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Average salaries in Singapore

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 05 Nov 2010 10:24 am

I would hazard a guess at 2600-2800/month. (This would obviously be dependent on whether it's a government school (e.g., secondary/pre-U) or Uni level. With private schools it may well be a little more.

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Postby qqrice » Fri, 05 Nov 2010 1:39 pm

Thank you sundaymorningstaple for your info. I believe this university is private owned. Is it all right if I ask for 2800 - 3000? I would like to have 3000 if possible but not sure how much they are willing to offer me.

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Postby Ragavendran » Sat, 20 Nov 2010 10:59 pm

In the range of s$5k is good for your profile

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 21 Nov 2010 12:03 am

Ragavendran wrote:In the range of s$5k is good for your profile


With only a degree and one year's experience? :o

I'll give you one thing. You ARE an optimist, no doubt about that. Hopefully the OP won't get laughed out of the interview.

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Postby bentonfraser_4ever » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 3:31 am

Speaking of degrees and experience, I have a question on behalf of a friend of a friend. Just looking for an honest opinion..

She's Singaporean, has an NUS Law bachelor's degree (LL.B.) and a Masters in Law (LL.M.) from a top North American non-Ivy with a strong reputation (not some 2nd-rate community college). She is very talented, in fact, multi-talented, extremely eloquent/excellent communications skills/speaks many languages, mature, professional (first impressions = top percentile, good head on her shoulders, don't mess with her), street smart and an efficient multi-tasker. Her CV is very impressive for someone her age (27), has held many leadership positions, 7yrs of entrepreneurship etc..

She has applied for over 135 jobs (mostly with Ministries/Stat boards) since January, and has only been called up for 2 interviews. 1 with a Ministry, and 1 with Mediacorp. Both were for jobs that were, to be honest, beneath her but she went anyway because she was desperate. The last one was a 'chat' with a boutique local Law firm, whose partner offered her offhand a non-lawyer position at $3k which was the same pay she was getting 2yrs ago in the nonlegal industry BEFORE her Masters, as a fresh grad. (she hasn't been called to the Bar yet, but this is going into very specific technical details and I don't want to bore you guys).

She feels quite depressed at the way things are going (also because other things in her life are going badly). If she went for 135 interviews and they all rejected her, at least she knows there's something wrong with HER, but how can they even assess her without any interviews? Also, she keeps saying, "Why did I bother to spend 5 years in university and spend all my savings and my parents' savings just to fight for a higher education, if I could become a secretary after my O Levels and earn MORE? Why do minorities in this country even have aspirations and ambitions?". I feel it's bizzare too, and doesn't gel with economic labour capital theories...

Looking at a few posts back, the Top 100 SG jobs thing, it seems even as a legal officer she's supposed to earn $9k??? Is this really realistic? And data administrators etc. are earning $5k. And FRESH GRAD EXPATS WITH NO EXPERIENCE are earning in excess of $7k ftopic73923.html

So, in essence...
Qualifications: 2 Law degrees
Experience: 1yr Corp Comms/BD+Legal counsel, 7yrs entrepreneurship + communications freelancing
Being offered: S$3000 at a law firm (she doesn't state expected salary in her applications unless asked specifically-- and adjusts accordingly to the job level)

Fair?

Any thoughts/input from other lawyers, as I'm not in the corporate/commercial side of the legal industry as a practicing lawyer (I am an academic) so can't comment. Also, anyone in the business support/ PR/Corp Comms industry? Xie xie.

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Postby bentonfraser_4ever » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 4:00 am

Oh, and the only reason I posted here was because she was actually already quite settled overseas, with her employment visa in the last stages of processing and has even gotten decent job offers there. She came back to Singapore, like me, to escape the harsh winter :D and visit family/friends for a few months. So at the same time looking for jobs bcos this is home and if she can be here, better right? Of course, she is looking for these jobs with private companies as an expat so hopes for better paying jobs, i.e. "local plus" package(as she has property in Canada she needs to maintain, expenses etc).

She has a partner in Canada so I tell her if all goes well and they marry then she'll have a legal 'expat name' for better leverage LOL...

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...

Postby Lieberato » Sun, 19 Dec 2010 1:12 am

bentonfraser_4ever wrote:Speaking of degrees and experience, I have a question on behalf of a friend of a friend. Just looking for an honest opinion..

