Average salary in Malaysia in 2024 – The ultimate guide

Expat life
12 Apr 2024
11 mins read
Written by pranit

Malaysia has transformed significantly from its humble agricultural roots to becoming one of Asia’s dynamic economies. Its industrial revolution in the last three decades and its readiness for the digital-first industry 4.0 era have created a thriving job market. The country is also pulling out the stops to develop a healthy environment for its foreign professionals.


If you want to apply for a job in Malaysia, this blog is specially for you. It will help you understand the basic salary in Malaysia, the highest and lowest paying jobs, the average salary in specific cities, and lots more. 

Overview – Average Salary in Malaysia

  • Malaysia’s average income for a full-time worker is RM 6,610/month and RM 79,300/year
  • The per-hour salary in Malaysia for a part-time worker is RM 12.78, and the average annual salary is RM 29,910.  
  • The top job sectors in Malaysia are:
    • Engineering (avg annual salary: RM 47,580)
    • Marketing & Sales (avg annual salary: RM 45,983)
    • Banking, Finance & Insurance (avg annual salary: RM 45,300)
  • The top companies in Malaysia are Maybank, CIMB Group, Petronas Chemicals Group, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, MISC Berhad, PB Bank, IHH Healthcare, Nestle, Public Bank, Petronas Gas, etc. 

Do You Know?

  • The employment rate in Malaysia is anticipated to be 68.67% in 2024. [1]
  • In the IMD World Competitiveness Survey of 2023, Malaysia secured the 27th position out of 64 economies. The survey considered four vital aspects – economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure. [2]
  • Malaysia ranks at the 48th position among economies with the highest annual salary, with an average annual salary of USD 11,830, translating to RM 56,754, as per conversion rates on February 20, 2024, at 16:30 hours. [3]
  • Salary in Malaysia is forecasted to increase by 5.1% in 2024, higher than 4.8% in the previous year (2023). [4]
  • The unemployment rate in Malaysia is just 3.7%, which is lower than a lot of major economies like China, Canada, Switzerland and Russia. [5]

Many factors affect the salary of full-time and part-time workers in Malaysia. The top factors to consider are as follows:


  • Industry – The industry or sector is one of Malaysia’s most prominent factors affecting salaries. For instance, the salary of professionals in sectors like banking and financial services, engineering, information technology, and journalism is higher than administration and construction. 
  • Job roles and responsibilities – 
  • In the same industry, salaries differ based on various job positions and their associated responsibilities. For instance, a surgeon earns much more than a nurse. 
  • Education levels – Another factor to remember is the difference in salary by education level. This correlation is recognised worldwide. Professionals with a Master’s Degree earn more than those with a Bachelor’s Degree. Similarly, individuals having completed PhD earn more than a Master’s Degree holder in the same job. 
  • Work experience – The level of experience one possesses affects the salary. Higher work experience means higher salaries. 
  • Location – Provincial salary variations are common based on the city in which you are employed. The cost of living and current economic conditions are the causes of the variation. Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital, boasts one of the highest average salaries. 
  • Gender – Although not very common, there may be differences in salary based on gender in Malaysia. Men earn more than women on average across all fields. 
  • Company position – A company’s market position and profit-generating ability affect the salary it pays to its employees. Higher profits mean higher salaries, whereas losses or startups or small enterprises typically pay less than established business houses.
  • Economic conditions – The economic factors affecting salaries in Malaysia include the unemployment rate, interest and exchange rates, inflation, cost of living, demand and supply, etc. 
  • Government policies – The average salary in Malaysia is dependent on government regulations and labour laws. 
  • Global influence – The global landscape impacts the demand and supply of jobs in Malaysia. It also affects other economic factors.  Hence, salary fluctuates based on the competitiveness of the country.


Also read: A comprehensive guide to relocating to Malaysia as an expat

Average Salary for Full-Time Workers in Malaysia: (RM 6,610 monthly & RM 79,300 annually)

The flourishing job market of Malaysia offers numerous jobs for Indians and other international students. The country has a diverse workforce with competitive salaries across industries. If you know the average salary in Malaysia per month and year in specific industries, finding a job relevant to your career and suitable to your financial goals becomes easier. 


The following table offers a Malaysia salary comparison for full-time workers in the top seven industries.


