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The English Program in Korea — EPIK — is an exciting opportunity to travel and teach abroad in a country of varied natural beauty and intrigue while gaining professional teaching experience and earning a lucrative salary.

EPIK - English Program in Korea

The EPIK Program with the University of Toronto's TEFL Certification

Become a leading candidate for the EPIK program and earn a higher salary through the University of Toronto’s TEFL Online certification program. TEFL Online offers 100, 120, and 150-hour online courses that provide prospective EPIK teachers with the skills and knowledge to teach in the Korean Public School system.

Teaching at Public Schools in Korea - EPIK

The EPIK program offers teachers a unique experience by allowing them to share their culture and knowledge with students while gaining experience teaching ESL in public schools across Korea.

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What is EPIK?

EPIK stands for English Program in Korea, a program sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education. The EPIK program was established in 1995 with the mandate to improve the English speaking abilities of students and teachers in Korea and to develop cultural exchanges. Through the EPIK Program, over 1,000 teachers are placed in ESL teaching jobs every year.

EPIK Offers One of the Best Employment Packages in Asia

  • Salary up to 2.7 million KRW/month (2.0-2.2 million KRW/month is average)
  • Over 5 weeks of vacation time
  • 1.3 million KRW entrance and exit allowance for flight
  • Free Furnished Apartment

Who is Eligible to Teach in Korean Public Schools?

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a Bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university
  • Be a citizen of a country where the primary language is English
  • Be fluent in English
  • Meet the requirements for an E-2 or F-4 visa

Teaching Job Openings at Public Schools in Korea

You can indicate which POE (Provincial Office of Education) you would like to work for, but there are no guarantees that teachers will be granted their first choice.

EPIK Placement Locations

EPIK teachers can work in almost any province of Korea. Location preference is granted on a first come-first served basis. EPIK will decide which Provincial Office of Education (POE) the teacher will work for after receiving the teacher's documents. Then, the POE will determine the teacher's school placement. Teachers will work at primary and secondary schools within a designated POE, but some may be asked to also work at other educational facilities within the POE system.

Salary for EPIK Teachers

A teacher's salary is based on a combination of qualifications and experience. Comprehensive salary guidelines have been put in place for English teachers working for EPIK. The table below will outline each salary level:

Level EPIK Requirements Monthly Pay (Million KRW)
Metropolitan City Province
Busan Incheon Other Cities Jeju Other Provinces
1+ Level 1 plus 2 consecutive years of teaching experience within the same Provincial Office of Education (POE) 2.5 2.6 2.6 2.7
  • 2 years of teaching experience with one of the following: - Master's degree - Teacher's, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA (100+ hours) certificate - Major in Education, Linguistics, English Education, or English Language/Literature
  • Contract renewal as a Level 2+ at the same POE
2.3 2.4 2.4 2.5
  • 1 year of full-time teaching experience plus one of the following: - Bachelor's degree in Education, English, or Linguistics - Teacher's License - TEFL/TESOL or CELTA certificate (100+ hours) - Master's degree in any discipline
  • Master's degree in Education, English, or Linguistics
  • Master's degree in any discipline with Bachelor's degree in Education, English, or Linguistics
  • After 1 year as Level 2 with the renewing province
2.1 2.2 2.2 2.3
  • Teacher's license
  • Must have one of the following: - Teacher's, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA (100+ hours) certificate - Major in Education, Linguistics, English Education, or English Language/Literature - Bachelor's degree in any discipline plus 1 year full-time teaching experience
  • Master's degree in any discipline
2.0 2.1 2.1 2.2
3 Bachelor's degree in any discipline 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.1

EPIK Working Hours and Benefits

The period of employment is for 1 full year (i.e. February 2012 to February 2013). A typical working day is 8 hours in length, with actual teaching hours ranging from 22-24 hours per week. Overtime pay is available if teachers are asked to work outside of their designated hours. ELIs work Monday to Friday.

Additional Benefits

All EPIK teachers will be entitled to the following benefits:

  • Free single housing (utilities not included)
  • Entrance allowance of 1.3 million KRW to purchase a one-way ticket to Korea
  • Exit allowance of 1.3 million KRW or Renewal Bonus of 2.0 million KRW for re-signing
  • Training in Korea
  • Transportation to placement location
  • Airport pick-up
  • Settlement allowance of 300,000 KRW
  • One month's salary severance pay upon completion of contract
  • Paid vacation for 18 working days, and 13-15 national holidays
  • 50% medical insurance and pension
  • Rural bonus; multiple school bonus (where applicable)

Responsibilities of English teachers working for EPIK

All English teachers with jobs in Korean Public Schools work under the guidance of a supervisor designated by a specific Provincial Office of Education (POE). Teachers are responsible for conducting English classes in cooperation with Korean teachers. ELIs will assist with the development of teaching materials and activities related to English language education.

Training in Korea

All EPIK teachers are required to attend a mandatory 9 day professional training session. The orientation period is not included in the term of employment and as such, is unpaid. Teachers will learn about the Korean Public School system, their role as English teachers, living in Korea, and many other useful topics. Attendance at orientation is a mandatory condition of employment.


An ELI is an English Language Instructor hired by the Korean Ministry of Education. ELIs usually work together with Korean co-teachers in a classroom on a daily basis. ELIs are responsible for conducting English conversation classes for Korean primary and secondary public school students as part of the Korean government's aim to promote and strengthen English language education.

NOTE: ELIs are sometimes referred to as GETs - Guest English Teachers

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