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Average Salary in Malaysia 2020

How much money does a person working in Malaysia make?

Average Monthly Salary
7,870 MYR
( 94,500 MYR yearly)


A person working in Malaysia typically earns around 7,870 MYR per month. Salaries range from 1,070 MYR (lowest average) to 34,900 MYR (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 Malaysia

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

  • Salary Range

    Salaries in Malaysia range from 1,070 MYR per month (minimum salary) to 34,900 MYR per month (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 7,710 MYR per month, which means that half (50%) of the population are earning less than 7,710 MYR while the other half are earning more than 7,710 MYR. 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 3,950 MYR while 75% of them are earning more than 3,950 MYR. Also from the diagram, 75% of the population are earning less than 20,900 MYR while 25% are earning more than 20,900 MYR.

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 Malaysia costs anywhere from 39,400 Malaysian Ringgit(s) to 118,000 Malaysian Ringgit(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 Malaysia
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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 Malaysia earn 16% more than their female counterparts.

7,310 MYR
8,490 MYR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in Malaysia

How much are annual salary increments in Malaysia? How often do employees get salary raises?


Employees in Malaysia are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 9% every 17 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate Malaysia
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in Malaysia is 6%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2019

Information Technology

Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in Malaysia for the year 2019. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.

Average Salary Increase Rate by Experience Level

Junoir Level
3% - 5%
6% - 9%
Senior Level
10% - 15%
Top Management
15% - 20%

The difference in increment rates is somehow justified because employers put more effort to retain more experienced staff since they are harder to acquire than less experienced ones.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Bonus and Incentive Rates in Malaysia

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate Malaysia
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49% of surveyed staff in Malaysia reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 51% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

Bonus Rates Comparison by Career Field

Business Development
Marketing / Advertising
Information Technology
Customer Service
Human Resources

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Public vs private sector salaries monthly Malaysia
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Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in Malaysia earn 9% more than their private sector counterparts.

Private Sector
7,550 MYR
Public Sector+9%
8,220 MYR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Trend and Forecast in Malaysia

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

Salary trends and forecast monthly Malaysia
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Average Salary 2016
7,050 MYR
Average Salary 2017+4%
7,310 MYR
Average Salary 2018+2%
7,470 MYR
Average Salary 2019+3%
7,730 MYR
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salaries in Malaysia 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
Accountant5,280 MYR
Accounting Assistant5,240 MYR
Accounting Manager10,200 MYR
Bookkeeper4,110 MYR
Chartered Accountant6,610 MYR
Corporate Treasurer14,100 MYR
Financial Analyst8,530 MYR
Financial Manager15,200 MYR
Internal Auditor8,340 MYR

Administration / Reception / Secretarial
Administrative Assistant4,320 MYR
Office Manager5,600 MYR
Receptionist4,430 MYR
Secretary4,040 MYR

Advertising / Grapic Design / Events
Art Director7,780 MYR
Creative Director8,160 MYR
Graphic Designer5,270 MYR
Photographer5,500 MYR

Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense
Aerospace Engineer8,680 MYR
Air Traffic Controller8,320 MYR
Flight Attendant6,820 MYR
Pilot8,920 MYR

Architect7,330 MYR
CAD Drafter5,630 MYR

Mechanic4,230 MYR
Service Advisor6,100 MYR

Bank Branch Manager11,000 MYR
Teller5,500 MYR

Teacher6,270 MYR
Translator6,610 MYR

Business Planning
Business Analyst9,200 MYR
Business Development Manager12,100 MYR
Project Manager8,920 MYR

Care Giving and Child Care
Nanny4,790 MYR
Nursery Teacher5,690 MYR

Construction / Building / Installation
Civil Engineer6,830 MYR
Construction Project Manager9,470 MYR
Health and Safety Officer4,790 MYR

Customer Service and Call Center
Call Center Representative5,490 MYR
Customer Service Manager10,200 MYR
Customer Service Representative5,590 MYR

Civil Engineer7,330 MYR
Electrical Engineer7,860 MYR
Engineer6,970 MYR
Mechanical Engineer7,940 MYR

Executive and Management
Chief Executive Officer18,100 MYR
Chief Financial Officer16,800 MYR
General Manager13,600 MYR
Project Manager9,160 MYR

Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering
Chef6,100 MYR
Executive Chef6,990 MYR
Hotel Manager11,700 MYR
Receptionist5,960 MYR
Travel Agent6,620 MYR
Waiter / Waitress4,550 MYR

Health and Medical
Dentist18,200 MYR
Dietitian17,600 MYR
Laboratory Technician6,110 MYR
Nurse6,220 MYR

Human Resources
Human Resources Manager10,700 MYR
Human Resources Officer6,420 MYR

Information Technology
Computer Technician6,150 MYR
Database Administrator8,120 MYR
Developer / Programmer7,190 MYR
Information Technology Manager11,200 MYR
Network Engineer6,820 MYR

Law Enforcement / Security / Fire
Police Officer6,040 MYR

Attorney11,800 MYR
Legal Assistant5,460 MYR

Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment
Journalist7,860 MYR

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Biomedical Engineer6,790 MYR
Pharmacist9,250 MYR

Sales Retail and Wholesale
Cashier4,540 MYR
Sales Manager12,000 MYR
Sales Representative5,140 MYR

Teaching / Education
Elementary School Teacher5,490 MYR
Secondary School Teacher6,680 MYR

Average Hourly Wage in Malaysia

45 MYR per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in Malaysia is 45 MYR. This means that the average person in Malaysia earns approximately 45 MYR 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
Ampang7,160 MYR
Ipoh8,410 MYR
Johor Bahru7,930 MYR
Klang7,300 MYR
Kota Kinabalu7,820 MYR
Kuala Lumpur8,530 MYR
Kuching7,640 MYR
Petaling Jaya8,290 MYR
Shah Alam8,120 MYR
Subang Jaya7,450 MYR
7137 - 4188

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