**Are you looking for a public teaching job in Korea starting early next year? Send me your resume and photo  (aslavinsky [at] gmail [dot] com) ASAP and I can help you secure a position with EPIK, GEPIK, or SMOE!**

Are you interested in teaching in Korea but don’t know where to start? Look no further! I have put together a bunch of resources, from this blog and others, to help you navigate your way through the sometimes confusing waters of getting a job teaching English in Korea.

The Basic Requirements to Teach English in Korea

First and foremost, to be an English teacher in Korea you must be a native English speaker and hold a passport from one of the following countries: United States, Canada, Ireland, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa. In addition, you need a Bachelor’s degree (in any subject) and a clean background check. Some public school jobs are now requiring some sort of TEFL certificate, but it varies by position.

Documents Needed for an E-2 Teaching Visa (as of December 2012)

If you want to teach English in Korea, the first thing you need to do is start gathering the documents necessary to get the visa. It can take up to 3 months to get some of these documents, namely the criminal background check, and most recruiters won’t work with you until you have everything ready. The requirements change sometimes, but as of December 2012 these are necessary documents for an E-2 visa in Korea:

  • A hard copy of your degree/diploma and a copy of which has been notarized
  • 2 sets of sealed transcripts
  • A nationwide criminal background check that has been authenticated with an apostille. State and local background checks are NOT accepted.
  • Several full color passport photos (at least 6)
  • An updated resume
  • A copy of your TEFL certification (if applicable)
  • Two letters of recommendation with ink signatures (if applying for public school jobs)
The Different Types of Jobs Teaching English in Korea

If you’ve done any research on teaching English in Korea, you’ve probably seen the terms hagwon and public school floating around and may be confused. There are many different types of jobs out there, each with its own pros and cons. Here’s a basic list of the different types of schools offering jobs as English teachers:

  • Public school: These are teaching positions through the government at public elementary, middle, or high schools. Foreign teachers work with a Korean co-teacher. Public schools are known for having good hours and a decent amount of vacation.
  • Hagwon: This is a language academy, and may refer to a kindergarten program during the day (ages 3-6), after school language classes (elementary- high school), or teaching adults. Hagwons usually pay higher than public schools, but have less vacation and a reputation for being less reliable.
  • After school: Some public schools use a third party to find teachers to conduct classes after school hours. You work at a public school, but not for the government. Often, the hours are short, but housing is not always included and vacation time is more similar to that of a hagwon.
  •  Private school: Hagwons are sometimes incorrectly referred to as private schools. There are actually many private schools in the country who hire native teachers. These schools offer similar benefits to a public school, but often pay more. Teachers are also usually given more freedom in the classroom.
  • University: The holy grail of teaching jobs in Korea is a university gig. These jobs are getting harder and harder to come by, and most require a few years of teaching experience and a Master’s degree. If you can secure one, the hours and vacation are phenomenal.

How to Get a Job Teaching English in Korea

Now that you know the basics of teaching in Korea, here are some practical tips on getting a job here that will make you happy.

How to Get a Good Hagwon Job

How to Get a Public School Job

What It’s Like to Teach English in Korea 

What is it actually like to work at a school in Korea? Check out some posts I’ve written or featured on the subject. The links will be updated as posts go live!

What It’s Like to Work at a Hagwon

What It’s Like to Work at Public School

What It’s Like to Work at an Adult Hagwon

What It’s Like to Work at an After School Job

What It’s Like to Work at a Private Elementary School

Teaching Cute Korean Students

What Other Bloggers Say About Teaching English in Korea

There are a lot of expat bloggers in Korea who have written about their own experiences teaching English in Korea, chock full of advice and stories from the classroom!

Curiosity Travels Teaching in Korea In Depth: Pros, Cons, and What You Need to Know

Waegook Tom Six Ways to Survive Your English Teaching Job in Korea

Nomadic Samuel 4 Tips Before Signing the Contract

The Wanderlust Project The Awesome Time I Taught My Students What a ‘Hot Mess’ Means

Mapping Words $#!*my students say…and write…and wear

That Backpacker Conversations In A Classroom Of Boys


Job listings, lesson plans, or helpful hints about life in Korea, these sites may help.

Dave’s ESL Cafe


Korean Alphabet Chart

Still have questions about teaching English in Korea? Contact me and I’ll be happy to help you out!