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$3000 income is the new benchmark in Singapore?

Bullionstar

Bullionstar

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Recently, both my wife and myself visited the new Bedok Mall developed by CapitaMalls Asia. We were quite impressed because it is the first full-fledged shopping mall in Bedok. The mall houses over 200 shops across three floors and net lettable area of 220,000 square feet, offering everyday essentials, lifestyle and fashion. The only major disappointment is the lack of cinema.

Anyway, back to the topic on income. We walked past EC House Express Cut and saw the job advertisement for a hairdresser. The advertisement stated the salary of $3000. It was not stated that the position required experienced applicants nor did it state for the preference of Singaporeans or foreign applicants. But I was quite surprised that a hairdresser in Singapore can command such high salary nowadays. After all, when I graduated in 2005, my starting salary was only $2600. So it seems to me that the salary gap between a skilled labor and white collar graduate is closing up rapidly in Singapore. The question now is: are Singapore workforce overpaid or is it a case of high inflation? In today’s context, can a degree really provide good income or open the door to opportunities?

I recall not too long ago, Sakae Sushi offered $3000 for a dishwasher. I am not too sure whether this offer is still open but it caused a lot of debate back then. On one end, the boss lamented the difficulty in filling that position because of the manual work and long hours. On the other end, many people questioned the wisdom of paying so much for an unskilled position. Both camp of debaters have their merits but I just wonder what is the salary baseline for Singapore employees nowadays. A check with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on median gross median income revealed the following:


Based on the above data, median income is $3000 while incidentally, there was no data for 2005. But based on estimation, it should be around $2150, so my salary was still above average back then. Therefore if a skilled labor is getting an average of $3000, a fresh graduate with a good honors degree should be getting $3500 to $4000?

I suppose nowadays, being a graduate is so common in Singapore. A degree qualification is an entry-level requirement for many white collar jobs. But that degree is no longer en-route to a high paying job. If you are hardworking or possess in-demand hands-on skill, you can still make it in Singapore. Ultimately, to command a reasonably good salary in Singapore, one has to show that he or she can add value to the organization. This is the case for a hairdresser. If he is creative and hardworking, getting an monthly income of $3000 should not be difficult?

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Updated: December 27, 2014 — 4:24 pm

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