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Salary and hiring outlook across industries in Malaysia for 2019

The Information Technology and Engineering industries are expected to grow in 2019, with the hottest roles in each expecting to earn an average of RM18,000 a month.

This is based on the recent Malaysia Salary Guide 2019 by Kelly Services, which showcased the salary and hiring outlook across key industries in the country.

Human Resources and Administrative

With companies facing manpower and technological challenges in an increasingly complex digital and operating environment, the alignment of the HR agenda with the business' growth strategy is growing in importance today.

The report stated: "The skills deficit among local workers continues to be of pressing concern, especially digital skills such as digital marketing, e-commerce and big data.

It will be necessary for business heads and HR leaders to work hand in hand to design and implement new training initiatives to upskill and retrain their talent pool, with the end goal of driving growth."

Further, HR will need to change the way they hire, to address the local talent shortage and the increasing importance of soft skills.

Salary guide for the highest-paid roles per month

Chief HR OfficerExperience level: 20 years and aboveMinimum: RM25,000Maximum: RM50,000

HR Director (SME)Experience: 15 years and aboveMinimum: RM15,000Maximum: RM30,000

Head RecruitmentExperience: 9 to 15 yearsMinimum: RM15,000Maximum: RM30,000

Vice-President, Learning and DevelopmentExperience: 8 to 10 yearsMinimum: RM15,000Maximum: RM25,000




Information Technology

The report revealed: "With the expansion of Malaysia's digitised ecosystem, the IT industry will continue on its upward trajectory in 2019, especially with the emergence of big data, analytics, artificial intelligence and robotics leading the country into Industry 4.0."

Spend on IT products and services is expected to reach RM65.2 billion this year, a 4.6% increase from 2019. Spend on enterprise software such as cloud services, is forecast to experience the highest growth.

Salary guide for the highest-paid roles per month

Chief Information OfficerExperience: 12 to 18 yearsMinimum: RM30,000Maximum: RM60,000

Programme DirectorExperience: 12 to 18 yearsMinimum: RM25,000Maximum: RM40,000

Project DirectorExperience: 12 to 18 yearsMinimum: RM18,000Maximum: RM30,000

Service Delivery DirectorExperience: 12 to 18 yearsMinimum: RM18,000Maximum: RM30,000


Banking and Financial Services

A modest growth rate of between 3% to 5% is expected for 2019, according to the report. Further, increasing automation and digitisation will create greater demand for higher-skilled professionals.

Salary guide for the highest-paid roles per month

Relationship Manager (Corporate Banking/Global Wholesale Banking/Investment Banking)Experience: More than 15 years (Senior Vice President)Minimum: RM28,000Maximum: RM48,000

SVP, Equity Capital MarketsExperience: More than 15 yearsMinimum: RM28,000Maximum: RM42,000

SVP, Debt Capital MarketsExperience: More than 15 yearsMinimum: RM28,000Maximum: RM38,000






Launched in late 2018, the National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) will support the manufacturing sector's efforts to better adopt technology and focus less on capital and manpower to increase productivity.

In line with that, the Government plans to nearly double the number of skilled workers from 18% to 35% by 2025.

Salary guide for the highest-paid roles per month

Head of ProductionExperience: More than 10 yearsMinimum: RM28,000Maximum: RM38,000

Engineering ManagerExperience: Eight to 10 yearsMinimum: RM16,000Maximum: RM22,000

Plant ManagerExperience: More than 10 yearsMinimum: RM15,000Maximum: RM20,000




Finance and Accounting

Accountants with critical thinking and problem-solving skills will be well sought-after this year, the report revealed. In fact, 60,000 accountants are expected to be producted by 2020, with currently under 40,000 existing today.

At the same time, a key challenge for employers will be hiring local talents who possess the right skills for the job, more so for the public than the private sector.

Salary guide for the highest-paid roles per month

Chief Financial Officer (MNC)Experience: 15 to 20 yearsMinimum: RM40,000Maximum: RM60,000

Finance DirectorExperience: 15 to 20 yearsMinimum: RM30,000Maximum: RM40,000

Finance Controller (MNC)Experience: 10 to 15 yearsMinimum: RM20,000Maximum: RM30,000



The report further stated a forecasted growth slowdown for the construction sector, from 4.5% to 4.3% in 2019, as a sign of a tightening job market for the industry this year.

At the same time, the government has renewed its push to develop rural infractructure in the country, following the suspension of three large-scale projects.



Sales and Marketing

With Malaysia's position as one of Southeast Asia's fastest growing emerging e-commerce markets, digital marketing skills will be sought after in this sector for 2019. In fact, these skillsets are expected to increasingly gain importance as a key revenue driver for businesses.

Salary guide for the highest-paid roles per month

Sales Director, Asia PacificExperience: More than 10 yearsMinimum: RM25,000Maximum: RM35,000

Sales Director, Industrial EngineeringExperience: More than 10 yearsMinimum: RM17,000Maximum: RM25,000

Vice President, Sales and MarketingExperience: More than 10 yearsMinimum: RM15,000Maximum: RM27,000

Sales Channel DirectorExperience: More than 10 yearsMinimum: RM15,000Maximum: RM27,000




Supply Chain and Logistics

Underpinned by stable trade and rising freight transportation, the outlook for Malaysia's logistics sector remains positive in 2019, according to the report.

The rising trend of companies venturing into more specialised activities, such as the handling and storage of hazardous chemicals, has contributed to attracting other logistics companies to set up operations in the country.

This, together with other trends, is expected to create sustained demand for skilled logistics and supply chain professionals through the year. As the industry continues its digital transformation, addressing the widening skills gap in the industry will become a greater imperative.

More specialised and skilled workers, such as experienced seafarers, will be required to elevate the industry’s growth.

Salary guide for the highest-paid roles per month

Director of Supply ChainExperience: 10 to 15 yearsMinimum: RM15,000Maximum: RM35,000

Strategic Sourcing ManagerExperience: Eight to 10 yearsMinimum: RM12,000Maximum: RM20,000

Senior Warehouse ManagerExperience: Eight to 10 yearsMinimum: RM9,000Maximum: RM15,000



Lead image / 123RFInfographics / Kelly Services

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