There is a lot of demand for English language teaching in South Korea, as well as opportunities to work in the growing manufacturing and technology industries.

Major industries

South Korea's largest industries include:

  • vehicle manufacturing
  • chemicals
  • electronics
  • semiconductors
  • shipbuilding
  • steel
  • mobile telecommunications

Leading employers

Some examples of South Korea's major employers are:

  • Samsung (semiconductors)
  • Hyundai (vehicle manufacturing)
  • LG Electronics (electronics)
  • KPMG (professional services)
  • ExxonMobil (chemicals)

Skills in demand

There is a particular demand for English language teaching and those who have IT and technology skills.

Language requirements

South Korea's main language is Korean, which has its own alphabet known as Hangeul. English is widely spoken, especially in the main cities, but it's a good idea to take a Korean language course before you travel.

English teaching doesn't require you to speak Korean but you will find it useful for managing a class of children and understanding what they are talking about with each other. For other sectors, it is harder to find work without some knowledge of Korean, although fluency isn't essential.

If you know some Korean you can choose to sit the Korean Language Proficiency Test (KLPT), which assesses the practical communication skills you need to live and work in South Korea. It helps you to demonstrate your level of language ability when applying for jobs.