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Do Kpop Trainees Get Paid?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

No, Kpop Trainees don’t get paid. They build up a lot of debt when training for years. Many trainees don’t come from a rich family, and after they debut, they have to eventually pay the company back with sales, performances, and appearances.

Being a Kpop trainee might look very good and pleasant; however, this isn’t the case since they have to work every day until they debut.

The training is very hard, and they have to keep improving until they are finally good enough in the companies eyes.

Many trainees want to become the next big group, but the competition is also very fierce. Every day there are more and more trainees starting from very young wanting to become an idol.

If you want to become an idol yourself, make sure to think thoroughly about it before making the decision.

How Much Does It Cost To Be A Kpop Trainee?

A source claimed that producing an idol group can cost between 2.1 billion won (approximately $1.85 million). This can be different in every company, but that’s still extremely high. So being a Kpop trainee is probably around $25,000 per month.

For every trainee, the company has the cost to add up very fast, and many smaller companies can’t afford this.

So, smaller companies can’t compete with the bigger ones since they don’t have the revenue the big companies are pulling.

Even if you had a successful group, it’s very hard to maintain it. The popularity of groups vary a lot and especially when a group is on a hiatus. The songs they release have to become a decent hit to keep getting revenue month over month.

If a group debuts and wants to promote their album or songs, they often have to pay music programs a monthly fee to promote it for an extending time.

What Happens When You Become A Kpop Trainee?

Firstly, they have to scout you, or you have to audition. After that, they will probably send you a ticket to Korea, and you’ll be training there for a couple of months or even years. This all depends on when the company wants to debut you.

Some trainees train for 10+ years and eventually make a debut. However, some trainees train for many years and won’t make it to the final group.

This is extremely harsh since they have trained for many years and can’t be what they want.

This happens a lot, but many people don’t know about this. The trainees that never make it to the final group you probably never hear about if they give up being an idol.

What Does It Take To Be A Kpop Trainee?

There are many things to consider when becoming a Kpop trainee. There three main things I’ve listed here below for you to check out.

Singing is very important because the idols have to sing songs, which is common sense. Even if you can’t sing that well, you’ll be trained by professionals to make it sound better. Eventually, you’ll get better at singing over time and maybe even be the group’s vocalist.

Dancing is one of the most important skills to have since the groups have to dance a lot. Every time you perform or just practice, you have to dance. This isn’t something you can overlook cause the audience will probably criticize you a lot if you can’t dance well enough.

Visuals are also important. Sadly, the idols have to look good in the Korean beauty standards. Surely, there are ways like plastic surgery to look better, but mostly its genetics, and if you don’t fit into Korea’s beauty standards, you probably won’t make it.

As you can see, these three are the main factors you want to consider when becoming an idol yourself. It’s a hard life, but eventually, it will all be worth it when you make the debut.

Are Kpop Trainees Allowed To Date?

No, Kpop trainees aren’t allowed to date. If they are caught dating, the company can take serious measures and even kick them out. In the past, many trainees who were caught dating got kicked out and had to start all over again, becoming an idol.

This might sound very harsh, but it’s the truth. The contract the trainee’s sign when they make a debut almost every time says that they aren’t allowed to date unless the company approves it.

If you ever want to become a Kpop trainee, you now know that you aren’t allowed to date.

Most idols do date in secret, and no one finds out. The idols themselves probably have many dating secrets no one knows about and should keep it that way. The moment the idols openly discuss their relationship, it will become a huge scandal for the idol and company.

Can Kpop Trainees Go To School?

Can Kpop Trainees Go To School

Yes, Trainees that aren’t old enough to still go to school. It’s a must to graduate for most trainees since they have a backup if an idol goes sideways. This is always good because you never know what’s going to happen in life.

Kpop Trainees have a very hard and difficult life because they have to train and go to school. This goes on for many years until they are chosen to make their debut. Going to school might not be hard, but doing both will be stressful.


Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, I hope you’ve found the information you were looking for.

As you might know now, the Kpop Trainees don’t get paid at all until they make a debut. They build up a lot of debt and pay the company back with sales, performances, and appearances.

If you want to become a Kpop trainee yourself, make sure you’re very hardworking and dedicated to it. You don’t want to audition and not making it to the final group. Prepare a lot in advance and hope you make it to the final group that’s got to be a trainee.

Trainees become younger and younger these days because the Entertainment agencies have more time to train them and eventually perfect them.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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