I just downloaded the latest salary report published by Kelly Services. Thanks Skorcareer for the download link.

The salary range published in this guide is basically a benchmark for job seekers. In fact, I personally find that the figures published are not impressive. As a Malaysian, paid in Malaysian Ringgit, we certainly have a hard time to maintain a medium lifestyle.

Click here to download Kelly Services’ Malaysia Salary Guide 2008/2009.

Are you paid within the range? or overpaid?

I would like to hear your thoughts.


Personal finance author and trainer

    74 replies to "Malaysia Salary Guide 2008/2009"

    • bayang

      PayMatching talent with available jobs
      Engineers are among the most sought after employees in Australia,
      according to Manpower Australia’s fourth annual talent shortage
      survey. Despite the economic downturn, many employers
      in Australia still struggle to find qualified job candidates. The
      results from this survey were part of Manpower’s global survey
      where 11,500 employers were interviewed.
      “Despite high levels of unemployment in many markets, this
      year’s talent survey suggests a mismatch between the type of individuals
      available for work and the specific skills that employers are
      looking for,” said Lincoln Crawley, managing director of Manpower
      Australia and New Zealand.
      “In an environment where companies are pressured to shift their
      mindset to think more strategically and creatively about how to do
      more with less, the same approach is being applied to how they
      manage their talent. Employers are looking for ways to accelerate
      their business strategy with fewer people. It’s this specificity of skills
      required in the individuals that employers are now seeking that is
      creating a sense of talent shortage amidst an overabundant pool of
      available workers. This conundrum is frustrating both employers
      and individuals.”
      Currently the top 10 talent shortages in Australia are:
      • skilled manual trades
      • sales representatives
      • engineers
      • management/executive (management/corporate)
      • accounting and finance staff
      • technicians
      • customer service representatives
      and customer support
      • machinist/machine operator
      • production operators
      • drivers.
      While there has been some movement in ranking, the top three
      remained the same as last year. The continuing difficulty in recruiting
      engineers and skilled manual trades reflects the severity of the talent
      shortages which exist in the resources and infrastructure segments.
      In the Asia Pacific region, 32% of employers struggle to fill
      positions available. Compared to Australia, Taiwan and Japan
      have a higher percentage of employers indicating a difficulty in
      recruiting talent while China is faring better at filling positions
      with suitable candidates.
      Even as employers have been generally reducing their hiring, they
      have trouble filling critical positions in the company with people
      who have the precise combination of skills and experience. As an
      example, information technology (IT) professionals that are sought
      after not only have IT degrees, certifications and programming skills
      but also the right managerial skills and business domain knowledge.
      Manpower emphasised the importance of employer branding

      as a way to overcome talent shortages.
      Employer branding must be everyone’s responsibility in the
      company, starting with the organisation’s leadership. More than
      slogans and symbols, the employer’s brand has to accurately capture
      the reality of the work experience, the company said. Each touchpoint
      between employer and employee presents an opportunity to
      reinforce the employer’s brand.
      Examples are leadership and management communications,
      reward and recognition events, career development opportunities
      and even routine human resource processes and communications
      can drive employee engagement, it said.

    • bayang

      i..think msia will becomes hight income…country.we look how usa..uk…othr coutry.actually our coutry got so many resourses .what our country do is figh corruption, this element to worse our country. dont be like as indonesia..we need reforms so many goverment policy and also bit of private sector.if this sector never change the policy. people will be change them.

    • bayang

      if…you engineering back ground please ..please think positif thingking..even u salary low or high..be yourself accept who are u..once again improve u self…to put you price tag rm100 milion permonth this your value. i think msia be excellent country if u value upgraded.

    • Yashpal

      I got offer from S/W company for ERP AS/400, ERP, RPG programmer
      require 7 Year Experience.

      I have 9 Year ERP Experience on AS/400 , RPG/400 & Total 16 Year IT experience.
      Current Position as a Sernior Manager. What Salary Per Month Should be excpected in
      Malaysia , Penang in currency MYR ?

      Thanks , please reply.

