If you’re looking for work opportunities and want to know about work in Korea for foreigners, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ll go into more detail about work in South Korea for foreigners.
Note: We can’t assist you with finding a job in South Korea, we specialize in learning Korean, this post is to provide information and point you in the right direction.
Below is a free PDF guide for “Work in Korea for Foreigners” that you can download:
- 1 What to expect for jobs in Korea for foreigners
- 2 How to get jobs in South Korea as a foreigner
- 3 Is speaking Korean necessary for work in Korea?
- 4 Where to find jobs in South Korea for foreigners?
What to expect for jobs in Korea for foreigners
The number of foreigners coming to work in Korea has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years. As you might suspect, a good majority of the foreigners working in Asian countries are indeed working in South Korea as native English teachers.
As a popular job, the demand for English teaching positions for native English speakers is very high in South Korea. It’s usually not difficult to get some kind of English teaching job for those with teaching experience, whether in private, public, or cram schools. However, getting the absolute best English teaching jobs in South Korea can be difficult.
Although getting a job in South Korea may not be as easy as it is for an English teacher, it is still possible. However, do bear in mind that there is no single way for you to land a job in this country. Also, note that not every method will work for everyone.
How to get jobs in South Korea as a foreigner
What you need to land a job in South Korea varies. It depends both on your background, on whichever immigration officer you get that day, and on the specific demands of the companies, you’re looking to apply to.
The easiest way to get a non-teaching job as a foreigner is by having an F-series visa. Why is that? Because by having an F-series visa, you no longer need a visa sponsored by the company. This massively broadens your options of companies and job positions to apply to.
Unfortunately, getting that visa isn’t exactly a piece of cake.
Unless you get married to a Korean person, you usually need to have held onto a job (or several jobs in the same field) for a good while before you can qualify for one. So while it’s the easiest way to get a job in South Korea, it’s not an option for newbies.
Graduate from a Korean University
But while work in South Korea for foreigners can be more complicated without that F-series visa, it’s not impossible! Perhaps the second easiest way for a foreigner to get a job in South Korea is by graduating from a Korean university. Recent college graduates, and past alumni from universities, whether with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, can do this.
You can demonstrate that you’re already familiar with Korea’s culture and language to a degree. Still, immigration will also be more lax on what kind of jobs you are qualified to apply for. In other words, you’re not strictly limited to only getting a job directly in the field of your university degree.
The only main restriction is that the company has to be able to provide you with visa sponsorship. If they can prove that a Korean can’t do the job, they’ll be able to.
Apply for jobs in Korea from your home country
Unfortunately, for those new to South Korea, it is trickier to land a job. Perhaps the best way to go about it would be to find a company in your own country with branches in South Korea. Make sure you are notified of the latest job alert for Korean job opportunities.
Try searching for the best one you can find, and make sure to read through the job description carefully. Otherwise, immigration will require the job position to be in the field of your degree with prior working experience.
You will also need to have a few years’ worth of job experience in that field before you’ll qualify for the work visa.
Is speaking Korean necessary for work in Korea?
Knowing how to speak Korean will also help you tremendously. Even knowing a few words and phrases will help, so it’s a good idea to at least know these words and how to construct Korean sentences to start.
Though, do note (and perhaps take a sigh of relief) that most of the companies open to visa sponsorships for foreign employees are looking specifically for those that are fluent in languages other than Korean.
Where to find jobs in South Korea for foreigners?
Now it’s time to lay out some methods through which you can get started on your job hunt. One of the quickest ways to find many companies at once is by attending a job fair.
There are two main job fairs arranged every fall. One is for foreign residents in South Korea, and the other is specifically for international students in South Korea.
Besides that, along with networking, there are also several websites out there through which you can find and apply for jobs. Here are a few great examples:
This is a hit-or-miss type of job portal. However, the job advertisements are usually in English, and the employees sought after are foreigners. It may not be where you find your dream job, but it’s likely the least intimidating site to start with.
Saramin is a website entirely in Korean so it may be terrifying to navigate through at first. However, this is one of the main job portals for Koreans themselves to find a job, and there are plenty of jobs from different fields posted where they are looking for foreign language speakers.
Another job portal that is mainly used in Korea is JobKorea. Similar to Saramin, this website is purely in Korean. However, it’s a great site to explore for jobs as there are a lot of job postings even for foreigners.
It is said to be the best job portal to find a job in South Korea for foreigners. It looks overwhelming at first glance, but you’ll be relieved to know that there is also an ample amount of jobs there posted in English.
Unlike the other portals listed here, this is the main place where you can find all the big foreign companies looking for employees in their Korean branches. Companies have job postings all the time, and you can get notifications right on your phone, too!
Once you land an interview, be sure you’re familiar with proper Korean business etiquette so you make an excellent first impression. Familiarizing yourself with the work culture in South Korea will also help you become more prepared.
Good luck with your job hunt! Do you know great ways to find a job in South Korea? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto