|Best ESL Jobs in Korea|
Quite a few people are finding their way to this site searching on Google for "best teaching jobs in Korea."
Here's the deal:
University Jobs in Korea
Uni jobs in Korea are some of the best jobs you can get in the ESL teaching world in terms of amount of hours worked, vacation time and benefits (often free housing, a decent pension plan, etc). But they are not that easy to get, especially without a Masters degree. Check out this book, How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreamsfor some solid advice (from me!)
You should also check TEFL Tips-Best Jobs in Korea, and Profs Abroad, where you can get access to those hard to find uni jobs in Korea that are not listed in the regular places. Also join this Facebook group: Foreign Teachers in Korean Universities, which occasionally has some prime jobs listed on it.
Public School Jobs
Back in the good ole days in Korea, public school jobs were plentiful. These days, almost every foreigner working at a middle school or high school has been cut and even elementary positions are in decline. So, if you're a newbie (or even oldie) to Korea, I wouldn't necessarily count on this as a good long-term option. It's simply too dependent on the whims of the Korean government. That said, if you can get one of these jobs they are often ideal due to a decent amount of vacation time and many of your hours at "work" will consist of just hanging out and not really doing that much. Plus, you have a co-teacher, so little in the way of "actual" teaching in terms of discipline or being solely responsible for what goes down in a classroom is required.
Korea has a bit of a bad reputation in the ESL teaching world and it's because of sketchy hagwons. It's a case of buyer beware and while there are some good ones out there who honor contracts and don't rip off teachers, you'll have to do your research to find them. The best sources for up to date information about a school you're checking out are:
Facebook: Hagwon Blacklist
Koreabridge: List of Korea related Facebook Groups.
Go to this site and find some of the groups in the city you are thinking about going to. Ask anyone if they're heard of hagwon XYZ and you can almost always get some information that way.
Talking to the current teacher is recommended, but it can a bit of a crap-shoot because maybe the director is standing right there next to them as they're talking to you. Or, they're worried about getting their bonus money or plane ticket and don't want to hard their chances at getting these things by giving an honest review. It's sometimes better to ask for a teacher's email address who has already finished a contract there.