Unless you already have some fame, first you have to join a company to get trained to become an idol. There are actually many of these companies, and the bigger they are, the more difficult to get into.
These big companies hold an audition every year to be filmed on television. These shows are actually very engaging and emotional to watch.
Typically they can ask you to perform an example of your singing and dancing. You get to pick your own song and your own dance routine. The competition is harsh due to the sheer amount of people wanting to become kpop idols and live out their dreams.
Life after passing the audition is where the trainee begins. Life of a trainee involves taking singing, dancing, and action lessons. Kpop stars typically start young, so they are still students when they are a trainee. This doesn't mean they slack on their school studies. For those who have graduated, college careers are often given up in pursuit of this chance.
Student trainees still have to take their regular school classes on top of their singing and dancing class. This means students will be busy from the time they wake up to 10pm at night when they go to sleep. Being a trainee is tough and many give up their kpop idol dreams due to the exhausting practice and tight schedules.
In the JYP company, trainees can have one to five classes a day with each class being 3 hours. Dance lessons can however last up to 5 hours.
After you have become a trainee anywhere from a couple months to a couple years, there is a chance you could debut, but there is no grantee. Jo Kwon, a member of 2AM had been a trainee for 7 years before he was able to debut. There are countless kpop groups however, and the spotlight can only hold so many. After you debut, you have to fight it out with all the other groups for fame.
Being a K-pop star can be a double-edged sword, with hard-work being unavoidable, exhaustion and can shatter you. It can also make you one of the most influential and admired people in the world. It can open doors to new prosperous careers with plenty of future options to branch into, such as SNSD Jessica starting her own clothing line BLANC & ECLARE Clothing thanks to her fame within the Kpop community giving her company momentum.