Professional salaries in Singapore see only modest increases in 2016

22 March 2016

Professionals in Singapore should expect modest salary rises in 2016 with the majority of professional occupations expected to command increases between one and five per cent.

According to the latest 2016 Salary Guide released by recruitment firm Robert Half, 72 per cent of employees can expect their salaries to stay the same or increase between one and five percent.

One in five (21 per cent) jobs will command an increase of between six and nine per cent, while just seven per cent of roles will see salary increases of 10 per cent or more.

The 2016 Robert Half Salary Guide covers the following industry sectors in Singapore:

  • Finance and Accounting, including accountants, finance, credit, tax, and treasury experts working in a range of industry sectors
  • Banking and Financial Services, covering roles in banks, insurance and financial institutions, including risk, compliance, finance and accounting, operations and front office
  • Technology, covering roles as CIOs (Chief Information Officers), application managers, IT architects, network engineers, IT project managers and security professionals

Table 1:  Expected salary increase ranges

% Salary Increase


Finance and Accounting

Banking and

Financial Services

















Mr David Jones, Robert Half’s Senior Managing Director for Asia Pacific said the modest salary increases projected on the guide reflects a subdued global economy but there remains a sense of optimism for both economic and corporate growth in 2016.

“Singapore’s employment market is still active with many firms making hires to replace staff who have left and to expand their headcount.  However, hiring activity is not driving up salaries the way it has in previous years.”

“Where increases above five percent occur, it is usually for more specialised roles where the number of potential candidates are fewer.”

“The area where salaries are most likely to increase are in technology roles. We are seeing strong demand for professionals with skills in IT audit, security and change management. 

Responding to technological change is a priority for many companies in Singapore and they need top technology professionals to deliver projects and update their systems.”

“There has also been a significant change in the factors driving salary increases in Singapore.  In previous years business leaders have typically cited the lack of supply of candidates as the chief factor making it difficult to get professional talent.”

“This year employers are pointing to a shortage of candidates with the right specialist knowledge and experience.  So it’s not a lack of supply that is the problem, it’s a lack of skills,” said Mr Jones.

Finance and Accounting

Finance and accounting professionals in Singapore are the most likely to enjoy a salary increase of more than five percent in 2016, according to the guide.  Three in five (60 per cent) finance and accounting roles can expect an increase of more than five per cent this year.  

Larger increases of more than 10 per cent are typically offered to more senior roles such as Financial Planning & Analysis Director (13 per cent), Accounts Payable/Receivable Manager (11 per cent) and Credit Manager/Controller (10 per cent).  

Tax Analyst/Specialist is another area where professionals with the right skills can command up to 12 percent salary increases.

Highly sought after finance and accounting skills are:

  • Business/Financial Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Tax & Treasury
  • Financial Management/Control
  • Risk & Compliance

Banking and Financial Services

Salaries within the banking and financial services sector in Singapore are expected to be the most flat of the three industries covered in the salary guide.

Reflecting reduced hiring activity in banks around the world, the salary increases on offer for Singapore professionals are expected to be five per cent or less for the majority of employees (96 percent).

Only senior positions can command an increase of greater than five per cent, such as Senior Vice President or Managing Director of Financial Control (six percent) and the equivalent level position working in Internal Audit (eight percent). 

Highly sought after financial services skills are:        

  • Accounting/Finance
  • Operations support
  • Compliance
  • Risk
  • Revenue-generating/Business development


The 2016 Salary Guide highlights that more than half (55 per cent) of technology professionals in Singapore can expect their salaries to stay the same or to increase between one and five percent. Salary increases of between six and nine percent are on offer for 25 per cent of technology roles, while 20 per cent can expect double digit increases.

The hottest jobs in Singapore are in the technology sector where IT audit, security and change management professionals are in high demand. 

Highly sought after technology skills include:       

  • Security
  • Audit
  • Project management
  • Applications development
  • Mobile & web
  • Change management


Contact us


Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7751
E: [email protected]


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