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Kelly Services is back again with its salary guide for 2019.

According to the report, Singapore’s economic growth slowed down to 3.2% from 3.9% in 2018.

This was below initial estimates of 3.3% for 2018.

Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

Expected GDP growth in 2019 is pegged at 1.5 to 3.5%, and there is also a forecasted unemployment rate of 2.2% this year.

The unemployment rate at Q1 2019 is 2.2%, according to stats from the Ministry of Manpower.

The monthly median income for Singaporean workers stood at S$4,437 at 2018, while fresh graduates enjoyed higher starting salaries, with a median of S$3,500 last year.

Graduates in information technology, business, and built environment/infrastructure industries also held the highest full-time employment rates.

Engineering graduates also showed improvement in employment rates.

As for the methodology used to collate the figures for the 2019 Singapore Salary Guide, Kelly Services shared that they tapped on market knowledge of senior recruitment professionals within the Kelly, Capita and PERSOL Singapore network and also job placement data recorded on the Kelly, Capita and PERSOL Singapore database.

Without much ado, here’s the Singapore salary guide for 2019, divided by industries.


finance job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

According to the report, the accounting sector “remains primed for growth”, with the government planning to create 2,000 new jobs in the sector by 2020.

Small accounting firms also stand to get funding support to adopt technologies from the S$2.4M Digital Transformation for Accountancy programme.

Banking & Finance

banking job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed in 2017 that they plan to create 3,000 jobs in the financial industry each year, with an additional 1,000 jobs per year expected to come from the fintech sector.

MAS is also said to be working on the adoption of technologies including blockchain and artificial intelligence to strengthen Singapore’s digital transformation efforts.

The adoption of blockchain technology has even extended to academic certification, with the recent introduction of OpenCerts, where Singapore graduates get issued digital academic certificates with a unique cryptographic proof embedded in them for secure verification on the blockchain.

Customer Service

customer service job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

During the Budget 2019 speech, the government announced changes to the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) in the services sector. The DRC is the maximum permitted ratio of foreign workers for the total workforce that a company is allowed to hire.

The ratio will be reduced in two steps – from 40% to 38% on 1 Jan 2020, and eventually to 35% on 1 Jan 2021.

This also means that companies in the customer service industry would need to find ways to attract more locals to take up their jobs while alleviating the common pain points of the industry, from long hours to tedious processes.

Engineering & Technical

engineering job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

The industry expanded 7.2% in 2018, but this figure is still considered a slowdown from 10.4% growth recorded in 2017.

The Singapore government has announced efforts to boost workforce training and development for the sector, and has committed S$72M until 2020 to do so.

An iBuildSG Tripartite Committee will also be set up, and this group will create a Skills Frameway to map out career pathways and identify emerging skill sets for engineers to stay relevant.

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods & Retail

retail job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

Earmarked as a ‘growth industry’, online spending by omnichannel shoppers have grown to 43% in 2018 from 25.1% in 2017 in terms of wallet share, according to Nielsen Singapore.

Kelly Services predicts that data analytics professionals will be in high demand in this industry.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

healthcare job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

With an ageing population, there’s a dire need to increase the number of long-term care workers.

Specifically, there’s a need to increase the number of direct care workers in Singapore (currently 8,300) by 45% by 2020 to meet growing demand.

The report also listed pharmaceutical manufacturing as an exciting growth area to watch.

Last October, a S$34M consortium agreement was signed between A*Star and industry players to “drive the transformation of the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry and to help it gear up for the future economy”.

Human Resources

hr job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

One of the ‘unsung heroes’ in offices, the report predicts that there will be heavy expectations on HR professionals to “aid and advise” employees in identifying relevant and in-demand skill sets, and providing the means for employees to acquire them.

The report also mentions the newly-launched SHRISage HR Technology Lab by the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI), which is the first lab of its kind dedicated to enhancing the digital capabilities of the HR workforce.

Information Technology

tech job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

According to stats by the Ministry of Manpower, the ICT sector increased its total employment by 7,500 as of mid-2018, compared to a year ago.

This rapid growth isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and has attracted both first jobbers and mid-career professionals looking to make a transition.

The report also brought up that cybersecurity is a field that those interested to join the industry should look into, given the recent spate of data breaches.

In fact, Singapore is even planning to invest S$30M over the next 5 years into the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence to train a national emergency response team.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) also announced in February its plans to recruit 300 cybersecurity professionals.

GovTech and the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore also partnered HackerOne on a Government Bug Bounty Programme (GBBP), where 400 ‘white hat’ hackers tested five Internet facing systems with high-user touch points.

Read more about one of these ‘white hat’ hackers in our feature here.

Office Support

admin job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

With the rise in the digitisation of previously manual processes, job vacancies in office support is significantly fewer than in the past.

This doesn’t mean that their roles are redundant, as a ‘human touch’ is still a necessity when it comes to more nuanced matters, like the needs of company leaders and managers.

That said, office support staff should be well-versed in Microsoft Office functions and email.

Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics

logistics job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

Logistics is also primed as a sector that has new growth opportunities, thanks to emerging business and technology trends like big data, 3D-printing, and digitalisation.

To prepare more to enter the logistics sector, Workforce Singapore has also added another 200 places to its Professional Conversion Programmes for logistics officers and executives.

Sales & Marketing

sales job salary
Screenshot from Kelly Services Singapore’s report

Finally, the report advised that brands should be in touch with omnichannel marketing as a mode to bring their businesses to more consumers.

Those working in sales and marketing would also need to “keep their finger on the pulse of industry developments” so as to be able to implement holistic strategies across various marketing channels.

With an increasingly saturated branded content scene, brands and agencies should also look to explore more creative ways in engaging their intended audiences.

Are You Paid Enough?

Some might say that salary guides like these tend to inflate numbers and aren’t an accurate depiction of reality, but there’s no harm in keeping abreast of the shifts in various industries.

So, do you think you’re paid enough?

  • Check out Kelly Services’ salary guide for 2019 here.

Featured Image Credit: Roslan Rahman / AFP

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)