As one of the most expensive cities in the world, Singapore is sometimes underestimated by those moving to the island for work. For expats looking to make the move, it’s worth knowing the average expat salary in Singapore and how far your money will get you, as well as some additional costs that you may not have expected.

What is the average salary in Singapore for expats?

According to a study by HSBC Expat Explorer, the average expat salary in Singapore was S$221,522 in 2018. When converted into US dollars or pounds, the figure appears a significantly higher amount than workers earn in the US and the UK, however it is important to know that the cost of living in Singapore is higher than in most areas of both countries.

The average salary also depends on the industry you’re in, the company you work for and whether you were relocated for work by an international company or are employed by a local Singaporean organisation. Popular industries for expat jobs in Singapore include finance, IT and tourism, while tech companies and start-ups are growing by the day.

Cost of living in Singapore vs US and UK

In this year’s Mercer Cost of Living survey, Singapore ranked as the third most expensive city to live in. The survey was based on a number of factors including accommodation, transport, clothing, household goods and food. Indeed, it is for these reasons that British and American expats in Singapore may find their cost of living significantly higher than back home. This will need to be considered when accepting a job with a higher salary in Singapore.

The cost of buying a property, as well as rent, tends to be higher in Singapore than most areas of the US or UK, while many expats in Singapore spend more on their children’s education and care than they did back home.

Banks in Singapore for expats

If you decide to make the move overseas and begin working as an expat in Singapore, you’ll need to find and open the right bank account for you and your needs. Popular banks amongst expats include DBS and UOB, both of which offer competitive interest rates, a multi-currency wallet and ATM coverage around the city.

Alternatively, international banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank provide Singaporean accounts for existing customers with accounts in other countries, boasting a smooth transition for expats moving to the city.

Currency exchange for expats

Moving to Singapore for work can be financially beneficial for many, with a higher salary a huge attraction of emigrating for work. However, you might not be enjoying your salary to its full potential when you transfer money back west with your high-street bank, who can offer a poor exchange rate and costly transaction fees on overseas payments.

Working with a specialist foreign exchange provider, on the other hand, enables you to get more from your money when you transfer your earnings back to USD or GBP. As currency exchange experts, moneycorp offer competitive rates, low transfer fees and specialist guidance to ensure your money goes further when you make international payments to and from Singapore.


Forex for ExpatsWith a team of currency specialists and range of foreign exchange tools at your disposal, you can get the most out of your money when you transfer funds home from Asia with moneycorp. Open a moneycorp account today for great rates, 24/7 online access and expert guidance for your foreign exchange.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email