[K-drama] Corporate Titles - Korean to English


Information below taken from: http://www.asiaoptions.org/korean-company-hierarchy-structure-business-titles/
(For curious ones I recommend a visit, every title is further explained in an easy and succinct way.)

The list is in hierarchy order, starting with the highest position:

회장 HuiJang - Chairman / CEO
1st level company director, head of the family.

사장 SaJang - President / COO
2nd level company director, right hand man to CEO, usually division head.

전무 JeonMoo - Executive Vice President / CFO
3rd level company director, usually head of finance department.

상무 SangMoo - Vice President
4th level company director, usually head of department.

이사 EeSsa - Director
Lowest level company director, usually younger department heads/less important department.

수석부장 SooSeok BooJang - Department Head
Head of dep. who lack seniority to become company director/In charge of operations or manufacturing (think blue collar workers).

실장 ShilJang - Department Head
Section chief. Used when departments are broken into sections, job role similar to EeSsa, slightly less senior.

부장 BooJang - Team Leader / Head Manager / Senior Manager
Also called Team-Jangnim. Leader of team within department (sales team, accounting team etc.).
Answers to Sangmoo, EeSsa or Shiljang.

차장 ChaJang - Deputy Team Leader / Senior Manager
Lower in seniority than BooJang, but only just. The tasks are about the same.

과장 KwaJang - Manager
Manages the below staff, leads projects. Usually 2 per team.

대리 DaeRi - Assistant Manager
Staff with around 4 years of experience. Basic job tasks. Usually 2 or more per team.

주임 JooIm - Senior Staff / Assistant Manager
In between level, doesn’t always exist. Only difference from Sawon is tiny increase in pay.

사원 Sawon - Regular Staff / ~ Assistant / Officer
Graduate employee who has at least 1 year of experience. Usually one per team.

신입사원 Shinip Sawon - New Graduate Employee
First-year newbies.

I’m putting this list up for myself and all other interested to use.

Why? After watching a lot of dramas, and having subbed on some myself, I’ve felt some confusion about corporate titles.

Trying to translate corporate titles from english over to my own language is not always an easy task to begin with, but it was made even harder by not understanding the korean corporate structure. Since many K-dramas are set within a corporate setting, with a handsome cheabol as the male lead, I got frustrated a lot, lol.

But sometimes it’s also been made harder because the english title is not very clear. I’m truly starting to hate the title “Director”, which seems to be slapped onto any position as a sort of blanket title when people are unsure, and which has no good translation into my language (except for a word that sounds like it’s from the nineteenfourties :joy:). I’ve seen many different sounding titles be translated as director.

I’m not writing this to slight anyones performance or work, like I said, I’ve had my share of struggles with it too. It’s just something I think we can get better at if we help eachother.

So I decided to write this as my contribution in order to bring a bit more clarity into the subject.
Feel free to add to it if you like! (And correct if something is wrong). :slight_smile: