Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Re: Seoul SAT/TOEFL/test-prep hagwons

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Job-related Discussion Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
braindrops



Joined: 13 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Seoul SAT/TOEFL/test-prep hagwons Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I haven't posted in a while...I just wanted to get some advice. I'm finishing up my tour of duty in Daejeon and I want to move back to Seoul and get a job as a test-prep teacher. I have experience and improved Korean skills. I was wondering how to optimize my job search, so if there are people out there who have knowledge of the market/current circumstances, that would be awesome! I'm a bit out of the loop...

Specifically, I would like to know the following:

1) What has the Seoul market been like in the past year?
2) Which neighborhoods should I be looking in?
3) If the peak seasons are summer and winter vacations, what do test-prep teachers do in the non-intensive seasons?
4) How much can one reasonably expect to make if working in Seoul as a test-prep teacher? Precise numbers would be appreciated, but roundabout figures are also good...and how much do typical test-prep classes cost an individual student?
5) Does the typical test-prep teacher work on a per-hour basis, on commission, or on a full-year type contract? I have heard from a hagwon owner friend in Daejeon that the top test-prep teachers in Gangnam simply get a cut of the profits--up to 75-80% of the total fee.
6) Is it advantageous to be bilingual, or is it preferred that only English be used in class? I am not sure what the expectations are...

Of course, I have other questions, but those are just some off the top of my head. I just need a change. The market in Daejeon is quite small, and while I was lucky, the work was a total grind: long, taxing hours and high-stress environment. The boss was a maniac who made you bleed for the money. I feel like I would be better served getting that kind of treatment in Seoul, where I presume the market is more open and accommodating.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks everyone~
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fustiancorduroy



Joined: 12 Jan 2007

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) SAT and AP are still in demand, more or less as much as before. I think TOEFL has declined a bit. In its place, debate has become more popular, but there is still a decent sized TOEFL market.

2) Apgujeong and Dogok-dong for SAT and AP, Daechi-dong for more TOEFL with some SAT and AP.

3) If you teach TOEFL, you can work throughout most of the year. If you teach SAT and AP, you can be super busy during intensives (i.e. 40-60+ hours of teaching a week). The rest of the year, you might not work at all or you'll work very limited hours (8-15 hours per week). Either way, you'll make very little money outside the intensive seasons. Most SAT and AP teachers make more than 70 percent of their income during the intensives. It's "feast and famine", as one test-prep teacher I know put it.

4) Too many variables, but I would say a low end figure would be an average of 4 million won a month. This could be making 4 million won each month throughout the year as a TOEFL teacher or making 10 million won for 4 months of the year and making 1 million won 8 months of the year as a SAT/AP teacher. Once you build your reputation, it should be possible to average 5-8 million won a month. At the high end, you could make between 10 to 20 million won a month. For superstar teachers, more than 20 million won a month is possible.

Students usually pay about 12,000 to 15,000 won an hour to study TOEFL in a class. Clinic classes and tutoring would be double or triple this. SAT/AP classes are more expensive, around 20,000 an hour or more. Tutoring would be 50,000 to 100,000+ an hour.

5) Again, it depends. Most TOEFL teachers make a monthly salary. Starting out, SAT/AP teachers are generally paid by the hour, though some hagwons may offer a salary. A few schools pay on commission, though that usually is only advisable once you've built up a considerable base of students, say 50 to 100 students or more. 75-80 percent of the fee sounds quite high, though not impossible. I would expect closer to 30-50 percent to begin with. After you've built your reputation, then 75-80 percent might be possible.

6) Some hagwons prefer bilingual teachers to help with 상담. A few schools will want teachers who can explain difficult concepts in Korean, especially for some of the AP subjects, such as AP Econ. For SAT and TOEFL, being bilingual is less important, though it's certainly a good asset to have.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For superstar teachers, more than 20 million won a month is possible.


So do you think they also pay just 3.3% income tax?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
fustiancorduroy



Joined: 12 Jan 2007

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
Quote:
For superstar teachers, more than 20 million won a month is possible.


So do you think they also pay just 3.3% income tax?


I don't know, Edward, because I don't make that much money. But I assume that the teachers who use an accountant to file their taxes pay much less than those who don't. If their accountant is really good, then perhaps they do pay only 3.3 percent.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to you, all independent contractors pay income tax at 3.3%

[/quote]As an independent contractor, my tax rate is 3.3 percent. If you or anybody else has a link to a Korean government website saying that I have to pay more than this amount because of my salary, then please do share it. I mean, everybody I've known who works as an independent contractor at many different employers pays 3.3 percent in tax. Always. Isn't this the primary reason to work as an independent contractor? You miss out on being provided health insurance and pension, but you get taxed at a lower rate[quote]

So if they are independent contractors they must be paying a maximum of 3.3% income tax on their salary of 20 million a month, regardless of who their accountant is. No?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NO.

Taxes are on a progressive scale (from 0-15%) based on income and peak at 15% of net taxable income.

