My blogpost on How to Apply As Factory Worker in Korea has been flooded with a lot of questions about working in Korea. Some of the questions have been repeatedly asked and I can’t afford to answer all of it especially if it is a repeating question. So I decided to make a separate article about it and hope this answers some of the most common questions of people.
These are the questions usually asked by people who are interested in working in South Korea. Once and for all, I will provide an answer on this page. Please note that the answers to these questions are based on my experience, on the facts that I've read and from other people who know the whole application process. I have here only 10 questions, if your question is not included, you can always leave a comment below.
1. Can I work in Korea even if I have a tattoo?
Apparently, this is the most asked question. A lot of people are wondering if it’s allowed to have a tattoo in Korea. I have friends who have tattoo, I have workmates who have tattoo and I know a lot of people working in Korea with a tattoo, so YES. You can definitely work in Korea even if you have a tattoo. But, but, but…. Medical examination is strict. You will undergo medical exam in the Philippines and in Korea. My point is, we know the risk of having a tattoo right? You can get contagious disease especially if the needle was not properly sanitized. If by any unlucky chance you acquired a disease because of that, you may not be able to work in Korea not because you have a tattoo but because you fail the medical examination. So you must be extra careful with that.
2. When is the schedule of Korean Language Exam for EPS?
There is no definite schedule for this. Sometimes, it’s once a year, sometimes it’s twice a year and sometimes, none. The schedule of examination is announced by HRD Korea and the POEA in Manila will then disseminate the information and open the registration for the examination. Again, there’s no exact date for this. If Korea feels the need to hire foreign workers, then that’s the time they will schedule an examination and it could be at any time of the year. You need to watch out for the announcement.
3. Do I need a certificate of Korean Language in order to take the exam?
The only requirement to take the exam is your registration number. Once you were able to register at POEA for the exam, all you need to do is get your registration number and show up during the examination. You don’t need to enroll in Korean Language centers. You can study for yourself or you can take crash courses in Korean Language. You don’t need a certificate to take the exam.
4. How much is the salary of Factory Workers in Korea?
The basic salary of a factory worker in Korea to date is 1,260,000 KRW or around 40,000 pesos. That is the salary if you work 8 hours a day from Monday to Friday. But if there’s ovetime work on weekend and on a daily basis, you can get up to 2,000,000 KRW which is around 80,000 pesos in the Philippine money. The more you work, the more money you get.
5. Will the company shoulder the food and accommodation?
This one depends on the company. It is not a requirement for them to shoulder your food and your accommodation. But usually, I think most companies in Korea, do shoulder the food and accommodation for the convenience of the workers. However, some companies may deduct a small amount from your salary for the electricity or water bill maybe. Although it’s stated in the contract that you have free accommodation, if it’s just small amount, like let’s say around 50,000 won, then just give it up. As for the food, they usually serve only Korean food. So expect a lot of veggies and kimchi. Just eat it, it’s healthy anyway.
6. How long is the contract of an EPS worker in Korea?
Again, this one depends on the company who selected you. Some one year, some two years but mostly it’s 3 years. After 3 years, your visa will expired but it can also be extended for another 1 year and 10 months. If you happen to work in one company for straight 4 years and 10 months, you may go back to Korea as a sincere worker and you will work under the same company. That is if your sajangnim approves it.
7. What is the usual work of an EPS worker?
Well you should not expect that much. As an EPS worker, you can’t afford to just sit and be pretty all day in the factory. This is a 3D environment. But not all is hard though. It’s just “paswerte-swerte”. Some workers assigned to hard jobs and others are for easy jobs. Usually, works in factory include operating a machine, packaging, QA and sometimes, janitor…. You must be flexible for this job.
8. How much do I need to spend for the application process?
I have a breakdown of the expenses on my other post but I think you need to prepare around 40,000 pesos. This includes all the fees you need to pay at POEA, your plane ticket, you fare, medical exams and pocket money. Don’t worry, you will get back in one month time when you start working in Korea.
9. Which agency should I go to apply as a factory worker in Korea?
None. There’s no agency for EPS. This is a government to government agreement which means all transaction from the registration up to the application must only be done in the premise of POEA in Manila. If there’s an agency offering a factory work in Korea, say NO immediate. There’s no authorized agency nowadays to hire Filipino workers for Korea. So beware!
10. What if I don’t like my job or my company or my boss? What should I do?
There’s this thing called RELEASE. However, there are only three qualifications for a Release. First is if your company filed a bankruptcy, second if you were verbally abused, and third if you were physically abused. Other reasons such as you don’t like your job, or if it’s too hard for you, or if you don’t like the people you work with are not valid reasons for a RELEASE. You can only get a release if your Sajangnim or boss agrees to it. Otherwise, you can’t just leave the company as easy as that. So what you should do is to talk to your boss, state your problem, and who knows, he will grant you your freedom
For now, these are the 10 questions frequently asked. Maybe next time I can add more questions to this page. Or if you have other questions related to working in South Korea, you may add it up to the comment and I will try to answer as best as I could.