Want to know what’s the average salary in Singapore?
The cost of living in Singapore is incredibly high. To compensate for it, Singaporean employers provide a hefty salary package to their employees.
In 2021, the average salary in Singapore is about 8,450 SGD (6,220 USD) per month.
In this article, we’ll explore different key points of the average salary in Singapore, such as the median salary. We’ll also examine the legal provisions for employees and the cost of living in Singapore.
This Salary Guide Contains:
(Click on a link below to jump to a specific section)
- The Average Salary in Singapore
- Salary Comparison
- Legal Provisions for Employees in Singapore
- The Cost of Living in Singapore
- An Economic Outlook of Singapore
Let’s get started.
The Average Salary in Singapore
The average monthly salary in Singapore depends on an employee’s experience level, the field of work, job title, and education level.
It also varies drastically across sectors like IT (Information Technology), healthcare, banking, and work type (full-time or part-time).
Considering all these points, an employee working in Singapore earns an average salary of 8,450 SGD (gross monthly income). That equates to around 6,220 USD, according to the exchange rate in August 2021 (1 SGD = 0.74 USD).
Additionally, the average hourly wage of an employee in Singapore is 49 SGD. That equates to around 36 USD.
Now, let’s check out a few other aspects of the average salary in Singapore:
1. Median Salary
The median salary is a salary amount that divides the working population into two different groups. Half earns a salary above the median income, while the other half earns below the median amount.
According to a salary report by Salary Explorer, the median salary in Singapore is 8,790 SGD per month. That equates to around 6,470 USD.
2. Maximum and Minimum Salary Range
The average salary in Singapore ranges from 2,140 SGD per month to 37,700 SGD per month.
The figures mentioned above are the maximum average salary. The actual salary could be much higher.
3. Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage
According to Salary Explorer, a person working in Singapore is likely to get a salary increase of approximately 9% every 15 months. The average salary increment is 3% every 16 months worldwide.
If you calculate the yearly salary increase based on this figure, a 12-month salary increase in Singapore is 7%.
Now, let’s take a look at the annual salary increment by industry and experience level:
A. Average Salary Increase by Industry
Here’s a table summarizing the average pay raise by industry in 2020:
|Job Industry||Average Annual Salary Increase|
Note: Every salary figure provided in this article is averaged and should only be taken as general guidelines. Salaries and increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, as discussed above.
B. Average Salary Increase by Experience Level
Here’s a table summarizing the average salary increase by experience level in 2020:
|Experience Level||Average Annual Salary Increase|
|Junior Level||3% – 5%|
|Mid-Level||6% – 9%|
|Senior Level||10% – 15%|
|Top Management||15% – 20%|
4. Average Household Income
The Singaporean government conducts a Household Expenditure survey to determine the median household income and expenditure every five years and understand monthly earnings and spending trends.
It found that the average household income in Singapore went up from 10,470 SGD (7,707 USD) in 2012-13 to 11,780 SGD (8,672 USD) in 2017-18.
5. Minimum Wage in Singapore
Singapore is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t offer a minimum wage.
Without a minimum wage law, there’s no mandatory minimum income for workers in the country.
However, the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore has brought in a ‘progressive wage model’ in which cleaners and security guards will receive 1,000 SGD and 1,100 SGD, respectively.
Next, we’ll compare the average salary in Singapore by education, experience, profession, and city:
Higher education usually results in a higher base salary, and Singapore is no different.
So let’s take a look at how your education will impact your average gross salary.
Employees with a bachelor’s degree earn 24% more in monthly wage than diploma holders in Singapore.
And professionals with a master’s degree will make 29% more than workers who have finished their bachelor’s degree.
Lastly, Ph.D. holders earn 23% more than those with a master’s degree.
2. Experience Level
Experience level is the most important aspect in determining the average salary of an employee. The higher the experience level, the higher the salary package.
In this table, we’ll check out how the average salary increases by experience level:
|Years of Experience||Salary Comparison|
|Less than two years (intern or fresh graduates)||Starting salary|
|2 – 5 years||+32% more than professionals with less than two years of experience|
|5 – 10 years||+36% more than professionals with 2 – 5 years of experience|
|10 – 15 years||+21% more than professionals with 5 – 10 years of experience|
|15 – 20 years||+14% more than professionals with 10 – 15 years of experience|
|+20 years||+9% more than professionals with 15 – 20 of experience|
Here’s Singapore’s national average salary broken down by profession:
|Profession||Average Salary Estimate (Annual)|
|Software Engineer (Computer Science)||81,493 SGD|
|Graphic Designer||62,640 SGD|
|Digital Marketer||126,000 SGD|
|Finance Analyst||86,891 SGD|
|Business Development Manager||111,953 SGD|
|Security Specialist||94,419 SGD|
|Human Resource Hunter||82,234 SGD|
|IT Project Manager||112,711 SGD|
|Civil Engineer||54,329 SGD|
Accounting is the highest paying job in Singapore, with digital marketing coming in a close second.
