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  #21  
Old 29.01.2012, 04:58
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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SG is not only for management positions. There's good demand for top notch trading systems developers, the algo and high frequency trading are picking up a lot there and HK is loosing is momentum to the better organised SG.
That's my first impression with the first contacts I'm having with the singaporean financial sector.
So what does "demand" mean exactly? There were lots of job opening that fit my former job experience perfectly, but the non-management salaries are not very attractive.

I love living in Singapore, but I can tell you that it is only fun if you make the cash to do the fun stuff... and I can tell you that I have looked for a job here myself just a few months ago: Just cause there is demand does not mean they are going to pay you what you are used to in Switzerland. Baseldvd is completely right: an average job which can get you 120k in Zurich will not get you 100k Sing here, typically between 75k and 90k. I would not move here for a job that pays 75k. I have a team of experienced software developer, all with a lot of experience and expert know how in their field. None of them makes 75k. You will compete against the top 1% of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Philipino IT folks who all want to come here. And before you trash them can I tell you that the top guys there are just as good as the top guys in Europe. My current team is surely better than the guys I used to work with in Zurich and cost a fraction...

That said are banking jobs here even more disconnected from the real world as in Zurich and I know people who earn bizarre salaries. A headhunter actually explained me how this happened: In 2008 did all the major banks downsize... except of one who has a strong focus on Asia and therefore did not lose much money. Standard Chartered. They had the cash and started to throw money into the job market to get the best talents at the time everyone was looking for a safe job. The other banks had to react and now are banking jobs completely overpaid compared to any other business.
My personally opinion is that a bubble like this will correct itself sooner or later, but if you can get a great salary here - no doubt, take it!
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  #22  
Old 29.01.2012, 20:27
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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So what does "demand" mean exactly? There were lots of job opening that fit my former job experience perfectly, but the non-management salaries are not very attractive.

I love living in Singapore, but I can tell you that it is only fun if you make the cash to do the fun stuff... and I can tell you that I have looked for a job here myself just a few months ago: Just cause there is demand does not mean they are going to pay you what you are used to in Switzerland. Baseldvd is completely right: an average job which can get you 120k in Zurich will not get you 100k Sing here, typically between 75k and 90k. I would not move here for a job that pays 75k. I have a team of experienced software developer, all with a lot of experience and expert know how in their field. None of them makes 75k. You will compete against the top 1% of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Philipino IT folks who all want to come here. And before you trash them can I tell you that the top guys there are just as good as the top guys in Europe. My current team is surely better than the guys I used to work with in Zurich and cost a fraction...

That said are banking jobs here even more disconnected from the real world as in Zurich and I know people who earn bizarre salaries. A headhunter actually explained me how this happened: In 2008 did all the major banks downsize... except of one who has a strong focus on Asia and therefore did not lose much money. Standard Chartered. They had the cash and started to throw money into the job market to get the best talents at the time everyone was looking for a safe job. The other banks had to react and now are banking jobs completely overpaid compared to any other business.
My personally opinion is that a bubble like this will correct itself sooner or later, but if you can get a great salary here - no doubt, take it!
Such a "bubble" may correct itself, but rather later. In Zürich, it took half a century and still is not complete .... it started in the late 1950ies and still is going on
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  #23  
Old 30.01.2012, 16:20
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

Always been curious about Singapore after a business trip there last year. Are the working ours (not in banking but medical devices/pharma) much more demanding than here? What about holidays?

Father with small kids who loves coming home at 6 most days.
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  #24  
Old 20.01.2016, 20:26
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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I have a friend who works in SG.

If you earn 120 K in CH, most probably you can get between 75 to 90K in Singapore.


Good Luck with your move to SG.
Thought to revive this thread. Any changes for 2016 when comparing Swiss and Singapore salary? The housing there seems outrageously expensive for me....
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  #25  
Old 20.01.2016, 20:47
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

Well , the main problem will be to get a working visa for singapore
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  #26  
Old 20.01.2016, 20:59
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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Well , the main problem will be to get a working visa for singapore
Well...similar problem for Zürich....of course not if you are already working here.

