health insurance is far more valuable since you cannot afford it back home, but for me and my spouse, we do not worry at all about medical expenses.

From the looks of it,  you are poor if you make that much money.  If you want to glamorize the shit housing you are given, then I do truly feel sorry for you. 

Stay in Korea and feel glamorous.  The rest of us will make you an afterthought in a short period.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2022, 08:58:16 am »
Quote


  The rest of us will make you an afterthought in a short period.   

Well, it's been a few years now and no sign of it yet   :smiley:


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2022, 09:46:00 am »
Yes.  I can do that because I wanted to.  People do not really think about their gross, it's their net that they are most concerned with.

For example, I make about $94k/yr gross, but I keep about 69% of it after my deductions.  You see what I mean?  5.32M a month is what I have to play with.  It's not that hard to do.

As for housing, it is only a real benefit if it adds to your life.  I don't think the shit housing offered to people here offers anything of value other than checking off a box.  If they gave you a new 32 pyeong place that was clean and in a nice area, sure..but not the shitboxes that are offered to most places (that means...no roaches).

I don't include health insurance because I'm Canadian.  I know for Americans the health insurance is far more valuable since you cannot afford it back home, but for me and my spouse, we do not worry at all about medical expenses.

From the looks of it,  you are poor if you make that much money.  If you want to glamorize the shit housing you are given, then I do truly feel sorry for you. 

Stay in Korea and feel glamorous.  The rest of us will make you an afterthought in a short period.

You still don't get the point about your comparison. Why do you compare net in one country with gross in another?

Employer-provided housing is crap around the world, so you should take the housing allowance.

Why do you quote American figures for comparison and then suddenly discount health insurance because you're Canadian?

Your argument is confused at best, but seems intentionally misleading.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #43 on: July 06, 2022, 10:30:08 am »
I'll say that a year in post-COVID Korea on the EPIK salary at 2.0m/month living a low quality apartment has completely disillusioned me from living here. I have no idea what the people talking about improved quality of life are on. It's incomparable to my home country and not in a good way - and what I send home (~600,000won a month, all I can afford to) turns to peanuts.

When I agreed to renew it was purely for travel reasons and I will be breaking my contract when I'm satisfied. What have I got to lose? Well, no renewal bonus since it was cut. 5 days of renewal vacation I guess. It's not worth it.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5693

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2022, 12:06:07 pm »
I'll say that a year in post-COVID Korea on the EPIK salary at 2.0m/month living a low quality apartment has completely disillusioned me from living here. I have no idea what the people talking about improved quality of life are on. It's incomparable to my home country and not in a good way - and what I send home (~600,000won a month, all I can afford to) turns to peanuts.

When I agreed to renew it was purely for travel reasons and I will be breaking my contract when I'm satisfied. What have I got to lose? Well, no renewal bonus since it was cut. 5 days of renewal vacation I guess. It's not worth it.

It was good money in the past due to the very cheap living cost and the good exchange rate.

When I got here 2 million won was $2100 USD.  You could easily live off 4 or 5 hundred thousand won a month or less.  With taxes and bills assuming 2.1 back then, at least 1.4 million sent home which would be nearly 1500 USD per month that you could get when you sent money home.  With inflation, that would be like getting 2000 USD in your account in 2022 money.  (Or close to it.)  Anyways, what was once true and was being told by recruiters is still being told by recruiters even though they know it's no longer true.  many of them are ethically challenged.  Plus all the hogwans use to pay round trip flight isntead of one way flight.  Get one months severance at the end.  2.1 minus tax.  !.85 million or so.  Subtract 1.5 for one way air ticket.  Your severance is gone.  You use to get that in extra cash to take home.  Also assuming 1000 won is 1 dollar is wrong and leads to bad assumptions and incorrect budgeting.  The cost of inflation and drop in exchange rate means you should be making over 3 million in 2022 and probably over 3.5 million  to equal the saving and spending power of prior generations of ESL teachers 10 to 12 or more years ago.  Same salaries but went much much further.  Korea is convenient to hide out during covid but after that for many who knows?  Jobs back home may pay more or let you save more if you can live with the folks for a couple of years.  There is China and Vietnam which pay much more but better to wait another year or so after covid and lock-downs done, etc.  The Middle East if you have a formal classroom TESOL and esl experience can pay well but I hear not as well as in the past.  For just a Bachelor's degree, China is probably the best deal - quite high salaries.  But I would wait until covid and the nonsense lockdowns are done though.  I am hearing it is possible to get in now without requiring a "PU letter" now.  Some jobs hiring from outside may pay lower for a year but once in country after a year can really clean up for pay.  Like 25 or 30 to 35 thousand rmb.  (4 to 6 million Korean won)  Check the Facebook ESL groups and do your own research.  Vietnam similar pay to Korea and sometimes less, but cheaper living cost.  Korea ain't the only gig in town in spite of a few bitter long term souls on here claiming otherwise.

