Malaysia Salary Guide 2023: Salary Trends & Industry Breakdown
Before considering your job opening, jobseekers want to know how much you can offer them. At least, this holds true for 49% of Malaysian jobseekers, according to the Malaysia Salary Guide 2023.
In a recent Jobstreet survey, financial compensation remains a top deal breaker for jobseekers in Malaysia. To attract the best talent, you must stay on top of local salary trends. Understanding such allows you to make wise decisions as you acquire and retain talent.
Is your salary offer competitive enough? Let us dive into the latest salary insights and key trends in Malaysia.
Key trends in Malaysia’s job market
Most sectors in Malaysia have shown steady median salaries in 2023. This means a stable job market for employers and professionals alike. Notably, the Computer / IT industry has declined in job ads, but its median salary has steadily increased. Thus, IT professionals can expect positive compensation growth.
On the other hand, the Food & Beverage and Hospitality sectors have seen challenges in attracting and retaining talent, as their demand for workers has increased while their median salaries have decreased.
Here are other salary changes by industry, according to the Malaysia Salary Guide 2023.
Salary insights in Malaysia’s job market in 2023
Salary insights by industry
With the Malaysian government pushing for digital transformation, the Computer & IT industry sustains its increasing demand for talent. In 2023, the sector emerges as the frontrunner in Malaysia’s job market, boasting a 28.0% increase in median salary. Its salary growth marks it as the top-growing field in Malaysia. As such, employers hiring tech talent must offer competitive compensation to keep up with the strong global demand.
Conversely, the Entertainment sector faces a 27.1% decrease in median salary. With cinemas closing due to the pandemic, the industry saw its median salary decline from RM 2,950 to RM 2,150 during the same period. In 2023, the industry has become the most at risk.
The Insurance industry leads with the highest median salary, offering RM 5,250. Meanwhile, the Manufacturing sector has seen a 12.6% increase in job ads, making it the industry with the highest number of job ads posted for two consecutive years.
Salary insights by specialisation
As the specialisation with the highest salary increase, the Sciences proves to be the top-growing field in Malaysia. Since April 2021, its median salary has increased by 1.5%.
Meanwhile, the Accounting & Finance specialisation faced a 16.7% decrease in median salary, plummeting from RM 4,500 to RM 3,750 during the same period, making it the top specialisation at risk.
Amid these variations, the Computer & IT sector stands out. In 2023, this specialisation shows the highest median salary of RM 6,000. Meanwhile, the Sales & Marketing sector saw a 43.57% increase in job ads, making it the specialisation with the highest number of job ads posted for two consecutive years.
Salary insights by location
In 2023, Kuala Lumpur is the state with the highest median salary (RM 3,750). But, Kelantan showed the highest growth (12.9%) in median salary, amounting to an RM 200 growth. Entry-level (16.1%) and Junior Executive (3.3%) positions found the highest salary increments, making it an attractive destination for jobseekers this year.
Cyberjaya takes the lead as the city with the highest median salary, offering talent with RM 4,025. Kota Bharu emerges as the city with the highest median salary growth, seeing a 12.9% increase.
Highest-paying industries in Malaysia for 2023
When it comes to salary differentials between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations in Malaysia, the highest-paid industries show interesting contrasts. For SMEs, the Insurance industry leads with RM 5,250 as the average salary. The Computer & IT sector closely follows at RM 4,800, and Electrical/Electronics at RM 4,350.
Meanwhile, corporations witness the Telecommunication industry reigning with RM 5,500 median salary. Next is the Insurance industry at RM 5,150, then Banking & Finance at RM 5,125.
Interestingly, the Computer/IT industry experienced a stark difference in salary growth. Corporations saw a 57.4% salary growth, while SMEs found a 10.3% salary decrease. This differential may be attributed to various factors, including available budget and resources. The pandemic has significantly impacted the industry, forcing many SMEs to cut costs to stay afloat. As a result, small tech firms may struggle to keep up with offering adequate salaries to in-demand tech workers.
Highest paying jobs in Malaysia for 2023
The highest paying jobs in Malaysia differ depending on the job level, industry, specialisation, and company structure.
Unsurprisingly, senior managerial positions pay relatively well across all industries in Malaysia. The highest-paid industries for this level are Computer & IT and Electrical & Electronics. Senior management positions offer up to RM 22,500 per month. Meanwhile, Engineering is the highest-paid specialisation, with a monthly median salary of RM 6,000.
The same industries thrive for mid-level managers. However, professionals at this level can expect similar financial opportunities in more industries, including Agriculture, Banking & Finance, Consulting, Science & Technology, and Telecommunications. Managers across these industries garner over RM 8,000 on average.
Junior and Senior Executives can find the best-paying jobs in science- and technology-oriented sectors. Industries like Computer & IT, Science & Technology, Electrical & Electronics, and Telecommunications offer the most competitive salaries for professionals at this level.
As for specialisations, Computer / IT boasts the highest-paying jobs, offering up to RM 7,000 per month. Meanwhile, senior executives who specialise in Accounting / Finance, Engineering, Sciences, and Healthcare can expect over RM 5,000.
Notably, the highest-paying industry for entry-level jobseekers for both corporations and SMEs is Telecommunications, making it an enticing field for fresh graduates.
Meanwhile, starting salaries for Banking & Finance, Consulting, and Electrical & Electronics industries also remain competitive. Highest-paying specialisations for this level include Sales / Marketing, Building / Construction, and Computer / IT.
The post-pandemic job market shows stability in terms of median salaries. However, certain industries and specialisations face unique challenges. Regardless, salary remains a crucial factor for jobseekers in Malaysia when considering job opportunities. Thus, employers must keep themselves updated on salary trends to attract and retain the best talent.