What is the average salary in Hong Kong?

by Time Doctor
average salary in hong kong

The average salary in Hong Kong is 439,000 HKD (Hong Kong Dollar) per year. This amounts to USD 55,928 as per the exchange rates in April 2023.

If you are planning to outsource your business operations to Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), you may need to dive deeper into the average salary stats to get a better idea about the region’s pay scale and salary trends.

In this article, we’ll explain the average salary statistics and trends in Hong Kong. We’ll also cover the three key benefits of outsourcing to Hong Kong.

Table of Contents

Let’s get started.

According to Salary Explorer, an employee working in Hong Kong receives an average monthly salary of 36,000 HKD (around USD 4,586). 

On digging deeper, you’ll see that the employee salary in the region ranges from 9,260 HKD (lowest average) to 163,000 HKD (highest average).

But keep in mind that these amounts are averages, the actual maximum salary is higher, and the real minimum salary is lower.

So for better clarity, it’s best you consider average salaries that take into account factors like:

  • The employee experience.
  • The type of industry.
  • The employee’s educational qualification.
  • The location of the work.
  • The type of work – full-time, part-time, or remote work.

Attaining a detailed perspective on the average salary range can help you determine the right salaries for your employees.

Let’s look into some key average salary trends in Hong Kong:

1. Median salary

The 50th percentile (or median salary) is the midpoint in the salary distribution of Hong Kong’s working population. 

According to the Census and Statistics Department, the 50th percentile of monthly salaries was 19,100 HKD (USD 2,433) in 2022. This implies that 50% of the employees received less than 19,100 HKD as the monthly income and the other 50% got more. 

2. Average salary in different industries

The average salary of employees varies from one industry to another depending on the nature of the work.

Here are the different average salaries of employees from various industries:

IndustryAverage Salary per Year
Health Care & Medical725,278 HKD
Properties & Real Estates727,615 HKD
Human Resources556,228 HKD
Management & Business841,201 HKD
Public Sector581,349 HKD
Finance & Banking710,885 HKD

Source: averagesalarysurvey.com

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3. Minimum wage

Minimum wages refer to the lowest remuneration an employer must pay their hourly employees. 

Hong Kong has a minimum wage of 40 HKD or USD 5.10 per hour, according to the Labour Department of the Hong Kong Government. So you’ll need to pay an hourly worker at least 40 HKD for every hour they work in a day.

However, the average hourly wage in the region is higher. According to Salary Explorer, it’s around 210 HKD per hour. 

4. Average salary based on education

As a rule of thumb, the salary of an employee in Hong Kong increases with higher education qualifications.

An employee who has a diploma or certificate earns 17% more salary than another employee who passed high school.

Similarly, a bachelor’s degree holder will get a 24% higher salary than a diploma holder. For a postgraduate, the salary increases by 29% from that of graduate employees.

Lastly, a Ph.D. holder receives the 23% more than a master’s degree holder for the same job.

5. Average salary based on experience

Generally, the average salary for a Hong Kong employee increases with experience.

A salary survey by Salary Explorer reports that:

  • An employee with 2-5 years of experience earns 32% more than those with below 2 years of experience.
  • Employees with 10-15 years experience are paid a 21% higher salary than those with 5-10 years experience.
  • Senior professionals, with over 20 years of experience, receive 9% more than employees with 15-20 years of experience.

6. Average bonus and increments

Hong Kong employees get a 4% increment after every 29 months. When compared to the world average (3% every 16 months), the increment rate in Hong Kong is low.

Additionally, increment percentages also differ by industry and experience:

IndustryAnnual Increment Rate

Source: Salaryexplorer.com

Here’s how it varies based on experience:

Experience Level Annual Average Salary Increase Rate
Top Management15%-20%

Source: Salaryexplorer.com

According to Salary Explorer, dentists earn the highest salary in Hong Kong, averaging around 80,500 HKD monthly.

Software engineers and financial managers also earn a high salary in the Hong Kong region.

Let’s look at the salary rankings by profession in Hong Kong:

Job TitleAverage Base Salary per Year
Software Engineer689,248 HKD
Engineering Project Manager734,236 HKD
Marketing Manager739,322 HKD
Quality Assurance Manager617,267 HKD

Source: Salaryexpert.com

Public sector employees receive 10% more than their private sector counterparts.

