Singapore 2016 Salary Guide for Professionals

May 11, 201610:09 am892 views

While Singapore’s economic outlook remains tepid for the next six to nine months, jobseekers can take comfort that despite slower growth, the country’s unemployment rate remains healthy at 2.9% in 2015. Global economic volatility will lead to more employers turning to temporary and contract work arrangements to fulfill manpower needs.

Singapore’s labour demand is expected to be resilient against uncertain external economic factors, even as many industries are expected to take a more conservative approach in hiring this year and include temporary and contract staffing to fulfil their manpower needs.

To attract the best talent, employers need to provide a competitive remuneration but also satisfy their employees’ other needs, to help them thrive professionally and personally. The latest Kelly Services survey, Work-Life Design, The New Balance, found that work-life balance is highly valued in the Asia-Pacific. 77% of workers cite it as an important consideration in deciding where to work.

Correspondingly, employees need to continue to upgrade their skills to remain relevant in the job marketplace. The SkillsFuture initiative launched this year will help students and workers gain skills and sharpen them throughout their careers. It will give two million Singaporeans aged 25 and above an initial S$500 credit for use on approved courses.

According to data from the Kelly Singapore 2016 Salary Guide, this year’s highest-paying jobs in Singapore are in the Information Technology (IT), accounting, sales and marketing, banking and finance, and the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Among the industries highlighted, IT tops the lists with Technology Heads expected to command between S$13,000 and S$24,000 a month.

This can be attributed to Singapore’s status as the second most network ready country in the world, as well as the Ministry of Communications and Information’s S$120 million budget to support training for Infocomm professionals. You can also expect the country’s unemployment rate to remain healthy at 1.9 per cent.

FOO See Yang, Vice President and Country General Manager of Kelly Services Singapore said, “Despite the challenges in the global economy, bright spots remain in the financial technology, big data, as well as digital marketing sectors where demand for talent will continue to rise throughout 2016. Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) who have been hit hardest by the slowdown should look at upskilling and expanding their capabilities into new areas of growth to stay relevant.”

“We can also expect employers to take a conservative approach and turn to temporary and contract staffing arrangements to fulfill manpower requirements. There is a need for a mindset shift by the Singaporean workforce to look beyond permanent roles, especially in the current economic environment,” Yang added.

Five Industries to Watch Out For in 2016

The Kelly Singapore 2016 Salary Guide, a comprehensive reference tool which provides insight to the latest salary ranges for job positions across industries in the country, expects growth opportunities in these five industries.

  1. Information Technology

Home to more than 80 of the top 100 software and service companies, the Infocomm industry in Singapore is a key anchor sector for the country’s future economy. The Government’s efforts such as the 2015 Intelligent Nation Master plan and the National Broadband Network is driving growth for the industry.

Business Development Senior Account Directors and Program Managers in the IT Industry can expect to command salary ranges of S$12,000 to S$22,000 and S$11,000 to S$14,480 respectively.

  1. Accounting

The Singapore Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector’s (CDAS) push to develop the accounting industry into a leading global accountancy hub for the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, enabled the sector to grow S$1.8 billion in 2015. This has made accounting positions highly sought after, with locals making up approximately 71 per cent of the total workforce in the accounting sector.

Chief Financial Officers can expect a salary range of S$10,000 to S$20,000 and Accounts Managers command between S$5,000 to S$7,000.

  1. Sales, Marketing and Advertising

Mobile marketing is becoming increasingly important as a dominant medium to reach brands’ target consumers. Marketers are expecting digital marketing to increase to 35 per cent of the total marketing budget by 2026. This trend has driven the appreciation and need for digital marketers, and individuals from this field can expect to command a salary of S$6,000 to S$10,000.

  1. Banking and Finance

While growth in the banking and finance is expected to be low this year, Singapore’s economy continues to be triple-A rated with over 700 financial institutions providing a wide array of financial services. Some bright spots can be seen in the sector as the Monetary Authority of Singapore commits S$225 million to the grow of the country’s financial technology capabilities.

Financial Technology Developers are expected to be paid in the range of S$7,500 and S$12,000. Additionally, Vice Presidents of Compliance and Risk functions in the Banking and Finance industry can expect a salary range of S$10,000 and S$17,000.

  1. Health and Life Sciences

As Asia’s fastest growing bio-cluster, demand for professionals with specialist skill sets and talent across pharmaceutical, nutrition and medical services areas is expected to remain high. The Government’s S$19 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan is set to advance and support the sector. Research and Development Directors can command a salary range of S$8,000 to S$15,000.

Work-Life Design

The report further identified a growing movement within the workforce, known as Work-Life Design. The recent Kelly Global Workforce Index 2015 survey found that work-life balance is highly valued in the Asia- Pacific region, with 77 per cent of employees citing it as an important consideration in deciding where to work.

“Given Singapore’s current tight labour market and the competitive fight for talent within the IT, Accounting, Digital Sales and Marketing, Compliance and Financial Technology, and Healthcare industries, employers need to place more value in designing HR policies to allow workplace flexibility, as a strong majority of Singapore talent view work-life balance as an important consideration in deciding on which company to work for. This is especially important now as salary increments are expected to be muted in the upcoming year,” concluded Foo.

In Singapore, employees nominated different elements that they considered important to achieve work-life balance.

Key findings include flexible work schedules and arrangements such as working remotely or telecommuting (70%), limitations on working outside typical business hours (51%), wellness programmes such as on-site fitness centres, health club memberships, and stress-reduction programmes (41%) and a fostered environment of friendships in the workplace (36%).

To retain and attract top talent in Singapore, employers will need to offer more than traditional inducements such as competitive salaries and linear career paths. The workforce is increasingly looking to “design” the perfect balance between their personal and professional lives.

Infographic - Being an Attractive Organisation for Employees

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