3.3% is the withholding rate for independent contractors who are paid a salary by an employer. The contractor is responsible for remittance of taxes above that level. Failure to pay your taxes is a criminal offense and subject (depending on your political connections) to lengthy prison terms.

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
fustiancorduroy



Joined: 12 Jan 2007

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
NO.

Taxes are on a progressive scale (from 0-15%) based on income and peak at 15% of net taxable income.

3.3% is the withholding rate for independent contractors who are paid a salary by an employer. The contractor is responsible for remittance of taxes above that level. Failure to pay your taxes is a criminal offense and subject (depending on your political connections) to lengthy prison terms.

.


I don't doubt that, ttompatz. And as I wrote to Edward, I don't know how much tax people who make 20 million won a month pay. But I know there are ways to reduce the amount of tax you have to pay, and that is by filing your taxes professionally. The same is true of my home country, America. Even if you are supposed to owe, say, 15 percent in taxes, you can end up paying less by hiring an accountant who knows the tax code well and can get you additional deductions and so forth.

Edward is just hung up on the fact that, as far as he is concerned, I am committing some sort of tax fraud or tax evasion. That is not the case. I file my taxes properly, reporting my full income. If I filed my taxes without an accountant, I would undoubtedly have to pay more taxes at the end of each year. But I don't do that, so I don't need to pay more, and in fact, often get a refund. My situation is not unique. In fact, if you want to reduce the amount of taxes you pay each year, Edward, I can send you the contact information for my accountant. It sounds like you need help filing your taxes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't doubt that, ttompatz


You obviously do doubt that as before you said all independent contractors pay a maximum of 3.3% income tax. Are you now saying that some independent contractors pay more than 3.3%?

As I mentioned previously I work for an employer so it would be illegal for me to file my taxes an an independent contractor through an accountant.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
fustiancorduroy



Joined: 12 Jan 2007

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
Quote:
I don't doubt that, ttompatz


You obviously do doubt that as before you said all independent contractors pay a maximum of 3.3% income tax. Are you now saying that some independent contractors pay more than 3.3%?

As I mentioned previously I work for an employer so it would be illegal for me to file my taxes an an independent contractor through an accountant.


I realized that 3.3 percent is simply the withholding rate and that it is possible for independent contractors to be taxed more than 3.3 percent. So what I said before was wrong, I admit. Still, independent contractor or not, workers can reduce the amount of taxes they pay by filing through an accountant. That's why tax return services are so popular here and in the US. Edward, you, too, can pay less taxes by filing with an accountant. It doesn't matter that you're not an independent contractor. A professional accountant can still help you get more deductions from your taxable income, thus reducing your tax burden and allowing you to get a tax return rather than pay the full amount of taxes someone at your income normally pays. Surely the UK must have a system similar to this?

In any case, the OP's initial post was not about taxes, so I'm going to refrain from going off topic any further.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
braindrops



Joined: 13 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So 240 hours in a month but if you are bottom of the barrel, 10 million? And superstars average 20 million a month? ...

So it is possible to earn 240 mil in a single year? As a teacher?

I just want to be clear here.

I wonder how many teachers actually make 100 mil plus just from teaching...and if thats just from one place or if they are hustling multiple gigs.

Only in korea...right?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FMPJ



Joined: 03 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

braindrops wrote:
So it is possible to earn 240 mil in a single year? As a teacher?


Yep, and more. Not easy, not common, not available to just anyone, but it definitely happens.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fustiancorduroy



Joined: 12 Jan 2007

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

braindrops wrote:
So 240 hours in a month but if you are bottom of the barrel, 10 million? And superstars average 20 million a month? ...

So it is possible to earn 240 mil in a single year? As a teacher?

I just want to be clear here.

I wonder how many teachers actually make 100 mil plus just from teaching...and if thats just from one place or if they are hustling multiple gigs.

Only in korea...right?


I'm not quite sure where you get the 240 hours a month figure from. You can work that much, but only during intensives, and that would equate to about 3 to 4 months of the year. 10 million a month from a single job wouldn't be bottom of the barrel, at least not for most folks, lol. That would be higher end -- probably the top five percent of test-prep teachers -- as I mentioned in my post. And yes, as FMPJ wrote, there are teachers who make 240 million won a year, just as teachers, working at one place. Granted, their single job keeps them VERY busy, but there are certainly people earning that much or more. I would say the absolute maximum would be 400 million won a year for a teacher. As for how many teachers earn that much money, I would hazard to guess that there are no more than two or three dozen on the entire peninsula, but that's only my guess.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FMPJ



Joined: 03 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fustiancorduroy wrote:
As for how many teachers earn that much money, I would hazard to guess that there are no more than two or three dozen on the entire peninsula, but that's only my guess.


That's probably a pretty decent estimate. Four or five (that I know of) exceed 400 million/year, though, for sure, but almost all of them have ownership stakes or operate totally independently with minimal overhead. Almost none of these people, btw, are ethnically non-Korean.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Job-related Discussion Forum All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International