Your Guide To What Is A Good Salary in Singapore (Plus Tips)

Updated 9 September 2023

What constitutes a good income varies greatly based on your education level, professional experience, chosen industry and geographic region. Knowing what decent pay is might help you enhance your employment chances and choose a professional path. Thoroughly understanding what affects your salary and how you spend your income can help you decide what is a comfortable amount for you. In this article, we discuss why earning a good salary is important, what is a good salary in Singapore, the factors affecting your salary and the considerations when deciding what a good salary for you is.

What is a good salary in Singapore?

When contemplating a job offer, pay is one significant variable to consider, which makes knowing what is a good salary in Singapore critical. Knowing the pay range for your career, education level, experience and geographic area may also assist you in negotiating your beginning wage or a raise after working for the same firm for a specific amount of time. When considering all relevant factors, you can regard any above-average pay to be a good salary.

Related: What Is Net Salary: Definition and Guide To Calculating Net Salary

Why is a good salary important?

Earning a decent living may help you grow emotionally and professionally. Earning an above-average wage allows you to meet all of your essential necessities while still having enough money for personal expenses like vacation and leisure and assisting others. Professionally, a decent income may boost your confidence since it indicates that you're performing well in your role, and it can also serve as a motivator to help you continue to develop your abilities.

Related: Salary Guide for Singapore

What are the factors affecting your salary?

Outlined below are the most important factors to consider when choosing a fair annual wage:

Level of experience

More years of experience in a field usually results in better income. Note that this varies by occupation. Suppose the position requires someone with eight years of experience in a specific occupation and you don't fulfil those qualifications. You may find yourself at the lower end of the wage range. Emphasise your professional experience if you possess more than the requirement.

Level of education

The match between your education and the normal requirements of your work generally affects your salary. Furthermore, the level of education might impact your pay. Degree holders can expect to earn more than diploma holders. Receiving a degree from a top programme may have a favourable impact on your salary.

Company and industry

The sort of firm you work for and the industry in which it operates may have a big impact on establishing what good pay is. Small businesses may pay less than large businesses, while non-profit organisations may pay less than for-profit businesses. As for wage disparities between industries, they depend on a variety of factors.

Wages in industries that need more training and apprenticeship years are generally higher. Labour supply and demand is also a factor, so positions that are in demand but with less pleasurable work environments frequently pay more. Other considerations include the level of responsibility, rivalry with related industries and regulatory frameworks.

Related: 20 Careers of the Future (With Salaries)

Tips for determining the amount of salary you need

The pay you require fluctuates over time as your duties and priorities shift. To learn more about what is a good salary in Singapore, it's important that you consider your needs and requirements. Here are some pointers to help you figure out your ideal salary:

Make a budget

The 50-30-20 guideline is an excellent approach to determining your income requirements and preparing for the future. According to this strategy, you can spend half of your earnings on basic needs such as housing, food, utilities and insurance. You can then spend 30% on non-essential items such as dining out, travel and entertainment. Lastly, you can use the remaining 20% of your income for savings and debt reduction.

Related: What Is the 50–20–30 Rule? How to, Benefits and Example

Consider your living expenses

When considering your cost of living, you may think about how much you usually spend on food, clothing, housing, transportation, healthcare and entertainment. This number highly depends on your lifestyle and needs. You would spend substantially more if you dine out every day, often shop for clothes, splurge on a bigger house and spend a lot on recreational activities.

Consider your lifestyle choices and life stage

Consider whether your pay permits you to live where you want and do what you want. Consider if you're only responsible for yourself or whether you have a large family. A single employee can survive on a lower income than a family-supporting employee.

Note any benefits that are part of your remuneration package

A salary with benefits such as retirement savings, health insurance and vacation time may be more advantageous for you than a higher income with no benefits. Purchasing health insurance can also be quite costly. Benefits may be an essential element of your compensation requirements if you have a family to take care of.

Related: Differences Between Annual Salary vs. Annual Compensation

Examine your commute expenses carefully

Singapore boasts a transportation infrastructure that is not only inexpensive but also clean and contemporary. And it would only cost you approximately S$150 to use it for an entire month. Nonetheless, if you prefer to own and drive a car, it's important that you consider expensive parking, gasoline bills and auto repairs that may deplete a portion of your earnings. When calculating how much you ought to earn, keep these expenditures in mind.

Related: What Is Compensation: Types and Examples of Benefits

Tips for increasing your salary

If you're finding that you're falling short of your budget or just want to make more money, consider these salary-boosting strategies:

Pursue advanced degrees or certifications

Consider earning an MBA or another advanced degree that can help you grow in your job. There are also several professional certification courses and online programmes available to help you develop your abilities, advance in your career and increase your earning potential. Check with your employer to determine if any advanced degrees or certificates are a part of the training programme or benefits package.

Take advantage of as many in-house training opportunities as your business provides

Participating in every training programme your organisation offers showcases a desire to improve your work. Doing so can help you negotiate higher pay or promotions in the long run. Moreover, taking part in development opportunities also enhances your talents and expands your skill set.

Related: How To Negotiate a Salary (With Examples)

Maintain your expertise in your profession

Attend professional conferences, study industry publications and network with professionals in your specialisation. Maintain current knowledge of industry standards, procedures and technology. These factors can enhance your knowledge and skills, which may result in better compensation.

Enhance your communication abilities

Communication skills can play a major role in influencing your salary. Without excellent verbal and written communication abilities, technical expertise alone may not be enough to command a high salary. Spend some time improving your communication abilities with others. You may also find a colleague who is an effective communicator to mentor and guide you.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Take advantage of criticism

Nobody fancies criticism, but applying it to enhance your job performance and work relationships can help you get higher pay. Receiving criticism is a way for you to get more learning opportunities. Criticism allows you to see things from a different perspective and strive to always improve to be better.

Negotiate for a promotion or a raise in your present employment

Employers are attempting to keep expenses, including employee compensation, as low as possible to maximise profits. Thus, you may not receive a raise until you request one. Make a list of your job accomplishments since your previous increase or hire before meeting with your employer. Pick your bargaining moment wisely. You may ask for a raise when you've successfully completed an important project.


  • How to Write a Letter Asking for a Raise (With Examples)

  • What Is a Salary Increment and How to Negotiate for One

Investigate new opportunities in your industry

You may spend some time looking for a career that pays more than your present one or is in a location with lower costs of living. You may look for these new opportunities through online job boards, professional associations or referrals. If you like your present company, you may utilise a rival job offer as leverage in a compensation negotiation, since the expenses of acquiring and training a new employee sometimes exceed the benefits of giving a higher salary to an existing employee.


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