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Monthly Income by Occupation in Singapore: Where Do You Stand?

profileXue Miao

We previously saw how much the median salary in Singapore is (news flash: it’s $4,534 as of 2020).

We also saw what the median household income in Singapore was.

Being a Singaporean with a neverending kiasu (read: fear of losing) attitude, I was intrigued to discover the median monthly income of different occupations according to age and gender.

If you’re as curious like me, here’s all you need to know!

TL;DR: Here’s How Much Employees Are Earning in Singapore According to Occupation, by Age and Gender

  • The median gross income across all age groups and occupations is $4,000
  • The median gross income is the highest across all occupations at age 40 to 49, with manager and administrators the highest at $10,375 for ages between 45 to 49
  • Male employees earn significantly more than female employees across all occupations except clerical support workers, with the biggest salary difference of 35.29% between the genders for craftsmen and related trades workers
  • Male employees earn 9.28% more than female employees on average

Source: Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM


Occupations in Singapore: Which Group Do I Belong To?

Okay… before we proceed.

Some of us might be thinking.

Which occupation am I EXACTLY categorised under?

According to the Singapore Standard Occupational Classification (SSOC), occupations can be generally categorised into 10 main groups.

1) Legislators, Senior Officials and Managers

2) Professionals

3) Associate Professionals and Technicians

4) Clerical Support Workers

5) Service and Sales Workers

6) Agricultural and Fishery Workers

7) Craftsmen and Related Trades Workers

8) Plant and Machine Operators and Assemblers

9) Cleaners, Labourers and Related Workers

10) Workers Not Elsewhere Classified

Here’s a quick breakdown of the subgroups and area of work of these categories:

Occupational GroupSub-Major GroupsExamples of OccupationsArea of Work
Legislators, Senior Officials and Managers- Legislators, senior officials and chief executives
- Administrative and commercial managers
- Production and specialised services managers
- Hospitality, retail and related services managers
- Cabinet ministers, full-time MPs
- Senior government officials (PS, DS)
- Senior statutory board officials (CE, Dy CE)
- Company managing director
- Department and specialised manager
- School principal
- Working proprietor
- Plan, direct, coordinate and evaluate overall activities of enterprises, government agencies etc.
- Formulate and review policies and laws
- Oversee implementation of policies and/or running the affairs of the organisation
Professionals- Science & engineering professionals
- Health professionals
- Teaching professionals
- Business and admin professionals
- ICT professionals
- Legal, social and cultural professionals
- Other professionals not elsewhere classified
- Chemist
- Statistician
- Civil engineer
- Cardiologist
- Dentist
- Registered nurse
- University lecturer
- Primary school teacher
- Auditor
- Lawyer
- Journalist
- Required to apply scientific and artistic concepts and theories to the solution of problems at work
- Requires high level of specialised knowledge & ability in fields of physical & life science, or social sciences & humanities
- Also include teaching at primary level and higher
Associate Professionals and Technicians- Physical & engineering science associate professionals
- Health Associate professionals
- Business and admin associate professionals
- Legal, social, cultural and related associate professionals
- Information and communications technicians
- Teaching associate professionals
- Other associate professionals not elsewhere classified
- Chemistry Technician
- Mechanical Draughtsman
- Air traffic controller
- Landscape operations officer
- Fire and safety inspector
- Paramedic
- Broadcasting operations technician
- Carrying out technical work connected with the application of concepts and operational methods
- Requires technical knowledge & ability in fields of physical & life science, or social sciences & humanities
- Also includes teaching at extra-curriculum and below primary level
Clerical Support Workers- Clerical supervisors
- General and keyboard clerks
- Customer services officers and clerks
- Numerical and material recording clerks
- Other clerical support workers
- Office clerk
- Secretary
- Bank teller
- Receptionist
- Telephone operator
- Bookkeeper
- Production planning clerk
- Legal clerk
- Entering data into computers, carrying out secretarial duties, recording and computing numerical data
- Keeping records, filing documents
- Supplying information requested by clients and making appointments
Service and Sales Workers- Personal service workers
- Sales workers
- Personal care workers
- Protective service workers
- Service workers N.E.C.
- Cabin attendant
- Tour guide
- Waiter
- Postman
- Beautician
- Shop sales assistant
- Babysitter
- Lifeguards
- Police Officer
- Demonstrate and sell good in wholesale or retail shops and similar establishments
- Provision of personal and protective services related to: Travel, housekeeping, catering and personal care
Agricultural and Fishery Workers- Agricultural workers
- Fishery workers
- Hydroponic farm worker
- Nursery worker
- Livestock worker
- Aquarium fish farm worker
- Crocodile farm worker
- Grow and harvest field or tree and shrub crops
- Breed or tend animals
- Produce a variety of animal husbandry products
- Cultivate, conserve and exploit forests
- Breed or catch fish
- Cultivate or gather other forms of aquatic life
Craftsmen and Related Trades Workers- Building and related trade workers
- Metal, machinery and related trades workers
- Precision, handicraft, printing & related trades workers
- Electrical and electronic trades worker
- Food processing, woodworking, garment, leather, and other craft and related trades workers
- Carpenter
- Building painter
- Goldsmith
- Pottery worker
- Electrician
- Baker
- Tailor
- Shoemaker
- Apply specific knowledge and skills in the fields to:
- Construct and maintain buildings
- Erect metal structures
- Set, maintain or repair machinery
- Carrying out printing work
- Process foodstuffs, textiles, or wooden, metal and other articles, including handicraft goods
Plant and Machine Operators and Assemblers- Stationary plant & machine operators
- Assemblers & quality checkers
- Drivers and mobile machinery operators
- Concrete pump operator
- Metal rolling mill worker
- Printing machine operator
- Electronic component assembler
- MRT train operator
- Taxi driver
- Crane operator
- Packing/bottling/labelling machine operator
- Operate and monitor industrial and agricultural machinery and equipment on the spot by remote control
- Drive and operate trains, motor vehicles and mobile machinery and equipment
- Assemble products from component parts according to strict specifications and procedures
Cleaners, Labourers and Related Workers- Cleaners and related workers
- Agricultural, fishery and related labourers
- Labourers and related workers
- Food preparation and kitchen assistants
- Waste and recyclables collection workers and other
- Office cleaner
- Mover
- Dishwasher
- Bellboy
- Building construction labourer
- Perform different types of manual and routine tasks, e.g. cleaning, washing, food preparation, delivering goods, carrying luggage