    • aldrin

      Can anyone give me an advise regarding salary for failure analysis engineer in multi-national american company in seremban malaysia? Do you have an idea for min salary? I have a total of 2 yrs exp.


    • Ignas

      I have 2 Diplomas in Investment Analysis (RITM) and Law (UOL). I have 22 yrs experiance working in Finance, 3 years in Procurement and 11years in HR and Training. Qualified in ISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 18000 and Riak Management. Do you have any companies looking for people of my experiance.

    • sen

      whats a lawyers pay after finishing clp

    • yy

      E&E , M&E………….any eng….oso good

    • vin

      im just got my STPM result . i decide to take engineering ,but still doubt to choose more specifically since there r variety of engineering course…..can u give me some ideas? i hope i can earn high salary in the future……i will appreciate your comment.thank

      • adiputra.selamat

        I suggest you to take Mechanical Engineering and plan your path to work with oil and gas operating company, then you will find mechanical engineering is really worth it.

    • Nanchas

      can some one helps me, that would be really appriciated…
      what would be the basic salary for it recruiter and sap hrms consultant in Malasya?????

    • pang

      Hey Sexy man,i agreed with u. The only way to be rich is ignore engineering course. Unliess,u have 100 million and u study engineer so that u can invest in your own plant/factory. As normal people,if u r from engineering,what u do is: To work harder and make ur boss richer,as u would go older and one day u would replace by younger engineers. FOr engineers above 30years old,well..u can close both ur palm and pray,one day some rich guy will look at u and say: “Hey,i got money but i don’t have professional like u to run my factory,let’s join venture…” (1/1000 chance),or…u may pray that u married a wife whose dad who runs a factory. OR..u can tell ur supplier this: “i can order from u,but i want 10% commission..” OR..u can tell ur boss that u want to be a sales engineer(1 out of 5 sales engineer end up to be boss).. Well, I used to be an engineer,i got quite a lot commission from my supplier. 10 times of my salary yearly. When i first moved in my semi D,my supplier gave me the latest plasma tv. After that,the company appointed me senior sales engineer,i met clients overseas. Years ago,my company went bankruptcy,one of my biggest client from France supported me financially and i finally took over the company. Now i have 62 engineers…sorry,61..to help my USD 125 million turnover

      • netmask8

        Escalation of Possibility :- Your engrs / family member may follow your action and steps. Easy money is No 1 true evil .. Perhaps, with present good revenue / income , you are happy now. But, is it against your personal characteristics / will ?

        Life will be cyclinal up, down, swing, stagnant..etc..etc .. $$$ is not everything in Life. Personal / Job Satisfaction will be rewarded for everything to you did. Lead normal life and you’ll always Happy. Your good health will leads you to a better living and improve longevity.

      • Charted Motor Engine

        Engineering is the BEST…..yoyo…come join our big Engine family. You will enjoy the happy life…

    • sexy man

      the only way to be rich is ignore engineering course

      • sexy gal

        only IQ below 60 would ignore that course.

    • rakesh

      with 20 years experience in piping designing, construction, hook-up and pre-commissing of offshore oil & gas process platforms. also related to QA/QC activities with procurement of materials, how much salary available in malaysia. i am not malaysian.

    • Chong Kong Hui

      @Jimmy Lee – Not every CE gets RM15k and also not every CA gets RM15k. some got it but most didn’t. That is why Malaysia is still a middle-income country by average (but MOST people are poor – therefore the word average is dangerous guideline and benchmark)

      Interesting article about Malaysian’s future:

      • Netmask8

        #Chong Kong Hui – Quite interesting research from the web link.
        However, every country got it own cost of living standard and many macroeconomies / microeconomies factors will affect these calculations.
        Currency rate Exchange, purchasing spending power, inflation, Population..etc may vary from year-to-year / fluctuates. It’s just a Bank of America Merril Lynch forecast research publication reading.

        Malaysia maintained one of the lowest inflation rate for many years compared to other nations. Indirectly, the purchasing spending power, per capita, cost of goods sold/manufactured ..etc for average population growth did not increase.

        Calculate per capita :- All final goods and services(GDP) produced within a nation in a given year divided by the average population for the same year. If the developed countries got very low population growth(%), the per capita calculation will be outstanding.

