Yeom Jung-ah first came into limelight when she was crowned first runner-up at the Miss Korea pageant in 1991. She then represented her country in Miss International 1992 held in Beijing, China, where she finished second runner-up. She focused on acting afterwards and made a splash in 2003 with her performance in the psychological horror-drama film A Tale of Two Sisters. The movie won her Best Actress at the 6th Director’s Cut Awards and Best Supporting Actress at the 22nd Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. A year later, she appeared in the heist film The Big Swindle, which gave her more acting trophies. In 2007, she was named Best Actress at the 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards for the movie The Old Garden. In 2011 and 2012, she starred in back-to-back successful television dramas, namely Royal Family and My Love, Madame Butterfly, which aired on MBC and SBS, respectively. In 2014, she led the ensemble cast of the film Cart, which scored her another Best Actress trophy at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2018, she played one of the main characters in the megahit JTBC series SKY Castle, which earned her her third Baeksang Best Actress trophy.

Yeom Jung-ah studied theater at Chung-Ang University. She married a medical doctor named Heo Il in 2006. They have two children together.