Engineer salaries in Japan – Industry averages by position

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.


Position Male Female 20s
Average across all professions 418 346
Average IT/Comm. 479 401 370
Project Manager 681 562 494
Presale 653※ 491※ 447
IT Consultant 632 517 443
R & D Engineer 581※ 506※ 429
Data Scientist 551※ 427※ 419
IT strategist 596 505 408
System Implementation Engineer 473 414 394
Server Engineer 475 406 388
Database Engineer 470※ 379※ 382
Network Engineer 471 369 378
Application Developer 428※ 365※ 371
System Engineer 443 394 370
System Developer 509 412 367
Web-service Engineer 447 379 362
Control System Software Engineer 459 368 361
Technical Support 450 375 337
Operation & Maintenance Engineer 393※ 346※ 333
Debug Tester 384※ 356※ 307
Help Desk 350 335 302

Salaries in 1,000 Yen.
※No data available for employees in their 40s, and or 50s, leading to smaller average income.

Electrical/ Electronic/ Mechanical

Position Male Female 20s
Average 491 392 383
Product Planning Engineer 590 474 421
Circuit Design Engineer 559 445 420
Field Application Engineer 531※ 468※ 403
Process Engineer 503 399 402
Industrial Engineer 495※ 395※ 402
Control Design Engineer 487※ 405※ 391
Project Manager 640 425 383
Quality Control 482※ 371※ 375
Evaluation/ Experiment Engineer 452※ 371※ 375
Service Engineer 452 383 367
Production Control Engineer 484※ 394※ 360
CAD Operator 390※ 310※ 333
Manufacturing Engineer 354※ 270※ 316
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.

Income Gap

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.

More information

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.

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After traveling around for a while, I found my home in Tokyo. Now working in Shinjuku and discovering something new about Japan every day.