        These facts are from World Bank / IMF ..

        With Malaysia’s Vision 2020, 9th M’sia Plan(2006-2010) , 10th/11th/12th/13th ..etc M’sia Plan(2011- 2030) , hope that our per capita will be increased and our nation will achieve fully developed nation.

    • Jimmy Lee

      young engineer,
      How many year you have worked in Engineering Industries?
      have you gotten status of (Ir.) Chartered Engineer?
      You claim that RM15K/mth to be the pay of a Chartered Engineer. Anything to prove that?
      Don’t simply put up alot of bullshit about the pay in engineering field without proven.
      as professional you should write in courteous.
      Anyway, i don’t think every Chartered Engineer can get 15K/mth salary pay.

    • young engineer

      Chong Kong Hui, You’re totally out of topic, didn’t you have your clear mindset in what i suggested to young accountant?
      Rewrite 1 more time: Rm15/mth is working on engineering industries not accounting. If you need translation pls check on your dictionary.

      Thank you.

    • Chong Kong Hui

      @Young Engineer Why don’t you suggest the Young Accountant to study med now and become a doctor who can earn RM50k/m?

      Changing career path is not something simple, both competency and confidence are required.
      By the way, have you reach the RM15k yet? Many accountant after working for 10 to 20 years still way below RM15k. Check jobstreet if don’t believe.

    • young engineer

      Hi young accountant,
      Why don’t you change your career to be an Engineer. I am surely that RM15K per month of salary is not the problem to the Chartered Engineer in any type of Enigneering and any where you like to work with. what do you think?

    • Chong Kong Hui

      @Young Accountant – I am MIA member since 2005. Why don’t you move to KL for better pays and career advancement? RM1,950+ with MIA membership really “cham”.

      You can expect at least RM4k now in KL.

    • young accountant

      hi all…

      i’m an auditor, working in Negeri Sembilan. hold a degree in accountancy from a local university. My starting pay was RM1,200 when i joined the audit firm in year 2007 and i’m so lucky enough to earn RM1,200 at that time. Some of my colleague was even worst, they only managed to get RM800 as their starting salary at other firm.

      Yes, auditor/accountant is the poorer among all other professionals. after 3 years of working, my salary now is RM1,950 + and received my MIA membership as Chartered Accountants. After 3 years of working, only now my job can be called as a ‘career’ .

    • jojo

      good day! just want to ask some information regarding basic salary in malaysia, im working as a service engr here in philippines and plan to work in malaysia. Can you pls give me some advise on basic salary that fits on my job description.


    • peter

      I was a fresh graduate from INTI college,i graduated in year 2002,got into a company and start working at RM1700 income,with car and handphone allowance.
      After 4 years of working,i decided to start doing on my own since the company i’m working with,has too many relatives or “ka ki lang” and i don’t think i can fit in well anymore.
      After another 4 years managing my ‘one man show’ company,the company’s has finally achieved a monthly profit of RM60k. I’m now living in a RM700k semi D at kepong,driving a few japanese sport cars(all the cars worth about RM500k), and my company has about RM1.2million yearly turnover. Although it’s very small,but i have low overhead,coz i’m the salesman,the delivery man,and also the debt collector for my company. So far i’m running the company all aloone,and i’m comfortable with my decision,company stay small,expenses stay low,but sales..i’m working hard to make it better.

    • david

      what is “k” like 25 k….?

      can you please guide me

      • KCLau

        the “k” is like “kilo” you learnt from school.
        “k” = adding 000 to the number.
        25k = 25,000

    • lela

      hw much slary for a lawyer ?

    • Bobby

      Sigh, seeing all the comments about how underpaid engineers are these days makes me worry.

      I just graduated from University of Nottingham with a BEng ( Hons ) Mechanical, Material and Manufacturing Engineering. Currently working as internship in a company that did biotech, biomedical and environmental resource management while waiting for my not-so-promising scholarship for my PhD in Mechanical Engineering. I did get the offer.