When I agreed to renew it was purely for travel reasons and I will be breaking my contract when I'm satisfied. What have I got to lose? Well, no renewal bonus since it was cut. 5 days of renewal vacation I guess. It's not worth it.

PS  Spread the word about the truth here.  It's fake news.



For context in 2022.

2 million won = 1,538.48 USD

For context 2008 before the crash

2 million won = 2100 USD




Please make sure when or if you break the contract you do give them feedback on the pay and the dumpy one room.  They need to hear that more and more.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2022, 12:08:55 pm by hangook77 »
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • jaehak
  • Veteran

    • 146

    • June 09, 2011, 10:45:21 pm
    • Seoul
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #45 on: July 07, 2022, 03:49:25 pm »
It was good money in the past due to the very cheap living cost and the good exchange rate.

For context in 2022.

2 million won = 1,538.48 USD

For context 2008 before the crash

2 million won = 2100 USD


It's actually even nuttier than this. In 2007 I made 2.2 as a n00b. 2.2 was 2361 USD. 2361 2007 dollars is $3281 currently. $3281 USD is about 4.3 mil in won. 2.2 in 2007 is very close to half what it is now.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #46 on: July 07, 2022, 05:42:54 pm »
I made around 3.5 back in 2005 which was around 1800 pounds. Made 7.5 million this month which is 4,800.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #47 on: July 07, 2022, 07:34:21 pm »
For those of you considering China, beware of who you work for. A lot of schools couldn't operate during the Shanghai lockdown and the staff just didn't get paid. Also, start-up costs can be prohibitive with airfares being what they are. Not saying it's a bad idea. Just don't get too tempted by high salaries because things might not materialize and it can take a few months to break even.
Beyond Inappropriate


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4718

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2022, 07:31:39 am »
In China, don't work for:

*a private stand-alone kindergarten
*a training centre
*a recruiter who will "rent" you out to other schools and training centres (this happens legally!!)

The overwhelming majority of people who had pay issues during the lockdowns were in one of the above situations.  The rest who were in full international schools, properly licensed private schools with international programs, public schools etc...either got full pay or 70%+ pay.

There's more than enough information on international programs in China to have an idea of the kind of school you might be working for. A little bit of homework goes a long way.

Common resources include:

-ISR (International Schools Review) https://www.internationalschoolsreview.com

-Forbes China International School Ranking https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/R_BuUF65ouwWfrJloTSvKw

-Hurun https://www.hurun.net/en-US/Info/Detail?num=WO7GMLBMJQCU


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • I am a geek!!

    • March 02, 2027, 11:00:00 pm
    • 🇰🇷
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #49 on: July 08, 2022, 07:45:57 am »
+1
Quality post. Thanks waygo0k.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4718

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #50 on: July 09, 2022, 08:43:56 pm »
You’re welcome ;)


  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 704

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Vancouver Island
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2022, 12:22:02 pm »
It's actually even nuttier than this. In 2007 I made 2.2 as a n00b. 2.2 was 2361 USD. 2361 2007 dollars is $3281 currently. $3281 USD is about 4.3 mil in won. 2.2 in 2007 is very close to half what it is now.

It is very sad to see people who put so much time into a career end up with next to nothing.   You cannot survive on $1600 USD a month.  It is a complete and total embarrassment both for the school that offers so little and the instructor who is willing to accept such a low offer.


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 3811

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2022, 01:37:14 pm »
It is very sad to see people who put so much time into a career end up with next to nothing.   You cannot survive on $1600 USD a month.  It is a complete and total embarrassment both for the school that offers so little and the instructor who is willing to accept such a low offer.

