Introduction to South Korea’s salaries

Introduction to South Korea’s salaries

If you are planning to move to South Korea, you’ll need a good job when you get there. Getting a job is a different challenge compared to getting paid right, what about the salary at work? “Will it be enough?”, “Will it cover your personal needs?”, “Is it too little for me to survive on?”. These are the questions you might be asking yourself when you’re making a big step like moving from one country to the other. Ziptoss is a Korean real estate company that provides good housing options so that foreigners can have a suitable living space in Korea. Ziptoss helps you find a house and move easily. We provide guides and information on Korean culture, traditions, and lifestyle so that foreigners can easily adapt to their daily life. In this article, we’ll be discussing the income statement and average salaries in South Korea.

Average Korean employees/workers

As of 2020, the average annual salary of Korean employees is around 37.91 million won (about 34,400 USD), which is not far from the average salary of 37.44 million won (about 34,000 USD) back in 2019. The data, which includes the average sum of base wages, overtime pay, labor allowances, and year-end bonuses, sparked a lot of discussions.

Just recently, the members of the Congressional Affairs Committee recently analyzed the “2019 Annual Labor Income Percentile Data” from the National Tax Service. The results showed that the average annual salary(median) of the middle-income group was at about 28.2 million won(about 25,600 USD), making it 1.34 times higher than the median.

Foreign employees

For foreigners working in South Korea, the number is about 580,000 Won, with an average salary of 27.72 million won ($25,100 USD). Although the average salary of foreign workers rose by 5.3% this year, it was still lower than the average salaries of Koreans.

Freelance and temporary employees

About 7.4 million people depend on a freelance or a temporary job, and with those who did not declare income last year, the number of casual workers is expected to be higher. The average annual income of those without a regular job is 8.07 million won (about 7,300 USD).

Freelance and temporary employees

Workers above standard

Out of the 19.17 million people who filed taxes in 2020, about 850,000 (about 4.4%) earned more than 100 million won (90,000 USD), an increase of 50,000 from the previous year. In addition, 19,167 people in the high-income group occupy the top 0.1% of the South Korean pyramid. Their average annual salary is 767.6 million won (about 697,000 USD), which is 27.2 times the median salary. The top 1% of the pyramid earned an average of 207.04 million won (188,000 USD). The top 10% earned an average of 78.3 million won (about 71,000 USD). Other jobs with annual salaries of over 100 million (~90,000 USD) are usually at large companies.

Written by Enaa Mari

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