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3 Things You Need To Know About The Salary Of Software Engineer In Japan
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3 Things You Need To Know About The Salary Of Software Engineer In Japan

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Working In Japan Software Engineer Salary

Are you considering a career as a software engineer in Japan? Curious about the salary prospects and what your potential earnings could be? Many people have preconceived notions about salaries in the tech industry, but the truth may surprise you. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the real salary of software engineers in Japan and explore some common misconceptions you might have heard. Get ready to uncover the facts and discover what earning potential awaits!

Introduction to Japan IT Industry #

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low salary for software engineers in Japan
As the world’s third largest economy, Japan is a key player in the global market. The nation’s industry sector is vast and varied, with a strong focus on technology and innovation.

The software engineering industry is one of the most popular industries in Japan. This is due to the high demand for technological products and services in the country.

There are many multinational companies that have operations in Japan, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple. These companies are able to offer competitive salaries to software engineers.

But it’s highly competitive and only a handful of skilled software developers can get the job like those big tech companies. Most of the junior software developers without any CS background start from the bottom.

Average Software Engineer Salary in Japan #

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low salary for software engineers in Japan
The average software engineer salary in Japan is much lower than what you would expect. In fact, it is around $24,000 a year, which means you will receive 200,000 JPY monthly.

And this is just a face value, so this is not the money you can actually use. Unfortunately, your income will be deducted by these tax or services in Japan.

  • Income Tax
  • Residencial Tax
  • Welfare pension
  • and more...

In my case, I have got 180,000 JPY monthly when I was working in Japan without any bonuses. And my actual income I can use was only around 140,000 JPY.

This douhgnut chart describes my salary details including the deducting money.

With this small amount of salary, it’s not easy to live in Tokyo. So I was commuting from outside of Tokyo when I was working in Japan.

Reasons for Low Engineering Salaries #

There are many reasons for the low salaries of software engineers in Japan. Let me list up the reasons why most of the software developers cannot earn higher.

  • Skill Level
  • Seniority
  • IT Industry Structure

Let’s deep dive into the details one by one.

1. Skill Levels #

When you are looking for a job in Japan, you will see many beginner-welcome job opportunities for software engineers. This is because the amount of experienced developers are really small in Japanese IT market.

Nowadays, it’s really difficult to find the skilled software developer in Japan. So lot’s of companies(mostly Startups) have been trying to raise the beginner to pro. This trend might have lowered the skill level of the IT industry in Japan.

In order to increase your salary, you need to master the coding ability in high-demand (e.g. AI, Data Scientist) on the market. But it’s not easy for the beginners to master.

That’s why most of the software developers in Japan cannot get the higher salary.

2. Seniority #

In Japan, the comparatively low income for software developers is heavily influenced by the deeply ingrained concept of “seniority” within the Japanese corporate culture. This hierarchical system places a strong emphasis on the length of employment, staff age, and experience – rather than merit or skill. As a result, professional growth and salary increases are often linked to the time spent at a company, rather than the individual’s ability to adapt and excel in their role.

For software developers, who are typically in a field that demands continuous innovation and maintenance of cutting-edge technical knowledge, this seniority-based system can be limiting. Consequently, talented developers may find their salaries stagnating below what they could potentially earn in other countries where their expertise and contributions are more highly valued.

The staunch adherence to the seniority principle in Japanese work culture ultimately contributes to keeping software developers’ income lower than it may otherwise be in a more merit-driven environment.

3.IT Industry Structure In Japan #

Next, I need to mention about the IT industry hierarchical project structure in Japan. Most of the project will be coming from the big companies to small companies.

On the projects in Japan, it’s quite common that companies will delegate tasks to another company as a project. It’s called subcontracting structure.

It’s like a pyramid from top to the bottom.

--- title: Subcontract on IT Industry In Japan --- stateDiagram-v2 Client --> CompanyA: Budget(50,000 USD) CompanyA --> CompanyB: Budget(30,000 USD) CompanyB --> CompanyC: Budget(20,000 USD) CompanyC --> CompanyD: Budget(10,000 USD) CompanyD --> CompanyE: Budget(5000 USD)

On each company, they will try to keep their own commission fee. That means that if you are at a lower tier of the subcontracting structure, you will receive less benefit. Consequently, the Japanese IT industry’s structure inadvertently contributes to the suppression of software developer income, resulting in an ever-widening gap between their earning potentials in Japan and other developed countries.

Strategies for Earning More Money as a Software Engineer in Japan #

So far, I was focusing on the problems in the IT industries in Japan. However,there are a number of strategies that software engineers can use to earn more money in Japan.

  • Change WorkPlace After Having Enough Experiences
  • Become A Freelance
  • Change Industries To IT Consultant

Firstly, it is important to be aware of the different types of jobs available and their respective salaries. Secondly, many software engineers choose to freelance or work for themselves, which can often lead to higher earnings. It is also worth considering working in a higher-paying industry such as finance or consulting.

Conclusion #

To summarize, the salary of software engineers in Japan varies depending on a variety of factors including their experience and education. It’s maybe not so difficult to find a tech job in Japan. But it’s quite difficult to find the job with higher paid & good work-life balance. So, it’s important to consider about how to earn as a software engineer before starting working in Japan.

About me #

For someone who doesn’t know me, here is the summary about me:)

  • I started my IT career without any CS background
  • I have a couple of years of working experiences as software developer (mainly mobile & web) in Japan
  • I got tired of the life in Japan and moved to Vietnam, Da Nang
  • I love to create the mobile apps, Youtube videos and share the life in Vietnam
  • I hope I can create the space to connect devs all over the world:)

For more details, I am waiting for you on my Youtube channels:)