What someone earning $53,000/year in the US actually takes home.
Good luck getting this job without a STEM or a Master's degree.
An overestimate of tax, but otherwise accurate. I'd be surprised if someone making that much had no insurance or car payments, because American public transit is a disgrace but whatever.
A more comparable figure with the bottom chart would be $30,000. (I'm too lazy change the data in the chart)
What someone earning $24,000/year in Korea actually takes home.
White women with Education or English degrees can get this job without so much as washing their pussies. I have none of those attributes and I still got this job.
Most English teachers don't make pre-tax incomes of $2,000/month until year two. If you choose to find your own housing, the school gives you about $360/month or $4320 a year.
Here are some other facts:
+Public school teachers pay no Korean taxes for the first two years (Unless you are Irish, Canadian or Kiwi)
+I don't know about the calculation in the chart, but 99% of English teachers who have to pay taxes pay 3.3%
+Americans making <$95,100/year abroad file but do not pay US taxes on their foreign income
+No other country taxes its citizens who live abroad regardless of income
+Americans, Australians, and Canadians get the pension refunded in double upon leaving the country
Because so much of our real income is non-liquid and tied up in the pension, housing, and severance, a minimum of 10% of our income is savings. It's not hard to save >50%.
Starting at the lowest pay scale, Level 2,which is now much harder to qualify for (2 million KRW/month), English teachers get these raises:
2nd year: + 100k KRW/month (5% increase), 2.1 million/month
3rd year: +200k/month (9% increase), 2.3 million/month (but now you have to pay taxes)
4th year: no increase
5th year: +200k/month (8.7% increase), 2.5 million/month, after-tax income: ~2.4 million/month
That's as high as it goes- "Level 1+", the highest tier salary for an EPIK English teacher in the cities.
Actual time spent working
The contract says I am to teach 22 classes a week and receive overtime for any more than that. It is an 8:30 to 4:30 work day.
I teach more like 17 on average, with barely any preparation, and 18 vacation days a year.
Some Perspective – Hagwon Workers
Converted to an hourly rate, most EPIK teachers are making around 30,000 KRW/hr, depending on what you consider work. A big reason I like this job is because I get to read and write and do personal projects with all my free time.
I believe our income is average in Korea, but our workload is much lower than average.
Hagwon teachers might get paid more, but they work much more. It's not uncommon for Hagwon teachers to put in 50+ hours of work a week. They have inferior benefits/vacation and somewhat lower job security.
The Future of Korea's TEFL Market
Recent downsizing and contract degradation of urban public schools has made the TEFL job market more competitive. The public job market is downsizing rapidly, and now closed to new entrants. The supply of native English teachers is increasing, so there are pressures on both supply and demand to keep wages stagnant and increase job qualifications. I've heard a lot of Hagwons are going out of business in Seoul as well.
It's likely that some hagwons will take advantage of these market forces (which are no secret by any means) and increase their minimum requirements for applicants, but they can be choosier in any way they want. Since the exit of the public sector, the market is now dominated by hagwons, many of which explicitly discriminate based on appearance. In short- it has never been more important for a prospective NET to be
in that order.
Damn, digressed again.
Anyway, making this income comparison has really made me think about how awesome teaching in Korea is, but even moreso, it's made me realize how shitty going back to America would be.