What is the average salary in Vietnam?

by Time Doctor
Average Salary in Vietnam (2)

Based in Southeast Asia, Vietnam or Viet Nam is one of the most stable and fast-growing countries globally. 

The average salary in Vietnam is 17.2 million Vietnamese Dong (VND) per month or 733 USD/month (according to the exchange rates in May 2023) — which is significantly lower than the average salaries in countries like the USA or UK. 

This low-cost labor, a highly educated workforce, and government support for entrepreneurship make Vietnam ideal for most IT, manufacturing, and BPO outsourcing companies. 

In this article, we’ll discuss stats about Vietnam’s average monthly salary and compare average salaries and increment rates. We’ll then list five reasons why Vietnam is an outsourcing powerhouse.

Table of Contents

Let’s start. 

What is the average salary in Vietnam?

The average salary in Vietnam is 6.1 million Vietnamese Dong (VND) per month, according to the July 2021 press release by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

As per the August 2021 exchange rate, this is equivalent to 277 USD/month.

In Vietnam, it’s common to pay employees a 13th-month salary as an annual bonus. Additionally, there’s a Tet bonus paid before the Lunar New Year. The Tet bonus amount can range from one to three months’ salary. 

Let’s explore some other figures related to Vietnam’s average salary:  

1. Salary range

The salary range in Vietnam is 4,360,000 VND/month (minimum salary) to the highest average of 76,900,000 VND/month (actual monthly salary may be higher). 

These figures are inclusive of bonuses.

The lowest salaries are in the accounting, customer service, and administrative sectors. The highest salaries are typically found in IT, banking, financial services, civil engineering, and marketing. 

2. Median salary

The median Vietnamese salary is 14,800,000 VND/month.

Median salary means half the population earns more than 14.8 million VND/month, while the other half earns less than 14.8 million VND/month. 

3. Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Vietnam is 4.68 million VND/month (according to Take-Profit.org). It equates to roughly 200 US dollars per month. 

The minimum wage depends on the employee’s region: 

  • Region I (urban HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi): 4,420,000 VND/month.
  • Region II (rural areas of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, as well as the cities of Da Nang, Can Tho, and Haiphong): 3,920,000 VND/month.
  • Region III (Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, and Vinh Phuc provinces): 3,430,000 VND/month. 
  • Region IV (other remaining areas): 3,070,000 VND/month. 

In addition, you also need to pay an employee with vocational training 7% more than their region’s basic salary. 

Vietnamese average salary comparisons

Let’s now look at how the average income differs based on the employee’s experience, education level, work type, city, and job title:

1. Experience

Generally, the more experienced the employee, the more they’re paid. 

Yet, Vietnamese employees with over 20 years of experience might receive a lower average annual salary than their peers with 16-20 years of experience. 

Here’s a salary comparison according to the years of experience:

Years of Experience Average Annual Salary 
20+ 604,037,493 VND
16-20704,001,363 VND
12-16600,059,175 VND
8-12564,438,279 VND
4-8412,549,306 VND
2-4263,005,931 VND
1-2178,495,413 VND
0-1139,517,092 VND

Source: averagesalarysurvey.com

2. Education

Higher education qualifications usually lead to a higher average base salary. 

Let’s look at the salary level comparison for different education levels:

Education LevelAverage Annual Salary 
Doctorate Degree 583,387,031 VND
Master’s Degree 512,237,224 VND
Bachelor’s Degree 369,017,765 VND
Some College Degree 287,680,703 VND
High School Diploma267,467,167 VND
Below High School 116,245,080 VND

Source: averagesalarysurvey.com

3. Work type

Full-time employees worldwide generally receive high salaries. 

However, over half (54.3%) of Vietnamese individuals often earn more than full-time employees. 

That’s because these individuals are self-employed, and the government actively encourages entrepreneurship through lower tax rates. 

