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Average Kpop Idol Salary | From Trainee To Idol

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

The average Kpop Idols salary ranges anywhere from 45,000,000 (42,000 USD) won up to 1,000,000,000 (900,000 USD) won. It depends on how much debt they have and how the contract is split. Most companies have very bad contracts for the idols, especially at the beginning of their career.

Average Kpop Idol Salary

Kpop idols are often looked at as extremely rich, but that’s not the case at all. The company pays for the clothes and accessories they wear. It might look like they live an extremely lavish life, but in reality, it’s not.

Many idols build up a lot of debt when being a trainee. This adds up year over year, and some idols with a lot of debt for about ten years. Some idols only train for a year or two and can pay off the debt fast when debuting, but that’s not for everyone.

There’s also a huge difference in the companies. Some pay more than others, and this is all written in the contract the idols sign. According to an anonymous source, it’s said that idols can earn up to a million years when they have fully paid off their debt.

Keep in mind that an idol’s lifetime is not forever, so they must save up some money to use. The idols also don’t perform all year long, and that’s why they need to have money saved up if everything goes wrong.

Do Kpop Idols Get Paid Monthly?

Generally speaking, an idol gets paid every three months. This might be different for every company, but normally, the idols come back every couple of months and right after getting paid. They most likely won’t get paid on the months they don’t promote unless they receive some copyrighting fee.

This is why you see idols often appear on variety shows or features. They have an appearance fee, and that creates another source of income for them. Most people don’t know about this, but the followers the idols build up on social media platforms also earn them money.

They can posts advertising deals and earn money that way. The companies that hire them will most likely pay them right after the post or before. This depends on the company and how the idol has signed the deal.

Who Is The Highest Paid KPOP Idol?

The highest-paid idol is G-Dragon. He’s been the highest-paid idol for many years in a row now. If you haven’t heard about him, you’re missing out.

G-dragon debuted as a solo artist first and later became the leader of BIGBANG. They made many hit songs and are still relevant to this day. Many people also call him the King of K-pop. This is a huge achievement because he’s a true legend and will always be.

How Much Does Kpop Training Cost?

The average cost of Kpop training is about 27,000,000 won, which is around (25,000 USD). This includes clothing, food, and a dorm. Many idols build debt throughout the years and have to pay it back when they finally debut.

What I like about some companies is that the idols don’t have to pay the debt if they aren’t good enough. They don’t have to repay the debt they owe to the company and are just free to go.

In other companies, the trainees sign a contract and follow that for at least 5 to 10 years. Many people also call these slave contracts, and they are very popular in Korea.

However, throughout the years, it has gotten better. I hope in the future, and idols don’t have to sign those extremely harsh contracts.

Who Is The Richest Kpop Group?

The richest Kpop group is BTS. They have made many hits worldwide and continue to do so. It’s expected that BTS will maintain their popularity. Many people in western countries want BTS to perform there.

Generally speaking, whenever BTS announces a concert overseas, it gets sold out almost instantly. That’s how popular they are. If you haven’t been to a BTS concert yet, I highly recommend it. It’s been one of my best experiences, and if I can go again, I 100% would.

Is Being An Idol Worth It?

Only if you’re willing to dedicate your life to it, it might take up to 10 years before actually making a debut. Keep in mind that some idols train for many years and eventually won’t make it to the final group. That’s how harsh the K-pop industry is, and you have to work extremely hard.

This requires singing, dancing, and having visuals. The Kpop industry is known to look very highly at the visuals because singing and dancing can be learned. However, the visuals you have to be born with, and people have to find you pretty.

If you want to be an idol and dedicate your life to it, it will be worth it, especially if you can debut under the big three companies. A debut from YG, JYP, or SM will most likely guarantee your success because all three companies’ debut is always blowing up.


Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, I hope you’ve found the information you were looking for. The average Kpop idol salary might not be a lot initially, but you’ll start earning more over time, especially when popularity picks up.

Keep in mind that it might take many years before getting a hit song. Some groups have one hit song, but after that, the group slowly dies down. That’s why you should always have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.

When you are scouted for being a trainee, you’ll start training to become an idol. This means that you will leave your family behind if you live overseas, and most likely, you’ll start building up debt. Once your debut, you’ll have to slowly pay off the debt and eventually start earning a lot of money.

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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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