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S'pore Sees Higher Salaries In 2018 – Tech Roles In Demand, Can Earn Up To $21K/Month

Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2018 is expected to grow, according to the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ravi Menon.

Overall GDP growth this year should be about 2.5% to 3.5%.

A positive GDP should translate to better and more stable salaries, and with the market looking better, companies will be looking at hiring and expanding.

So, here’s an abridged salary guide for 2018 by HR and recruitment firm, Kelly Services that can also serve as an estimation for salaries next year.


2018 singapore salary

According to Kelly Services, accounting firms are expected to employ about 21,000 accountancy professionals, or about 5,000 PMETs (Professional, Managers, Executives and Technicians) a year by 2020.

The report also added that to support the growth of the sector, SkillsFuture launched the Skills Framework for Accountancy to let individuals explore career opportunities in assurance, financial accounting, management accounting, internal audit, business valuation, and tax.

Data analytics, valuation research and analysis, and infocomm technology adoption and innovation are some emerging skills for this industry.

Banking & Finance

2018 singapore salary

Credit, Sales, Settlement, And Trade Finance

2018 singapore salary

There are 753 companies listed on the Singapore Exchange in August 2017, according to the report, and market capitalisation is worth almost $1 trillion.

It noted that on top of being a “currency and derivative-trading hub”, Singapore is also “an international fund management centre with $2.7 trillion of assets under management”.

The Industry Transformation Map for financial services published last year by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that it “aims to achieve growth in financial sector real value-added of 4.3% and productivity of 2.4% annually“.

It also wants to create 3,000 jobs in financial services and an additional 1,000 jobs in FinTech annually.

The Map also wants to “facilitate pervasive innovation in the financial sector and encourage the adoption of technology for increasing efficiency and creating opportunity”.

It noted that job roles will evolve with digitalisation and automation so existing professionals must be equipped with new skills, and promised a SkillsFuture programme to help individuals in the financial sector.

Customer Service

2018 singapore salary

With the help of automation, such as automated replies and bots, productivity at call centres and customer service centres have improved.

However, the salary guide noted that demand for customer service personnel in the hotel, F&B, and retail industries remain high as they face a manpower crunch and tighter foreign manpower restrictions.

Engineering & Technical

2018 singapore salary

Technical Support & Medical

2018 singapore salary

Civil Engineering

2018 singapore salary

Safety, Quality Assurance, Architect

2018 singapore salaryAccording to the guide, the manufacturing sector grew 10% in 2017 with the electronics and precision engineering sectors taking the lead.

Sectors like electronics, chemicals, biomedical sciences, info-communications and media, logistics, transport engineering, and new sectors like clean energy, environment, water and natural resources, require engineering and technical personnel.

The 2017 Industry Transformation Map for electronics expects to achieve a manufacturing value-add of S$22.2 billion and wants to introduce 2,100 new PMET jobs by 2020.

For the energy and chemicals sector, the government aims to create $12.7 billion in value-add and 1,400 new jobs by 2025 and “plans to transform chemical manufacturing through adopting innovative technologies…and developing innovation capabilities”.

The salary guide added that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) aims to have 80,000 personnel trained in Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), Integrated Digital Delivery, and green building technologies by 2025.

BCA aims to have 40% of all projects adopt DfMA by 2020.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

2018 singapore salary

Jobs that are in demand or are popular include nurses, social workers, clinic assistants, and medical technologists.

30,000 more healthcare workers are needed by 2020 to support the ageing population in Singapore.

With new hospitals and polyclinics opening in the next three years, 9,000 more workers are required to fill the vacancies, with half of the positions suitable for PMETs.

The Nursing Studies course at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has increased its intake over 50% to 253 students last year and expects to continue to increase to 300 over the next few years.

Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) also increased their intake from 55 to 64 last year for their two-year degree course in nursing and expects higher intake in 2018.

The biopharmaceutical workforce has more than doubled its size since the early 2000s, hiring over 6,000 skilled workers, and over this period of time, the sector’s manufacturing output tripled, producing over $16 billion of products.

