Public vs. Private

The best advice we can give you is to do the math.  Try to monetize all benefits in standard terms.  For example, lets compare two hypothetical positions:

Position A

W2,200,000/month

Free Round-Trip Airfare

Free Single Accommodations

1 Month Severance

Health Insurance

Free Lunches at Cafeteria

Max 30 classroom hours/week

Paid Vacation All National Holidays + 2 Weeks

Position B

W25.000/hour

Free Round-Trip Airfare

Free Single Accommodations

Min 24 classroom hours/week

Max 40 classroom hours/week

1) Convert the per hour rate into a per month rate and vise-verse.

Position A:  30 hours/week = about 126 hours/month, 2.200.000 / 126 =  W17.500/hour

Position B: (lets assume that we’ll work 30 hours/week since that’s in the middle of our min and max rates, and will make the comparison simpler) W25.000/hour * 126 hours/month = W3,150,000/month

2) To simply the comparison, don’t think about benefits common to both positions. 

In this case, both positions include free round-trip airfare and single accommodations, so that shouldn’t effect our decision.

3) Monetize unique benefits.

Position A includes free lunches, one month severance, health insurance, and vacation time.

A lunch costs about W4,000.  At 21 work days per month, that amounts to W84,000/month.

W2,200,000/12 months in severance = W183,000/month

Health insurance costs about W40,000/month

You have about 24 days of paid vacation.  Rather than adding the value of Position A, it’s best to deduct it from Position B, because if you wanted to take those days off in Position B (you might have to, if the school is closed) you wouldn’t get paid for them.

24 days/ year = 2 days/ month.  Position B pays W150,000/work day.  Therefore, this represents a loss of W300,000/month.

4) Add it up!

With hours, vacation, and benefits standardized

Position A: W2,507,000/ month

Position B: W2,850,000/ month

If you get an offer per month, make sure to know the maximum required hours, and to convert the figure into an hourly rate.  Likewise, if you get an hourly rate, multiply it by the expected number of hours to determine your monthly income

For example, W2.400.000/month for 30 hours per week amounts to about W20.000/hour.

In general, you can make more if you go with an hourly rate.  An hourly rate also gives employers more incentive not to overwork you.  Just be certain that it doesn’t give them an incentive to under-work you, and ask for a minimum amount of guaranteed hours per week or month to ensure a comfortable income.  One other disadvantage of hourly rate is that, of course, you only get paid when you teach.  Salaried positions include paid national holidays, but wage positions do not.  Also, wage positions may not include all the benefits common to salary positions such as severance and medical insurance.  Try to quantify these benefits and factor them into your evaluation.

 

PRIVATE

Generally speaking, instructors in private language schools teach students how to put the English vocabulary and grammar knowledge they already have into practice. In other words, they teach students how to communicate.

Students range in age from about 9-years-old elementary students to 16-years-old high-school students.

In addition to teaching communication and conversation classes, instructors often teach test preparation classes, business English classes, and/or writing classes.

The main reasons for those teaching English abroad to choose this type of position are the enthusiasm of the students, the lifestyle afforded by the salary and work hours (on average instructors work from approximately 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm), and the chance to work as part of a diverse group of instructors from all over the English-speaking world.

Our primary client is one of the largest, most professional, and prestigious private language institutes in South Korea. Opportunities exist throughout the country for candidates who wish to teach abroad.

PUBLIC

English Teaching Assistants work in public schools alongside regular Korean teachers of English. Their role is to help plan and execute language lessons to students in primary and secondary schools. Additionally, they are often called upon to run English conversation and communication classes for the Korean faculty at their school.

English teaching assistants work regular public-school hours and truly become part of the school faculty. Working as an English assistant is more than just teaching English abroad, it is an outstanding way to experience Korean life and culture, to become part of the local community, and to make a difference in the lives of students and coworkers. Of course, there are also plenty of opportunities to network with other English Teaching Assistants in your area—you will not be alone.

This program is operated by the National Korean government’s Ministry of Education, and opportunities exist throughout South Korea for candidates who wish to teach English abroad.

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