      If I could not get the scholarship, I would have no doubt go out looking for jobs. Imagine in earning RM2500.00 in a month, you could barely survive in KL. With proper financial management, you might just survive the day. This is so frustrating.

      • anonymous

        RM 2500 / mth for fresh grad. worker is consider high pay category.

        working as engineer for 10yrs now my pay is RM9,000 basic. total pay include meal allow. /mth and car allow./mth may upto RM10,000. /mth

        if boss want me to suck ass, i have 1 answer ever “OK”
        Can you do that?

    • Electrical Engineer

      I would like to share my experience especially for the young one. I was from a poor Chinese family, graduated in 1993 ( UK) BEng (Hons),sponsored by government, don’t be surpised, many non bumis are able to get government financial aid, just that , government cant afford to give everyone. I worked as an elec/instrument engineer in a petrol chemical plant for 4 years. Starting salary RM2,000. Last drawn salary RM4,800. I had my professional engineer qualification 1997. I joined a new company as a sales engineer. My starting salary was RM4,000 in fact ,lower than my previous job.

      I didn’t mind the lower salary, I felt that, one needed to do sell to earn more. My mum was complaining abt my decision to become a “saleman”, my wife said i was crazy., my sis said ” you don’t need to go to UK to become a saleman, u have a good job now”.

      After 4 years of working, I gathered a lot of good contacts and networking. My last drawn salary was RM8,500 ( my former boss offered me good money cos of my contacts). I decided to quit to form my own company, again complained by my mum and wife.

      I formed a electrical/instrument company in 2001. My networth is now estimated at RM23 million. My company produces RM1 million net profit after tax, even I sleep doing nothing. because it controls some brandnames.

      Because of my nature, I don’t like electrical engineering, I don’t actually active in that company anymore , I passed it to my wife and a partner to monitor the financial matter.

      I go on to find other passive income business. I am successful in plantation and property ventures. they contributed easily another 1 million in passive income.

      Now I have a lot of freetime, I can do whatever I wish. anyway, my living style has never changed compare to 1993. I live in a small house, I drive my old car Isuzu1997. I don’t have the interest to spend on luxurious thing. I love passive income, im very greedy.

      • KCLau

        Wow .. you’ve shared with us a great story of financial success. I would like to invite you to share more in a form of article or interview.

    • Headhunter

      Frankie, I agreed with you on that.

    • frankie tan

      In Malaysia engineering industry are really able to earn high income. A friend of my with engineering background, earning 75,000RM/month. he is damn lucky got a good offer in oil and gas industry, working as manager position. Another 1 of my friend with engineering background too working in medical industry with 50,000RM/month.

      what the big difference compare to my pay. i really need to try to search other job better offer like my friends.

      • chris

        75 grand a month is equivalent to 900,000 a year… let’s think of the rationale. If you are a highly paid professional, would you go out and blow your horn to let the whole world know how much you make? That just proved their immaturity, and you are buying that nonsense.

        • netmask8

          Greetings & G’Day,

          Just curious, do we actually like to disclose our monthly total salary payout amout to friends or among co-colleagues??? Usually we only disclose it to our spouse or parents.

          Some proud or arrogant friend/colleagues will joke / pulling your leg, by telling you that i’m earning this much but in reality/facts,we did not see his/her monthly salary slip / EPF statement before .. Perhaps, by adding yearly stocks options entitlement, director fees, benefits allowance ..etc will round out to the figure ?

          Have a great day. Enjoy Learning. Thank you.

        • warlock

          I know my people get more than that cos’ they work for me. Hard to believe isn’t it? Well, may be this helps. In mid 80s an expat commissioning engineer in oil and gas was paid around RM30k/month while local malaysians got about 1/3 of that, these are contract staff position. An equivalent or senior position for permanent staff would get slightly over 1/4. That’s the secret, when you are hired for your expertise and for short term contract, you get more. The irony of it is that, those who are hired as contract staff could stay in the same oil and gas company even longer than the permanent staff! Many permanent staff such as myself left such company, regretting the lower salary doing the same job…well that’s lesson no. 1.

