How to negotiate a Data Engineer salary in Singapore

By Robert Half on 14 July 2023

In our data-driven culture, organisations place unprecedented reliance on skilled professionals who can drive optimisation and efficiencies in the rapidly evolving technology space. Data engineering is one such profession that has gained critical momentum within Singapore’s thriving tech sector. With the power to inform corporate decision making and shape competitive edge, competent data engineers are highly sought after in today’s job market.

With a focus on promoting innovation and progress, the role of a data engineer can be compelling, fulfilling and lucrative. If you’re considering a career as a data engineer in Singapore, it’s vital to understand intricacies of the role and the remuneration.

In this blog, we will explore the responsibilities of a data engineer while outlining the industry salary standards. We will also provide tips and considerations for navigating and negotiating a Data Engineer salary in Singapore, so you can ascertain whether this career path aligns with your ambitions, talents and qualifications.

Data engineer roles and responsibilities

According to Mercer’s recently released Total Remuneration Survey (TRS), the Singapore technology industry was identified as one of the highest-ranking industries for salary increment growth in 2023.

It comes as little surprise given the ongoing focus on digitalisation and online experience. This in itself has paved the way for tech to become one of the few Singapore industries in need of constant talent.

Among the most prominent tech roles are data engineers, skilled professionals whom organisations have come to depend on for their ability to extract valuable insights from their vast amounts of data.

Experts in the field of information technology and computer science, data engineers analyse and manage large datasets with a focus on developing algorithms that can positively influence business outcomes. As we will learn, it is these vital contributions that underscore the opportunities and discussions surrounding data engineer salary in Singapore.

With an aim to transform big data into user-friendly formats, data engineers are the conduit between a business and its data. Offering valuable counsel to senior teams, data engineers simplifying the sea of data to give trends meaning while linking them to wider organisational goals.

These technical engineering specialists play a pivotal role in the creation, testing and maintenance of an organisation’s data infrastructure.

Day to day, the core responsibilities of a data engineer include:

  • Building, testing and maintaining optimal data warehouse and pipeline architecture.
  • Developing data set processes that align with business needs.
  • Deploying machine learning algorithms and advanced analytics programmes.
  • Preparing data for predictive and prescriptive modelling.
  • Creating new data validation methods
  • Optimising raw data
  • Interpreting trends and patterns.

The most exceptional data engineers are able to execute these technical deliverables with a strategic, agile and business centric approach.

Data engineer salary standards in Singapore

In today’s digital landscape, data engineering has emerged as a popular career choice for IT graduates and professionals looking to drive data initiatives.

As a thriving industry, data engineers attract significant attention from organisations willing to provide competitive compensation packages to secure the best candidates.

When it comes to a data engineer salary in Singapore, it’s important to recognise that your earning potential is influenced by your level of experience, education and the industry you work in. According to the Robert Half Salary Guide, data engineers in the financial services, commerce and industry fields can typically expect salaries within the below ranges (exclusive of bonuses, benefits and the Central Provider Fund):

Beginner -$84k

Mid-Level - $115k

Advanced -$147k

Suriani Norahim, specialised tech recruiter and division director at Robert Half, believes that robust experience is the key to salary success. “With the demand for skilled data engineers surging in Singapore, it’s important to understand that you can maximise your earning capacity by actively advancing your skills and credentials”.

Uncover your earning potential in the Robert Half Salary Guide so you can start your salary discussions with the most up to date salary data and insights.

Negotiating a data engineer salary in Singapore

By understanding the expected range for a data engineer salary in Singapore, you can equip yourself to navigate the salary negotiation process and secure fair compensation for your services.

It’s fundamental to also recognise the factors that influences these ranges including salary, trends, qualifications and experiences, so that you can prepare and negotiate based on your unique value proposition.

Related: Salary negotiation in Singapore - 3 tips to prepare yourself

It’s been shown that Singapore employers are budgeting for increased hiring costs in a bid to attract and retain talent in the competitive job market. Data engineers and the booming tech sector, are set to benefit with many tech professionals negotiating up to a 25% salary increase amid a national push for digitalisation.

So, how does one negotiate an attractive data engineer salary in Singapore?

1. Research salary trends

Research is vital, even before you begin negotiating a data engineer salary in Singapore. Understanding the prevailing salary trends will allow you to navigate negotiations so you can be confident in your worth and make a compelling case when an offer comes your way.

Undertake your own research and consider how the offer fits in the context of the wider market. The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide offers comprehensive salary data and insights to help you determine whether an offer is within the market range for your experience and position level.

If the offer is below the market averages or, if you feel you are worth more, it’s important to justify this to your prospective employer.

Related: How to best answer: "What is your current salary?"

2. Highlight your value

Competent data engineers are scarce in the current employment market. When negotiating a data engineer salary in Singapore, it’s essential to leverage this market demand by concisely communicating the value that you can bring to the organisation.

Be prepared to justify your desired salary - use quantifiable evidence to highlight your achievements, professional growth activities and future aspirations while aligning them to the organisation’s own objectives.

Sharpen your competitive edge by placing specific emphasis on your technical skills and your proven experience in advancing data standards and infrastructure using relevant tools and technologies.

Interested in current job openings and pay rates? Check out Robert Half’s dedicated Jobs Page

3. Consider the value beyond salary

While salary is important, the total compensation package cannot be overlooked when negotiating.

Consider the package as a whole, taking into account benefits such as bonuses, health insurance and hybrid work models.

If an employer is not able to increase their salary offer, look to negotiate the terms of the overall package. Consider other options that you’d be willing to accept as part of the offer to enhance your employee experience i.e., flexible work hours and/or extra annual leave entitlements.

The additional, non-monetary benefits could help to form the best complete package for you as a data engineer in Singapore.

4. Maintain a collaborative approach

When it comes to negotiating a data engineer salary in Singapore, remember that success hinges on the manner in which you conduct yourself.

Salary negotiation is a collaborative process, it may involve multiple discussions so, it’s important to remain polite, patient and professional throughout the process.

This two-way conversation requires active listening to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement. Be open to compromises and feedback but, take charge of the situation in a positive manner to help assert your confidence and preparedness for further negotiations.

Related: How to negotiate a higher salary offer for your next job interview

As the importance of data engineers continues to grow in Singapore, so to, does the interest in this dynamic and rewarding career. With the great power to influence business outcomes comes the great opportunity for an attractive salary. By demonstrating your unique value proposition with a professional approach and appropriate evidence, you can bolster your negotiation efforts and justify a favourable salary as a data engineer in Singapore.

Interested in exploring a career as a Data engineer?

At Robert Half, we can help you land you find the ideal position to start and progress your career as a Data Engineer in Singapore. Explore our range of tools and career advice resources or upload your resume online and we’ll be in touch.

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