Legal Provisions for Employees in Singapore
Whether you want to outsource to Singapore or understand the country’s employment landscape, it’s essential to know about Singapore’s employment practices.
Here’s a list of provisions for employees in Singapore:
- Working hours: According to the Employment Act, an employee should not work for more than 44 hours per week. The contract of service agreement should mention this point.
- Overtime: Singapore allows overtime, but employers can’t let their employees work for more than 72 hours overtime per month. Employers should pay their employees at least 1.5 times the basic hourly rate as overtime pay.
- Work Week: Most companies provide a five-day workweek, and there is an allowance for weekend workdays.
- Paid Leaves: Employees in Singapore are entitled to 7-14 days of paid annual leave.
- Other leaves: Employees can get sick leaves and public holidays and paid yearly leaves along with other emergency leaves for family loss, parental leave, and marriage leave.
- CPF Contribution (Central Provident Fund): An employer sanctions their employee’s CPF contribution every month if they earn more than 50 SGD a month. The CPF contribution is a pension plan that helps working Singaporeans fund their retirement and healthcare needs. However, employer CPF contributions are only payable for Singapore citizens or if an employee is a country’s permanent resident.
The Cost of Living in Singapore
The average income in Singapore is relatively high, and the personal income tax rates are low.
Additionally, the cost of living in Singapore is rather high compared to neighboring countries like the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
Here, we’ll take a detailed look at the cost of living in Singapore:
Housing costs are by far the largest expense for most households in Singapore.
Most expatriates (a person who works or lives outside their native country) choose to rent in Singapore. The national average rate is 500 SGD per month for a shared apartment, 2,018 SGD per month for a one-bedroom apartment, and 3,885 SGD per month for a three-bedroom apartment.
However, a sizable condo with state-of-the-art facilities can cost as much as 10,000 SGD per month.
Although buying property is another way of finding accommodation, real estate isn’t very affordable in Singapore. Singapore has one of the highest real estate costs in the world.
But the real estate prices dropped by 14% during the pandemic in 2020.
According to the 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey report, Singapore is the most expensive place to buy a car, even for someone with a high gross monthly income. An average car in Singapore will cost 2.5 times more when compared to Malaysia.
Buying a car will cost more than $1,000-2,000 (SGD) a month. The cost includes monthly loan payments, insurance charges, fuel prices, and maintenance costs.
Fortunately, Singapore has an excellent and affordable public transportation system.
Citizens can rely on a combination of buses and taxi services, which will likely cost between $100-$120 (SGD) per month.
Groceries are also expensive in Singapore since the country imports most of its staple foods and isn’t dependent on local grain production.
As a result, groceries can cost around 200 SGD if residents buy things locally and cook at home.
When dining out, the monthly cost will depend on what establishments you visit and how often.
However, a basic meal in a cheap restaurant will cost around 8.85 SGD.
On average, you can expect to spend 300-450 SGD per month on dining out.
An Economic Outlook of Singapore
The Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom ranked Singapore as the second most open economy globally in 2017. With no government debt, a high revenue, and a consistent positive surplus, Singapore has built one of the world’s most advanced economies.
Now, let’s take a look at what makes the Singapore economy tick:
1. World-Class Infrastructure
Singapore has a well-developed infrastructure because it was a military and commercial port during the colonial era.
The nation has 9,310 kilometers of paved roads and a railway network that spans 19.6 kilometers. On top of that, easy-to-access buses, taxis, and ride-sharing options (Uber and Lyft) make the transport system reliable and punctual.
It’s also home to one of the busiest docks globally, with almost 1,000 ships docked at the port at any given time.
The exceptional connectivity makes Singapore a desirable workplace for any employee.
2. Highly Skilled Labor Pool
Singapore has a relatively small labor population of just under 6 million people.
To make up for the short labor supply, the country relies on building up a highly-skilled pool of local workforce and attracting skilled workers abroad.
Moreover, Singapore’s literacy rate for people above 15 has been steadily rising in the past few decades and was 97.3% in 2020.
All the mentioned figures indicate an increase in the education level of the residents. If you’re a company looking to hire in Singapore, you’ll never be short of quality candidates.
3. Singapore’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
According to a Bloomberg report, Singapore’s GDP stood at $107 (SGD) billion in 2017.
Additionally, from 2014 to 2019, the median gross monthly income went up by 22.2% or 4.1% per annum per household member.
How can you benefit from Singapore’s advanced economy?
A rapidly growing economy and advanced infrastructural developments will always attract top-quality talent.
Outsourcing to Singaporean companies will not compromise the quality of your business operations. Additionally, when a country’s GDP growth is strong, companies grow faster by finding more business.
Singapore is a great destination if you’re looking to set up a business in a stable and vibrant ecosystem.
With an employee-friendly work environment, a healthy employment rate, and higher-than-average salary packages, starting a business in Singapore will be beneficial in many ways.
Use the information covered here to gain insights into Singapore’s average salary, cost of living, and economy.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.