Is it really so serious? I read it is more for low-paid job anyway?
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  #27  
Old 20.01.2016, 21:02
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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Well , the main problem will be to get a working visa for singapore
Nope. Getting an employment pass is dead simple if you got a job offer that pays decent money.
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  #28  
Old 20.01.2016, 22:05
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

Minimum wage :

Fixed monthly salary of at least $3,300 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries).

http://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-per...pass/key-facts
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  #29  
Old 20.01.2016, 22:28
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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Minimum wage :

Fixed monthly salary of at least $3,300 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries).

http://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-per...pass/key-facts
Thats the minimum. I raised the salary of one of my employees to 4000 when the rules got marginally tighter two years ago and the renewal was no issue. Lower qualified people get a "work pass" instead and those have gotten hard to get - so there is an ongoing shortage of waiters, cooks, massage therapists, shop clerks and the like.
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  #30  
Old 20.01.2016, 23:43
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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Thats the minimum. I raised the salary of one of my employees to 4000 when the rules got marginally tighter two years ago and the renewal was no issue. Lower qualified people get a "work pass" instead and those have gotten hard to get - so there is an ongoing shortage of waiters, cooks, massage therapists, shop clerks and the like.
Treverus, I saw you lived there before but now you are back to CH? Does the better salary here play a role?

In your opinion, if 120k is considered as a good salary in CH (so I learned here), what would you think the equivalent is in Singapore? You mentioned 75k or so but it is what one would get, not really the "good" salary?
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  #31  
Old 21.01.2016, 00:12
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

Singapore has a different life style than Switzerland and how much money you need really depends on your situation:
- apartments are more expensive and your number one cost driver. That's the same for all really large cities and wouldn't be different in Moscow or New York, but anyway: If you have five kids will this be a real problem for you. If you are DINKs and can get over living in 80sqm instead of the 110 you have in your suburb of Zurich... will you be fine.
- Cars are ridiculous expensive. And I mean ridiculous. About 400% of what you pay in CH. Public transport on the other hand is excellent, taxis are available and cost next to nothing. You can cross the entire country for 20 CHF... so: don't get a car.
- Food is cheap. Really cheap for people used to Swiss prices.
- all the expats will complain about the high prices for alcohol. They are about the same as in CH, so no big deal, but if you know how cheap a beer is in other parts of South East Asia is it a lot...
- "expaty" things are expensive, like an upmarket gym membership, while "local" things are dead cheap, like a local sports club.

Long story short: It depends on how you live your life there and how much you are willing to adapt. If you are very willing to do so will you have a great life starting from 80k. You want to live the expat life style? 120k minimum.

I took a cut from my Swiss salary moving there, but honestly managed to save more than I ever did in CH... while living in upmarket Condos and not exactly slumming it.

I moved back for several reasons, my salary being none of them. (One being that my parents are getting really old and had some serious health issues).
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  #32  
Old 27.01.2016, 11:13
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

Hello from a Singaporean who just moved to Zurich more or less 6 months ago.

I agree that if you make 120k CHF here, it'll be unrealistic to assume you'll get its equivalent or even 120k SGD in Singapore. I would say a more realistic figure would be 85k SGD thereabouts and that would put you easily in the top quartile of earners in Singapore already.

I have a lot of expat friends making 80 - 100k SGD being able to afford living in private apartments with pool/gym facilities, take weekend vacations in the region, drink at all the expat-friendly pubs, dine in all the nice hip restaurants, ride a cab everywhere and still save money.

What's cheap:
- Food from a local eatery (we call them kopitiams or food courts)
- Groceries and daily necessities from the local supermarket chain (NTUC or coldstorage, think COOP and Migros but much much much cheaper)
- Public transport including cabs
- Public facilities like local gyms, pools etc
- Shopping, loads of South East Asia and local stores with clothes and shoes a fraction of what it'll cost you here
- Regional travelling (Plane ticket SG to Bangkok can be chf100 return!)
- Public schools, great quality and getting popular with expats
- Medical care, even the public system is top notch but of course private always wins if you can afford that

What's stupid expensive:
- CARS. worst investment ever in SG. and you have to buy a Certificate of Entitlement which costs as much as the car itself to own it.
- Housing. We're small, there is no way around this.
- Cable TV and internet. Or maybe that's just me. It's about Swiss prices. P.S: You can't get netflix in SG!
- Alcohol. A bottle of basic Moet in a club is CHF150 or more.

Singapore is a talent hub with talented individuals all over the world attracted to it by a couple of things:

1) We're largely an English speaking country, English is our language of business
2) Taxes are low. Really really really low.
3) Safe, clean, efficient, family friendly
4) Hub for travelling South East Asia and even APAC

So expect competition for top-salaried jobs but if you want to experience Asia, Singapore is like an introductory module to all it offers. Just like how I'm taking the Swiss experience to explore Europe now!

Good luck and I'm happy to answer any other questions. Like where to live, where to send your kids, what to do etc.
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  #33  
Old 27.01.2016, 11:27
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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What's cheap:
- Groceries and daily necessities from the local supermarket chain (NTUC or coldstorage, think COOP and Migros but much much much cheaper)
Well, let's just say that depends heavily on what you buy: It's cheap for you, because you most likely buy mostly local products. If somebody like me buys western food, say cheese or ham, is it suddenly much much much more than Migros... I remember a small pack of Parma ham in cold storage is something like 17 SGD.