Here’s how the salaries differ based on employment type:

Work Type Average Annual Salary 
Self-Employed 436,557,192 VND
Full-Time416,297,664 VND
Contract327,693,847 VND
Part-Time171,481,615 VND

Source: averagesalarysurvey.com

4. City

The location of your business also plays a significant role in deciding employee salaries. 

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is the best city for employment, followed closely by Hanoi, the capital. 

Let’s explore the average salaries and popular professions of three major Vietnamese cities — Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Haiphong:

City Average Annual SalaryPopular Professions
Hanoi 295,927,293 VNDProject Manager Software Engineer Software Developer
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 281,614,084 VNDOperations Manager Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Haiphong 254,739,112 VNDCredit Analyst Accounting ClerkESL Teacher

Hanoi provides the country’s highest salary, on average. 

However, HCMC is the largest city and provides the most economic opportunities. As a result, it receives many migrants and expats every year, leading to a higher cost of living. 

5. Professions

Here’s a list of some popular professions in Vietnam and their average yearly salary:

ProfessionAverage Annual Salary 
Dentist 775,633,674 VND
HR Manager (Human Resources Manager)523,705,126 VND
JavaScript Developer516,559,063 VND
Electrical Engineer512,670,713 VND
Project Manager 482,558,759 VND
Financial Analyst 479,134,485 VND
Business Development Analyst450,939,128 VND
UX Designer 434,145,081 VND
Registered Nurse368,537,199 VND
Graphic Designer 308,767,751 VND
Secondary School Teacher 304,552,491 VND
ESL Teachers (English as a Second Language)179,883,257 VND
Construction Worker 75,213,197 VND 

Source: salaryexpert.com

Public sector employees typically earn 8% more (7,800,000 VND) than private sector employees (6,400,000 VND) annually. 

Note: All figures are presented as a salary benchmark. Actual numbers may change depending on job titles and regions.

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Average annual salary increment

Typically, Vietnamese workers receive a 9% salary increment every 17 months, higher than the global average of 3% every 16 months. 

Let’s look at the two main factors that impact this increment rate: 

1. Experience

In Vietnam, it’s common for fresh graduates to join a company on a lower salary with an expectation for a higher salary increase. 

In fact, the younger the employee, usually the higher the increment. 

As a result, freshers and juniors typically receive a higher annual increment than more experienced and older employees. 

Here are the average increment numbers:

Experience Level Average Annual Salary Increment
Freshers and Juniors7.25%
Supervisors, Managers, and Above6.98%

Source: jobstreet.co.id 

2. Industry

Thriving industries are more likely to give larger and more frequent increments. 

But Vietnam’s economic situation also impacts increments. For instance, due to the pandemic, travel has been down while the healthcare sector is booming. 

The following expected salary increment rates are specifically for 2020-21:

Industry Average Annual Increment Rate  
Education 5% 
Information Technology (IT) 6%
Healthcare 8%

Source: salaryexplorer.com 

The average salary in Vietnam is significantly lower compared to Western countries, making it a cost-effective outsourcing location.  

Let’s explore this and more reasons how your company can benefit by outsourcing to Vietnam. 

5 benefits of outsourcing to Vietnam

Early in the pandemic, the government’s decisive actions helped Vietnamese companies and workers keep up with worldwide outsourcing demands while others struggled. 

Here are some other factors that make this country so unique in the global outsourcing market:

1. Competitive labor cost

Cost optimization is one of the biggest reasons companies outsource their operations, especially IT services such as software development. 

Such services can be extremely expensive onshore for US-based companies or even to other common outsourcing locations like India or Poland

For instance, an American software developer might charge USD 100/hour while those in Poland charge $35-$55/hour. But you could hire a top-quality developer in Vietnam for $20-$40/hour. 

Despite rising outsourcing costs worldwide, the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and IT services in Vietnam are 50% cheaper than in East Europe and 30% cheaper than in India. 

Kearney’s 2021 Global Services Location Index also listed Vietnam as the sixth-best outsourcing destination in terms of financial attractiveness. The country ranks higher than most of its Asian counterparts, such as Malaysia and Thailand. 

