In today’s economically driven world, understanding your earnings relative to others, particularly in competitive regions like Singapore, can be enlightening. This knowledge can illuminate your career trajectory, help ensure equitable pay, and satisfy your curiosity about where you stand financially among your peers.
Beyond that, having insights about the average salary in Singapore can be instrumental when contemplating a career shift, like moving into full-time entrepreneurship or freelancing. Such an understanding allows you to gauge the opportunity costs involved. If your projected business or freelance income significantly trails the average, with no growth in sight, holding on to your steady job or even doing both at the same time may be the wiser move.
This article delves into the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Labour Force in Singapore 2022 report and other resources to provide an in-depth analysis of the average salary in Singapore in 2023. It provides a valuable benchmark for your income, helping you decide whether to stick to conventional employment or venture out independently. It’s not just about curiosity—it’s about crafting a smart financial strategy in one of the world’s most dynamic economies.
Disclaimer: The figures quoted in this article are drawn from the MOM’s Labour Force in Singapore 2022 report and other reliable sources.
The Big Picture: Median Salary in Singapore
As per the MOM, the median gross monthly income from work (excluding employer CPF) for full-time employed residents in Singapore is $4,500. This amount includes the employee CPF and represents the gross monthly salary most of us perceive. Factoring in employer CPF contributions, the nominal median income of full-time employed residents increased by 8.3% from $4,680 in 2021 to $5,070 in 2022.
The table below provides a breakdown of the median gross monthly income from work by age group:
These figures reveal that median salaries generally increase with age, peaking between 40 and 44 years, and then significantly dropping after 49 years old.
Median Salary Across Occupations and Age Groups
Earnings can vary significantly across different occupations, even within the same age group. For instance, professionals, managers, and associate professionals & technicians generally earn above-average salaries.
On the other hand, occupations like clerical support workers, service & sales workers, craftsmen & related trades workers, plant & machine operators & assemblers, and cleaners, labourers & related workers tend to earn less than the overall average.
Here is an illustration of the median salary by occupation and age group:
Impact of Qualifications on Median Salary
Educational qualifications significantly influence earning potential. Generally, the higher your educational qualifications, the more likely you are to earn a salary higher than the median.
Across different age groups, occupations, and qualification attainment, median salaries in Singapore generally peak during a person’s 40s to early 50s. This trend is particularly noticeable among professionals and those with higher academic qualifications, whose salaries tend to peak slightly later, during their late 40s to early 50s.
Salary Trends in Different Sectors
Salaries are not a one-size-fits-all measure and can greatly vary depending on the sector your industry belongs to and the skillset you bring to the table. Different industries and roles command different salary ranges due to factors such as demand and supply of talent, the economic value of the industry, and the level of expertise required.
Thus, to truly understand where you stand, it’s vital to consider these dimensions. For a more detailed insight into industry-specific salaries in Singapore and the impact of various skills on earning potential, you can refer to comprehensive guides provided by resources like Seedly’s Salary Guide and SingSaver’s Average Income & Median Salary Guide.
These resources offer an in-depth understanding, enabling you to make more informed decisions about your career and financial future.
I have a degree. How much should I be earning?
Assuming you are below 35, in average circumstances, you should be earning around S$4,000 to S$6,000.
I am in my 30s. How much should I be earning?
It will be good to set an expectation and strive to earn around S$5,000 to S$7,000
I am in my 40s. How much should I be earning
It will be good to set an expectation and strive to earn around S$6,000 to S$8,000
I don’t have a degree, I can’t earn that much.
There are many ways to earn money. Choose a route that doesn’t look at your qualifications. Check out our guide on making money online.
How much should I target to earn if I go into freelance or business.
First, assuming you are going into freelance where the business will not scale, you should try to target to earn at least 70% of what you could have earn in a full time job, in the first 1 year of freelancing. Afterwhich, I would advise you to try to strive to earn 120% of your average salary from year 2 ownwards.
If you are going to start a business which will scale and make you a billionaire, you first need to know what is your required surivival income and just aim to achieve that . This will allow you to focus on your business and not affect your family members and your lifestyle too drastically.
The Scalability of Your Dreams
As you stand at the threshold of entrepreneurship, take a hard look at your business idea. Does it have the legs to sprint ahead in Singapore’s competitive marketplace? Is it scalable, promising multiplying revenues with just a little more effort?
If it doesn’t quite meet this criterion, aim to achieve a monthly income that at least rivals your average salary. After all, living in our beloved Lion City is not cheap, and your startup should be able to provide for you comfortably.
More Than Just a Paycheck
In this bustling city-state of ours, it can be easy to get lost in the race for financial stability. But remember, life is not just about the digits in your bank account. Your entrepreneurial journey (or your job) should light a spark in your soul, not feel like a chore you dread every morning.
However, ensure your passion is not just a fleeting hobby but can also provide a sustainable solution to a market need.
Being Financially Practical
While following your passion, you must also stay grounded in Singapore’s financial realities. The idea of earning less for a “stress-free” lifestyle might be appealing, but remember that our city-state can be expensive and unpredictable.
Always ensure your venture can cover not just your day-to-day expenses but also those unforeseen situations that life often throws our way.
Embrace the Stress of Entrepreneurship
In your full-time entrepreneurship journey, be prepared for the undeniable stress. Unlike a 9-to-5 job where your role is clearly defined, running a business in Singapore requires wearing multiple hats. The freedom to make decisions also comes with the responsibility of facing the consequences alone. It can be a tough ride, so ensure you’re mentally prepared for this.
Test the Waters While Keeping Your Job
If the thought of giving up your steady income feels too daunting, consider moonlighting as an entrepreneur. Keep your day job while experimenting with your business idea during off-hours. This balance allows you to understand the demands and viability of your venture without sacrificing financial security.
In conclusion, venturing into entrepreneurship in Singapore, leaving your steady job behind, is a life-altering decision. It requires a blend of pragmatism and passion, coupled with a dash of courage. Use these insights as your guide, do your research, and seek mentorship from successful entrepreneurs. The journey ahead is challenging but could be the most rewarding ride of your life.
Explore More Content
Table of Content