Who doesn’t want a good salary? When we talk about building wealth, a higher income will make that goal easier to attain, especially when you practice proper financial planning. Your salary is one of the best tools to ensure that you have a bright future ahead.
According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore, the median gross monthly income from work plus CPF contributions went up by 3.2% to S$4,680 in 2021. And according to Aon study, the median salary for Singaporeans is projected to rise to S$4,850 in 2022 and S$5,000 in 2023.
So how does your income measure up against the median income in Singapore? The benchmark used to compare your salary may vary. That said, you need to look at the different median salaries – by age groups, between genders, or by educational level.
Are Median and Average Income the Same?
Before we get started, it’s best to understand the difference between the median and average income. Although they are both important benchmarks, they are not the same.
Median salary indicates how much people are making at the midway point. It is the exact middle income earned by someone based on specific categories. It is a good indicator to understand where you stand compared to others in the same job or career field.
That said, if your income is higher than the median salary, then you’re making more than 50% of the population.
The average salary, on the other hand, is the mathematical mean of all salaries for that position. To get the average mean, you’ll need to sum up all the figures and divide the sum by the total number of figures.
What Is the Latest Median Income?
According to the latest data published by the Manpower Research & Statistics Department on 28 January 2022, the latest median monthly salary from full-time work in Singapore is S$4,680 in 2021.
Gross monthly income refers to the monthly salaries or wages including Employer CPF contributions and income tax. For self-employed individuals, it refers to the average monthly profits from their profession or business before personal income tax.
Here is the median income data for the past 10 years:
|Year||Median Monthly Salary |
(Including Employer CPF Contributions)
Source: Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM
Compared to 2011’s median monthly salary, there is a cumulative income growth of about 44%. This is an annualized increase of 3.7%. The median monthly income from full-time work in Singapore if we exclude employer CPF contributions is S$4,000 in 2021.
What Is the Latest Average Salary?
According to the data published by Trading Economics, the monthly wages in Singapore increased to S$6,282 in January 2022 from S$5,412 per month in the third quarter of 2021. The average salary includes employer CPF contributions.
How Much Should You Be Earning?
Median Salary in Singapore by Age
As we grow older, we gain more experience and skills. It is only typical that our wages rise as well. Here are the median salaries by age group:
|Age Group||2021 Median Monthly Salary (Including Employer CPF Contributions)||2020 Median Monthly Salary (Including Employer CPF Contributions)||2019 Median Monthly Salary (Including Employer CPF Contributions)|
|15 – 19||S$1,170||S$1,170||S$1,053|
|20 – 24||S$2,691||S$2,793||S$2,730|
|25 – 29||S$4,095||S$4,056||S$4081|
|30 – 34||S$6,102S||S$6,435||S$6,338|
|35 – 39||S$6,102||S$6,143||S$6,148|
|40 – 44||S$6,825||S$6,435||S$6,338|
|45 – 49||S$5,958||S$5,850||S$5,850|
|50 – 54||S$5,070||S$4,719||S$4,680|
|55 – 59||S$3,729||S$3,500||S$3.563|
|60 & Over||S$2,534||S$2,330||S$2,562|
Source: Labour Force in Singapore 2021 report; 2020 report
From the table above, you can see that the wage increase doesn’t go infinitely. The peak of increase is at the age of 40 to 44. Then our wages start tapering off at age 50 and above.
It is only natural that you won’t be earning as much during your retirement years. That said, it’s best to properly plan your finances during your prime working years. Allocate a portion of your salary towards savings so you’ll have a comfortable retirement lifestyle.
Median Salary in Singapore by Gender
There will always be discussions regarding the age-old gender pay gap not only in Singapore but also in other developed countries. So are males earning more than females?
The short answer is yes. Take a look at the median salary for both males and females for the past decade:
|Median Monthly Income (Including Employer CPF Contributions)|
|Year||Male||Female||Difference in absolute dollars?||Difference in percentage?|
From the table above, the men’s median income was 9.9% higher than the women’s in 2021. This figure is higher than the previous years when men earned 7.9% higher than women.
However, if you compare this with the percentage difference from 10 years ago, the gender pay gap is relatively lower in recent years.
We can breakdown the gender salaries further by age:
|2021 Median Monthly Salary (Including Employer CPF Contributions)|
|15 – 19||S$936||S$1,287|
|20 – 24||S$2,457||S$2,848|
|25 – 29||S$4,095||S$4,095|
|30 – 34||S$5,315||S$5,070|
|35 – 39||S$6,435||S$5,850|
|40 – 44||S$7,211||S$6,143|
|45 – 49||S$6,804||S$5,460|
|50 – 54||S$5,450||S$4,680|
|55 – 59||S$3,900||S$3,550|
|60 & Over||S$2,688||S$2,362|
Based on the data above, you can see that women earn more than males between ages 15 and 24. Then at the age of 25 to 29, the median salaries for both genders are the same. It is only at the age of 30 and above that men start to earn more than women.