          Now in 2010…30 years later, would RM100k/month not reasonable to you when in mid 80s an engineer could get RM30k/month? Of course those in the same sector may think these kind of high salary as unbelievable, and those who mentioned them considered as arrogant or boastful, well me saying here has no intention of acting that way but merely discussing since this thread is about salaries isn’t it? Believe or not only those who know the truth would agree. In case you have doubt that there are many engineers or manger who get a gross of RM1.0 millionor more per year, visit oil anf gas advertisement and see fo yourself the range of offered salaries!

          Why is that salary in oil and gas so high…i.e. a principal or lead engineer salary in oil and gas is higher than a medical specialist? Simple. O&G engineer deal with producing oil, a rare and depleting commodity which price had exceeded USD100/barrel last year and currently hovering between USD70-80/barrel. When a platform produce ‘000 of barrel per day, imagine per month, imagine per year, imagine a lifespan of 25 years, multiply by price per barrel…what do you get? Meanhwile the medical specialists are paid by patients who would try to minimise the cost (who wouldn’t) if possible, but have little choice as life is precious and no oil barrel could replace….but medical specialists money come from patients and oil and gas money comes from oil…2 different drives! Guess you get the drip thus far.

    • frankie tan

      i got 9 years of working experienced and i just got an offer in KL, working as Sr. Service Engineer, the offer of has 20,000RM / month with company’s car and house provided by the company. It is offer are competent in KL city?

      • KCLau

        In my opinion, that’s a good pay.

      • Chong Kong Hui

        You are at the top 5% in term of earning in Malaysia! I believe most professional (perhaps except specialist doctor) earn much less that after 9 years of working life.

    • rock

      is lawyer better than pharmacy?which 1 makes the most money?

      • Chong Kong Hui

        Whoever generate revenue makes more money than whoever dong supporting.

        Lawyer in own business can generate more than Pharmacist working for others, vice versa.

        Do you agree?

    • Wong

      How about a basic salary of a lawyer for who has just passed the CLP

    • seena


      I have been just offered a job in Malaysia, Penang. I am a software engineer with 5 yrs of experience. I would like to know the salary 6000RM offered to me. I would like to know whether this is competent enough in the malaysian market.

    • Chen fu lim

      I’m 6 yrs. experienced Sr. Analog IC Design Engineer have received an offer of RM10,000 per month by a company at Penang(Malaysia). I would like to know if this is competent enough in Malaysia market.

      • KCLau

        I am not sure about the “fair compensation”. But RM10k/month for a person with 6 years working experience is certainly above average in the engineering industry.

    • rid

      those who work fr oil n gas company being paid higher salary. Fresh grads, e.g.: petronas-3.5k; mmhe-3k; shell/exxonmobil-3.8k. speacialist in this field being paid more than 15k/mth. not to mention welding engineer is paid 30k-40k++/mth!

    • chxi

      thx for your info, KCLAU…but i found the truth say at press by Institution of Engineers Malaysia president Datuk Keizrul Abdullah.

      FOR ALL ENGINEERS OF MALAYSIA to see this :)
      pls check this out type on How undervalued are our engineers? says Keizrul on google search.


    • chxi

      i graduated in yr of 2000 awarded 3+0 BSc degree. after tat, working in engineering industry for 8 years, but salary less than (rm) 3K still. what ppls say? can any 1 tell me what happen in Malaysia eng. ind., i almost give up my eng. career, i can’t even support my parent’s medication fees now…

      WHAT about FUTURE OF MY!!!

      • KCLau

        I have seen engineers who works 8 years in multinational companies getting five figure income.

    • JC

      wats de meaning of S/N or C in de region means?

      • lutfee

        JC, i think “S/N” means “Southern/Northern” region & “C” = Central region (of Peninsula Malaysia). So S/N = around Johor & Penang; C = Klang Valley.

        • KCLau

          Thanks for the clarification

    • Rozie

      How about Procurement Salary? Doesnt listed in Kelly Salry Guide

      • adiputra.selamat

        From my observation, the salary guide generated by Kelly Service was not really alligned with the earning of the procurement post for other industry ie: oil and gas. From my experience, a fresh graduate with a degree in Business can earn about RM3000 for an exec position and working with oil and gas operators. After about 3-years of experience, this figure can go up to RM6500 which is far higher than a procurement manager in other industry ie: manufacturing/F&B etc.

