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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on Salaries of Graduates

Notice Paper No. 1430 of 2018 for the Sitting on 20 November 2018

Question No. 1044 for Written Answer

MP: Mr Louis Ng

To ask the Minister for Manpower for ITE, polytechnic and university students who graduated in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively (a) what were their average and median starting monthly salaries; (b) what were their average and median monthly salaries five years after their year of graduation; and (c) whether the Ministry will start collecting such data on post-graduation salaries, as requested in (b), if it does not already collect it on a regular basis.


  1. Based on the annual Graduate Employment Survey (GES) conducted by the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), the reported median gross monthly starting salaries of ITE, Polytechnic and Autonomous University (AU) graduates in full-time permanent employment from 2008 to 2012 are given in Table 1.

    Table 1: Media Gross Monthly Starting Salary Of Graduates in Full-time Permanent Employment ($), GES 2008 - 2012
    Institute of Higher Learning 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
    ITE (Fresh graduates) 1,300 1,200 1,291 1,300 1,350
    ITE (Post-NS graduates) 1,600 1,500 1,600 1,600 1,700
    Polytechnic (Fresh graduates) 1,800 1,700 1,800 1,850 1,950
    Polytechnic (Post-NS graduates) 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,100 2,253
    Autonomous University 2,850 2,700 2,900 3,000 3,050

    Source: Graduate Employment Survey (data is at 6 months after graduation or completion of National Service)

  2. The GES does not track graduates’ salaries by cohort five years after their graduation. However, the median gross monthly income of full-time employed residents is available from MOM’s Comprehensive Labour Force Survey (CLFS). The majority of fresh graduates from IHLs would be in their mid- to late-20s five years after leaving school. Table 2 shows the median gross monthly income from 2013 to 2017 of full-time employed residents aged 25 to 29 – those with post-secondary non-tertiary qualifications (i.e. ITE or equivalent), diploma and professional qualifications (i.e. polytechnic or equivalent) and degree qualifications.

    Table 2: Median Gross Monthly Income from Work ($) (Excluding Employer CPF) of Full-Time Employed Residents by Highest Qualification Attained and Age, 2013 to 2017 (June)

    Age Highest Qualification Attained* 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
    25-29 Post-Secondary (Non-tertiary) 2,000 2,000 2,133 2,250 2,240
    Diploma & Professional Qualification 2,600 2,600 2,708 2,708 2,925
    Degree 3,792 3,746 3,800 4,000 4,000

    Source: Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, MRSD, MOM

    Note:*Not directly comparable with Table 1 as these include graduates with equivalent qualifications from private education institutions whereas Table 1 include only graduates from local publicly-funded institutions.

  3. To give us more insights into their employment and income, MOM and MOE are exploring tracking graduates’ salaries by cohort over a longer period of time.