Average salary in Japan

Average Salary in Japan

Average Salary in Japan

The average salary in Japan is around ¥3.77 million (US$34,657) per year. This figure is based on the data collected by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in 2020. However, the salary varies depending on various factors such as gender, industry, and experience.

Salary by Gender

In Japan, there is a gender pay gap where men earn more than women. According to a survey by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in 2020, the average salary of male workers is ¥4.52 million (US$41,578) per year, while female workers earn ¥3.14 million (US$28,887) per year.

Salary by Industry

The average salary in Japan also varies by industry. The highest-paying industries in Japan are the information and communication, finance, insurance, and medical and welfare sectors. On the other hand, the lowest-paying industries are the retail, accommodation, food services, agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries.

Salary by Experience

Experience also plays a vital role in determining workers’ salaries in Japan. The more experience you have, the higher your salary is likely to be. According to data from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the average wage of workers with less than one year of experience is ¥2.57 million (US$23,660) per year. However, the average salary of workers with 10 to 14 years of experience is ¥5.57 million (US$51,290) per year.

Here are the average salary figures for Japan:

• The overall average annual salary in Japan is ¥4.5 million or around US$40,000. This is slightly lower than the OECD average salary.

• Average graduate starting salary in Japan is around ¥2.8 million or US$25,000 per year.

• Salaries in Japan tend to be lower for women, part-time workers, and younger people.

• Salaries generally peak for those between 45 and 55 years old in Japan, then tend to decline slightly with age after that.

• Japanese salaries vary significantly by industry. The highest-paying industries in Japan include:

  • Finance and insurance: average ¥7.5 million or US$67,000
  • Information and communications: average ¥6.8 million or US$61,000
  • Professional and technical services: average ¥6.4 million or US$57,000

• Japanese workers tend to stay with the same company for long, resulting in gradual salary increases as they rise through the career ladder over decades.

Average salaries in Japan are lower than in Western countries but tend to increase steadily the longer you stay with the same company. Salaries vary significantly by age, gender, industry, and other factors.

What is the average income in Japan?

The average income in Japan varies depending on the data source and metrics used. Here are some figures on average income levels in Japan:

• Household disposable income: According to OECD data, Japan’s household disposable income per capita was USD 33,283 in 2020. This is the average income available to households after taxes and transfers.

• Average worker salary: The average monthly salary for workers in Japan is around ¥286,500 or about USD 2,600. This is based on Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare data. Salaries vary widely by industry, occupation, and experience level.

• Median household income: The median household income in Japan is around ¥5.7 million or about USD 50,000 per year, according to government statistics. Median income measures the income level at the midpoint of the income distribution, with half of households earning more and half earning less.

• Minimum wage: Japan’s minimum wage varies by prefecture from around ¥870 to ¥1,024 per hour (around $7.6 to USD 8.9). Annual minimum wage income would be about $15,000 to USD 18,000 annually, depending on the minimum wage and hours worked.

As you can see, average income levels in Japan range from around $25,000 to USD 50,000 per year, depending on the data source and metrics used. Japan has a relatively low poverty rate of about 15% and a high level of income inequality compared to other developed nations.

Factors that affect salaries in Japan

Several factors affect workers’ salaries in Japan, including education, location, and company size.


In Japan, education plays a significant role in determining the salary of workers. Workers with higher education qualifications, such as a master’s degree or a doctorate, earn more than those with only a bachelor’s degree or less.


The location also affects salaries in Japan. Workers in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, earn more than those in other parts of the country. The cost of living in Tokyo is also higher than in other parts of Japan.

Company size

The size of the company you work for also affects your salary. Large companies such as Toyota, Sony, and Mitsubishi pay higher wages than small and medium-sized enterprises.

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What is the minimum wage in Japan?

The minimum wage in Japan varies depending on the region and industry. The national minimum wage is ¥902 per hour, but some areas have set higher minimum wages.

How many hours do Japanese workers work?

Japanese workers work long hours compared to workers in other developed countries. The standard working hours in Japan are 40 hours per week, but many workers work overtime, including weekends.

Do Japanese companies offer bonuses?

Yes, many Japanese companies offer bonuses to their employees. Dividends are usually paid twice a year, in summer and winter, based on the company’s and employee’s performance.

Is it common to negotiate salaries in Japan?

No, it is not common to negotiate salaries in Japan. The company usually determines salaries based on the worker’s qualifications and experience.

Can foreigners work in Japan?

Yes, foreigners can work in Japan. However, they need to obtain a work visa and meet specific requirements, such as having a job offer from a Japanese company.


In conclusion, the average salary in Japan varies depending on factors such as gender, industry, experience, education, location, and company size. Although the average wage in Japan may not be as high as in other developed countries, the country has a high standard of living, excellent healthcare, and a low crime rate.


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