Note: The salary figures mentioned in the article are taken from various salary surveys, and the actual figures may vary with job titles, employee experience, location, etc.

Now that you know the average salaries of employees and pay scale of different professions, let’s see how outsourcing to Hong Kong can help your business.

3 key benefits of outsourcing to Hong Kong

Here are three prominent advantages of outsourcing your business operations to this Hong Kong:

1. Helpful government policies

The Hong Kong Government has set up a department, InvestHK, solely to aid new businesses and attract foreign investment. InvestHK aims to make Hong Kong a global business hub in Asia. 

Here are the different services InvestHK offers:

A. Planning

  • Guides you in implementing and evaluating business decisions strategically.
  • Connects you with consulates, Chambers of Commerce, and other business associations.
  • Advices on matters like living and working in Hong Kong.

B. Set-up and launch

  • Helps you get a business license and with visa applications, trademark registration, IP (Intellectual Property) and trade regulations, etc.
  • Shares details on tax regulations, business laws, sector-specific industries, and opportunities with you.
  • Connects you with professional associations, government departments, human resource specialists, real estate companies, etc.

C. Expansion

  • Helps you identify growth opportunities.
  • Offers you support for marketing and public relations.

In short, InvestHK helps businesses plan, establish, launch, and expand in Hong Kong. This program can help your outsourced business take off in the region quickly.

2. Fast-growing economy and infrastructure

Although the Hong Kong economy was affected by the Covid-19 induced business crisis, it has been showing remarkable growth recently.

Hong Kong’s GDP saw a 7.6% expansion in the first half of 2021 due to increasing global demand for its services and products. Looking at 2021 as a whole, Hong Kong’s economy grew at a rate of 6.4% – which is a huge increase from the 6.5% contraction in 2020.

Additionally, the total amount of product exports to the US, Mainland China, and Europe rose sharply – as a result of high import demands and robust trading and production. Moreover, the exports to Asia also increased, but in varying degrees. 

Like products, the export of other businesses like financial services has also escalated. 

All-in-all, the Hong Kong export market boomed by 13.3%, according to Trading Economics.

Further, Hong Kong is one of the leading business centers in the Asia Pacific because of its advanced infrastructure and technology.

The region has a strong information and communication industry, generating 95.6 billion HKD (USD 12.3 billion) worth of income and accounting for 3.5% of its GDP.

To boost the sector further, the government has taken several initiatives concentrating on the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industry’s growth. The Smart City Blueprint 2.0 is one such initiative.

3. Friendly immigration policy and low cost of living

Hong Kong allows visa-free entries and seven to 180 day-stay to visitors from over 170 countries/territories.

Additionally, it permits short-term visitors to conduct business negotiations and sign contracts while on a visitor’s visa or entry permit. However, expats working for longer tenure will need a visa before starting work or living in Hong Kong.

Moreover, Hong Kong’s Quality Migrant Admission Scheme helps talent from other countries easily migrate and settle in the region. As per this scheme, these migrants need not have a local job offer before they enter Hong Kong. As of 2021, Hong Kong has admitted over 9000 talented job seekers from 11 different countries.

Most importantly, Hong Kong is a great place to live and work in because of its affordable cost of living.

According to the World Bank, the inflation (calculated based on consumer prices) in Hong Kong is 0.3. In comparison, the inflation rate in the USA (United States of America) and the UK (United Kingdom) is 1.2 and 1.0, respectively. 

This means that it can be four times costlier to live in an American city like New York than in Victoria (the capital city of Hong Kong). Similarly, the living expenses in London can be almost three times higher than that in Victoria.

On top of that, USA and UK charge higher income tax from expats than the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of Hong Kong – according to HSBC.

When compared to countries in East Asia, such as Thailand and Myanmar, Hong Kong shows a low inflation rate. 

In addition, Hong Kong has set rules to ensure healthy work conditions for young people (above 15 years and below 18 years) employed in industrial undertakings. These rules regulate maximum working hours, working days and hours per week, and more.

Wrapping up

Undoubtedly, Hong Kong is a great outsourcing location for businesses of all types.

The region’s welcoming government and immigration policies, highly skilled talent, etc., are the reasons why you need to consider outsourcing there.

But ensure you go through this average salary guide before you decide. Doing so can help you understand whether setting up a business in Hong Kong will be profitable.

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