A Comprehensive Guide To Starting Salaries for Fresh Graduates In Singapore

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Graduation

These days, fresh university graduates seem to be getting a higher starting pay … at least that’s what it says in the newspapers.

According to an article by The Straits Times published last year, some are in fact earning $4,000 to $5,000 a month in their first job. But how true is that? How many will raise false hope and expectations, based on a catchy news headline? I know I did. 

If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I’ve always been a writer. After many years of penning subpar poetry, I began my editorial career at the age of 18. For years, I hustled whilst in school, taking on side gigs and freelance opportunities wherever I found them. By the time I graduated, I’d built up a portfolio that I was convinced could rival that of any veteran in the industry — and therefore command a higher starting salary. 

“With your experience, you’ll easily get a good job that pays at least $4,000 a month. No question about it,” my mother assured me. Coupled with that Straits Times report, I was optimistic about my prospects. Alas, when I finally got around to the job applications, I realised no magazine or copywriting agency was going to offer me anything more than $3,500 a month. 

In fact, the basic pay for writers hovered at around $2,000 to $3,000 a month. How was I supposed to survive on such meagre sums, especially in one of the world’s most expensive cities? 

Spare yourself the rude awakening and manage your expectations of how much you’ll earn as someone new to the workforce. 

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the average starting salaries for permanent full-time, entry-level jobs, not including CPF deductions, categorised by university and industry, based on graduate employment surveys by Ministry of Education. 

By University

NUS Graduates (As of November 2018)

DegreeAverage Basic Monthly Salary
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
BA$3,169
BA (Hons)$3,290
Bachelor of Social Sciences$3,459

Faculty of Dentistry
Bachelor of Dental Surgery$4,148

Faculty of Engineering
BEng, Biomedical Engineering$3,357
BEng, Chemical Engineering$3,768
BEng, Civil Engineering$3,520
BEng, Electrical Engineering$3,712
BEng, Environmental Engineering$3,411
BEng, Industrial and Systems Engineering$3,889
BEng, Materials Science and Engineering$3,550
BEng, Mechanical Engineering$3,684

Faculty of Law
Bachelor of Laws $5,070

Faculty of Science
BSc$3,146
BSc (Hons)$3,371
BSc, Pharmacy$3,549

National University of Singapore Business School
BBA$3,633
BBA (Hons)$4,286
BBA, Accountancy$3,209
BBA, Accountancy (Hons)$3,643

School of Computing
Bachelor of Computing, Computer Science$4,577
Bachelor of Computing, Information Systems$4,338
BSc, Business Analytics$4,432

School of Design & Environment
BA, Industrial Design$3,309
BSc, Project and Facilities Management$3,189
BSc, Real Estate$3,295

Yong Loo Lin School (Medicine)
BSc, Nursing$3,230
BSc, Nursing (Hons)$3,306

YST Conservatory of Music
Bachelor of Music $2,000

Yale-NUS College
BA with Honours $4,283
BSc with Honours$5,017

Multi-Disciplinary Programmes
BEng, Computer Engineering$4,105
Bachelor of Environmental Studies$3,371

NTU Graduates (As of November 2018)

DegreeAverage Basic Monthly Salary
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Accountancy  $3,214
Accountancy and Business$4,391
Business$3,646
Business and Computing$4,536

College of Engineering
Aerospace Engineering$3,710
Bioengineering$3,457
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering$3,461
Civil Engineering$3,521
Computer Engineering$3,749
Computer Science$3,970
Electrical & Electronic Engineering$3,625
Environmental Engineering$3,388
Information Engineering & Media$3,724
Maritime Studies$3,351
Materials Engineering$3,457
Mechanical Engineering$3,448

College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Art, Design & Media$2,930
Chinese$3,149
Communication Studies$3,085
Economics$3,604
English$3,051
History$3,593
Linguistics & Multilingual Studies$3,074
Philosophy$3,031
Psychology$3,316
Public Policy and Global Affairs$3,501
Sociology$3,275