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- Cable TV and internet. Or maybe that's just me. It's about Swiss prices. P.S: You can't get netflix in SG!
Matter of perspective and you need to compare apples with apples: I was able to get high quality fiber to the home... something you simply cannot get in most parts of Switzerland (yet). The expensive bit on cable TV were sport events - absolutely silly prices if you want to see the world cup in your home. But again: Why would I if there are so many good bars around?
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  #34  
Old 28.01.2016, 10:18
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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What's stupid expensive:
- Cable TV and internet. Or maybe that's just me. It's about Swiss prices. P.S: You can't get netflix in SG!
It's probably just you. With a two-year contract, a 1 Gbps fibre internet connection costs 39 SGD or 28 CHF per month. That includes a free voice over IP line and a mobile data connection. You're also forgetting the loyalty bonuses that you get for every year you stay with the provider.

P.S: Yes you can. Netflix already signed partnerships with Singtel and Starhub.
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Old 28.01.2016, 10:48
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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Well, let's just say that depends heavily on what you buy: It's cheap for you, because you most likely buy mostly local products. If somebody like me buys western food, say cheese or ham, is it suddenly much much much more than Migros... I remember a small pack of Parma ham in cold storage is something like 17 SGD.
Cold Storage is a high-end supermarket chain. Can't deny they carry some nice stuff that's unavailable elsewhere, but all of it (and naturally everything else in the store, no matter how mundane) comes at a premium.

I'm observing an interesting trend though. The exorbitant prices are gradually eroded by the strength of the SGD and the growing appetite of the locals for western foodstuff. It can only get better.
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  #36  
Old 28.01.2016, 10:58
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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Cold Storage is a high-end supermarket chain.
I mostly shopped at Giant, a discount supermarket (mainly because I lived at Harbour Front). The western articles like cheese or imported ham were about the same price throughout all shops. Differences were between basic supplies which were cheap at Giant and expensive at Cold Storage. But that's all besides the point: The thing is that I don't agree to "supermarkets in Singapore are much cheaper than in Switzerland". Because they are not that different if you buy stuff the average European buys. I did however enjoy to be able to buy Wagyu beef which did not cost an arm and a leg...
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Old 28.01.2016, 11:07
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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SG is not only for management positions. There's good demand for top notch trading systems developers, the algo and high frequency trading are picking up a lot there and HK is loosing is momentum to the better organised SG.
That's my first impression with the first contacts I'm having with the singaporean financial sector.

Remember, SG lacks good IT skillsets simply because of its non-managerial and managerial pay disparity. good people wants to stay technical tends to leave SG for HongKong, US and UK. you end up with a bunch of B***s**ters climbing up the managerial ladders, and many career starters that are B***s**ter wannabes....


Move to HongKong instead, its much better for IT technical development...
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  #38  
Old 28.01.2016, 14:51
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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What's stupid expensive:
- CARS. worst investment ever in SG. and you have to buy a Certificate of Entitlement which costs as much as the car itself to own it.
What's the rational for this?

... and perhaps the reason why they are so bad drivers?! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ted_death_rate
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  #39  
Old 28.01.2016, 15:40
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Re: Singapore vs. Zürich - Wages and Others

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What's the rational for this?
Really simple: Singapore is a small island with a very high population density. So a government has a choice: Either limit the total amount of vehicles driving around or be stuck in a permanent traffic jam like the other big cities in South East Asia. (If you have never been to Jakarta or Manila do you have no idea how bad a traffic jam can be...).

Singapore decided to drastically limit the amount of vehicles. And the approach is dead simple: The number is for a car, not a person. Your number plate is valid for ten years only. Then you need a new one... so every month hits a fluctuating amount of certificates the market (depending how many cars hit the 10 year limit or are exported before they expire). This amount is then auctioned off to the highest bidder. Given that it's usually a couple of thousand numbers that are sold, do car dealers estimate pretty exactly how much you will have to bid if you want to make sure you get one... and that number is at the moment 35.000 CHF for the number plate alone. A car has on top of that very high import duties and taxes on them, so all in does a new Mazda 3 with a number plate for ten years cost around 60-70k CHF.

On top of that do you need to pay your normal vehicle taxes... so all in does it make absolutely zero sense to own a car in Singapore. On the upside does this mean that luxury cars are indeed status symbols - NOT every banker can afford a Ferrari... so you do see them a lot more than in Zurich as the rich love to show them off. And I for one think this is great: Rich people pay massive taxes for their toys and do so willingly as this makes them more of a status symbol... and in exchange do the poorer (or more sensible) people benefit from super low income tax rates.
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