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Average Salary in Korea (South) 2024

How much money does a person working in Korea (South) make?

Average Monthly Salary
3,900,000 KRW
( 46,800,000 KRW yearly)

All salary figures displayed here are per month except when noted otherwise.
All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

A person working in Korea (South) typically earns around 3,900,000 KRW. Salaries range from 983,000 KRW (lowest average) to 17,400,000 KRW (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

Salary Variance

This is the average salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries in Korea (South) vary drastically between different careers. If you are interested in the salary of a particular job, see below for salaries for specific job titles.

Pay Scale and Salaries in Korea (South)

Median and salary distribution Korea (South) monthly
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Salary Structure and Pay Scale Comparison

5% of people earn
7,610,000 KRW or more
10% of people earn
5,950,000 to 7,610,000 KRW
20% of people earn
2,320,000 KRW or less
65% of people earn
2,320,000 to 5,950,000 KRW
Minimum Salary

Median Salary, maximum and minimum salary, minimum wage, starting salary, and the salary range

All salary figures displayed here are per month except when noted otherwise.
  • Salary Range, Minimum Wage, and Starting Salary

    Salaries in Korea (South) range from 983,000 KRW (starting salary) to 17,400,000 KRW (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher). This is not the minimum wage as per the law, only the lowest reported number in the salary survey that had thousands of participants and professionals from all over the country.

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 3,500,000 KRW, which means that 50% of the population in Korea (South) earns less than that while the other half earns more. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles and Salary Scale

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of the population in Korea (South) earn less than 2,530,000 KRW while 75% of them earn more. Also from the diagram, 75% of the population earn less than 5,300,000 KRW while 25% earn more than that.

  • Pay Scale Structure

    We grouped the most common and recurring salaries into brackets to give more insight into what salary to expect. This method is more accurate than just the average salary and gives more insights into how salaries are actually distributed in Korea (South). Around 65% of all reported figures are in the range 2,320,000 KRW to 5,950,000 KRW. Approximately 20% fall under the 2,320,000 KRW cap. Ten percent of wages are from 5,950,000 KRW to 7,610,000 KRW. Only 5% of people grossed 7,610,000 KRW or more.

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Salary is primarily determined by the level of experience one possesses, with higher levels of experience resulting in higher wages.

In Korea (South), employees with two to five years of experience typically earn an average of 32% more than entry-level and junior workers in all industries and fields.

Individuals with more than five years of experience tend to earn an average of 36% more than those with less than five years of experience.

After ten years of work, salaries increase by 21%, with an additional 14% increase for those who have worked for over 15 years.

These figures should be used as rough estimates, as considering individual job titles can lead to more accurate assessments.

Change in salary based on experience varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of many different jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.
On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Salary Comparison By Education

How does the education level affect your salary?

Salary Comparison By Education
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Change in salary based on education varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of multiple jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

The correlation between higher education and higher salary is widely acknowledged, but how much of an income increase can one expect from obtaining a degree?

We conducted a study in Korea (South) comparing the salaries of professionals with different levels of college degrees who held similar positions in various industries.

Our results showed that individuals with a certificate or diploma earned an average of 17% more than those who only completed high school.

Those who obtained a Bachelor's Degree earned 24% more than their counterparts with a certificate or diploma.

Professionals with a Master's Degree earned 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, those who held a PhD earned an average of 23% more than those with a Master's Degree while performing the same job.

Is investing in a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Is pursuing higher education worth the investment?

Earning a Master's degree or any post-graduate qualification in Korea (South) is a substantial financial commitment, with tuition fees ranging from 19,500,000 KRW to 58,500,000 KRW and a duration of around two years. It's important to note that during this period, any salary increases are unlikely, assuming ongoing employment. Salary reviews are typically conducted after completing the program and obtaining the degree.

Many individuals pursue advanced education as a means of transitioning to higher-paying positions, and the statistics indicate that this is an effective strategy. On average, individuals who change jobs after earning a higher degree receive a salary increase of about 10% more than the typical annual raise.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not to pursue advanced education depends on a variety of factors, including the personal situation and experience. However, if one can afford the financial costs of obtaining a higher degree, the return on investment is likely to be worthwhile, with the ability to recoup the costs in approximately a year.

Salary and Compensation Comparison By Gender / Korea (South)

Salary comparison by gender Korea (South) monthly
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? In Korea (South), the average difference between the salary of male and female employees is 6% across all career fields.

4,000,000 KRW
3,780,000 KRW
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in Korea (South)

How much are annual salary increments in Korea (South)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Korea (South)

Employees in Korea (South) are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 9% every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate Korea (South)
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

The term Annual Salary Increase usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rare that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one-year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 / Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in Korea (South) is 7%.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

World Average Annual Salary Increment
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Salary Packages and Schemes

Not all compensation increases are reflected directly in the salary. Some companies offer upgraded packages to their staff instead of cash money. The figures displayed here account only for direct increments to the base salary.

Bonus and Incentive Rates in Korea (South)

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate Korea (South)
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46% of surveyed staff in Korea (South) reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 54% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus, where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

Bonus Rates Comparison by Career Field

Business Development
Marketing / Advertising
Information Technology
Customer Service
Human Resources

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Salaries for popular jobs. Salaries by occupations.

