What is the average salary in Asia?

by Time Doctor
average salary in asia

The average salary in Asia is around 12,883 USD per year, which is significantly lower than the average salaries in other continents like North America (USD 50,832) and Europe (USD 37,020). This makes Asian countries competent outsourcing locations.

However, you need to look into minimum wage, salary range, and other aspects of salary to understand whether outsourcing to Asia is profitable for your business.

In this article, we’ll share a country-wise breakdown of the average salary in Asia and compare it with other regions. We’ll also dive into the key benefits of outsourcing to Asia and discover the top four Asian countries to outsource to.

Table of Contents

Let’s get started.

What is the average salary in Asia?

The average monthly net salary in Asia is USD 1,069. Singapore has the highest average monthly salary (USD 6,332), while Syria has the lowest (USD 60). This is based on the exchange rates in April 2023. 

Here are the average monthly salaries of different countries in Asia:

Country/RegionAverage Salary Per Month
Singapore USD 6,332
United Arab EmiratesUSD 5,337
Hong KongUSD 4,663
OmanUSD 4,597
Saudi ArabiaUSD 4,453
China USD 4,255
QatarUSD 4,313
TaiwanUSD 4,222
Japan USD 3,825
South KoreaUSD 2,930
Thailand USD 2,787
JordanUSD 2270
TurkmenistanUSD 1,497
MalaysiaUSD 1,484
TajikistanUSD 1,062
KazakhstanUSD 845
The PhilippinesUSD 792
VietnamUSD 732
BhutanUSD 452
IndiaUSD 388
PakistanUSD 292
Sri LankaUSD 280
BangladeshUSD 245
KyrgyzstanUSD 223
UzbekistanUSD 116

Source: Numbeo.com, Salaryexplorer.com

According to ECA International, the Asian continent may experience a real salary increase (salary increase adjusted after inflation rates) by the end of 2022. Countries in Southeast Asia, like Vietnam and China, are forecasted to have the highest real salary increase rates. 

Median salary In Asia

The median salary in Asia is around USD 547 per month

The median salary represents the middle value of the country-wise salary distribution in Asia. This means that 50% of the countries have an average salary higher than USD 547, and the other 50% earn lower than USD 547.

Here are the median salaries of different Asian countries:

CountryMedian Salary per Month
OmanUSD 3,922
ChinaUSD 3,892
TaiwanUSD 3,760
South KoreaUSD 2,628
JordanUSD 1,931
AzerbaijanUSD 1,559
MalaysiaUSD 1,303
IranUSD 922
The PhilippinesUSD 732 
KazakhstanUSD 727
IndiaUSD 330
PakistanUSD 251
Sri LankaUSD 251
BangladeshUSD 226

Source: Salaryexplorer.com

Salary range in Asia

Like in the other continents, employee salaries in Asian countries vary based on factors like economic conditions, type of industry, employee’s experience, cost of living, etc.

Here are the highest and lowest averages of different Asian countries:

CountryLowest Average per MonthHighest Average per Month
ChinaUSD 1,076USD 19,024
KuwaitUSD 1,044USD 18,396
South KoreaUSD 740USD 13,103
ThailandUSD 734USD 13,980
MalaysiaUSD 376USD 6,619
IranUSD 267USD 4,731
RussiaUSD 254USD 4,490
The PhilippinesUSD 201USD 3,534
IndiaUSD 98USD 1,737
Sri LankaUSD 71USD 1,249
MyanmarUSD 66USD 1,157

Source: Salaryexplorer.com

Minimum wage in Asia

The minimum wage is the lowest compensation an employer has to give an employee for their hourly service. 

Here are the minimum wages in some prominent countries of Asia:

CountryMinimum Wage per Month (USD)
ChinaUSD 376
MalaysiaUSD 338
The PhilippinesUSD 202
RussiaUSD 199
KazakhstanUSD 153
BangladeshUSD 75
IndiaUSD 43 
Sri LankaUSD 39

Source: Tradingeconomics.com

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GDP per capita in Asia

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita is the GDP of the country divided by its population. It’s a key indicator of a country’s economic productivity and salary growth. 

That’s why business owners need to analyze it before making an outsourcing decision.

A low per capita GDP indicates an under-developed economy with low earnings and stock prices. And a high GDP value is a sign of higher average income and stock prices – all indicators of a good economy.

Here’s the GDP per capita (adjusted by PPP or purchasing power parity) of different Asian countries, as per the World Bank data:

CountryGDP Per Capita 
South KoreaUSD 34,998
OmanUSD 19,510
ChinaUSD 12,556
MalaysiaUSD 11,109
KazakhstanUSD 10,374
JordanUSD 4,103
AzerbaijanUSD 5,388
Sri LankaUSD 4,014
The PhilippinesUSD 3,461
IranUSD 4,091
BangladeshUSD 2,458
IndiaUSD 2,257
PakistanUSD 1,505
YemenUSD 702

Source: Worldbank.org

Now that you know the average salaries in Asia and their different aspects, let’s compare them with the average salaries in countries from other continents.

Average salaries in Asia compared to the rest of the world

The average salary in Europe and North America is significantly higher than that in Asia. Puerto Rico, another Latin American country, also has a higher average monthly salary of USD 1,927.

On the contrary, the average salary in Asia is higher than in countries in Latin America like Brazil and Mexico. Most African countries, except South Africa (USD 2,106), also have lower average salaries than Asia. 

