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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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salaries in Singapore

Postby locua » Mon, 09 Apr 2007 10:29 pm


I have visited Singaore twice and I am seriously considering to move there in about a year or so. I am currently working as a "senior consultant" for a german consultant company that does IT projects for large corporate customers BMW, Siemens etc...

Before moving back to Germany a year ago I spent 12 years in the USA (California) where I got a dual bachelor in Finance / Economics and a Master in Information systems (San diego state University). I have IT management experience for development groups of 4 to 5 people and currently I am more active in the technical (database & reporting)l aspects of projects because we (unlike Singapore apparently) have a bit of a shortage of good IT knowhow in germany.

I have a about 8 years experience in Report & Dabatabse & Webinterface development doing among ther things some projects for big financial institutions. Currenly I am earning about the equivaent in euro of S$ 150,000. I am not sure how to classify myself if in Singapore. The average salary for a uper level DBA seems extremely low at 3500 a month (1/3rd of my current income). Anything to do with "management" seems to pay better in Singapore and finance related positions seems to do better too.

It seems that the coveted Expat package would be the optimal way to go but I am not expecting to get that since, if i move, I will be quitting my job to move to Singapore (my current company only operates in Europe) Since I will be paying about 10% taxes as compared to the 50% I am paying in Germany I don't mind taking a bit of a gross pay cut but I don't think that I will move for a salary under S$ 100K /year.

Does anybody know if 100K can be realistic if I am looking for a job in Singapore (as opposed to getting one in Europe and be sent to Singapore) ? What type of companies might be my best bet to contact ?
Are there headhunter companies that you recommend ? are there certain certifications that are in demand in Singapore (e.g.. project management Profession, PMP etc...) ?
Since I have a finance background as well, would my outlook be better if I move my focus more into finance ?

I appreciate any help
Locua -- Interested in moving to Singapore

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Postby askmeagain » Sat, 02 Jun 2007 11:23 pm

It is very difficult to get job in Singapore as a foreigner. I don't think the salary you will get which you are expecting. Singapore companies still look for cheap IT people from India and other poor countries.
I think it will be better for you to open a business or a company by looking at your experience.

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Postby Marlowe » Sun, 03 Jun 2007 7:03 am

the unemployment rate is extremely low here, and people with specialized skills can get a job relatively easy. that's how i got a job here, after all, so it can't be that hard. ;-) but that said, particularly in the IT space, india and china are a lot closer to Singapore than europe, and there are tens of millions of mobile IT professionals there who are earning a lot less than you are. so, unless you have an entrepeneurial bent and want to put out your shingle, or have a proven consulting track record or specilized programming skill that will attract a premium, you are going to have a hard time getting a salary at the level you're looking at. depending on your background in finance, you may be able to get a job, but again you would likely not earn what you are now since all else being equal, IT earns more than finance.

not to discourage you, but just to know you'll have to do some work to do in order to get a job here with a premium salary.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 03 Jun 2007 11:43 am


Curious as to where you came up with the "low unemployment"? Unless you are talking about a comparison to maybe the EU. The rate here is comparable with the US. Of course, if you listen to the skewed figures as put out by SingStat, then it would apprear low. Their actual unemployment is around 4-4.5% but a lot of it is being caused by the graying population which is causing Structural Unemployment (which is new to Singapore - only being around since '97) Prior to the financial meltdown in '97 they had virtually 100% employment. Now they tend to try to give figures that circumvent the structural portion of the unemployment rate so as to give a rosier figure to the public. Go sit in a Kopi Tiam for a day and listen to the on the street feedback though. :wink:

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Postby Marlowe » Sun, 03 Jun 2007 3:18 pm

mate, unemployment rate as reported by the EIU is 2.9%. fair enough, you may be right that the 'real' rate is higher on an absolute basis. but on a relative basis, singapore's unemployment rate is very very low compared with unemployment rates of almost any other industrialized nation when using same methodology, ie, apples-to-apples basis. singapore birth rate is one of the lowest in the world and the compensation rates would undoubtedly become overheated very quickly if they weren't so foreigner-friendly in letting outsiders come in.

in the company i work for (a big, big company you know well), we have trouble finding suitable candidates for a number of our relatively senior level roles. for professional-level individual contributor jobs, though, it's pretty easy to find local talent and not pay through the nose.

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Postby EREN » Wed, 27 Jun 2007 9:36 pm

I am courious, a big big company, is it possible to tell which company? :wink:

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