    • needovergreed

      the exact profession that malaysian need the most nowadays would be Doctors , especialy specialists and general surgeons so it is not suprising that doctors are making the most money among all other professions in malaysia.
      sadly we have malaysian doctors who serve in other countries like australia and singapore , neurologists , liver specialist as an example.
      well if we have adequate numbers of specialists in malaysia we wouldnt have to go overbroad again for medications in times of need wouldnt we ? ( heaven forbid)

    • CharcoalArt

      I agreed with Paul. It is not unusual to come across engineers in O&G who earn “heaps” per month, even in M’sia :). Anyway, I thought I saw a Lead Engineer (3-5yr) max salary is 15k, the highest figure in the report.

    • paul

      being an engineer before and now a corporate financier, i think it depends on what engineering branch u major from. Take oil and gas for example, especially chem eng. its very competitive. my friends are earning heaps in dubai with 2 years exp. if u did electronics eng and end up in manufacturing firms, it fits in the above schedule. Any entreprenuership is definitely better and u must have “an idea” so says Napolean Hill!

    • KCLau

      I think doctor who operate their clinic will have more flexibility.
      Those doctors in the hospital are basically 24 hour on call. If you
      have critical patients during weekend, there is no off day. Doctor is
      the most hardworking profession, at least that's what required from

      Lawyers nowaday require marketing skills too.


    • desiree

      yes, agree. doctors make the most money but if they open their own clinic the time is long too.
      How about lawyer?

      • Francis

        Most of the employees make the following mistakes.
        1) First before you ask for the min. salary have you ever evaluate yourself whether are you an assest to the company or cost to the company. Top management always value and keep talented and highly productive staff. Normally, candidate with salary below market rate are those who can not perform in their job or a fresh trainee.

        2) Try to put youself in an employer mind set, in Business we deal with number game. for example, If a candidate contribute 2k profit monthly, his can not expect his salary more than 2 k a month.

        3) Create value in your job environment, build your bargaining power is one of the effective ways to demand high salary. In today job market, Posses the neccessary skills and qualification is not enough to ensure you can gain a highly salary. You need to create value to your organization, be an assest to your company and be a highly productive staff.

        • KCLau

          Francis, thanks for your elaboration of the correct employee’s mindset.
          The simple rule of thumb as a high-performance employee is to do your boss’ jobs so that he can retire early.

    • KCLau

      If you compare engineer to accountant, I think accountant's salary is
      even worse. Of course, doctors is making the most money among

      Some turn to marketing.


    • chooipeng

      I'm an enginner also. I completed 4 years course in local university 3 years ago. My salary still ok (but it is not enough for high inflation). I agree that enginner pay is lower compare with other profassional. Wondering why.

    • KCLau

      engineer very low pay oneif study other subject that only takes 3 years,
      even lower pay :)
      you see .. study doctor takes 5 years at least, so the highest pay among

    • Richard

      hey how come engineer so low pay?


    • James Te

      Regardless you are underpaid or overpaid, without proper financial planning you would properly turn back to pay by yourself. If you're looking for overload paid… think about self employee, make your own businesses, or do extra job like be an agent of any business kind. Evolute your imagination to reality departure. You can be difference.

    • Relax

      Hmmm not bad. I always thought the min salary for engineer is 2000 RM
      Now I am most positive! It says the min salary is 2500 RM

    • mtsen.com

      jobless and no pay, so which category is that ? i am NOT PAID, I guess Under Paid is Better right ? :)

    • Pinky

      Definitely underpaid. I'm working in a public listed company in KL. Big corporation, work load increases every year but increment 1-2%. Sigh…

      • alan shuhime

        Dear Pinky, try MLM networking business laa… YES! it’s temporary hard in the early months BUT….if U can survive years of working at ur current job now, I dare can be successful at MLM networking. Give it a thought sis! after all U r not happy at ur current job right? surf the net..lots of MLM networking business U can join in. GOOd lak!!

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