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Average Salary in Japan

Bryan Robinson

Japan is an attractive destination for people looking to make a move and increase their salary. With its bustling cities, stunning scenery, rich culture and friendly people it’s no wonder why so many are drawn here. But what do you need to know before making the leap? What is the average salary in Japan? 

If you’re considering working in Japan there are certain things that will affect your salary such as location, industry, qualifications and experience. The cost of living varies greatly between rural areas and big cities like Tokyo or Osaka which also impacts income levels significantly. In this article we’ll dive into some hard facts on what the average wage looks like across various industries and locations in Japan.

Finally, let’s not forget the potential impact of cultural norms when discussing salaries in any country – including Japan. To get a good understanding of Japanese wages we’ll look at both official figures from reliable sources as well as experiences shared by locals who have been through it themselves. So if you’re thinking about taking the plunge – stay tuned!

Stats And Trends For Average Salary In Japan

The current state of Japanese salary and wage trends is something that we must all be aware of. With the ever-changing economic landscape, it’s important to understand where salaries are headed in Japan so that we can make informed decisions about our own financial futures.

When looking at the overall picture of salary averages in Japan, there has been a modest increase over time with the median annual salary rising from 4 million yen in 2018 to around 4.42 million yen by 2020. This trend suggests that people who work full time jobs generally have seen an improvement in their earning potential recently. 

However, when comparing salaries among different industries within Japan, significant differences become apparent. Healthcare and education workers earn more than manufacturing or retail workers. But there’s still a gender gap; women earn 20% less than men for similar positions in all industries. The gap has narrowed slightly since 2015, but there’s still a long way to go for true workplace equity.

Finally, although many employees receive yearly bonuses based upon performance criteria such as sales targets or customer satisfaction scores, these amounts vary greatly depending on company size and sector type. The largest bonus payments typically go out to executives while smaller sums may be allocated to rank-and-file staff members throughout the year – often just prior to holiday periods like Golden Week or New Year’s Day celebrations. 

It is clear that understanding these nuances regarding pay structure can help individuals plan accordingly for short-term goals or long-term strategies related to their personal finances.

The True Cost Of A Japanese Employee: Median, Average And Average Salary By Region

Have you ever wondered what the true cost of a Japanese employee is? From median salary to average wage, there are numerous factors that determine the overall value of an individual in Japan. In this section, we’ll explore the stats and trends for average salary in Japan by region and discover the real cost of hiring a Japanese employee.

Japan salaries: location and industry matter. Let’s dive in.

Table 1: Median Annual Income Across Japan by Prefecture (2019)


Median Annual Income (yen)

Median Annual Income (USD)


4.67 million



3.99 million



3.81 million



3.72 million



3.92 million


According to official statistics from 2019, the median annual income across Japan was approximately 4 million yen or around $37,700 USD. Table 1 shows median income varies by prefecture. Tokyo’s median is 4.67 million yen or $44,000 USD, but in Hokkaido, it’s only 3.81 million yen or $35,800 USD.

Table 2: Average Salaries in Major Japanese Cities (2019)


Average Annual Salary (yen)

Average Annual Salary (USD)


7.02 million



5.09 million



4.82 million



4.63 million



4.36 million


Table 2 shows the average salaries in major Japanese cities. The highest salary? Tokyo: 7.02 million yen or $65,900 USD/year. The lowest? Sapporo: 4.36 million yen or $41,100 USD/year.

Table 3: Average Salaries by Industry in Japan (2019)


Average Annual Salary (yen)

Average Annual Salary (USD)

Finance and Insurance

8.81 million


IT and Communications

6.82 million



5.81 million


Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

5.46 million


Transportation and Warehousing

4.94 million


Retail and Wholesale Trade

3.78 million


Table 3 breaks down average salaries by industry. Finance and insurance industry: highest salary at 8.81 million yen or $82,900 USD. Retail and wholesale trade industry: lowest at 3.78 million yen or $35,600 USD.

To negotiate your salary or job hunt in Japan, research is key. Tables like these can help you understand average salaries by location and industry.

Salary Comparison By Education Level, Experience Level And Minimum Wage

When looking at salary comparison in Japan, education and experience level play a major role. The minimum wage also affects the amount of money one earns, no matter what their job is. Let’s take a look at each factor individually:

  • Education Level: Generally speaking, those with higher educational qualifications tend to earn more than those without them. This gap is particularly noticeable among university graduates compared to high school dropouts or vocational school graduates.
  • Experience Level: Those who have years of experience under their belt are typically paid more than entry-level employees. Employers may offer bonuses or other benefits for experienced workers depending on the company’s policies.
  • Minimum Wage: Under Japanese law, employers must pay employees a minimum hourly rate which varies by region. This ensures that all employees are guaranteed a fair wage regardless of their position or working hours.

It is clear from this analysis that there is considerable variation in salaries based on education, experience and minimum wage requirements in Japan. With these factors in mind, it can be difficult to calculate an average salary across the country as wages differ significantly between industries and locations. Understanding how these components influence compensation can help people make informed decisions about career choices and earning potential in Japan.

How Does The Japanese Wage Fare Against Other Countries?

When looking at the average salary in Japan, it’s important to consider how it fares against other countries. To get a better understanding of the situation, let’s take a look at some comparison data.

The Japanese wage is generally lower than that of many other industrialized nations; for example, according to OECD figures from 2018, Japan ranked 22nd out of 34 countries in terms of median wages. 

In addition, pay inequality between men and women remains an issue—in 2019, women earned an average of 57% less than their male counterparts in monthly salaries. This highlights that there are still issues with regards to gender equality when it comes to employment benefits such as wages and bonuses.

It should be noted that despite its relatively low ranking on the global scale, the Japanese salary system has seen significant improvements over recent years. Since 2015, wages have increased by around 5%, while unemployment rates have decreased significantly since 2014. Additionally, initiatives like ‘Abenomics’ have been successful in stimulating further economic growth and reducing poverty levels across Japan.

Overall then, while the Japanese wage isn’t necessarily up-to-par with those found elsewhere in the world right now, things appear to be improving steadily thanks to various government reforms and initiatives aimed at increasing economic stability and prosperity overall. From this perspective then, it seems clear that there is plenty of potential for future success.


The picture of the average salary in Japan is a complex one. On the surface, wages appear to be somewhat stagnant with only slight increases over time. However, when compared to other countries, Japanese salaries fare very competitively and have remained steady despite global economic shifts. 

It’s almost as if the Japanese wage system has been ‘locked’ into position – allowing it to remain relatively unchanged while its international counterparts pivot according to their own unique circumstances.

From an individual perspective, this means that those living and working in Japan can trust salary trends to stay consistent – providing them with financial stability amidst a turbulent sea of uncertainty. In terms of comparison, Japanese salaries rank slightly higher than many developed countries but significantly lower than some developing nations. 

This suggests that although there may be potential for further growth within certain sectors or industries, such opportunities are not guaranteed at present.

When looking more broadly at Japanese salary trends across all job categories, we can see that wages tend to increase gradually from entry-level positions up through mid-career roles before plateauing around senior management level jobs. 

This indicates that employers value experience and loyalty among employees who stick out their tenure until retirement and beyond – perhaps offering a sense of comfort amongst individuals who focus on long-term career goals rather than short term gains.

While there may be some discrepancies between genders or regions within Japan’s workforce, overall it remains a desirable place to work with wages well above average for many industries and professions. We believe that with continued improvements in equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, Japan will continue to serve as an example of economic success for years to come!

Ready to be a part of our journey to success? Join us today and let’s work together towards achieving greatness!

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