Now that we have a clearer idea of which group we’re in, let’s take a closer look at the statistics.

Median Gross Income From Work by Occupation and Age (Excluding Employer CPF)

Wondering where you stand amongst peers of your age group when it comes to your occupation?

Here’s a quick breakdown.

Age (Years)Median Monthly Income*Managers & Administrators
( Including Working Proprietors )
ProfessionalsAssociate
Professionals
&
Technicians
Clerical
Support
Workers
Service
& Sales
Workers
Craftsmen
& Related
Trades
Workers
Plant &
Machine
Operators
&
Assemblers
Cleaners,
Labourers
& Related
Workers
15 - 19$1,000---$900----
20 - 24$2,405-$3,500$2,800$1,800$2,000$2,000$1,500$1,733
25 - 29$3,468$5,958$4,500$3,218$2,333$2,275$2,167$2,000$1,700
30 - 34$4,500$7,500$5,470$3,646$2,500$2,563$2,400$2,000$2,000
35 - 39$5,333$8,500$6,525$3,900$2,704$2,500$2,567$2,025$1,500
40 - 44$5,550$10,000$7,013$4,000$2,862$2,400$2,567$2,000$1,600
45 - 49$5,000$10,375$7,300$3,988$2,800$2,167$2,654$2,148$1,517
50 - 54$4,117$10,000$7,000$4,000$2,600$2,030$2,500$2,000$1,435
55 - 59$3,150$9,500$7,413$4,000$2,708$1,939$2,500$1,900$1,408
60 & Over$2,167$7,583$6,646$3,954$2,417$1,733$2,167$1,650$1,300
Median Monthly Income*$4,000$9,000$5,958$3,600$2,492$2,058$2,383$1,950$1,400

*Calculations for median monthly income include Agricultural & Fishery Workers and Workers Not Elsewhere Classified, which are not reflected in the data above

  • The median gross monthly income peaks at age 40 to 44, at $5,550.
  • Managers and administrators have the highest salary at $9,000, and cleaners and labourers have the lowest pay at $1,400.
  • A typical university graduate in the associate professional & technician field earns about $3,218 excluding employer CPF contributions.
  • Managers & administrators between ages 45 to 49 hold the highest median income at $10,375, and cleaners & labourers age 60 and above hold the lowest median income at $1,300.

Median Gross Income From Work by Occupation and Gender (Excluding Employer CPF)

MOM also offers insight to the median monthly income across occupations between different genders.

OccupationTotalMalesFemales% Difference
Managers & Administrators
(Including Working Proprietors)
$9,000$9,281$8,7506.07%
Professionals$5,958$6,392$5,50016.22%
Associate Professionals & Technicians$3,600$3,688$3,5005.37%
Clerical Support Workers$2,492$2,301$2,5008.65%
Service & Sales Workers$2,058$2,300$1,95017.95%
Craftsmen & Related Trades Workers$2,383$2,492$1,84235.29%
Plant & Machine Operators & Assemblers$1,950$2,000$1,65720.70%
Cleaners, Labourers & Related Workers$1,400$1,441$1,3506.74%
Total$4,000$4,144$3,7929.28%

*Calculations for median monthly income include Agricultural & Fishery Workers and Workers Not Elsewhere Classified, which are not reflected in the data above

  • There’s an average pay gap of 9.28% between the two genders across all occupations.
  • The income of male employees is significantly higher than female employees across all occupations except clerical support workers.
  •  The pay difference is the highest for craftsmen and related trades workers at 35.29%, which includes jobs like carpenter, electrician and baker.
  • The pay difference is the smallest for associate professionals and technicians at 5.37%, with a median income of $3,688 for males and $3,500 for females.

While the gender pay gap situation is slowly improving, it is evident that it still exists today.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) cited a few possible reasons for this gap, with one being women’s propensity to play the role of the primary caregiver at home.

This means a higher probability of taking time off from work to tend to familial needs.

What Does This Mean For You?

These numbers are meant to serve as a general guide to the median monthly income across different occupation groups.

Don’t be disheartened if your salary falls below these numbers, as the range within each group can vary widely based on the profession as well.

What’s most important is to continue to self-improve and make sure that you are employable.

Here are few things you can do:

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About Xue Miao
A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
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