How Much You Can Make With EPIK Korea

A lot of people like to downplay how much you can make with EPIK. Many naysayers on Reddit will tell you that you’re working for minimum wage. I may have my problems with EPIK, but I vehemently disagree. EPIK is a great starting job, especially if you’re wanting to make money.

My main job priorities for coming out of university were: a job I can get easily, a job that allows me to travel, and a job that allows me to save towards retirement. I think most people just out of uni have similar checklists. EPIK checks all of those boxes. Here’s how much I make.

I am with the GOE Teaching program (Check out: Programs Besides EPIK to Teach in Korea). They pay a little more for starting salary.

  • Base salary: (EPIK)2,100,000/(GOE/CNOE)2,200,000Won per month.
  • 100,000 for working at 2 schools, 150,000 for working at 3+ schools
  • 100,000 “super rural” bonus (pretty rare)
  • Move-In Bonus: 300,000won one time
  • Flight to and from Korea: 1,300,000w each way (you can normally make 300-600,000 off this)
  • Free Housing: (Around the value of 400,000w per month)
  • Severance Pay: At the end of your contract you receive 1 month’s additional pay
  • 26 Paid Vacation Days + 15 or so Government Holidays/Red Days
  • Pension: You pay in 4.5% of your paycheck and your school matches it (Only some countries get this money back, US does)
  • No taxes (US)

So let’s break this down. I personally make 2,300,000 a month because I work at two schools with GOE I got my flight to Korea for free using my airline miles, so I had 1,300,000 basically as a bonus. When I leave Korea I expect my flight to cost around 750,000, so that’s an additional 550k I get to pocket. When I leave Korea I’ll get an additional 1,250,000 from the pension payments my school matched. When I calculated this all out I make around 20,400w per hour. Above minimum wage in almost all places in the US. AND you don’t have to pay taxes on any of it.

This is also not even mentioning the fact that you only really work around 25 hours a week. You do have to be at school for the average 9-5 work day but you’re actual teaching hours are limited to 22. And your prep time is generally very low. It takes me probably 3-4 hours a week to prep. You can check out my schedule here.

Finally, the cost of living in Korea is exceptionally low. I’ve been able to contribute towards a retirement account, pay my student loans, travel to Italy and Japan, eat out around twice a week, travel around Korea two weekends a month, and live what I would call a fairly lavish lifestyle (I bought a new computer, headphones, video games, subscriptions, etc.) and generally come around with money to spare. Not to mention, I’m getting to travel a country (and others) fulfilling my dreams.

And that’s how much you can make with EPIK! I hope it was helpful!

Check out my other posts: 

Places to Visit in Korea Besides Seoul 

Korea’s Pyramids? Gyeongju!

The Tea Fields of Wazuka, Japan

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