She's Singaporean, has an NUS Law bachelor's degree (LL.B.) and a Masters in Law (LL.M.) from a top North American non-Ivy with a strong reputation (not some 2nd-rate community college). She is very talented, in fact, multi-talented, extremely eloquent/excellent communications skills/speaks many languages, mature, professional (first impressions = top percentile, good head on her shoulders, don't mess with her), street smart and an efficient multi-tasker. Her CV is very impressive for someone her age (27), has held many leadership positions, 7yrs of entrepreneurship etc..

She has applied for over 135 jobs (mostly with Ministries/Stat boards) since January, and has only been called up for 2 interviews. 1 with a Ministry, and 1 with Mediacorp. Both were for jobs that were, to be honest, beneath her but she went anyway because she was desperate. The last one was a 'chat' with a boutique local Law firm, whose partner offered her offhand a non-lawyer position at $3k which was the same pay she was getting 2yrs ago in the nonlegal industry BEFORE her Masters, as a fresh grad. (she hasn't been called to the Bar yet, but this is going into very specific technical details and I don't want to bore you guys).

She feels quite depressed at the way things are going (also because other things in her life are going badly). If she went for 135 interviews and they all rejected her, at least she knows there's something wrong with HER, but how can they even assess her without any interviews? Also, she keeps saying, "Why did I bother to spend 5 years in university and spend all my savings and my parents' savings just to fight for a higher education, if I could become a secretary after my O Levels and earn MORE? Why do minorities in this country even have aspirations and ambitions?". I feel it's bizzare too, and doesn't gel with economic labour capital theories...

Looking at a few posts back, the Top 100 SG jobs thing, it seems even as a legal officer she's supposed to earn $9k??? Is this really realistic? And data administrators etc. are earning $5k. And FRESH GRAD EXPATS WITH NO EXPERIENCE are earning in excess of $7k ftopic73923.html

So, in essence...
Qualifications: 2 Law degrees
Experience: 1yr Corp Comms/BD+Legal counsel, 7yrs entrepreneurship + communications freelancing
Being offered: S$3000 at a law firm (she doesn't state expected salary in her applications unless asked specifically-- and adjusts accordingly to the job level)

Fair?

Any thoughts/input from other lawyers, as I'm not in the corporate/commercial side of the legal industry as a practicing lawyer (I am an academic) so can't comment. Also, anyone in the business support/ PR/Corp Comms industry? Xie xie.


Wow, the symptoms described above sounds like a very similar problem faced by non-chinese in Singapore or the non-malays in Malaysia.

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 20 Dec 2010 8:38 am

bentonfraser_4ever wrote:So, in essence...
Qualifications: 2 Law degrees
Experience: 1yr Corp Comms/BD+Legal counsel, 7yrs entrepreneurship + communications freelancing
Being offered: S$3000 at a law firm (she doesn't state expected salary in her applications unless asked specifically-- and adjusts accordingly to the job level)



The key reasons why she is having problems finding a job is because her limited legal practice experiences. If she is looking at legal positions, law firm salaries are often based on the number of PQE you have and she has barely 1 PQE (in fact less because she was a BD + Legal Counsel). It is not clear why is her speciality but judging from her experience, I suspect she has none.

Hence, she can only get the salary of a newly graduated lawyer if she try to join a SG law firm in Singapore. Accompanied by the fact that she is not familiar with Singapore regulations, it all added on to her disadvantages. Of course, you can say that she can read up on the law but why would a law firm offer a high salary to someone, who is not familiar with Singapore regulations and has minimum legal experience. Not forgetting the fact that she didn't pass her bar exam (another question mark). There are ample of law graduates in Singapore who are cheaper and spent years familiarizing themselves with SG regulations.

A few alternatives that she should investigate includes
1) Looking for positions in foreign law firms. However, do note that she have minimum legal experience. Don't pin high hopes in salary.
2) Looking for assistant legal counsel positions / compliance positions in a financial institution (FI). A FI is probably one of the few places who will appreciate her 2 degrees and don't mind her not passing her bar exam.

Good luck!

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Re: ...

Postby bentonfraser_4ever » Mon, 20 Dec 2010 4:17 pm

Lieberato wrote:Wow, the symptoms described above sounds like a very similar problem faced by non-chinese in Singapore or the non-malays in Malaysia.


Really? wow, I had the impression Singapore was more meritocratic? And that this happens only in Malaysia? Well, I guess maybe you're saying times have changed.. After all, it very much feels like Singapore is a distant province of China! :D

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 20 Dec 2010 4:37 pm

In Singapore, meritocratic means nothing more than you will have an equal change of getting a job based on your qualifications. It does NOT mean you will get equal pay in most instances. It sucks, but there you go. All nice and tidily swept under the corner of the rug, hidden out of sight as if the world doesn't already know it.