College of Science
Biological Sciences$3,232
Biomedical Sciences & Chinese Medicine$2,941
Chemistry & Biological Chemistry$3,205
Environmental Earth Systems Science$3,347
Mathematical Sciences$3,661
Mathematics & Economics$3,481
Physics & Applied Physics $3,468

National Institute of Education (NIE)
Arts (With Education)$3,618
Science (With Education)$3,600

Sport Science and Management
Sport Science and Management$3,172

SMU Graduates (As of November 2018)

DegreeAverage Basic Monthly Salary
School of Accountancy (4-yr programme)
Accountancy  $3,576
Cum Laude and above$4,396

School of Business (4-yr programme)
Business Management$4,017
Cum Laude and above$4,433

School of Economics (4-yr programme)
Economics $4,017
Cum Laude and above$4,599

School of Information Systems (4-yr programme)
Information Systems$4,058
Cum Laude and above$4,584

School of Social Sciences (4-yr programme)
Social Sciences$3,336
Cum Laude and above$3,818

School of Law (4-yr programme)
Law$4,704
Cum Laude and above$4,986

SIT Graduates (As of March 2018)

DegreeAverage Basic Monthly Salary
DigiPen Institute of Technology
BA, Game Design$3,040
BFA, Digital Arts & Animation$2,859
BSc, Computer Science & Game Design $3,232
BSc, Computer Science in Real-Time
Interactive Simulation
$3,898

The Glasgow School of Art
BA, Communication Design (Hons)$2,819
BA, Interior Design (Hons)$2,818

Newcastle University
BEng, Chemical Engineering (Hons)$3,061
BEng, Electrical Power Engineering (Hons)$3,191
BEng, Marine Engineering (Hons)$3,461
BEng, Mechanical Design & Manufacturing
Engineering (Hons)
$3,063
BEng, Naval Architecture (Hons)$3,451
BEng, Offshore Engineering (Hons)$3,792
BSc, Food and Human Nutrition (Hons) $2,784

Technische Universität München
BSc, Chemical Engineering$3,061
BSc, Electrical Engineering & IT$3,504

The Culinary Institute of America
Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Art
Management
$2,357

SIT & Trinity College Dublin
BSc, Occupational Therapy$3,217
BSc, Physiotherapy$3,483

University of Glasgow
BEng with Hons in Aeronautical Engineering$3,367
BEng with Hons in Aerospace Systems$3,207
BEng with Hons in Mechanical Design Engineering$3,608
BEng, Mechatronics (Hons)$3,412
BSc, Computing Science (Hons)$3,633

University of Manchester
BSc, Nursing Practice (Hons)$3,507

University of Liverpool
BA, Criminology and Security (Hons)$3,759

Wheelock College
BSc, Early Childhood Education$2,883

Singapore Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Accountancy (Hons)$3,073
Bachelor of Hospitality Business (Hons)$2,713

SUTD Graduates (As of February 2019)

DegreeAverage Basic Monthly Salary
BEng, Engineering Product Development$3,773
BEng, Information Systems Technology and Design$4,448
BEng, Engineering Systems and Design$3,798
BSc, Architecture and Sustainable
Design
$3,848

SUSS Graduates (As of November 2018)

DegreeAverage Basic Monthly Salary
Bachelor of Accountancy$2,858
Bachelor of Science, Finance$3,364
Bachelor of Science, Marketing$2,925

By Industry (According to Kelly Services)

Accounting

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Accounting
Accountant or Assistant Accountant$2,500
Accounts Assistant$2,500
Accounts Payable Executive$2,500
Accounts Payable Officer or Assistant$2,500
Accounts Receivable Executive$2,500
Accounts Receivable Officer$2,500
Accounts Executive$2,800
Accounts Officer$2,500

Finance
Finance Assistant$2,800

Banking & Finance

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Risk
Credit Control Assistant or Officer$2,500

Sales
Bancassurance$3,000

Trade Finance
Executive$2,700
Officer$2,100

Customer Service

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Concierge or Helpdesk Officer$1,900
Customer Care Consultant$2,400
Customer Service Assistant or Officer$1,800
Customer Service Executive$1,800
Customer Service Officer, Foreign Speaking$2,500
Guest Relation Officer$1,800
Telesales Executive$1,700

