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Any chance to save in Singapore?

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

Posts: 27
Joined: Tue, 14 Apr 2009

Re: Any chance to save in Singapore?

Postby Myrona » Tue, 05 May 2009 4:48 pm

MyCsPiTTa wrote:Hiya,

Sorry if my question sounds a bit naive - I haven't done as much Singapore research as I should as most of my job hunting is spent on Hong Kong at the mo - but:

I'm a biotechnology research associate hoping to find a job in HK or SG. According to the salary surveys I've seen, a job like that would bring in between SG$3000 - SG$5000.

That's enough to satisfy the P2 work visa criteria so I would assume that means it's a reasonably "respectable" job.

But I understand even a small place to live (and me and my wife, with no kids, are prepared to live VERY cheaply) will be at least SG$3000. Not to mention other living costs. I may be wrong on these figures though...

So, is it really true that in Singapore a postgraduate qualified professional is barely likely to even afford rent? I was under the impression SG was a land to make a good wage for yourself...

PS: I am a NZ citizen with an M.Sc. in biology currently in Hong Kong looking for biotech jobs in HK or SG.

Hi MyCsPiTTa,

I'm not sure of the salary situation but I have been working in HK for the last year at HKU as a post-doctoral fellow with wages ranging from 25-30,000 HKD per month (I'm Australian). My rent is somewhat expensive but I'm also here by myself. I tried looking for science jobs in HK but I just don't think they have the money to employ postgraduate educated scientist as they are far more expensive than students.... That's why I started looking abroad to Singapore and have got a job with NUS as Singapore seems to have the funding to support local research as oppose to HK. Work wise - I'll start looking at universities and checking out their departments... if they can't help you - I'm sure they can give you the names of people that can. However, HK people son't seem to respond to emails so calling is probably a better bet. And from what I can gather (in Singapore and HK) - if you have the qualifications in research/education that they are after I don't think you need to a citizen - after all, I'm not. As with salary - I can pm you some details if you like when I see my contract.

Good luck,

Posts: 4
Joined: Fri, 08 May 2009
Location: Holland V

Postby SingaporeCanuck » Fri, 08 May 2009 8:23 pm


I just moved here to SG as a 'post-doc' (engineering / physics)

I recommend that you check out all of the A*STAR agencies.

Working for A*STAR won't make you rich, and I take it that you don't have a PhD, so that puts you at a dis-advantage, but if you have experience, I imagine that you could find a job somewhere there...

If you have over 4 years of experience, I imagine that you'd be at the high end of the pay scale (4000+), plus, there'd probably be a small housing allowance (say ~ 800-1000).
compared to 'expat' salaries (business, etc) you won't be rich, but it's enough to live on (with a 'normal' budget with 10-20% savings; assuming rent at 2k or below).

You can find an HDB apartment for 1.5-2k (one to two bedroom with AC) within a 3 km of biopolis; for under 1.5k if you don't mind living further away. Currently, rents are falling...

hope this helps!

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