Salaries in Malaysia rose by 5.1% in 2019 and are expected to jump by 5.3% in 2020, according to the Malaysia 2019 Salary Increase & Total Compensation Measurement Survey by Aon, a leading global professional services firm.
These rates indicate that wages in Malaysia are increasing faster than those in Singapore (3.8%) and Thailand (4.9%) but slower than 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.
In the face of a growing economy and steady salary increases, Malaysian businesses must evaluate their compensation packages, to ensure they can continue to attract and retain their most critical talent.
Analytical, strategic and specialist roles earned top dollar: App Developers amongst the hottest jobs in Malaysia
According to the Aon survey, median pay for jobs in engineering and technology are relatively higher than all other job roles across the Malaysia market. Those working in engineering roles earn, on average, 14% higher and those in technology such as cyber security and information technology, earn 12% more than other job functions within the Malaysia market as a whole. Furthermore, fresh graduates in the engineering and high-tech job roles enjoyed a 16% higher starting median salary compared to fresh graduates in other functions. With digital and technological advancements, employers are paying a premium for talent in these areas.
The survey further revealed that median pay for software engineers/application developers increased by 17% from the previous year across various levels of seniority, demonstrating the continuing commitment of Malaysian employers to prepare for Industry 4.0.
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.
Rahul Chawla, Director & Head, Rewards Solutions, Malaysia, Aon, said: “The rewards landscape in Malaysia was very active in 2019. A volatile macroeconomic and geopolitical environment coupled with a pressing need to deliver efficiencies compelled businesses to revamp their rewards programmes. 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”.
The Aon Malaysia 2019 Salary Increase & Total Compensation Measurement Survey is Aon’s nationwide measure on how organisations are addressing projected salary budgets, variable pay, cost-saving initiatives, and more. It contains data on key changes in employee compensation in 2019 and projections for 2020. Data was collected from 320 employers across Malaysia.