According to the Aon Malaysia 2019 Salary Increase & Total Compensation Measurement Survey, salaries in Malaysia are set to increase by 5.3% in 2020. This is slightly higher than the 5.1% actual average increases in 2019.
Regionally, these rates indicate that salaries in Malaysia are increasing faster than those in Singapore (3.8%) and Thailand (4.9%). However, the rate of growth in Malaysia is slower than salary increases in Indonesia (7.4%).
With annual inflation at 2.4%, Malaysians experienced an average growth of 2.7% in real wages in 2019, up from 2.1% the previous year.
Hot jobs: App development, software engineering, business development
Across all industries, senior legal managers earned 20% more than the market average, whereas compensation for senior business development managers / strategic planners was 22% higher than the market average, illustrating the premium employers place on professionals with specialist skill sets.
Median pay for engineering jobs is, on average, 14% more in Malaysia, while pay for roles in technology (such as cyber security and information technology), are 12% higher than the market as a whole.
In fact, median pay for software engineers/application developers increased by 17% from the previous year across various levels of seniority, demonstrating the continuing focus on preparing for Industry 4.0.
As for fresh graduates, those in engineering and high-tech job roles enjoyed a 16% higher starting median salary compared to fresh graduates in other functions.
Rahul Chawla, Director & Head, Rewards Solutions, Malaysia, Aon, noted that the rewards landscape in Malaysia was very active in 2019.
"In the last 12 months, organisations have implemented incentive plans aimed at catalysing transformation and delivering shareholder value. Value creation for all stakeholders and value sharing amongst key contributors seems to be the mantra for the coming year."
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