Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Negotiating Salaries?

with 3 comments

This post on ESL Cafe gave me the idea for mine.  I put a question mark at the end of my title because from my experience, it’s not always possible with every position/school and if it is, it must be approached with extreme caution.  Also keep in mind that recruiters don’t really set rates/salaries; we may be the messenger between the employer and instructor but never the final decision-maker.

If the position seems perfect in every way but the salary not so much so, I think the best way to approach the matter is to simply ask if the rate is negotiable.  This will pass the buck to them and if you’re worth it, they may tack on an extra 100,000 KRW per month.  Don’t push it by asking for more.  This route is far better than outright demanding that you won’t work for less than xxx as this will surely piss the employer (and recruiter) off ESPECIALLY if you’ve already progressed quite a bit in the process (ie. received visa code).

I mentioned before that a first-time instructor should shoot for a minimum of 2.2 million KRW per month with all the basic benefits (health, pension, severance, apartment) unless of course a salary lower than than comes with unusually high vacation days and/or low hours.

As we all know the current state of looking for a teaching gig in Korea is pretty flooded, I would say that most schools would not be up for negotiations unless you’ve got a super-stacked resume or they just really like you for whatever reason.  Also in my experience, most of the big name chain schools have specific guidelines as to what they can offer their instructors based on education, experience, interview, etc.  That’s not to say that they’re totally not up for negotiations as I’ve seen it before.  But again, that was when there were shortages of applicants.

Smaller hagwons would definitely be more open to negotiations but again, it depends on several factors.  Just ask and don’t demand!


Written by recruiterinkorea

March 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Quick question. Im 28 and I have taught in Korea for 6 years already. Is an MA TESOL worth my hard earned money? or is this industry gonna dry up and leave me hanging? thanks, Im a long time reader and first time commenter. keep up the good work.


    March 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

  2. I also have a question. My wife and I will be applying for teaching jobs within the next month or so. What has been the average wait time lately since the market, as you say, is flooded with applicants? I know many variables factor into this, but we’re looking to teach in Seoul, since she’s from there, and we don’t need to teach at the same school.

    One more thing, since she’ll qualify for an f-4 visa, we were thinking it might be easier to get me a job (E-2 visa) and have her worry about getting a job when we arrive. Would this, in fact, be easier?

    Thanks in advance for the reply. Your blog is great. It’s both informative and entertaining.


    March 30, 2010 at 1:58 am

  3. […] but there wasn’t a decrease in salary anywhere.  Chain schools tend to be more strict about negotiating salaries as they tend to have ranges that are in line with education and experience.  Hopefully this is a […]

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