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The Latest and Best Guide To Beginner’s Salary in Singapore

average salary in singapore
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Singapore is one most expensive cities in the world to live in. Costs such as food, transportation, accommodation, healthcare, and utilities are only a few expenses to be ready for. On top of these, you also have to pay for your CPF contributions.

If you are starting a career in Singapore, it is crucial to know the average salary in your industry. Whether you are a foreigner or a local, having an idea about this will help you handle your finances and build your savings.

According to the latest surveys, the average salary in Singapore is S$94,023 per year or approximately S$7,835 monthly. It also varies from age group, experience, and from one industry to another. This post will cover everything that a beginner needs to know about the average salary in Singapore and other essential factors.

Minimum Wage in Singapore

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) generally does not prescribe a mandatory minimum wage for Singapore Citizens, permanent residents, and foreign workers. Often, wages are negotiated and agreed upon between the employer and employee through collective bargaining.

However, the government has a workfare scheme to support older low-wage workers who earn a gross monthly income of not more than S$2,300.

Additionally, the government adopts the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) as a salary guide for specific sectors, specifically the cleaning, security, and landscape sectors. The model also requires an increase in monthly salary for employees who upgrade their skills. By March 2023, the model will also include retail, food, and waste management services sectors.

Average Salary in Singapore

A benchmark on the average salary can help one evaluate their career options and determine whether they are underpaid or not. This gauge can also help you decide whether an income offer is comfortable and enough for you and your current lifestyle. 

To cut the curiosity short, we will present the average wage for full-time employees by age group, industry, gender, and educational attainment. 

These data are extracted from MOM’s Labour Force reports for 2020 and 2021, released last January 28, 2022. 

Are you earning enough? Find out more on average income in Singapore.

banknotes on payday calendar

Per Age Group

Worker’s Age Gross Monthly Salary (Employer’s CPF excluded)
15-19 S$1,170
20-24 S$2,691
25-29 S$4,095
30-34 S$5,222
35-39 S$6,102
40-44 S$6,825
45-49 S$5,958
50-54 S$5,070
55-59 S$3,729
60 and over S$2,543

As you will notice, workers under the age group 40-44, considered the prime age, are earning the highest average monthly salary. 

Further, the minimum salary declines as workers age and reach the retirement age. Thus, we can say that workers should start financial planning as early as possible. This will also allow you to save early for our retirement nest eggs. 

Per Occupation or Industry

Occupation Gross Monthly Salary (Employer CPF contributions included)
PMET
Professionals S$6,971
Managers and Executives S$9,620
Technicians S$4,120
Non-PMET
Clerical S$3,042
Sales S$2,598
Craftsmen and Related Trades S$2,819
Plant and Machine Operators S$2,155
Cleaners and Related Trades S$1,638
Other Industries
Financial and Insurance S$7,069
Public Administration and Education S$6,338
Information and Communication  S$6,092
Manufacturing S$4,896
Health S$4,309
Construction S$4,200

Under the PMET category, managers and executives earn the highest median salary in Singapore. While in the non-PMET category, clerical support workers are in the top bracket. Other high-income industries include finance, public administration, and information and communication. 

Per Educational Attainment

Educational Qualification Median Monthly Salary (Employer’s CPF contributions included)
Below Secondary S$2,048
Secondary S$3,145
Post Secondary S$3,159
Diploma S$4,256
Degree S$7,351

Obviously, education continues to be a gauge for higher income. Those who hold a degree have the highest median income. This factor justifies pursuing further studies even when one is already employed to maximize earning potential.

Per Gender

Despite various work opportunities offered, the gender pay gap still exists in Singapore’s workforce. 

Gender Median Monthly Income (2021)
Men S$4,875
Women S$4,437

The data shows that the women’s median monthly salary is lower than that of the men’s median monthly salary. These figures make men seem to get high-paying jobs and opportunities more than women. This gap may be due to differences in education, experiences, social norms, or workplace bias. Yet, this data is not conclusive of anything as there are other factors to consider.

According to a January 2020 study published on Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower’s website, the adjusted gender pay gap in 2018 is at 6%. This gap could be due to the fact that men tend to be represented in higher-paying jobs while women are in lower-paying positions. Still, there is a lot of work to address this remaining gap.

hr salary payroll concept

Understanding Key Terms Concerning the Average Salary

1. Median Salary

Median salary refers to the borderline that separates on a 50:50 ratio a worker’s income among others in the same industry. Like average salary, it is also an indicator of how much one should be earning. Yet, it is not the same as the average salary.

The Ministry of Manpower defines income to include employers’ CPF contributions. Once the CPF and payment for income tax are removed, the median monthly salary will also drop. Thus, this means that median income is only a reference point for how fifty percent of a specific sector is doing against other workers in the same industry.

Median salaries also increase as you age and as you gain experience. The latest data show that the median gross monthly income for full-time employees in Singapore is S$4,563. 

2. Gross Monthly Income

  • For full-time employees:

The gross monthly income refers to the total monthly income which includes:

  • Basic Wages
  • Overtime Pay
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Other extras like food, housing, and transportation allowances

Employee CPF contributions and personal income tax are not yet deducted from this amount.

