Engineer salaries in Japan – Industry averages by position
What salaries can you realistically expect as engineer in Japan? Gain insight into the average income in a variety of IT-related positions.
IT jobs are among the top 10 highest paying professions in Japan. Japan has a high demand for people with IT skills and companies are increasingly looking for foreigners to meet their needs. To create lasting working relations, companies are opening up, by reducing Japanese requirements, hiring English staff and otherwise lowering the hurdles for foreigners.
Income data is provided by gender across all ages, and for people in their 20s to provide concrete and realistic salary expectations. Salaries are shown in units of ¥10.000. Thus, a Japanese employee’s average annual salary in their 20s is ¥3.460.000, around $31.000.
|Average across all professions||418||346|
|R & D Engineer||581※||506※||429|
|System Implementation Engineer||473||414||394|
|Control System Software Engineer||459||368||361|
|Operation & Maintenance Engineer||393※||346※||333|
※No data available for employees in their 40s, and or 50s, leading to smaller average income.
Electrical/ Electronic/ Mechanical
|Product Planning Engineer||590||474||421|
|Circuit Design Engineer||559||445||420|
|Field Application Engineer||531※||468※||403|
|Control Design Engineer||487※||405※||391|
|Evaluation/ Experiment Engineer||452※||371※||375|
|Production Control Engineer||484※||394※||360|
|Evaluation/ Debug Engineer||353※||326※||306|
All data is taken from the DODA study 「平均年収ランキング2017」
More about your income
Looking at entry-level jobs, expecting to get the above pay from the first year is not realistic. While top-paying big companies will give you a salary up to ¥300.000 per month, most entry-level jobs start at around ¥200.000. Many companies will only put an income range in the job ad, deciding your actual income based on your skills, sometimes also taking your age into consideration.
The difference in average income for women and men in the table is not the nominal difference for the same work. Part of the imbalance is caused by the fewer number of women in senior positions. That said, Japan’s gender wage gap is one of the biggest in developed countries. It is a work in progress, but Japanese companies (maybe too late, maybe too little) have started moving to address issues of equality and empowering women in the workplace.
Job ads and websites like “glassdoor”, where Japanese (ex)employees post reviews of their companies are a good resource for further information on typical pay for a specific position or company.
You might find that Japanese people won’t be forthcoming with information about their income, as it is not customary in Japan to discuss salary, especially among coworkers.
If you do have concerns regarding unfair payment, hoping for a raise or anything, consult with HR or a superior you trust.