Understanding Average Salary in Singapore and the Opportunity Cost of Gig Work, Freelancing, or Running a Business

Having insights about the average salary in Singapore can be instrumental when contemplating a career shift, like moving into full-time entrepreneurship or freelancing.

Singapore Business Owners


Ever wondered if you’re earning what you deserve?

Knowing the average salary in Singapore isn’t just about curiosity—it’s a vital tool for making informed career choices. Understanding how your earnings compare to others can help you assess whether your current job is paying you well or set realistic expectations for your next job.

For those engaged in gig work, freelancing, or running a business, having insights into average salaries serves as a crucial benchmark. It provides a clear goalpost to aim for, ensuring you understand how much you need to earn relative to what you might make in a full-time job. This knowledge helps you gauge opportunity costs and make strategic decisions for your financial future in one of the world’s most competitive economies.

Disclaimer: The figures quoted in this article are drawn from the MOM’s Labour Force in Singapore 2022 report and other reliable sources.

Average Salary in Singapore (2024)

According to MOM, the median gross monthly income from work (excluding employer CPF) for full-time employed residents in Singapore is $5,197 including employer CPF contributions.

Here are some more insights about the average salaries of PMETs in Singapore:

Age Group
Total Workforce (SGD)
Managers & Administrators (SGD)
25 – 29
30 – 34
35 – 39
40 – 44
45 – 49
50 – 54
55 – 59
60 & Over

Considering a New Gig or Freelancing? Worried About Meeting the Average Salary?

When people start to venture into alternate careers like gigs, freelancing, or running a small business, one of their main thoughts is how much they need to earn to make quitting their job worthwhile. Often, they don’t have a clear number in mind, especially when their new income isn’t growing significantly. Without a benchmark, it’s hard to gauge whether they are falling behind or moving ahead.

For example, if your alternate career brings in $4K per month but you could be earning $6K in a traditional job, it becomes clear that your decision is costing you $2K monthly in opportunity cost. Having this numerical perspective makes it easier to evaluate whether the alternate career is worth it.

Give yourself some breathing space for first year

When transitioning to freelancing or gig work, it’s crucial to set realistic income goals:

  • First Year: Aim to earn at least 70% of your current salary. This provides a safety net while you adjust to the new work style and build your client base.
  • Second Year: Strive to reach 120% of your previous salary to ensure that the shift is financially worthwhile.

Having these benchmarks will make it easier to make the transition and give you more breathing space to lay your foundation in the new career path.

Financial considerations are just one part of the equation. It’s equally important to reflect on your personal aspirations and how you want to lead your life. Consider what brings you fulfillment, how you want to balance work and personal time, and the kind of lifestyle you envision for yourself.


Remember, the key is to start cautiously, plan strategically, and continuously adapt.

With careful planning and realistic goals, you can successfully transition to a fulfilling freelance or gig career without compromising your financial stability, while also aligning your career with your personal values and aspirations.

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