  • For self-employed individuals:

Gross monthly income pertains to the average monthly profits less the business expenses from either a business, trade, or profession. Again, this refers to the amount before deduction of income tax.

3. Maximum and Minimum Salary Range

Salary range in Singapore is between S$2,140 to S$37,700. These values are not definite and are presented as guidelines only. It could also vary from one location to another and in one’s career field. 

If you have suffer from pay-cuts in the recent years this a guide for you. Learn more about the best savings account in Singapore without salary credit.

Average Annual Salary Increase 

According to one salary comparison website, the salary explorer, employees in Singapore observes a salary increase of 9% every 15 months. This increase depends on many factors such as performance and valuable contribution to your employer’s company. Wages rise also as an employee grows professionally.

An annual salary increase refers to an increase over a 12-month period. To compute this increase, we use the formula: 

Annual salary increase = Increase Rate divided by Increase Frequency

Using the figure from salary explorer, the average increase for a 12-month period in Singapore is 7%. 

Looking at the table below, we can say that thriving industries worked to provide higher raises. Still, these figures are not definite and may change based on factors like economic condition and a company’s overall performance in the market.

Industry Annual Increment Rate for 2021
Banking 7%
Energy 5%
Information Technology 3%
Healthcare 1%
Travel 8%
Construction 6%
Education 4%

On the other hand, the ECA International (ECA)’s report on the latest trends states that Singapore employees are expected to see a 3.5% increase in salary this year. 

Forecasted Average Income Increase for 2022

Industry Increase (%)
Aerospace 3.7%
Banking & Financial Services 3.6%
Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) 3.6%
Healthcare & Life Sciences 3.7%
Real Estate 3.5%
Retail 3.4%
Technology 3.9%
Transport & Distribution 3.3%

Relevance of Salary Increases

A raise in income is also a relevant factor that affects compensation as a whole. This increase is crucial to meet the rise in the cost of living in Singapore and beat inflation rates. For another reason, employees must have a salary increase process in place because it plays a significant part in attracting and retaining employees. 

Here are some factors that could warrant a salary increase:

1. Length of time employed

The length of service could be an essential factor when giving an employee a raise mainly because loyalty is an integral part of retaining the best employees. It also adds value to the organization by reducing recruitment and training costs.

2. Performance

How well an employee performs and measures up to your goals helps determine or warrant a raise. It could be a performance review on how an employee added value to the workplace, accomplished additional responsibilities or delivered a critical project satisfactorily.

3. Valuable Skills

Competence and skills are other factors for a salary increase. This is because an employee’s skill can be considered a capital asset. An increase based on this factor is a boost to an employee’s morale. At the same time, it is a contributing factor to your company’s growth too. 

4. Pursuit of a post-graduate or MBA degree

Often, companies perform a salary review for employees who completes a degree with aim of performing a job better. While this could be a costly expense on the part of the employee, a return on investment is definitely worth it in the long run. 

Yet, do not expect an immediate increase while pursuing your studies. Usually, employers give a raise after the degree has been attained or completed. 

Highest Paying Jobs in Singapore

A high-paying job will help you cope with Singapore’s high cost of living. Aside from being able to pay for basic needs, it will also allow you to buy your wants, or buy properties as investments

Good thing is that Singapore offers a lot of job opportunities with high salary packages to qualified individuals. These high-paying jobs are often found in the IT, banking and finance, business, and healthcare sectors. 

Here are Singapore’s top 10 jobs with the highest salaries based on indeed.

Position Average Base Salary Per Year 
General Counsel (In-house lawyer) S$181,215
HR Director S$163,570
Research & Development Director S$160,586
Chief Financial Officer S$154,438
Head of Sales S$144,294
Regional Marketing Director S$140,701
Head of IT S$132,852
General Manager S$120,782
Foreign Exchange Dealer S$116,133
Chief Executive Officer S$109,112

Let’s also take a quick look at Singapore’s current top 10 employers:

Company Location Industry
Google Pasir Panjang IT, Internet, Software & Services
Economic Development Board Downtown Core Government Services
The Lego Group Beach Road Retail and Wholesale
Apple Ang Mo Kio Semiconductors, Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Technology Hardware & Equipment
Wise Kallang Banking and Financial Services
Procter & Gamble North Buona Vista Rd, Holland Packaged Goods
Rolls-Royce Taman Jurong Aerospace & Defense
Tanglin Trust School Portsdown Road Education
United World College of South East Asia Dover Road, Queenstown Education
City Energy Orchard Utilities

Conclusion

A rewarding and fulfilling career often equates to a high salary. If you aim for a high salary, then make sure to build your knowledge and skills towards a career in high-paying industries. After all, your ultimate goal should be towards financial independence and living a comfortable life in a highly-urbanized city like Singapore.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing the average salary range in Singapore will help you make smart career moves. 
  • High-paying jobs in Singapore’s business and finance sector often demand qualifications such as being a CPA or having an MBA.
  • Salary guides provide an excellent gauge as you progress towards various stages in your career.
  • A salary calculator may also be used as a loose guide to determine possible total income compensation.
  • Knowing the pay range for your qualifications may assist you in negotiating a starting salary. 

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