I won't disagree that such a wage is an embarrassment--and a job I would never recommend, but you can certainly "survive" on $1600 a month, assuming they provide housing (which is a fair assumption).  Take out deductions plus $200 for utilities, that leaves $40 a day.  Unless you're drinking a lot and eating out all the time, that is survivable.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2022, 02:36:14 pm »
I am curious what kind of person comes to Korea to teach ESL these days. At $1,600 why even bother?
Beyond Inappropriate


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2022, 02:57:40 pm »
It is very sad to see people who put so much time into a career end up with next to nothing.   You cannot survive on $1600 USD a month.  It is a complete and total embarrassment both for the school that offers so little and the instructor who is willing to accept such a low offer.

Korea in general is an embarrassment. It's still very much a developing country that is only good for the rich chaebols and livable for those who secure long-term government positions that allow one to continue working until the retirement age of 62 and provide a life-long stable pension.
Korea is the size of a booger, and similarly to Japan, it doesn't have many natural resources, and therefore, it is mostly reliant on human resources, which is a highly educated and skilled workforce, especially in engineering, to survive.  English was and still is considered one of those necessary skills for the workforce, and for the country to get ahead during this time of globalization. So the country started out paying big wages 20 years ago, but thanks to the corrupt nature of Korean business culture, and the growing popularity in the West, the government and the private sector are just pushing it to see how low they can go until people will no longer accept the offers.

At this point, it has been realized that the demographic for these ESL jobs consists of mostly young graduates 20 ~ 25-year-olds who want to travel and have a short-term cultural experience, so they are slowly pushing these jobs into the category of "luxurious internships,".  A young person who has just finished living with roommates or sharing a dorm will gladly accept free private accommodation provided "rent-free" by the employer, as getting something like that back home would cost them close to a grand back home. Wages should definitely be pushed up, but it seems that Koreans are not willing to part with their money. They want the supply of English teachers for the demand amongst the parents, but are unwilling to compensate! 



Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2022, 02:58:49 pm »
I am curious what kind of person comes to Korea to teach ESL these days. At $1,600 why even bother?

A young college graduate, who has rich parents, and basically just wants to have a fun cultural experience and meet their dream K-oppa or K-nuna.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2022, 03:06:18 pm »
ive worked for a hagwon for 5 years consistently and earn 3 mil there,   (2-7pm, or 2-830pm some days)  I also work a kinder, legally with my bosses permission from 10am-12pm for an additional 1.5.

its a long day, but its worth it to bank all the extra cash.  its also not far of travel at all and all of the people I work with are spectacular.

Can I ask if you've been at an independent run Hakwon or a bigger chain? How did you negotiate a raise up to 3.0 million? Does your Hakwon let you teach the test-prep courses?
I've heard of Gyopos making up to 4.0 ~ 4.5 million a month, but they get the bilingual positions teaching the test-prep and college prep courses.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2022, 08:09:03 pm »
Five years at a hagwons Jesus Christ  :shocked:
Beyond Inappropriate


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 3811

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2022, 10:27:14 pm »
Korea in general is an embarrassment. It's still very much a developing country that is only good for the rich chaebols and livable for those who secure long-term government positions that allow one to continue working until the retirement age of 62 and provide a life-long stable pension.
Korea is the size of a booger, and similarly to Japan, it doesn't have many natural resources, and therefore, it is mostly reliant on human resources, which is a highly educated and skilled workforce, especially in engineering, to survive.  English was and still is considered one of those necessary skills for the workforce, and for the country to get ahead during this time of globalization. So the country started out paying big wages 20 years ago, but thanks to the corrupt nature of Korean business culture, and the growing popularity in the West, the government and the private sector are just pushing it to see how low they can go until people will no longer accept the offers.

At this point, it has been realized that the demographic for these ESL jobs consists of mostly young graduates 20 ~ 25-year-olds who want to travel and have a short-term cultural experience, so they are slowly pushing these jobs into the category of "luxurious internships,".  A young person who has just finished living with roommates or sharing a dorm will gladly accept free private accommodation provided "rent-free" by the employer, as getting something like that back home would cost them close to a grand back home. Wages should definitely be pushed up, but it seems that Koreans are not willing to part with their money. They want the supply of English teachers for the demand amongst the parents, but are unwilling to compensate! 



Not to defend it--believe me!--but I'm pretty sure this is called capitalism.


Re: EPIK wage increase
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2022, 10:48:13 pm »
Are there no other countries that need ESL teachers? Maybe the Former Soviet Republic of Bulimia or something
Beyond Inappropriate