2012 Ranking of University Jobs in Korea

University prestige does not always equal job satisfaction. Here are some things to look for when hunting for an academic job in Korea.

Not all university jobs are the same.

Just because you’ve made it to uni-land doesn’t mean your going to love your job. It’s a mistake to think that a uni job is great just because it’s at a highly ranked university.

Some of the best offers in terms of employment and teaching conditions can be found at Korea’s least-competitive universities.

As for job titles such as Tenure Track Professor, Lecturer, Assistant Lecturer, Associate Professor - you can forget about them. Employers throw these titles around like kimchi on rice. What good is it to be called Professor if your salary and responsibilities don’t reflect it?

2012 Korean university jobs rank in the following order:

LEVEL 1: These are the best university jobs in the country. They tend to be in any subject other than English, such as business, politics, science, etc...

LEVEL 2: If you want to teach ESL, level 2 is about as good as it gets.

  • Requirements: MA/MBA/PhD
  • Pay: 30-50 million per year
  • Weekly teaching hours: 12 base with possible overtime
  • Paid Vacation: 4-5 months (might include work at uni summer or winter camps for additional pay).
  • Example: English Lecturer | Seoul National University 

LEVEL 3: If you don’t have an MA then this is as high as you will go. Almost all of these jobs are located outside of Seoul.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s plus 3 years teaching experience (at university level, although some may say any experience is fine) or Masters plus 1 year experience.
  •  Pay: 20-30 million per year
  •  Weekly teaching hours: 15 base with possible overtime
  •  Paid vacation: 2-5 months (might include work at summer or winter camps, usually for additional pay).
  •  Example: English Lecturer | Kaya University

LEVEL 4: This level is a mashup of LEVEL 3 & 5. You’re a university lecturer teaching for credit courses by day, but then change roles to teach kiddies and housewives by night.

  • Requirements: Same as either LEVEL 3 or 5
  • Pay: 20-30 million per year
  • Weekly teaching hours: 15-30
  • Paid Vacation: 2 weeks - 4 months
  • Example: University of Suwon

LEVEL 5: Many universities have private language academies or ‘unigwans’ as they are not so affectionately called by foreigners living in Korea. If you work here, you’ll probably teach everyone from children to adults.

Finally, if any university is paying less than 2 million won per month for 12 or more base hours a week, it ranks at the bottom of the pay scale.

In need of more answers? Post a question in the UJK Forum.


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