Job TitleAverage Salary
Accounting and Finance
Accountant2,820,000 KRW
Accounting Assistant2,240,000 KRW
Accounting Manager5,780,000 KRW
Bookkeeper1,860,000 KRW
Chartered Accountant3,550,000 KRW
Corporate Treasurer5,160,000 KRW
Financial Analyst5,260,000 KRW
Financial Manager8,300,000 KRW
Internal Auditor3,680,000 KRW

Administration / Reception / Secretarial
Administrative Assistant2,170,000 KRW
Office Manager3,530,000 KRW
Receptionist1,840,000 KRW
Secretary1,750,000 KRW

Advertising / Graphic Design / Events
Art Director4,110,000 KRW
Creative Director4,100,000 KRW
Graphic Designer2,540,000 KRW
Photographer2,300,000 KRW

Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense
Aerospace Engineer5,190,000 KRW
Air Traffic Controller4,520,000 KRW
Flight Attendant2,760,000 KRW
Pilot6,690,000 KRW

Architect4,580,000 KRW
CAD Drafter2,060,000 KRW

Mechanic1,460,000 KRW
Service Advisor2,770,000 KRW

Bank Branch Manager7,260,000 KRW
Teller1,520,000 KRW

Teacher2,960,000 KRW
Translator3,550,000 KRW

Business Planning
Business Analyst4,900,000 KRW
Business Development Manager6,530,000 KRW
Project Manager5,150,000 KRW

Care Giving and Child Care
Nanny1,600,000 KRW
Nursery Teacher1,470,000 KRW

Construction / Building / Installation
Civil Engineer3,680,000 KRW
Construction Project Manager6,570,000 KRW
Health and Safety Officer1,820,000 KRW

Customer Service and Call Center
Call Center Representative1,530,000 KRW
Customer Service Manager5,640,000 KRW
Customer Service Representative1,440,000 KRW

Civil Engineer3,780,000 KRW
Electrical Engineer3,810,000 KRW
Engineer3,770,000 KRW
Mechanical Engineer3,830,000 KRW

Executive and Management
Chief Executive Officer8,780,000 KRW
Chief Financial Officer8,560,000 KRW
General Manager7,310,000 KRW
Project Manager4,560,000 KRW

Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering
Chef2,510,000 KRW
Executive Chef2,990,000 KRW
Hotel Manager7,340,000 KRW
Receptionist1,460,000 KRW
Travel Agent2,450,000 KRW
Waiter / Waitress1,240,000 KRW

Health and Medical
Dentist9,370,000 KRW
Dietitian7,820,000 KRW
Laboratory Technician3,040,000 KRW
Nurse3,000,000 KRW

Human Resources
Human Resources Manager5,780,000 KRW
Human Resources Officer2,450,000 KRW

Information Technology
Computer Technician3,160,000 KRW
Database Administrator4,080,000 KRW
Developer / Programmer3,950,000 KRW
Information Technology Manager6,350,000 KRW
Network Engineer3,380,000 KRW

Law Enforcement / Security / Fire
Police Officer2,410,000 KRW

Attorney8,050,000 KRW
Legal Assistant2,200,000 KRW

Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment
Journalist4,660,000 KRW

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Biomedical Engineer3,390,000 KRW
Pharmacist4,860,000 KRW

Sales Retail and Wholesale
Cashier1,520,000 KRW
Sales Manager6,800,000 KRW
Sales Representative2,600,000 KRW

Teaching / Education
Elementary School Teacher2,800,000 KRW
Secondary School Teacher3,090,000 KRW

Average Hourly Wage in Korea (South)

22,500 KRW per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) for all employees in Korea (South) is 22,500 KRW.This is the rate that the average individual gets paid for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary / ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

About The Hourly Pay Rate

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually, jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fixed amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

What is the minimum hourly rate of pay?

The minimum pay rate per hour for a person in Korea (South) is 5,670 KRW. This is the minimum as per the gathered data in the salary survey not the minimum hourly rate mandated by law.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Bucheon3,620,000 KRW
Busan4,300,000 KRW
Daegu4,150,000 KRW
Daejeon4,070,000 KRW
Goyang3,770,000 KRW
Gwangju4,000,000 KRW
Incheon4,230,000 KRW
Seongnam3,690,000 KRW
Seoul4,380,000 KRW
Suweon3,920,000 KRW
Ulsan3,850,000 KRW

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working in a private company or the government? The difference between the public or government sector salaries and the private sector salaries in Korea (South) is 6% on average across all career fields.

Private Sector
3,780,000 KRW
Public Sector+6%
4,000,000 KRW
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Statistics and Calculation Guide

What is considered to be a good and competitive salary in Korea (South)?

It is extremely difficult to give an exact figure of a good salary when no specific job is selected, however; an estimate can be provided based purely on the cost of living. A good compensation in Korea (South) would range anywhere between 3,500,000 KRW and 5,300,000 KRW.

Gross Salary (before tax) and Net Salary (after tax)

All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

Base / Basic Salary

The base salary in Korea (South) ranges from 983,000 KRW to 2,530,000 KRW. The base salary depends on many factors including profession, experience, and education. It is not easy to provide a figure with very little information, so take this range with a grain of salt.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people earn more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

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