IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Software salaries in Singapore surge 22% amid wave of venture capital investment

A combination of limited local talent and fresh startup funding are inflating the average salary for DevOps and mobile engineering roles

A surge in venture capital investment across Singapore has seen the average salary for software engineering roles increase by 22% since the start of 2021, a new report has found.

The war for tech talent has driven salaries to an all-time high, according to a report from NodeFlair and Quest Ventures, published earlier this month. It analysed over 30,000 salary data points and shared a detailed breakdown of how tech talents are paid in the state.

It found that the massive demand for talent is fuelled by the wave of venture capital into tech startups in the region and global tech companies establishing themselves in Singapore, on top of a limited tech talent supply.

The salaries for software engineers increased the most by 22%, while it increased as much as 32% for more experienced roles like lead software engineers.

However, this is still some way off what engineers in other countries can currently earn. For example, the average salary for a software engineer in Singapore is $60,000 (£33,076) a year, according to Glassdoor, compared to $148,247 (£110,696) per year in San Francisco, and £53,392 in London.

The report highlights that US companies AWS, Meta, Apple, and Google also offer some of the highest salaries across the region, around 39% to 56.5% higher than the market’s median. There are also companies that pay 25% over the median, such as ByteDance, JPMorgan, and food delivery app foodpanda.

The report predicts that in 2022, the talent war for experienced hires will intensify further, largely due to Singapore’s bullish funding scene and the competition from foreign tech firms. It added companies with deep pockets tend to prioritise senior hires, as they are more operationally ready and take less time to onboard and contribute.

According to Julius Uy, CTO of Kydon Group & ZilLearn, a digital education company quoted in the report, companies based in Singapore should invest in web development, backend software development, and DevOps, as the state is considered a “satellite office”.

“We don’t work on core products from Silicon Valley and Chinese companies. Instead, we work in support functions (ex. Enterprise Engineering) or localised products (ex. Google Pay),” he said. “As long as the money is from Silicon Valley and China, we should expect these to be evergreen competencies.

"That said, this is also unsustainable. Singapore continues to flourish [as] worker ants but not entrepreneurs. We will eventually be overshadowed by Indonesia, Vietnam and India if this keeps on for another few decades.”

The head of the country’s central bank, managing director Ravi Menon, warned in May last year that Singapore needed to continue to depend on foreign workers to fill roles in its tech sector over the next few years. He added that if the inflow of foreign labour is tightened excessively, it could dampen the prospects for creating good jobs in the future.

Last week, Singapore’s budget revealed that employers who hire foreign workers will have to pay out higher minimum salaries, according to The Straits Times. The minimum qualifying salary for immigrants, currently set at $4,500, will be raised to $5,000.

Featured Resources

What 2023 will mean for the industry

What do most IT decision makers really think will be the important trends and challenges in the coming year?

Free Download

2022 Magic quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM is evolving into a security platform with multiple features and deployment models

Free Download

IDC MarketScape: Worldwide unified endpoint management services

2022 vendor assessment

Free Download

Magic quadrant for application performance monitoring and observability

Enabling continuous updating of diverse & dynamic application environments

View Now

Recommended

Suncorp signs three-year Azure deal to complete multi-cloud migration by 2024
public cloud

Suncorp signs three-year Azure deal to complete multi-cloud migration by 2024

24 Jan 2023
Japanese telco NTT to invest $3.5 billion in Indian data centres
data centres

Japanese telco NTT to invest $3.5 billion in Indian data centres

23 Jan 2023
Bharti Airtel continues data centre "expansion spree" with £200m Hyderabad investment
data centres

Bharti Airtel continues data centre "expansion spree" with £200m Hyderabad investment

19 Jan 2023
China’s Tencent cracks down on corruption and fires more than 100 employees
Business operations

China’s Tencent cracks down on corruption and fires more than 100 employees

18 Jan 2023

Most Popular

Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria
data breaches

Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria

26 Jan 2023
GTA V vulnerability exposes PC users to partial remote code execution attacks
vulnerability

GTA V vulnerability exposes PC users to partial remote code execution attacks

23 Jan 2023
European partners expect growth this year, here are three ways they will achieve it
Sponsored

European partners expect growth this year, here are three ways they will achieve it

17 Jan 2023