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Average Salary in Japan 2020

How much money does a person working in Japan make?

Average Monthly Salary
1,040,000 JPY
( 12,400,000 JPY yearly)


A person working in Japan typically earns around 1,040,000 JPY per month. Salaries range from 140,000 JPY (lowest average) to 4,590,000 JPY (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different careers. If you are interested in the salary of a particular job, see below for salaries for specific job titles.

Distribution of Salaries in Japan

Median and salary distribution monthly Japan
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Salaries in Japan range from 140,000 JPY per month (minimum salary) to 4,590,000 JPY per month (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 1,100,000 JPY per month, which means that half (50%) of the population are earning less than 1,100,000 JPY while the other half are earning more than 1,100,000 JPY. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of the population are earning less than 558,000 JPY while 75% of them are earning more than 558,000 JPY. Also from the diagram, 75% of the population are earning less than 3,020,000 JPY while 25% are earning more than 3,020,000 JPY.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher the wage.

Generally speaking, employees having experience from two to five years earn on average 32% more than freshers and juniors across all industries and disciplines.

Professionals with experience of more than five years tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.

Change in salary based on experience varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of many different jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

As you hit the ten years mark, the salary increases by 21% and an additional 14% for those who have crossed the 15 years mark.

Those figures are presented as guidelines only. The numbers become more significant if you consider one job title at a time.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Salary Comparison By Education

How does the education level affect your salary?

Salary Comparison By Education
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It is well known that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We compared the salaries of professionals at the same level but with different college degrees levels across many jobs, below are our findings.

Change in salary based on education varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of multiple jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

Workers with a certificate or diploma earn on average 17% more than their peers who only reached the high school level.

Employees who earned a Bachelor's Degree earn 24% more than those who only managed to attain a cerificate or diploma.

Professionals who attained a Master's Degree are awarded salaries that are 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, PhD holders earn 23% more than Master's Degree holders on average while doing the same job.

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in Japan costs anywhere from 5,190,000 Yen(s) to 15,600,000 Yen(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support this tactic. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

The decision really depends on your situation and experience among many other factors. Putting all variables aside, if you can afford the costs of higher education then the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender monthly Japan
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male employees in Japan earn 8% more than their female counterparts.

1,000,000 JPY
1,080,000 JPY
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Public vs private sector salaries monthly Japan
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Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in Japan earn 4% more than their private sector counterparts.

Private Sector
1,020,000 JPY
Public Sector+4%
1,060,000 JPY
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Trend and Forecast in Japan

How are Japan salaries changing over time? The chart below shows the average salary change in the past few years.

Salary trends and forecast monthly Japan
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Average Salary 2016
913,000 JPY
Average Salary 2017+4%
947,000 JPY
Average Salary 2018+3%
979,000 JPY
Average Salary 2019+3%
1,010,000 JPY
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salaries in Japan are on the rise in the year 2020 based on recent submitted salaries and reports. As displayed in the chart, salaries in 2019 are 3% higher than those of 2018. The trend suggests a slow yet continuous increase in pay in 2021 and future years. These numbers may vary from industry to another.

Salaries for popular jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Accounting and Finance
Accountant746,000 JPY
Accounting Assistant723,000 JPY
Accounting Manager1,340,000 JPY
Bookkeeper547,000 JPY
Chartered Accountant937,000 JPY
Corporate Treasurer1,780,000 JPY
Financial Analyst1,150,000 JPY
Financial Manager2,130,000 JPY
Internal Auditor1,050,000 JPY

Administration / Reception / Secretarial
Administrative Assistant583,000 JPY
Office Manager757,000 JPY
Receptionist559,000 JPY
Secretary550,000 JPY

Advertising / Grapic Design / Events
Art Director1,090,000 JPY
Creative Director1,070,000 JPY
Graphic Designer754,000 JPY
Photographer750,000 JPY

Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense
Aerospace Engineer1,140,000 JPY
Air Traffic Controller1,070,000 JPY
Flight Attendant897,000 JPY
Pilot1,280,000 JPY

Architect914,000 JPY
CAD Drafter784,000 JPY

Mechanic567,000 JPY
Service Advisor863,000 JPY

Bank Branch Manager1,590,000 JPY
Teller743,000 JPY

Teacher822,000 JPY
Translator937,000 JPY

Business Planning
Business Analyst1,220,000 JPY
Business Development Manager1,590,000 JPY
Project Manager1,300,000 JPY

Care Giving and Child Care
Nanny680,000 JPY
Nursery Teacher771,000 JPY

Construction / Building / Installation
Civil Engineer978,000 JPY
Construction Project Manager1,220,000 JPY
Health and Safety Officer700,000 JPY

Customer Service and Call Center
Call Center Representative758,000 JPY
Customer Service Manager1,400,000 JPY
Customer Service Representative750,000 JPY

Civil Engineer1,000,000 JPY
Electrical Engineer1,000,000 JPY
Engineer938,000 JPY
Mechanical Engineer1,020,000 JPY

Executive and Management
Chief Executive Officer2,430,000 JPY
Chief Financial Officer2,290,000 JPY
General Manager1,860,000 JPY
Project Manager1,240,000 JPY

Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering
Chef849,000 JPY
Executive Chef928,000 JPY
Hotel Manager1,550,000 JPY
Receptionist743,000 JPY
Travel Agent834,000 JPY
Waiter / Waitress620,000 JPY

Health and Medical
Dentist2,580,000 JPY
Dietitian2,340,000 JPY
Laboratory Technician786,000 JPY
Nurse844,000 JPY

Human Resources
Human Resources Manager1,480,000 JPY
Human Resources Officer897,000 JPY

Information Technology
Computer Technician808,000 JPY
Database Administrator1,100,000 JPY
Developer / Programmer962,000 JPY
Information Technology Manager1,470,000 JPY
Network Engineer934,000 JPY

Law Enforcement / Security / Fire
Police Officer822,000 JPY

Attorney1,600,000 JPY
Legal Assistant796,000 JPY

Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment
Journalist1,080,000 JPY

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Biomedical Engineer928,000 JPY
Pharmacist1,200,000 JPY

Sales Retail and Wholesale
Cashier620,000 JPY
Sales Manager1,610,000 JPY
Sales Representative676,000 JPY

Teaching / Education
Elementary School Teacher758,000 JPY
Secondary School Teacher824,000 JPY

Average Hourly Wage in Japan

5,980 JPY per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in Japan is 5,980 JPY. This means that the average person in Japan earns approximately 5,980 JPY for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Fukuoka1,060,000 JPY
Hiroshima959,000 JPY
Kawasaki999,000 JPY
Kobe1,040,000 JPY
Kyoto1,020,000 JPY
Nagoya1,100,000 JPY
Osaka1,120,000 JPY
Saitama979,000 JPY
Sapporo1,080,000 JPY
Sendai939,000 JPY
Tokyo1,160,000 JPY
Yokohama1,140,000 JPY
552838 - 165

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