Engineering & Technical

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Administration & Support
Executive, Customer Relations$3,100
Technical Support Engineer$3,600

Healthcare & Medical
Customer Support Engineer$3,000

Maintenance
Machinist$2,200
Pump Mechanic$2,000

Mechanical & Electrical
Layout Engineer$3,200
Mechanical or Electrical Technician$2,000
Telecommunications Engineer$3,300

Process
Chemical Process Technician$2,100

Production
Production Engineer$2,300
Production Technician$1,800

Construction or Project Management
Project Coordinator$2,200
Service Engineer$2,100

Quality Assurance or Control
Quality Control Technician$2,200

Real Estate or Property Development
Interior Design$2,300
Property or Mall Executive$1,500

Workplace or Environment Safety & Health
Security Engineer$2,200

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods & Retail

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Merchandiser$2,100
Promoter$1,800
Retail Associate$1,500
Retail Executive$1,800
Retail Specialist$1,400
Store Specialist$1,800
Store Support Assistant$1,600

Healthcare & Life Sciences

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Dental Surgery Assistant$1,800
Laboratory Technician$2,300
Medical Sales Representative$3,150
Medical Technologist$1,700
Occupational Therapist$3,400
Operations Executive$2,400
Patient Service Associate or Clinic Assistant$1,800
Pharmacy Technician$2,000
Phelebotomist$1,600
Physiotherapist$3,400
Research Fellow$3,000
Staff Nurse$2,100

Human Resources

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Human Resource Assistant or Officer$2,200
Human Resource Executive$2,000
Learning & Development Administrator$2,400
Payroll Officer or Assistant$2,500

Information Technology

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Analysis & Project
Analyst Programmer$2,600
IT Analyst$2,800
Project Executive$2,600

Application Development
Application Support Executive$2,600
Interactive or Web Developer$2,000
Software Developer$2,600

IT Infrastructure
IT Support Engineer$2,700

Support
Customer Service Executive$2,700
Helpdesk Support$2,000
Service Desk Engineer$2,150
Support Engineer$2,200

Office Support

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Admin Executive, Foreign Speaking$2,500
Administrative Assistant or Coordinator$1,500
Administrative Executive$1,800
Business Coordinator$2,100
Customer Service Coordinator or Executive$2,200
Data Entry$1,500
Driver$1,700
Facilities Coordinator or Executive$3,200
Librarian$2,500
Mailroom Officer$1,400
Office Administrator or Assistant$2,400
Receptionist$1,500
Secretary$2,400

Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Logistics or Warehouse
Forklift Driver$1,400
Logistics Assistant or Coordinator$1,400
Packer$1,000
Logistics Executive$2,200
Store Specialist or Associate$2,000
Storekeeper$1,600
Warehouse Assistant$1,500

Operations or Shipping
Operations Assistant or Officer$2,400
Shipping Administrator or Coordinator$2,500

Procurement or Purchasing
Export Executive$2,000
Junior or Assistant Buyer$2,100

Supply Chain
Customer Service Officer or Representative$1,200
Order Entry Support or Analyst$2,500
Quality Assurance Inspector$1,700
Supply Chain Executive$2,200
Supply Chain Coordinator$2,300

Sales & Marketing

JobMinimum Monthly Salary
Creative
Web Designer$2,300

Events
Events Executive$1,800

Marketing
Brand Executive$2,500
Digital Marketing Executive$2,500
Marketing Assistant, Coordinator or Officer$1,600
Marketing Executive$2,200

Public Relations & Communications
Corporate Communications Executive$2,300

Project Management
Project Administrator$1,800

Sales & Business Development
Sales Officer$2,000
Sales Coordinator$2,000

Retail
Driver$2,800
Merchandiser$1,800
Retail Sales Associate or Assistant$1,600

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By Marie Cheng
Marie is a self-diagnosed cheapskate, who once went dumpster diving and returned with a luggage of free loot. Nothing excites her more than stumbling upon vintage gems with wholesale price tags at the flea market.