Here’s a table comparing the average salary of different non-Asian countries with Asia:

CountryAverage Salary per MonthCompared to Asia
CanadaUSD 7,3972.2 times more (approximately)
United KingdomUSD 7,3612.1 times more (approximately)
DenmarkUSD 5,9692.7 times more (approximately)
NetherlandsUSD 5,3472.3 times more (approximately)
LuxembourgUSD 5,3103.2 times more (approximately)
FinlandUSD 5,1392.1 times more (approximately)
AustraliaUSD 5,0782.9 times more (approximately)
IcelandUSD 5,0342.5 times more (approximately)
New ZealandUSD 4,9982.3 times more (approximately)
NorwayUSD 4,8192.7 times more (approximately)
GermanyUSD 4,1742.2 times more (approximately)
SwedenUSD 4,3552.2 times more (approximately)
IrelandUSD 3,5172.3 times more (approximately)
South AfricaUSD 1,7121.7 times more (approximately)
KenyaUSD 1,0872.9 times less (approximately)

Source: Numbeo.com, Salaryexplorer.com

Disclaimer: All the average wage and salary figures in this article are taken from various independent salary surveys. These figures are salary estimate values and are only intended as general guidelines.

Now, let’s look at the main benefits of outsourcing to Asia. 

3 key benefits of outsourcing to Asia

According to a Grand View Research survey published in 2021, the Asia Pacific market is expected to have the fastest CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) during the forecast period (2021-2028). This could be because of the numerous advantages connected with outsourcing to Asia.

Let’s look at the three key benefits of outsourcing to Asia:

1. Cost-effectiveness

Most Asian countries have developing economies and lower average salaries than their western counterparts, as evident from the data above. 

For example, the average salary in Malaysia is USD 1,565, and that in Sweden is USD 4,767. An outsourcing company will have to pay almost thrice to employ its workforce in Sweden compared to Taiwan.

Additionally, most Asian countries have a lower cost of living than European and North American countries. As a result, outsourcing companies can run their operations more economically and draw more profits.

2. Access to talented employees

Asia is home to diverse talents specializing in various fields. 

According to Microsoft, around 6 million people in the Asia Pacific region acquired digital skills during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Additionally, a HackerRank survey said that China has the best developers globally, with a score index of 100. The top 10 countries in the list also feature Russia (99.9), Japan (92.1), and Taiwan (91.2). 

As per a Coursera survey, Vietnam and Hong Kong have cutting-edge business skills. At the same time, Russia and Hong Kong come within the top 10 countries that excel in data science. 

Moreover, the report also said that European countries are facing an acute shortage of professionals in the digital field. Whereas Japan, Indonesia, and China have plenty of expert professionals in cloud computing, software development, and other fields.

3. Continuous workflow

Clients can leverage the time zone difference with Asian countries and operate 24/7 if they outsource there.

For example, an American customer service company can outsource its operations to an Asian country. The offshore team can attend to customer issues while their in-house team relaxes.

Now let’s see the four best Asian countries you can outsource to.

Top 4 Asian countries for outsourcing

Out of the 47 countries and three dependencies in Asia, a few of them stand out from the group as popular outsourcing destinations.

Here are the top four countries in Asia to outsource your services:

1. India

The average monthly salary in India was ranked 72nd among the 106 countries surveyed by Picodi.com in 2020. This means that outsourcing companies can run their business in the country at low costs.

Apart from that, India ranks 7th in the world in SJR (Scimago Journal & Country Rank) with 91.44% studies. Also, according to a list published by Stanford University, there are 26 Indian scientists among the top 50 most cited scientists in the world.

In addition to that, India is the largest English-speaking country in the world, even surpassing the USA. As a result, businesses from all over the world can communicate effectively with Indian service providers and benefit from their skilled services.

Learn more about outsourcing to India from our comprehensive guide.

2. China

China is one of the most cost-effective countries with an average monthly income of USD 879 – a key factor of outsourcing. For reference, the average income of the USA is USD 5,378 per month – almost six times China’s average income.

Further, the average monthly wage in the country varies due to disparity in job availability, household requirements, employment status (full-time employee/ part-time employee), and more. 

Similarly, the average income also varies across the country.

For example, Wuxi (a small Chinese city) has a lower average wage than Beijing (the capital of China). This gives you more options and flexibility to choose your outsourcing location.

Check out our detailed guide on the average salary in China.

3. The Philippines

Outsourcing to the Philippines can ensure the safety of your company’s data – which could be at a higher risk during outsourcing. The government has brought several policies, like the Data Privacy Act, to improve data security.

Moreover, the Philippines has a low average yearly salary of PHP 161,847.60 (USD 10,232.67). On top of that, the frequency of increments and the associated amount is lower than seen in many other countries.

For example, the Philippines has an average increment percentage of 8% every 18 months, and the same in the USA is 8% every 16 months. 

All these factors make this country a great outsourcing destination.

Here’s a detailed guide on the average salary in the Philippines.

4. Malaysia

Malaysia is an outstanding outsourcing destination due to its business-friendly policies. 

For example, the National ICT Association of Malaysia PIKOM is an association of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with over 1000 member companies.

It brought forth a venture investments initiative in 2018 to support companies with VC (Venture Capital) funding and mentoring. 

Additionally, Picodi.com ranked Malaysia 47th among the 106 countries in terms of average salary. The country surpassed other Asian countries like Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, etc.

This means that outsourcing to Malaysia can be cheaper when compared to these countries.

Check out our article on the average salary in Malaysia.

Wrapping up

Asian countries are suitable outsourcing destinations due to their growing economy, favorable government policies, etc. 

Most importantly, they have lower average salaries than North America and Europe. This reduces the overall expenditure of employing a skilled workforce.

But before you make a decision, go through the average salary figures in this article. You may get a better idea of how much you need to spend on your offshore team.

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