U.S. President Barack Obama has given South Korea’s education system kudos stating that teachers are paid on par with doctors and engineers, a false claim.
“In places like Korea and Finland, where the education system is really doing well, teachers are paid at the level that doctors and engineers are paid, and it is respected as a profession,” Obama said in a town hall meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday.
Obama praised Korea’s education system several times since taking office in 2009. His PR team need to be aware of the facts.
Indeed.com, a company that measures average wages for professions based on salaries advertised on recruitment ads, found the average teacher’s wage in Seoul is $55,000 where as a physician’s wage is $86,000 and an engineer’s is $89,000.
When searching the wage for a “doctor” the average wage is $67,000.
The Center for International Benchmarking’s report said that teachers are well respected in South Korea and are paid well when compared with other OECD countries.
This figure does not include expats teaching English who are paid significantly less.
Gone2Korea ESL Employment Services indicates qualified teachers with good references can expect to make somewhere between 2.2 – 2.6 million KRW a month.
This equates to $34,000 which is roughly 35 percent lower than the average Korean teachers wage and 80 percent of the average OECD teachers wage.