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Postby bentonfraser_4ever » Mon, 20 Dec 2010 5:08 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:The key reasons why she is having problems finding a job is because her limited legal practice experiences. If she is looking at legal positions, law firm salaries are often based on the number of PQE you have and she has barely 1 PQE (in fact less because she was a BD + Legal Counsel). It is not clear why is her speciality but judging from her experience, I suspect she has none.

Hence, she can only get the salary of a newly graduated lawyer if she try to join a SG law firm in Singapore. Accompanied by the fact that she is not familiar with Singapore regulations, it all added on to her disadvantages. Of course, you can say that she can read up on the law but why would a law firm offer a high salary to someone, who is not familiar with Singapore regulations and has minimum legal experience. Not forgetting the fact that she didn't pass her bar exam (another question mark). There are ample of law graduates in Singapore who are cheaper and spent years familiarizing themselves with SG regulations.

A few alternatives that she should investigate includes
1) Looking for positions in foreign law firms. However, do note that she have minimum legal experience. Don't pin high hopes in salary.
2) Looking for assistant legal counsel positions / compliance positions in a financial institution (FI). A FI is probably one of the few places who will appreciate her 2 degrees and don't mind her not passing her bar exam.

Good luck!


Ooh, i just had lunch with her today and shared with her! Thanks for the advice on the alternatives, I will send this link to her lol.

Hmm, oops you might have misread my original post :) She is Singaporean, and she also did her first Law degree here in Singapore (= "spent years familiari[s]ing themselves with Singapore [laws]" indeed). It's not that she didn't pass the Bar exams, she never even went for the process (back then it was 6mths PLC and 1yr pupillage? not sure..) because it didn't make sense, and because she wanted to do an LL.M. to distinguish herself in her specialty.

Anyway. In Canada, we earn a regular salary while going for the Bar school and taking the qualifying exams. An average-sized firm pays a rate of about C$38,000-50,000 p.a. (about S$5-6000/mth) for 'newly graduated lawyers' as you say, during Bar school, and then slightly higher during the articling period(and this is the same in both firms as well as with judicial clerkships). Once these are over and done with, as first year associates we get a starting salary of about 30% more (which means the qualification period does not add a whole lot of mileage other than as a formality-- our Law degrees are inherently already worth a lot more than average degrees). Of course I'm referring to Bay St./ Burrard type of firms, not 2-man firms. So it makes sense to get qualified in Canada from my perspective.

In Singapore, however, you get some measly S$1-2000 while you're getting qualified-- which was, back then, 1.5yrs. Yes, first year associates (0-1yr PQE) in a nondescript local medium firm ought to get about S$4500/mth. Also, now the new process is 6mths Part B, and 6mths Training Contract which cuts down the time wasting one's career mileage on earning peanuts.

Girl_Next_Door wrote:Hence, she can only get the salary of a newly graduated lawyer if she try to join a SG law firm in Singapore. Accompanied by the fact that she is not familiar with Singapore regulations, it all added on to her disadvantages. Of course, you can say that she can read up on the law but why would a law firm offer a high salary to someone, who is not familiar with Singapore regulations and has minimum legal experience. Not forgetting the fact that she didn't pass her bar exam (another question mark). There are ample of law graduates in Singapore who are cheaper and spent years familiarizing themselves with SG regulations.


This is true, if you look at it logically. But from what I've noticed, the Singapore legal landscape is not :lol: It's really puzzling, the thousands of Brit/American/Aussie ('Western') lawyers here are even more of a libility because they have no knowledge of Singapore's legal system whatsoever, didn't go through it in school, are not mandated to do a conversion or even take the Singapore Bar exams(unlike when Singaporeans/foreigners go to their countries where protectionist policies/barriers to entry are EXTREMELY STRONG in industries such as Law) and yet they're allowed to practice here freely and earning high salaries. Yes, they bring their specialisation of American/Brit law, but is it wholly enough when you have trans-jurisdictional transactions, AND based in Asia? There are so very few foreign lawyers here with Singapore Bar qualifications, most are NY and England&Wales.. it's truly odd. The very few ones who actually bother eg. Prof. Jeffrey Pinsler, Bob Beckman, Barry Crown etc are those who have been here ages and actually specialise in Singapore law! I've heard my Singaporean peers lament the rest (the corporate-types) are just here to cash in on the Asian growth wave and then leave...? Anyway. Sorry for rambling. LOL. Just sayin'. From an academic's perspective, in my lonely cold ivory tower... :P

