Tax accountants were the highest-paid professionals in Korea last year. According to figures announced Tuesday by the Korea Employment Information Service (KEIS) based on a survey of 100,000 people who landed jobs, the average monthly salary of a licensed tax accountant was W10.73 million (US$1=W1,162), the highest among 426 professions. The average salary of tax accountants rose from ninth place last year.
Managers in information and technology companies came second with monthly salaries totaling W8.86 million, followed by other business managers, who made W7.48 million on average. Managers at culture, arts, design or visual media companies came in fourth with W6.73 million, while airline pilots ranked fifth with W6.4 million. Lawyers, who ranked at the top of the pyramid last year, came in at sixth place this year with W6.23 million.
Park Sang-hyeon, a researcher at KEIS, said, "The reason tax accountants rose to the top of the rankings is that a lot of high-income, self-employed people were included in the latest survey and not because of a structural shift in the labor market." If employers and self-employed people are excluded, then corporate managers lead the pack with W7.81 million. In second place are lawyers (W6.74 million), pilots (W6.53 million), managers at culture, arts and media companies (W6.23 million) and employees of financial or insurance companies (W6.23 million).
The average monthly pay of Korean workers stood at W2.04 million in 2008, while the average age was 43.4. The average worker was employed for 8.5 years and worked 49.3 hours a week.