Friday, September 21, 2012

Salary, Savings, Taxes in Korea

And a few more from Julie:

"Do you know if salary is tax free? I've heard you can earn up to $38,000 USD equivalent pay - is this true? Do you save as much as they say?"

The salary is not tax-free.  You pay 3-5% tax, depending on various factors.  And, in some cases, you may be liable for paying taxes back home as well.  And, you'll also have to pay about 4.5% of your salary into the National Pension, and you may or may not get that back, depending on what country you're from.

$38 000 US= 42.5 million won or around 3.5 million/month.  And yes, it is possible to make that much money in Korea.  I usually do.  But, I've been in Korea for 7 years and know how the system works, and how to make this much.  And, I work at a uni with base hours of only 12/week.  This leaves PLENTY of extra hours in the day for me to work overtime.  Standard starting salaries are around 2.2 million/month, teaching 30 hours/week.  You can assume that this is what you'd be starting out at.  And overtime opportunities are not really plentiful in the entry-level jobs.  Most people save around 1 million/month, for a total of around $10 000 US/year in savings. 

2 comments:

Ana Morris said...

Living in Korea is also really expensive that's why people work harder.

Jackie Bolen said...

I wouldn't necessarily say that. Certain things are far cheaper in Korea than they are back in England or North America. For example, eating out, service stuff like dry cleaning, hair cuts, taxis, etc. Also, rent and utilities are significantly cheaper as well in all places besides Seoul.