“Strip mall” teacher rakes in $4 million … now you’re talking.

Don’t I wish.

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher.


Here’s how he does  it …

According to the WSJ

Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years,  in the country’s private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons.

The Korean private market has reduced education to the one in-school variable that matters most: the teacher.

Korean students gave their hagwon teachers higher scores across the board than their regular schoolteachers: Hagwon teachers were better prepared, more devoted to teaching and more respectful of students’ opinions.

Competing hagwons routinely try to poach one another’s celebrity tutors. 

Mr. Kim is paid according to the demand for his skills — and he is in high demand … both in the classroom and online.

The bulk of Mr. Kim’s earnings come from the 150,000 kids who watch his lectures online each year … for about $44 per watched hour.

‘The harder I work, the more I make,’ he says.


Tutoring services are growing all over the globe … creating a “shadow education system” mirroring the mainstream system, offering after-hours classes in every subject — for a fee.

Under this system, students essentially go to school twice—once during the day and then again at night at the tutoring academies. In South Korea,  private tutors now outnumber schoolteachers.

The South Korean education market is so profitable that it attracts investments from firms like Goldman Sachs, the Carlyle Group and A.I.G.


The way that I like to think about it:  Mr. Kim and I have an average annual comp of about $2 MM.

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