Information Technology

2018 singapore salary

Analysis & Project, Business Development

2018 singapore salary

Management, Infrastructure

2018 singapore salary


2018 singapore salary

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced in 2017 its plans to grow the industry’s value-add by around 6% annually, to employ more than 210,000 workers, and to create more than 13,000 new PMET jobs by 2020.

This sector saw 100 private equity and venture capital deals worth $3.5 billion made in 2016, making up for over 40% of the startup deal flow in the region.

The Cyber Security Agency, set up by the Prime Minister’s Office, is launching its first cybersecurity academy to boost skills of cybersecurity professionals working in government and important sectors like energy, healthcare, and transport.

Human Resources

2018 singapore salary

Economy growth was predicted to remain stable after a “strong 2017”, as described by Kelly Services, so hiring in 2018 is expected to be strong.

They shared that job vacancies were filled faster last year compared to 2016 but there were 49% unfilled non-PMET vacancies after six months, particularly in service and sales.

16% of PMETs openings were unfilled for at least six months.

Software, web and multimedia developers were among those unfilled vacancies.

Despite slower hiring growths in industries like marine and construction due to a tighter foreign labour policy, the guide said that HR professionals will stay busy.

They predict disruptions to come to the manpower industry as opportunities for automation come along.

Kelly Services advised HR professionals to leverage these digital solutions to improve recruitment processes and for consultants to give the right advice to firms looking to automate.

Office Support

2018 singapore salary


2018 singapore salary

The number of legal practitioners grew by 16% in the past five years to 5,191 in 2017; 45% of them have experience exceeding 15 years.

Noting a trend in arbitration, changes to the law in January 2017 now allow businesses here involved in international commercial arbitration cases get funding from third-parties.

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre registered 343 cases in 2016, with the sum for new cases amounting to a record $17.13 billion, the salary guide said.

The Singapore Academy of Law launched its Future Law Innovation Programme last year, featuring a co-working space, a virtual community platform, and a startup accelerator to help the industry leverage tech.

Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics

2018 singapore salary

2018 singapore salary

More than 7% of Singapore’s GDP is contributed by logistics, employing more than 200,000 in 2016.

Our air and seaports will continue to be upgraded and expanded, with the Tuas Port coming up to be twice the size of Ang Mo Kio and slated to be completed by 2040.

The salary guide said it will be able to handle up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo a year.

There will be 2,000 new PMETs jobs by 2020 according to the 2016 logistics Industry Transformation Map, and a Professional Conversion Programme for e-commerce supply chain professionals will train up to 60 mid-career individuals.

Sales & Marketing

2018 singapore salary

2018 singapore salary

PR, Creative

2018 singapore salary

As businesses and brands go omnichannel with their profit models, their marketing and advertising strategies have also gone both ways – online and offline.

Digital marketing and traditional advertising now go hand-in-hand, and industry professionals are expected to ‘know their stuff’.

PR on social media is also getting some attention as people are starting to notice how businesses handle and react to good and bad comments on Facebook and Instagram.

Kelly Services pointed out that marketers need to know who their target audiences are and to leverage on Big Data to reach out to them more effectively.

Technology In Every Job

In almost every industry and sector, there is an opportunity for technology and automation.

The fear of machines replacing people at their jobs may come true, but perhaps there is little to worry about.

With the government’s push for Singapore to be a Smart Nation, everyone has the opportunity to upgrade themselves to adapt to this growing, tech-savvy environment.

Technology should be seen as a solution to improve productivity, with the time saved spent on improving themselves for better career prospects and in general, an individual with the necessary skill sets.

All in all, it seems salaries are higher this year than last year’s estimates, with the IT sector showing markedly higher ranges with the lowest monthly salary starting at $2,800 (Project Administrator) and the highest at $21,000 (CTO).

FinTech is also a relatively new industry that branched out from existing finance and IT roles, and I think we can expect to see entry-level jobs in this area as schools start offering FinTech courses.

Tell us what you think about the guide! Does it reflect your salary now?

Featured Image Credit: HR In Asia

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