2. Large talent pool

There are over 74 million Vietnamese of working age, and the government’s focus on education has led to an incredible 95% literacy rate in this population. 

Recently, the focus has shifted to providing high-quality English education to help Vietnamese citizens keep up with the global demand. 

Developing technical knowledge and digital skills is another factor helping Vietnamese workers get employed in high-tech sectors. 

But what makes it unique from other countries? 

Currently, Vietnam is in a “golden population structure,” which means there are two or more employed people for every unemployed person. Experts suggest that this period will last till 2035, with roughly 1.4 million people becoming eligible for work every year. 

It’s difficult for the country to create so many new jobs every year. Outsourcing can help this situation. 

The world is currently facing a global talent shortage. Companies can hire highly skilled Vietnamese citizens, helping them contribute to the economy. At the same time, you can gain access to a readily available and talented workforce at a fraction of the cost.

3. Strategic location

Located just south of China, Vietnam is ideal for many different time zones

It’s only a few hours behind leading Asia-Pacific economies, such as: 

  • Australia (3 hours). 
  • Japan (2 hours).
  • Korea (2 hours). 

Similarly, it’s only a few hours ahead of Europe (5 hours) and the UK (6 hours). 

As a result, it’s possible to communicate with your Vietnamese colleagues during your regular business hours. 

Vietnam is also a short flight away from most European cities, making it easier to visit your offshore centers. 

While it’s far away from the American and Canadian markets (11 hours each), it’s also a major supplier of IT services to these regions. 

Since the time zones are so different, your offshore team can work while you sleep, guaranteeing the 24/7 growth of your business. 

4. Fast economic growth

In 2019 alone, the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector generated over USD 2 billion in revenue. It contributed about 14% to the country’s GDP and created over a million jobs. 

Not only is it a fast-growing nation, but it’s also largely steady. 

In 2020, Vietnam was one of the few countries to witness economic growth (2.9%). Its particular focus on software development cemented its place in the global economy. 

By 2025, the country aims to become an upper-middle-income country or higher as per World Bank standards. The plan is to continue economic reforms that attract foreign manufacturing investments to Vietnam. 

If this happens, Vietnam will have a sizable middle-class population with a fair amount of disposable income. Naturally, this will lead to a rise in consumption. 

So, more foreign investors will likely choose to invest in Vietnam as it’ll offer them higher corporate sales and increased stock evaluations. 

5. Investor-friendly environment

As one of the world’s most stable countries, Vietnam’s primary goal is economic growth, making it an attractive destination for domestic and foreign investors. 

Many tech-heavy markets, such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Singapore, have invested heavily in Vietnam. According to Vietnam Briefing, Singapore is the second-largest foreign investor in Da Nang, Vietnam.

It has also entered into multiple free trade agreements (FTAs) through the World Trade Organization (WTO) with Japan, Chile, and Korea

And as a part of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Vietnam has access to the union’s existing FTAs with Australia, Canada, and India

As a result, Vietnam has witnessed unprecedented business development in the past few years. 

The Binh Duong province, in particular, is well-known for its manufacturing industry. Many global companies such as H&M, Adidas, and Nike have set up factories in the province to sell their products locally and internationally. 

However, Vietnam has its sights set even higher, as evident from its recent international trade agreements, such as: 

  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
  • EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). 

They will require Vietnam to conform to International Labor Organization (ILO) standards. Doing so will allow the country to modernize its large labor force and truly enter the global market. 

These trade agreements will also help Vietnam attract further foreign investments. The EVFTA, in particular, is expected to turn Vietnam into a European business hub. 

Wrapping up 

The government’s commitment to business development has ensured that Vietnam is a world leader in IT services. 

Compared to countries like the US, its lower average wage also makes Vietnam an attractive IT and software outsourcing destination. 

If you’re looking to outsource to Vietnam, use the above salary guide to ensure you’re adequately paying this highly-educated workforce.

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