Korean Language Blog

“What is your job?”, in Korean Posted by on Apr 11, 2018 in Grammar, Korean Language, Vocabulary

Do you know how to answer when someone asks you “What is your job?” in Korean? If you are trying to describe your job or simply understand the job titles in Korean dramas, this post will provide you a useful list of job titles in Korean.

These are questions either you can ask someone or you will be asked by someone regarding occupations.

  1. 직업이 뭐예요?” (What is your job?) – polite

[jik-up-ee muh-ye-yo]

  1. 직업이 어떻게 되십니까?” (What is your job?) – formal

[jik-up-ee uh-tuck-ke dwei-ship-ni-ka]

  1. 무슨 하세요?” (What kind of work do you do?) – polite

[moo-seun il ha-se-yo]

  1. 무슨 하십니까?” (What kind of work do you do?) – formal

[moo-seun il ha-ship-ni-ka]


“[jik-up] 직업” means a job and “[moo-seon-il] 무슨 ” refers to “What kind of work” in English.


In order to answer these questions, you can simply use the following sentence pattern:

저는 the name of your job + 예요/이에요

[Juh-neun the name of your job + ye-yo/ee-e-yo]

“[juh] ” is a polite form of “I” and “[neun] ” is a topic marker in Korean. When it comes to a verb, you can use one of the “예요 or 이에요” ending in a sentence.

*[ye-yo] –예요 (to be) ending is used after a noun ending in a vowel.

ex) 저는 요리예요. (I am a cook.) – 요리사 ends in a vowel, “”.

[Juh-neun yo-ri-saye-yo]

 *[ee-e-yo] –이에요 (to be) ending is used after a noun ending in a consonant.

ex) 저는 선생이에요. (I am a teacher.) – 선생님 ends in a consonant, “”.

[juh-neun sun-sang-nimee-e-yo]

Photo by KLM

The following is a list of common occupations in the Korean language. For your convenience, I organize them by the consonant endings and the vowel endings in Korean.

Job titles ending in vowels:

            저는 the name of your job + 예요.

  1. [yo-ri-sa] (요리 – cook)
  2. [gyo-sa] ( – teacher) – synonym of a “[sun-sang-nim] (선생님 – teacher)”
  3. [ga-soo] ( – singer)
  4. [en-ji-knee-uh] (엔지니 – engineer)
  5. [eui-sa] ( – doctor)
  6. [gan-ho-sa] (간호 – nurse)
  7. [mi-yong-sa] (미용 – hair dresser)
  8. [byeon-ho-sa] (변호 – lawyer)
  9. [jak-ga] ( – writer)
  10. [woon-dong-sun-soo] (운동 – athlete)
  11. [gi-ja] ( – reporter)
  12. [joo-boo] ( – homemaker)
  13. sa-up-ga (사업 – business man/woman)
  14. [p-ro-g-ra-muh] (프로그래 – programmer)
  15. [gi-sa] ( – driver)

Job names ending in consonants:

            저는 the name of your job + 이에요.

  1. [sun-sang-nim] (선생 – teacher)
  2. [hak-sang] ( – student)
  3. [hoe-sa-won] (회사 – office worker)
  4. [goon-in] ( – soldier)
  5. [kyung-bi-won] (경비 – security guard)
  6. [gong-moo-won] (공무 – government employee)
  7. [eun-hang-won] (은행 – banker)
  8. [kyung-chal-kwan] (경찰 – policeman)
  9. [so-bang-kwan] (소방 – fireman)
  10. [young-up-sa-won] (영업 – salesperson)

Whether we enjoy talking about our job or not, our work or other people’s work; a person’s job is a frequently used topic in a daily conversation. I hope you will find this post to be useful when you engage in a conversation with Korean speakers. Conversely, you can candidly have fun finding what kinds of jobs are showcased in your favorite Korean dramas.

감사합니다. (Thank you!)

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About the Author: Kyung-Hwa

안녕하세요? My name is Kyung-Hwa, and I am a native of South Korea. I am accustomed to both English and Korean languages and cultures. I greatly appreciate and love both of them. I am passionate about learning different languages, and I have studied English, Japanese, and Spanish. In my spare time, I take joy in singing, playing the piano, and reading books. I also enjoy traveling around the world, meeting people, and embracing new cultures and languages...