Top Industries

Average Annual Salary (in RM)


RM 47,580

Marketing & Sales

RM 45,983

Banking, Finance & Insurance

RM 45,300

Information Technology

RM 44,746

Journalism & Translation

RM 44,700

Source: Talent


Let’s take a look at some of the top job profiles in each of these industries:

Engineering: Avg Salary – RM 47,580 per year


Source: Talent

Marketing and Sales: Avg Salary – RM 45,983 per year

Marketing and Sales

Source: Talent

Banking, Finance & Insurance: Avg Salary – RM 45,300 per year

Banking, Finance & Insurance

Source: Talent

Information Technology: Avg Salary – RM 44,746 per year


Source: Talent

Journalism & Translation: Avg Salary –  RM 44,700 per year

Journalism & Translation

Average Salary for Part-Time Workers in Malaysia: (RM 2,493 monthly & RM 29,910 annually)

The Employment (Part-time Employees) Regulations 2010 protect part-time employees in Malaysia. This group of workers enjoy the flexibility to earn and manage their commitments. Students and retired professionals often opt for this type of employment.


Employees are considered part-time when their average work hours per week are more than 30% but within 70% of that of a full-time employee per week for a similar job by the same employer. The following table highlights the average pay scale in Malaysia for part-time jobs, especially for international students.


Type of Job

Average Monthly Salary (in RM)

Data Entry Specialist

RM 1,500


RM 2,188


RM 2,222


RM 1,592

Digital Marketing Assistant

RM 2,000


There are many other part-time jobs in Malaysia. Remember to consult your student visa officer at the international office of the institution before applying. The other sectors in which international students with valid student passes can work for a decent average wage in Malaysia include:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Petrol Kiosks
  • Mini-markets
  • Marketing firms


Also Read: An expat’s guide to the cost of living in Malaysia

The Average Salary in Malaysia: Citywise

The following table gives you the figures for the income in Malaysia for general workers compared to nearby cities.



Average Monthly Salary (in RM)

Johor Bahru

RM 1,970


RM 1,865

Kuala Lumpur

RM 1,735

Shah Alam

RM 1,734


RM 1,724


RM 1,722


RM 1,715

Source: Indeed

Highest Paying Jobs in Malaysia

As mentioned earlier, professionals in higher positions and with more work experience earn a higher salary in Malaysia. These opportunities range across sectors from healthcare, education, and legal to banking, aviation, and marketing.


Some of these roles require a specialisation, while others require varied work experience, strategic vision, and extraordinary leadership traits. Here’s the salary data in Malaysia for the highest-paying jobs.


Job Title


Average Monthly Salary (in RM)



RM 13,700 – RM 41,500



RM 10,100 – RM 29,700



RM 9,000 – RM 27,900

Bank Managers

Banking & Finance

RM 6,480 – RM 22,400

Chief Financial Officers

Banking & Finance

RM 7,430 – RM 21,300



RM 6,930 – RM 20,400

College Professors


RM 6,570 – RM 19,300



RM 5,540 – RM 18,100

Marketing Directors


RM 4,700 – RM 15,800

Source: Salary Explorer

Lowest/Minimum Paying Jobs in Malaysia

The average income in Malaysia for most entry-level jobs and those in service sectors is low. The sectors with the lowest-paying jobs include construction and maintenance, food services, hospitality and travel, and shipping, manufacturing & transportation.


The majority of these jobs don’t require higher educational qualifications or specialised skills. Consequently, they are popular choices among people with little or no educational background and students. The following table shares the average monthly salary for some of the minimum-paying jobs in Malaysia.


Job Types


Average Monthly Salary(in RM)



RM 2,100


Childcare & Education

RM 1,950

Warehouse Worker

Shipping, Manufacturing & Transportation

RM 1,850

Forklift Operator

Construction & Maintenance

RM 1,800


Food Services

RM 1,650

Source: Talent

Salary for experience

Work experience helps employees sharpen their skills and learn on-the-job capabilities. These employees are preferred in job markets globally, including Malaysia. The pay scale of experienced professionals is also higher than inexperienced professionals or freshers.


The following table highlights how salaries increase with work experience.


Years of Work Experience (in years)

Average Salary Per Year (in RM)

0 – 1 (interns or fresh graduates)

RM 62,032

1 – 2

RM 65,708

2 – 4

RM 81,331

4 – 8

RM 110,280

8 – 12

RM 154,851

12 – 16

RM 186,557

16 – 20

RM 226,074


RM 276,159

Source: Average Salary Survey

Difference Between Median & Average (Mean) Salary

While learning about the average salary in Malaysia, it is wise to learn about the average or mean monthly salary and the median salary. While the two terms are frequently used interchangeably, their distinction is meaningful. The following example will help you understand how average mean salary and median salary are calculated.


