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What is the average salary in Japan in 2024?

16 Comments
By Aaron Baggett

Are you thinking about starting a new career in Japan? Understanding the country’s job market (and finding a better job) demands insight into industry trends. But your most important question is probably, what is the average salary in Japan?

Data from Japan’s National Tax Agency and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare suggest that, in 2024, the average salary in Japan is ¥4.58 million, approximately $29,589. However, the median is likely closer to ¥3.6 million, equivalent to $23,268.

But how do salaries differ across various sectors? Do factors like age or gender influence earnings?

Let’s dive into the specifics, from English teaching to IT and finance.

Average Annual Salary in Japan

iStock-Yusuke-Ide-Average-Salary-in-Japan-2024.jpg
Is your salary lower or higher than the national average? Image: iStock/ Yusuke Ide

Several factors influence actual incomes, including age and experience. If any of these salaries feel too low for you, that’s because they probably are. You should absolutely evaluate your skills and not let anyone lowball you.

Regardless, for a quick overview, let’s look at Japan’s average and median annual salaries across various industries, utilizing data from the National Tax Agency’s 2021 Private Sector Salary Statistics Survey and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s Overview of Basic Wage Structure Survey for 2021.

Screenshot-2024-05-01-at-8.30.31.png

Click here to read more.

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16 Comments
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From the main article...

The average annual salary for English conversation teachers is ¥3.39 million.

No wonder you all complain so much about "the rich" and take every opportunity to insist everyone else should pay more taxes to subsidise you.

But before people start complaining too much, it's a simple matter of market forces. If there are lots of people that can do something with little to no education or training... They are not worth much.

If there are few people that generate the business and profit that you can, then you are worth a lot.

Some people worked hard when young to better themselves and some didn't. You reap what you sow.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

According to Yomiuri, the average nominal wage for a full-time worker is ¥369,239/month in base and overtime pay. At a 155 exchange rate, that’s $2,380/month x 12 = $28,600/year.

The average nominal wage for part-timers is ¥101,358/month, or $7,850/year.

https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/business/economy/20240307-173037/

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Pretty low except for electricity/heat/water. Not sure what jobs these are, but it looks like it might pay better to be a handyman than a salaryman?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I don’t believe these numbers at all. Finance only 6.5m? - you will not find a salary that low at any investment bank. Even new grads start higher than that.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"electricity/heat/water" will mean utility/service providers like TEPCO, not electricians and plumbers.

The low salaries in the list make grim reading, especially the median values. The only saving graces for standard of living are low real estate costs and public healthcare.

There is a lot of wealth in Japan, but it is increasingly hard to get it working in a regular job. It is best for wealth to be the reward of work, not the reward of inheritance, speculation, or rentierism.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan Inc. wants the citizens to be content with a tiny salary ans convince you it is OK. These salary data measurements/methods are built for that.

The whole system is set up around a few pillars such as keeping wages as low as inhumanly possible.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

My salary when working in Japan was higher than any of those.

My Japanese pension today is lower than any of those.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If there are few people that generate the business and profit that you can, then you are worth a lot.

This is simple economics.

Some people worked hard when young to better themselves and some didn't. You reap what you sow.

And while there is a correlation between the two, it doesn't always hold. Lots of people work hard but don't necessarily end up in high paying careers, either because of their natural limitations or because the area that they worked hard in is not well paying.

And some people find themselves in well paying jobs without really working hard at all, like me.

The birth lottery, hard work, the situation and luck are what determines your outcome.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It is low, but so is the cost of living.

You look at someone in the US who is earning 80k and they have less spending power.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I would guess it's much lower all round. Having Bill Gates walk into an izakaya filled with service staff, in reality, doesn't mean everyone's take home pay average goes up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nonu6976Today  10:16 am JST

I don’t believe these numbers at all. Finance only 6.5m? - you will not find a salary that low at any investment bank. Even new grads start higher than that.

University grads for entry level positions often don't even make 3.5mil/yr even in finance. Unless you studied hard sciences, IT, or engineering, often your major has no connection with the your first job. I knew a lot of entry level grads at Nomura and their majors weren't finance or economics. They're hired more based on the name of their university and not their major. If they're not even specialized, it means years and years of training. So there's no reason to pay them a lot because expectations are low.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Crazy that numbers are inflated just because of the huge spikes at the upper end as always

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I came to Japan as a fluffy tailed youngster a zillion years ago, I worked as an English trainer for 4 days a week in a finance organization. The pay was about double that of new graduates in the UK at the time. Now, the same job would pay about half. the UK salary.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan's problem is not the monthly salary, but understanding that the salary is used to live, and not to live for that salary. The USA is a great nation, but a little presumptuous. They force allies not to join the Chinese Silk Road, but Blinken asks the Chinese to improve economic and financial relations. We should know how to say no when they exaggerate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is low, but so is the cost of living. 

You look at someone in the US who is earning 80k and they have less spending power.

This is wrong. Everything I could find online puts the U.S. way above Japan when it comes to comparative salary vs cost of living

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

nonu6976

I don’t believe these numbers at all. Finance only 6.5m? - you will not find a salary that low at any investment bank. Even new grads start higher than that.

Not in an international investment bank, but you will find a salary that low in Japanese investment banks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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