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 6.1 million Vietnamese Dong (VND) per month or 277 USD/month (according to the exchange rates in Aug 2021) — which is 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.
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)
- What is the Average Salary in Vietnam?
- Vietnamese Average Salary Comparisons
- Average Annual Salary Increment
- 5 Benefits of Outsourcing to Vietnam
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 3,070,000 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 16,200,000 VND/month (16.2 million VND per month).
Median salary means half the population earns more than 16.2 million VND/month, while the other half earns less than 16.2 million VND/month.
3. Minimum Wage
According to the Vietnamese government, the minimum wage in Vietnam ranges from 3.07 to 4.42 million VND/month. It equates to roughly 133-191 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.
It’s important to note that due to the pandemic, the minimum wages haven’t changed since January 1, 2020.
While they were supposed to increase from July 1, 2021, the National Wages Council recommended that minimum wages remain unchanged to encourage post-pandemic economic growth.
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:
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|
Higher education qualifications usually lead to a higher average base salary.
Let’s look at the salary level comparison for different education levels:
|Education Level||Average 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 Diploma||267,467,167 VND|
|Below High School||116,245,080 VND|
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|
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 Salary||Popular Professions|
|Hanoi||295,927,293 VND||Project Manager Software Engineer Software Developer|
|Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)||281,614,084 VND||Operations Manager Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer|
|Haiphong||254,739,112 VND||Credit 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.
Here’s a list of some popular professions in Vietnam and their average yearly salary:
|Profession||Average Annual Salary|
|HR Manager (Human Resources Manager)||523,705,126 VND|
|Electrical Engineer||512,670,713 VND|
|Project Manager||482,558,759 VND|
|Financial Analyst||479,134,485 VND|
|Business Development Analyst||450,939,128 VND|
|UX Designer||434,145,081 VND|
|Registered Nurse||368,537,199 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|
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.
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:
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 Juniors||7.25%|
|Supervisors, Managers, and Above||6.98%|
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|
|Information Technology (IT)||6%|
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.
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.
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.
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.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.