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 20 Dec 2010 6:41 pm

bentonfraser_4ever wrote:
This is true, if you look at it logically. But from what I've noticed, the Singapore legal landscape is not :lol: It's really puzzling, the thousands of Brit/American/Aussie ('Western') lawyers here are even more of a libility because they have no knowledge of Singapore's legal system whatsoever, didn't go through it in school, are not mandated to do a conversion or even take the Singapore Bar exams(unlike when Singaporeans/foreigners go to their countries where protectionist policies/barriers to entry are EXTREMELY STRONG in industries such as Law) and yet they're allowed to practice here freely and earning high salaries. Yes, they bring their specialisation of American/Brit law, but is it wholly enough when you have trans-jurisdictional transactions, AND based in Asia? There are so very few foreign lawyers here with Singapore Bar qualifications, most are NY and England&Wales.. it's truly odd. The very few ones who actually bother eg. Prof. Jeffrey Pinsler, Bob Beckman, Barry Crown etc are those who have been here ages and actually specialise in Singapore law! I've heard my Singaporean peers lament the rest (the corporate-types) are just here to cash in on the Asian growth wave and then leave...? Anyway. Sorry for rambling. LOL. Just sayin'. From an academic's perspective, in my lonely cold ivory tower... :P


My original understanding is, your friend has a basic law degree (country unknown) and a Masters in Law (did not pass any Bar exam, Sg or overseas). I did not state that she must pass SG Bar exam. Its the fact that she did not pass any Bar exam, with no clear speciality, accompanied by the fact that she only have less than 1 PQE that might hinder her job search. If my understanding is in error, do feel free to clarify. Please do not start putting words in my mouth.

Do note that I stated specifically SG law firms and not international law firms. I also did not say that Brit/American/Aussie lawyers are liabilities. However, I did say with limited real legal experiences, her job options would be limiting. If your friend expects a higher than fresh graduate pay from a law firm, she need to justify it. Even with a Masters in Law, I don't think it will bring her very far. At the end of the day, I believe this is similar in many industries.

There will be clear questions on why she didn't practice law for 7 years (while she is doing free lance communications & business) and suddenly, decided to go back to law. AGAIN, before you mis-read my statement, I said there will be clear questions, which may/may not be a hurdle to cross.

Anyway, you seems to have grossly interpreted everything I said and I don't particularly enjoy having words stuffed into my mouth when I am merely trying to be helpful.

Good luck to your friend.

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Postby bentonfraser_4ever » Mon, 20 Dec 2010 10:57 pm

:o

errm... huh??? :???:

I'm not sure why you're doing this, but...kindly please please please read and take time to understand my post. I clearly thanked you for your advice, but it seems your reading is quite selective if not haphazard. And I tried to clarify a few of your conjectures; nowhere in my post also did I put words into your mouth. Views expressed were my own.

Please, exercise caution when reading. This is why I left behind the world of posting in forums, in secondary school. The occurrence of misunderstandings is very high. In any case, my sincere apologies if you felt I wronged you :-|


P.S.: If you scroll all the way up, you will notice it was emphasised twice, and here again for the third time, that my friend did her LL.B. (= "basic law degree") in Singapore, at the National University of Singapore. For FOUR whole years. This is just one example of the quality of your reading and comprehension skills.

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Postby deity_me » Tue, 18 Jan 2011 12:06 pm

Okay I've read all 11pages of this thread
There was one question that was asked but the response was never posted in the thread.

Basically what I gathered is that IT is a dime a dozen there.
But does that only apply to the Java/.Net developers?
I did some job searches and there seems to be a lot of those type of developer jobs posted. If they're a dime a dozen why so many vacant positions?

Now for the question that I'm interested in.
I'm into Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence/ETL
5 years experience

Currently I make roughly $70K/Year CAD (5800/month)
Roughly 91K/year SGD (7000/month)

Should my salary expectation be in line with the numbers above?
Or what would be a more realistic expectation?

Thanks

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Postby trevorwong77 » Wed, 19 Jan 2011 1:29 pm

feeling got con (cheated) after reading this. I am 10 years experience IT professional in MS Technology. Earning only 65k annually. Just got my offer from a US MNC.
Life's short, let's drag the fun looooooong.


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