There are several factors that play a role in the pay gap, including:
- The full-time National Service that men have to go through for 2 years.
- Men also need to complete their 10-year reservist cycle.
- The median age that women in Singapore have their first children is in their 30s. Because of this, mothers become more dedicated to their children and take on less intense jobs. This may be one of the reasons why the median salaries of women start lagging behind males during these years.
Median Salary in Singapore by Education Level
Generally, the higher your education level, the more you earn. Degree-holders have more access to higher-paying and higher-skilled jobs.
Here’s the highest qualification median monthly salary:
|Highest Qualification||2021 Median Monthly Income |
(Including Employer CPF Contributions)
|Diploma & Professional Qualification||S$4,256|
The degree holders still enjoy the highest pay at S$7,351. They earn S$3,095 more than individuals with a diploma and professional qualifications.
Median Salary in Singapore by Race
At a media briefing where Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah said that the trends in income in Singapore by race were no different from the trends observed across the world.
If we want to look at the median salary by race, it’s best to look at the statistics to see how your are faring compared to other workers within your same race.
Source: Figures extracted from Census 2020
From the chart below, take a look at the 50th percentile of workers in Singapore. You can see that workers are earning between S$4,000 and S$4,999. This figure is supported by the 2020 median monthly salary statistics which is S$4,534.
Based on the chart, the 50th percentile of salaries by race are the following:
- Chinese: S$4,000 to S$4,999
- Malays: S$3,000 to S$3,999
- Indians: S$4,000 to S$4,999
- Others: S$5,000 to S$5,999
Median Salary in Singapore by Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of many industries, not only in Singapore but in other countries around the world. While some industries have recovered, there are some that will never be able to. However, there are also industries that thrived during these trying times.
|Wholesale & Retail Trade||S$4,285||S$4,212||S$4,118||S$4,070||S$3,861|
|Transportation & Storage||S$3,168||S$2,925||S$3,225||S$3,161||S$2,925|
|Accommodation & Food Services||S$2,457||S$2,282||S$2,300||S$2,308||S$2,123|
|Information and Communications||S$6,092||S$6,330||S$6,047||S$5,719||S$5,704|
|Financial & Insurance Services||S$7,069||S$7,020||S$6,913||S$6,540||S$6,581|
|Real Estate Services||S$4,095||S$4,437||S$4,520||S$4,475||S$4,183|
|Administrative and Support Services||S$2,725||S$2,748||S$2,808||S$2,535||S$2,311|
|Public Administration & Education||S$6,338||S$6,338||S$6,338||S$6,012||S$5,850|
|Health & Social Services||S$4,309||S$4,129||S$4,199||S$4,095||S$4,000|
|Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation||S$3,803||S$3,803||S$4,056||S$3,803||S$3,549|
|Other Community, Social, & Personal Services||S$3,296||S$2,996||S$3,250||S$3,089||S$2,925|
Based on the table above, the financial & insurance services industry has the highest median income of S$7,020 in 2021. The industry with the lowest median income of S$2,457 is accommodation & food services.
Median Salary in Singapore by Occupation
|Occupation||2021 Median Monthly Salary (Including Employer CPF Contributions)|
|Managers & Administrators||S$9,620|
|Associate Professionals & Technicians||S$4,120|
|Clerical Support Workers||S$3,042|
|Service & Sales Workers||S$2,598|
|Craftsmen & Related Trades Workers||S$2,819|
|Plant & Machine Operators & Assemblers||S$2,155|
|Cleaners, Labourers, & Related Workers||S$1,638|
Based on the table above, PMETs (professionals, managers, executives, technicians) earned a median monthly income of S$6,318, while non-PMETs earned S$2,535.
Median Salary in Other Comparable Countries
The National Tax Service of South Korea released the latest National Tax Statistics Annual Report in 2020. According to the report, the median annual income of South Korean workers amounts to 28.2 million won (approximately S$31,250.23). This works out to be approximately S$2,604 per month.
Now let’s take a look at Hong Kong. The median monthly salary in Hong Kong rose to HKD$18,400 (approximately S$3,191) in May-June 2020.
Using these data, we can see that Singapore’s median gross monthly income, which was around S$4,534 in 2020 and S$4,680 in 2021, is very competitive against comparable counties.
Find out more on how to earn passive income in Singapore.
Are you earning enough? Now that you have an idea of the median gross monthly wages of Singaporean workers, it’s best to review your current income. That said, to boost your savings, you need to optimize your earnings, keep your professional skills sharp, and plan for the future.
- Median salary indicates how much people are making at the midway point and is a good indicator to understand where you stand compared to others in the same job or career field.
- The latest average monthly wages in Singapore increased to S$6,282 in January 2022.
- The median monthly income from full-time work in Singapore is S$4,680 in 2021.
- Degree holders still enjoy the highest pay at S$7,351 and PMETs earn higher than non-PMETs.
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