Managers and Professionals – are your Salaries above the Median?


The ever pertinent question: What is the median salary of working Singaporeans?

Based on info in the just released Singapore Workforce, 2008 report from the Manpower Ministry, the median gross monthly income of full-time employed residents is $2,590.

Not very high. But it’s already an 11% increase from last year, according to the MOM report.

What about the medians for only managers and professionals, and the rest? Here are the corresponding numbers, by occupations:

  • Managers & Administrators $6,300
  • Working Proprietors $3,000
  • Professionals $4,750
  • Associate Professionals & Technicians $3,000
  • Clerical Workers $2,000
  • Service & Sales Workers $1,500
  • Production Craftsmen & Related $1,800
  • Plant & Machine Oerators & Assemblers $1,500
  • Cleaners, Labourers & Related $900

Note: Gross monthly income includes “wages or salaries, allowances, overtime, commission, tips and bonuses.”

Source: Singapore Workforce, 2008 report. Ministry of Manpower.


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  1. number is lower than what i expect for managers and professionals. most of my friends in their early 30s working in IT and finance are getting 120K – 150K per year

  2. Yeah, agree with broadmind. (Although probably we just happen to know the minority–I’m sure there are lots of other managers in other fields getting paid much less.)

  3. Impossible.

    One of our teammates used to work in the credit department of a major bank in Singapore and we get to see people’s payslips when they want to increaee their credit lines

    The figure shown is grossly low. Let’s put it this way out of 30 people at age 34, 18 of them earn more than $10,000 a month.

  4. low-paid, some of them are. At one point a friend of mine thought that he was paid very high because he went for interviews in other IT companies and they all told him they couldn’t afford his pay. I suspect he was talking to local IT shops, which all seem to pay their junior employees 2-3k and senior ones 4-6k.

    Until one day he went for interview in a foreign bank. The offer that came out was WAY above his then current pay. That kinda opened his eyes–that there is a whole different world out there.

  5. Yeah belive 6,300/mth is attainable by late 20s, or even mid twenties for the high flyers in this day and age of crazy inflation πŸ™

  6. Justwanttostayinajob on

    at 5,200/month, I believe I’m underpaid then πŸ™ slogging so hard from 25 to 32 and get meagre, no choice, I’m not flying high

  7. I am not flying high either….

    but i do see such people around amongst my uni cohort!

    Justwanttostayinajob>> think you are drawing a decent salary already, especially if your job is stable!

    inflation kills πŸ™

  8. You always have a choice lah. Even staying in your current job is a choice. So don’t say no choice, there is always a choice. Bigger risk, bigger returns.

    Didn’t I just share the story about my friend above? Until he happened to go to that interview he thought he had “no choice” also.

  9. I am 30. My day job pays only 4.5K. I fly off immediately after 6pm everyday to go home to do the things I love. I can’t remember when was the last time I did any OT. My job is stable, recession proof and nobody is going to sack me anytime soon.

    Once a week, I moonlight for a couple of hours in the evening for an extra $1k.

    Both the day job and the moonlight are not what I will call a career. I can’t find a purpose in my jobs and dread to do this for the rest of my life.

    I am trying to make a change…. but its recession. Anyway, I am in IT. Someone tell me what I need to do, please?

  10. ” The figure shown is grossly low. Let’s put it this way out of 30 people at age 34, 18 of them earn more than $10,000 a month.”

    – this data cannot use, of course they know their limit before they apply for credit extension. they don’t represent the general public

  11. The amount I stated is what I can make. 4% increment per year, that’s about it.

    Nope, cannot make money out of the things I love.

  12. Does anyone know how much is the average percentage pay increment in local banks for degree singaporean?

    Like whats the jump from analyst to associate to AVP to VP to SVP to MD?

  13. SGDividends>
    1. Depends on the bank and if the person joined at that specific level, or joined at the lowest level and moved up from there

    2. Local bank vs Foreign Bank

    3. Job Role, typically IB, Front office Derivative Sales and Trading (all asset classes, FX to Fixed Income to Credit to Commodities) pay more than any other dept in a bank

    For Foreign bank, and front office. Let me give a very very rough gauge
    Analyst (2.5 to 8k/pm)
    Associate (5 to 10k/pm)
    AVP (7 to 17k/pm)
    VP (10 to 35k/pm)

    MD (shitloads…)

  14. I guess what many people don’t know is that most AVP/VPs in investment banks are not managers and thus fairly junior (late 20s to early 30s). Usually only the Directors and MDs are managers.

    Btw, the salary range you describe is only base salary. Bulge bracket banks usually pay at least 2X (i.e. 1 year bonus), sometimes 3X, 4X in good years. IB’ers work for bonus. If there is no bonus, they’d jump to private equity or hedge funds.

    So the annual comp of a 30-year old VP is more realistically $300k-900k. And a 27-year old AVP would make $200k-400k.

  15. It is not as easy as what has been written here.

    Not everyone earns more than 120k per year. There are some in the front line desks, depts in banks that get below 100k per year.

    It is only the minority, i.e the elites, high flyers, who get paid astronomical sums. And according to IRAs, its seems logically so.

    IBs, Traders, Sales, Private Bankers, Wealth Managers, all have one thing in common. They work very long hours and sometimes easily sleep less than 5 hours a day. No time for real socialising or family bonds. It is not the ideal job for everyone. And sometimes the monetary lure cannot compensate for the loss of quality time and life.

  16. And, not many of these ppl can survive at the same job well into their 40s or 50s. Remember that it is a pyramidal hierachy. So only the “best” of the best goes up. What happens to the rest? It like the soccer stars in Premier League, big bucks over a short career and sometimes really short.

    Like those who had just joined the banking in 07/08, its only a handful who managed to enjoy the high bonuses n payouts. So please do not take everytime verbatim n prima facie..

  17. adiemuso: you’re right, of course. i was referring to IB front office in bulge brackets (e.g. GS, MS, maybe CS and DB). i have no idea what the comp structure is like elsewhere.

  18. for your infomation, long gone are the days of huge payouts. time has since changed.

    besides, its only the tier 1 (ang mo banks). try asking for a 6 digit payout in a 2nd tier, local or regional name. esp if you are only 27/28..

    but basically, the package is usually better off in front than mid and back…of cos the best is in mgmt.

  19. adiemuso and Anonymous

    thanks for adding on more detail to more post,

    anonymous> you are right about the bonus portion, what i stated was mainly for base salaries only.

    adiemuso> you are also right, not everyone in front office can get market rate. due to many other factors like (hiring manager’s persuading skills or bullying skills) they can “make” a candidate take a less than market rate, cos they junior ones are desparate to get in!

    and typically each bank has only about sales + trading 10 desk (on average, i plucked the no. out of the air, some may have more many will have less)

    and *maybe* every year only half will take in juniors.

    Thats probably like 60 junior positions in singapore? dont forget you compete with juniors that may get posted over from HK and etc as well!

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