Person 1

RM 3,000

Person 2

RM 4,000

Person 3

RM 5,000

Person 4

RM 6,000

Person 5

RM 10,000


The formula to calculate the average through the mean method requires you to add all the salaries and divide it by the number of persons. 


Average Salary = (3000 + 4000 + 5000 + 6000 + 10000) / 5 = RM 5,600


The calculation of the median average requires you to arrange the salaries in ascending order and identify the salary placed in the middle. This salary figure is the median. 


The median average in the above example is RM 5,000. Now, the average salary in Malaysia is RM 6,610 per month. This average salary represents the earnings of a “typical employee.” It can go up with higher salaries or go down with lower salaries. 


Malaysia’s median income is RM 5,000 per month. This figure indicates that 50% of the population earns more while the other 50% earns less than the median salary.


Also Read: Top 10 reasons to study in Malaysia

Before You Go…

Malaysia emerges as a welcoming destination for job seekers due to its political stability and thriving economy. Its lower cost of living is another reason to explore available job opportunities in the country. Indians and other international students can apply for a wide range of jobs.


Malaysia’s average income in sectors like engineering, marketing & sales, information technology, and banking, finance & insurance, among others, is high. A senior-level professional can earn a high salary of RM 29,400 per month. 


There are many job opportunities for part-time workers as well who earn based on a per-hour salary in Malaysia. These workers enjoy flexible work timings, enabling them to earn while they manage their commitments.


It is essential to understand the pay scale in Malaysia before applying for a job in a field of your choice. It helps you plan your finances. Apply for the necessary work permits and visas and keep your documents ready for potential employers. You will also need a reliable international fund transfer application like Instarem to send money to India from Malaysia. 


Instarem is a secure, fast*, and a trusted platform. It allows you to send money overseas from Malaysia. There are no hidden charges, and you can execute your transactions at an affordable# cost. You also enjoy benefits like InstaPoints on every successful transaction. 


Q. What is the current average salary in Malaysia?

According to Salary Explorer, the latest average monthly salary in Malaysia is RM 6,610, which is estimated to be approximately RM 79,300 per year. This average income comprises housing, transport, and other allowances, and the range varies between different sectors and careers.


Q. What is a good salary in Malaysia?

A salary ranging between RM 6,590 and RM 17,600 per month is considered sufficient for a comfortable life in Malaysia. But, the definition of “good” may vary from person to person, depending on their standard of living, financial commitments, and other circumstances.


Q. Which job has the highest salary in Malaysia?

Jobs in banking, finance & insurance, engineering, information technology, journalism & translation, and marketing & sales offer the highest salaries in Malaysia.


Q. Which job has the lowest salary in Malaysia?

The low-salary sectors in Malaysia include food services, construction and maintenance, shipping, manufacturing & transportation, and packaging. The jobs with the lowest salary packages are dishwashers, forklift operators, security guards, cleaners, room attendants, tour guides, etc.


Q. What is the average salary in Malaysia for IT?

The average annual salary of an IT professional in Malaysia is RM 44,746.


Q. What is the average salary in Malaysia per month for an Indian?

The average income in Malaysia for an Indian depends on the industry, education level, job type, and work experience. It can range anywhere between RM 1,670 and RM 29,400 per month.


Q. How do you find a job in Malaysia?

It is easy to find a job in Malaysia. There are many online job portals that you can register on to start your job search across sectors and industries. These job portals provide a list of open opportunities along with their details, including pay scale, roles and responsibilities, required educational qualifications, preferred level of work experience, etc. Some platforms also provide additional services to help you create your resume and connect with top recruiters. 



Other related blogs:

Germany – Average Salary in Germany

Australia – Average Salary in Australia

USA – Average Salary in USA

Canada – Average Salary in Canada

UK – Average Salary in UK

Singapore – Average salary in Singapore

Ireland – Average Salary in Ireland



This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with the products or vendors mentioned.

* Fast meaning 75% of our transactions are completed in 15 minutes. Depending on the funding method.

#When it comes to affordable exchange rates and fees, it’s worth noting that the cost will vary depending on how you choose to fund your transactions. Credit card funding and bank transfer fees can differ significantly. 





[1] https://www.statista.com/outlook/co/socioeconomic-indicators/employment/malaysia

[2] https://www.imd.org/centers/wcc/world-competitiveness-center/rankings/world-competitiveness-ranking/

[3] https://www.worlddata.info/average-income.php

[4] https://www.mercer.com/en-my/about/newsroom/malaysia-trs-2023-news-release/


About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.