Living in Japan

What is the average salary in Japan by occupation and age?

In this article, we review the average annual salary in Japan by occupation, age, and gender, as we’ve had many readers ask for this information in response to recent posts on the cost of living in Tokyo for a single person and how much can a single working person in Tokyo save a month.

The data below comes from an annual salary survey done by DODA, a Japanese job site.

What is the average salary in Japan?

In 2016, the average annual salary in Japan was ¥4,420,000 ($39,000).

What is the average salary in Japan by age?

As can be expected, average annual salary increases by age group, but there is a significant gender gap across age groups. The average annual salary for a person in their twenties is ¥3,540,000 ($32,182). The average salary for a 20-something man is ¥3,740,000 ($34,000), while the average salary for a 20-something woman is ¥500,000 less, at ¥3,240,000 ($29,455).

Average Annual Salary Japan by Age Group 2016
Average annual salary in Japan by age group (2016). Source: DODA

What is the average annual salary in Japan by industry?

DODA’s survey also revealed the industries with the highest average salaries. The top six industries in the list below had average salaries higher than the average overall salary (¥4,420,000): medical, finance, manufacturing, IT/communications, general trading, and construction/real estate.

Average annual salary in Japan by industry 2016
Average annual salary in Japan by industry (2016). Source: DODA

What jobs have the highest average salaries?

The survey covered 86 different job classifications in Japan. The following is the Top 30 ranking:

Salary ranking by job type in Japan (2016)

Salary ranking in Japan by job type (2016)
Salary ranking in Japan by job type (2016). Source: DODA

What is the annual average salary trend over the last few years?

It is interesting to note that the annual average salary reported by workers in the 2016 survey represented a 0.5% increase compared to 2015, but that salaries reported in this survey have not recovered to the levels reported in 2008, the year of the Global Financial Crisis.

Japan annual average salary trend 2008 to 2016
Japan annual average salary trend (2008 to 2016). Source: DODA
Change in annual average salary in Japan 2008 to 2016
Change in annual average salary in Japan (2008 to 2016). Source: DODA

You may also be interested in: Cost of living in Tokyo and How much can a single working person save in Tokyo?


8 thoughts on "What is the average salary in Japan by occupation and age?"

William Hoblitell

Wow the gender gap is terrible and IT salaries are horrible…

Official ManGo

Well considering that Women usually stay at home and the Men go to work since it’s Japan it’s kinda Obvious.

CourtneyBostdorff

I don’t believe that their women’s average is based off the entire female population in Japan. The numbers have nothing to do with those that stay home and are focused on the ones that actually work…..obviously 😉

Rafael Arakaki

While there is a gender gap it’s entangled to other reasons specific to the japanese corporate world or cultural and not only ‘gender prejudice’ as we know and talk about. In Japan, a good ratio of married women does part time jobs while having the wife at home role simultaneously. These jobs normally have low or medium responsability and are paid less than the regular jobs. There’s also some tax benefits for wifes to occupy part time jobs. Therefore they work less and receive less as well . My point is that using this data to conclude about gender prejudice can be misleading. (I’m not saying gender gap is non-existant in Japan).

y4my4m

Men generally work longer hours in Japan. Though yes, gender roles are more present in Japan than other “westernized” countries.

John

Actually if you look at the salaries based on age, you can see the average for 50 year old men is far closer to the total average than women, so you can deduce that men make up far more of those working then women reason being women are far more likely to leave the workforce due to having children, and the ones that go back in the workforce probably work fewer hours due to having children to take care of and had to take a large time off for maternity leave. So women are far less likely to participate in the workforce to the degree that men do, which explains why on an industry to industry level, men out class women because the women wages are far less likely to be senior level salaries and the men have inflated salaries because of the workers that have been there for so long. With the industry values you can also see that the averages are far closer to the male workers than female, which again implies more men are employed in the industry than women, with finance being on of the only places where it’s fairly even. This too can be explained by the roles that women tend to play in the industry as tellers at banks rather than hedge fund managers. Culturally women are far more likely to pick service jobs of a clerical nature than a physical one, where you can note the manufacturing sector has one of the closest male to average salary ratios. So the combination of work hours, workplace seniority, and job roles are of a far more important distinction than just which gender you are. Unfortunately, the numbers regarding these factors are not taken into account. Now would the numbers be perfectly even when you take an employee who works the same number of hours and has the same level of experience in the same job? It’s hard to tell, because in the United States one of the discrepancies for this includes that men are far more likely to press for raises than women, but in Japan both genders are far less likely to go to superiors for pay raises than their American counter parts. Numbers only tell you a part of a story, and if you don’t look at them closely enough, you can get the wrong conclusion. The world isn’t black and white, quite a bit of grey you have to comb through 🙂

yobazsavar

hallelujah

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