How much is the average salary in Japan?

Japan Average Salary

I know many of us Filipinos are aspiring to go to Japan to work because the salary is way higher compared to the Philippines. But do you have an idea how much an average Japanese makes? Let’s hear it from Paolo from Tokyo as he discusses in one of his vlogs how much an average Japanese makes in a year.

Japanese are known to be very hardworking and we may think that they don’t have time to enjoy and they are just working round the clock but compared to the US and China, Japan ranks only 3rd in annual work hours which is at 1,738 hours. China tops the rank at 2,174 hours and followed by the US at 2nd place with 1,757 hours. 


Not to mention that Japan also has 16 public holidays per year which is a lot compared to other countries. So, the Japanese definitely have some time to enjoy rather than working 365 days as what is normally exaggerated about the Japanese working culture.


Going back to the average annual salary in Japan here are the data as per Paolo’s research:


Teachers – $60,000 (2,866,440 per year or 238,870 per month)

Grocery store cashiers – $23,092 ( 1,103,197 per year or  91,933 per month)

Retail Sales – 30,176  ( 1,441,628 per year or  120,135 per month)

Basic Office Worker – 31,280 (  1,494,370 per year or  124,530 per month)

Ramen Store Clerks – 32,200 ( 1,538,322 per year or  128,193 per month)

Ramen Shop Manager – 49,000 ( 2,340,926 per year or  195,077 per month)

Construction Workers – 34,592 ( 1,652,598 per year or  137,716 per month)

Programmer – 38,272 ( 1,828,406 per year or  152,367 per month)

Mechanics – 39,284 ( 1,876,753 per year or  156,396 per month)

Nurses – 43,976 ( 2,100,909 per year or  175,075 per month)

System Engineers – 51,060 ( 2,439,340 per year or  203,278 per month)

High School Teachers – 60,904 ( 2,909,627 per year or  242,468 per month)

Shinkansen Drivers – 69,736 ( 3,331,567 per year or  277,630 per month)

Lawyers – 94,668 ( 4,522,669 per year or  376,889 per month)

Doctors – 113,436 ( 5,419,291 per year or  451,607 per month)

Prefecture Governors – 204,424 ( 9,766,152 per year or  813,846 per month)

ESL Teacher – 29,808  ( 1,424,047 per year or  118,670 per month)


The average annual salary in Japan is $38,640. However, sadly there is a gender discrepancy in Japan. The average salary for men is about fifty thousand dollars where women get paid on average at $26,965 only. That is a huge discrepancy! That’s at a rate of 86% average pay difference. 


So, after talking about the average salary of Japanese. Paolo talks about the cost of living in Japan. The average living cost difference of Japan from the US is only 4%. This means that it is 4% cheaper than living in the US. 


Also, one important thing to note, compared to the rest of Japan, you are paid higher in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. As mentioned above, the average annual salary in Japan is $38,640 but in Tokyo it is 57,592 – that is more than 50% higher! 


So, here you go. You now know how much an average Japanese earns in a year in each respective industry. How is this average salary better than in your own country? Do you already want to move to Japan and explore more job opportunities? If yes, then stay tuned for more updates!


Credits: Paolo of Tokyo


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