In this article, I’ve listed out the highest paid Korean drama actresses. So check what’s the net worth of your favorite K-drama actors!
Numerous Korean actresses have worked in many Korean dramas and have triggered a new fan base for themselves overall. But like so many other workspaces, Korean dramas too face the challenge of biases and inequality.
Especially the pay gap, though the issue has gained a lot of attention and the gaps have lessened, but there’s always enough room for improvement.
As many Korean dramas as I can remember, each of them have female protagonists portraying unmatchable roles that eventually have gained a lot of praise and, of course, a massive global crowd as well.
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Also, let’s be honest the list of globally famous Korean drama stars is mostly filled with their actresses.
And I think this should come to you as no surprise if I would mention that a few of these amazing actresses have been in the Korean drama industry for over a decade.
So, in today’s edit, we are going to find out about the actresses in K-drama that get paid the highest. So, let’s dig into the list.
Highest Paid Korean Drama Actresses 2022
Song Hye Kyo
Per episode- 200 million Won (170,000USD)
Total salary- 3.2 billion Won (2.69 million USD)
Song Hye Kyo is deemed as one of the most stunning actresses in Korean dramas and is currently one of the best actresses in Korea. At least her endorsement deals and income are stating a positive note.
Not only that, the earnings of Song Hye Kyo are now making us believe that soon the earnings gap between actors and actresses is going to level up.
Adding to that, it is undeniable that each of her projects is turning out to be a hit, making her an A-list star. And let’s not forget the brand value and higher compensation that will come along with it.
The 40year old actress is the protagonist in the new K-drama series Now We Are Breaking Up, which is aired on SBS and streamed on Viu as well. So, she has made a new salary record by getting paid 200 million Won for a single episode.
The drama series has 16 episodes in total, so keeping that in mind, Song Hye’s salary can reach about 3.20 billion won, and that converted in US dollars would be around $2.9 million.
Jun Ji Hyun
Per Episode – 200 million Won (170,000USD)
Total salary- 3.2 billion Won (2.69 million USD)
Another highest paid Korean drama actress that made her come back last year is Jun Ji Hyun. It was with tvN’s Jirisan.
Rising to fame in 2001 with her My Sassy Girl, a comedy film, Jun Ji is a mother of two and is currently 40-year old. The comic movie ended up giving her the accolade of Nation’s First Love, and after that, the love by her fans became undying.
Following that and many other achievements in 2006, she made her Hollywood debut with Blood: The Last Vampire. Afterwards, she also went on to become the first Korean actress to be featured in the American Vogue edition.
Jun Ji Hyun has reportedly been paid the same as Song Hye Kyo, which is 200 million Won per episode of Jirisan, which, if turned into US currency, would be about 170,000 dollars.
Adding further, as her current drama, Jirisan has 16 episodes in all, the total income of Jun Ji would be the same as Song Hye Kyo, 3.2 billion Won, and around 2.9 US dollars.
Lee Young Ae
Per Episode- 200 million Won (170,000 USD)
Total Salary- 2.4 billion Won ( 2.04 million USD)
After a four year break from the Korean screens, next on the list is Lee Young Ae. At the age of 50, this incredible veteran actress made quite an entry with Inspector Koo, which will stream on Netflix.
At such an age, she is among the highest paid artists in the Korean drama industry, with a total net worth of around $40 million (US).
Lee Young’s initial days in the entertainment industry were as a commercial film model, and this was while she was still pursuing her college.
After that, she has worked in a number of Korean drama series and even in films. One such drama series that gave her fame was the historical drama Jewel in the Palace or Dae Jang Geum.
It was this particular series that earned her the Korean Wave Star title, and with it came recognition from around the countries.
Lee Young is making the same amount of money as Jun Ji Hyun and Song Hye Kyo, when looking at her per episode pay, which is 200 million Won and around 170,000 USD.
But as her Netflix series has just 12 episodes, compared to theirs 16, she is paid around 2.4 billion Won or 2.04 million USD.
Go Hyun Jung
Per Episode- 100 million Won (84,575 USD)
Total Salary- 1.6 billion Won (1.4 million USD)
Following in the list is the 1989 Miss Korea Runner up, who is among the highest rated stars in the Korean industry, Go Hyun Jung.
With an on and off relationship with the entertainment screens, she first took a break in 1995, which was precisely after her marriage and then again after divorce, she came back for us in 2003.
Since that year, Go Hyun has never missed a chance to impress her and has definitely won hearts. Along with that, she is now acclaimed as one of the highest paid actresses the Korean drama industry has.
Last year she returned with an amazing drama series, Reflection of You, from the JTBC production label, with her co-star Shin Hyun Bin. According to some reports, she was paid a little over 100 million per episode, which, when converted in US currency, becomes around $84,575.
So, with that calculation, it can be said that the 16 episode Reflection of You made her around 1.6 billion Won and converted in US dollars; it would be approximately 1.4 million in total.
The 50-year old actress has nearly 5 million USD as her net worth, and she is still growing each following day.
Choi Ji Woo
Per Episode- 50.5 million Won (46,000 USD)
Total Salary- 404 million Won (0.37 million USD)
Next up on the list is Choi Ji Woo, who is considered among the most beautiful actresses and also has claimed a high rated status because of her unmatched performances in many drama series.
The entertainment industry first noticed her in 1994 when she won a talent audition that was organised by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). The following year, in 1995, she made her premiere in War and Love, and since then, she hasn’t looked back.
She is most well-known to us all via her performance in Stairway to Heaven, Beautiful Days and even in Winter Sonata. She has also done a cameo in one of the most beloved Korean romantic drama series, Crash Landing on You.
But last year, she made an epic entry with her new drama series titled Goosebumps.
For this new series of hers, she was reportedly paid around 50.5 million Won per episode, which, when converted into US dollars, would be about 46 thousand dollars in total.
The horror series has eight episodes, and as per that, she is likely to get around 404 million Won, which converted into US dollars would sum up to approximately 0.37 million.
Wrapping Up on the Highest Paid Female Artists in Korean Dramas
Wrapping up on these amazing actresses that make the Korean drama a hundred times more tempting and then addicting.
All I would say is although as compared to their male co-stars, their pay scale is low, but the Korean drama industry is making changes, and in a few years maybe we will see these incredible artists getting the same pay as their male co-stars.
As compared to these artists’ 100-200 million Won, their male lead makes over double the amount from the same series. Some of the actors, like Kim Soo Hyun, get paid around 500 million Won for one single episode.
But adding to this, I think a few actresses like Lee Young Ae, Song Hye Kyo and Jun Ji Hun are already halfway there and making a visible positive difference. But as I cited before, there is invariably enough room for improvement.
Apart from these 5 actresses, there are many others who earn quite well from their drama series and also from a variety of endorsements, but yes, these women are currently being paid the highest for their effortless work.
So, with the best of all our wishes for these leading actresses or protagonists of our beloved Korean dramas. Till then, keep on watching them in various drama series streamed all across from Netflix, Viu to Vulu and more.
Keep on loving them, and I am sure that these incredible female artists will keep giving you entertaining drama series as always.
Happy watching and admiring your favourite actresses, who are making the difference!