Tech salaries in Singapore mostly jumped in 2022 despite a string of tech layoffs and a slowdown in hiring, according to a new report.
“The outlook for 2023 in the tech talent and hiring market is expected to show a continued demand for tech talents, although at a slower rate compared to the past few years,” said the report by tech salaries aggregator Nodeflair and venture capital firm, Iterative.
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The roles with the highest wage increases year-on-year are blockchain engineers (+15.62%), mobile engineers (+11.73%) and site reliability engineers (+10.63%), according to findings of the Tech Salary Report 2023.
Salaries of software engineers in Singapore also hit a record high after increasing an average of 7.6% in 2022.
But not all tech roles saw improved salaries.
Systems engineering saw pay declines of 2.01% year-on-year, while salary for cybersecurity engineering positions slipped 1.67% year-on-year. Quality assurance salaries also fell 0.95% compared to a year ago.
“The growth in salaries is unlikely to reach double digits, reflecting a more stable and balanced market,” the report said.
Across Asia, software engineers based in Singapore earned the highest — between an average of $3,703 for junior positions to $10,183 for managerial positions. Taiwan and Malaysia were the second and third highest-paying countries respectively.
The report took into account over 169,000 data points collected from companies of all sizes and industries in NodeFlair’s proprietary database.
These data points include pay slips and offer letters submitted by users, as well as job advertisements from job portals in 2022.
Financial stability key in retaining talent
Most companies pay more — 10% or higher — than the median salaries, with 40% of the companies paying 20% higher than the average.
Big tech companies pay 35% to 50% more than the median, the report said referring to companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google.
The report said employers are increasingly seeking talent who can perform different roles.
“Rather than solely focusing on specialists, companies are now looking for individuals who are capable of wearing multiple hats, such as a full-stack developer who can handle both front-end and back-end development,” the report said.
There is also a demand for experts in artificial intelligence with the exploding popularity of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and that technology becoming more widely adopted in industries.
Stability in companies is expected to be a key factor in retaining tech talent.
“Companies with strong cash flow, profitability, and sustainable business models with good unit economies will have an advantage in attracting and retaining tech talent,” the report said. “On the other hand, less-stable companies may face challenges in retaining tech talent.”
“Tech talents will place more value on cash compensation over equity. This is because cash is more liquid and the market sentiment for company valuation is expected to fluctuate more.”
Salary gap among peers
Tech talent in the top 10% of the cohort can expect to earn as high as three times more than those in the bottom 10%, the report said.
For example, a manager in software engineering in the bottom 10% earned 7,000 Singapore dollars ($5,200) monthly, compared to those in the top 10% earning SG$20,802.
Similarly, in India, the salary gap between the top 10% and bottom 10% of software engineers can be as high as 3.8 times.
India’s software engineers working in top tech companies earn up to five times more than the median and 10 times more than those in the bottom 10%, data from the report showed.