How Much Can You Earn in Japan? 2023 Salary Guide

In June, a few of Japan’s largest recruitment agencies released salary guides for 2023, providing employers and candidates alike with a general sense of the average market rates for various roles in different industries. And let’s face it, in a country known for its hardworking employees who regularly put in long hours, we all want to know if that extra effort is reflected in the bottom line. Are Japanese workers compensated fairly for their contributions? Well, you’ve come to the right place to start your research. 

In this post, we’ll be diving into the fascinating world of Japanese salaries and exploring what the future holds for employees across the country. Whether you’re a fresh-faced graduate eager to enter the workforce or an established professional curious about salary trends in your industry, get ready to take a deeper look into the world of numbers, cultural norms, and everything in between. Get to crunching some numbers because we’ve got the inside scoop on Japanese salaries! 

Table of Contents

National Average Salary

A survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare found that the average monthly wage for a full-time worker in Japan in 2022 was ¥311,800 ($2,164.31). As far as we know, a new figure for 2023 has yet to be released.

Average Salaries Across Various Industries

The average salary for foreign workers in Japan largely depends on their qualifications, experience, and the demand for their skills. In general, foreign workers in high-demand industries such as technology and engineering can earn competitive salaries.

Let’s have a look at three tables with average salary figures for different roles in different industries. Note that the “25th percentile” refers to entry-level candidates with little to no experience. The “50th percentile” refers to mid-career candidates who have at least three years of experience and most of the necessary skills but are still learning. The “75th percentile” refers to candidates with more than five to seven years of experience, above average, relevant experience, and even specialized certifications. The demand for each percentile, respectively, is low, moderate, and high. 

Average Salaries in Japan in IT Industry

Industry: IT25th Percentile50th Percentile75th Percentile
Back End Engineer ¥5,207,000¥8,331,000¥12,497,000
DevOps / SRE Engineer¥7,290,000¥9,373,000¥12,497,000
Full Stack Engineer¥6,248,000¥8,331,000¥10,414,000
QA Engineer / Tester¥5,728,000¥7,290,000¥9,373,000
Engineering Manager¥9,373,000¥12,497,000¥14,580,000

Average Salaries in Japan in Finance and Accounting Industry

Industry: Finance and Accouting25th Percentile50th Percentile75th Percentile
Accountant (Small/Medium Firm)¥4,166,000¥5,207,000¥5,728,000
Accounting Manager (Small/Medium Firm)¥7,290,000¥8,071,000¥8,592,000
Accounting Director (Large Firm)¥12,497,000¥15,621,000¥20,000,000
Finance Manager
(Small/Medium Firm)
Finance Director
(Small/Medium Firm)

Average Salaries in Japan in Marketing and E-Commerce Industry

Industry: Marketing and E-Commerce25th Percentile50th Percentile75th Percentile
Digital Marketer¥5,207,000¥7,290,000¥9,373,000
Digital Marketing Manager¥6,248,000¥8,331,000¥10,414,000
E-Commerce Specialist¥5,207,000¥7,811,000¥10,414,000
E-Commerce Manager¥7,290,000¥9,373,000¥12,237,000
Omnichannel Manager¥10,000,000¥12,000,000¥14,000,000

The figures in the tables above are averages taken from Robert Half Japan’s 2023 Salary Guide. The salary figures are base salary, not including bonuses or other benefits. 

English teaching salaries are not included here, but I’ll say that the average salary of an English teacher ranges from ¥250,000-260,000 (about $1,860-1,950 USD per month at the current conversion rate) based on my experience. Many companies often offer lower salaries and a few offer much higher salaries for those who have at least three years of teaching experience in Japan.

For more information on English teaching in Japan, check out How to Become an English Teacher in Japan: Requirements, Qualifications, and Tips. 

Highest and Lowest-Paying Professions in Japan

Here are some jobs that offer the highest salaries in Japan:

ProfessionAverage Monthly Salary
Dentist¥1,290,000 ($9,503)
Chief Executive Officer¥1,220,000 ($8,987)
Chief Financial Officer¥1,150,000 ($8,472)
Attorney¥1,080,000 ($7,956)
Dietician¥1,020,000 ($7,514)

Here are some of the lowest-paying professions in Japan:

ProfessionAverage Monthly Salary
Waiter¥163,000 ($1,201)
Customer Service Representative¥201,000 ($1,481)
Automotive Mechanic, Nursery Teacher¥203,000 ($1,495)
Call Center Representative, Retail Cashier¥207,000 ($1,525)
Human Resources Officer¥331,000 ($2,438)

Average Salary Increases

Yearly salary increases depend on performance evaluation, the profits of the company, and the overall economic climate. Check out the tables below for average figures.

Looking for a job right now? Check out: 10 Trusted Job-Hunting Websites in Japan

Annual Salary Increase Percentages by Industry

IndustryAnnual Salary Increase Percentage

Annual Salary Increase Percentages by Experience Level

Experience LevelAnnual Salary Increase Percentage

5 Factors that Influence Salary

1. Education Level

The average salary in any industry generally increases based on a person’s educational qualifications. As taken from Salary Explorer, here are percentages of salary increases:

  • Employees with a technical certificate or degree earn about 17% more than those with a high school diploma
  • Employees with a Bachelor’s degree earn 24% more than those with a technical degree.
  • Employees with a Master’s degree earn 29% more than those with a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Employees with a Ph.D. earn 23% more than employees with a Master’s degree.

2. Experience Level

For the most part, Japanese people begin working after attaining a 4-year Bachelor’s degree. So in regard to age, you can expect entry-level to mean early to mid-20s. Further, the Japanese workplace hierarchy continues to mirror society, being largely based on age. So you can expect Managers and Directors to be in their mid-40s to late 50s or even early 60s. Of course, there are exceptions such as people gaining new skills to then switch to a new career path in their 30s. 

All that said, the traditional practice of being moved to various roles within the same company until retirement remains common here. It’s known as lifetime employment, and it’s a distinctive characteristic of Japan’s postwar labor system. Further, many Japanese companies continue to base wages on how long an employee has been with a company and rarely splurge to attract new talent. So age (usually being in direct correlation with how much experience someone has in their industry) continues to be a determining factor of salary. 

Years of ExperienceAverage Salary Increase Percentage
New grads to 2 years of experienceStarting Salary
2 to 5 years32% more than employees with 2 years of experience or less
5 to 10 years36% more than employees with 5 years of experience or less
10 to 15 years21% more than employees with 10 years of experience or less
15 to 20 years14% more than employees with 15 years of experience or less
Above 20 years9% more than employees with 20 years of experience or less

3. Industry

It may go without saying that the industry you work in is a huge factor of how much money you will earn. Some of the industries with the highest salaries include IT/Tech, Finance, and Pharmaceuticals. That said, I have witnessed good money-making potential in a range of positions in various industries. Sometimes it’s not the industry, but rather the company. 

Bigger, more well-known companies (known as 外資系, or gaishikei) have higher budgets to draw salaries from. Also, the culture at gaishikei companies tends to be more international, which also influences how they determine the salaries they pay. Global companies pay much more than domestic, Japanese companies. I’ve seen logistics candidates with eight to ten years of experience under their belt, holding Manager-level roles at small, domestic companies making an annual salary of seven to eight million yen. Meanwhile, candidates with much less experience in the same industry were making nine to ten million yen at a global company. That’s a remarkable difference in salary and experience level.

4. Region

The cost of living and the budgets of companies depends on the region. Here’s a list of some cities in Japan and the average salaries.

CityAverage Salary
Tokyo¥574,000 ($4,229)
Osaka¥555,000 ($4,089)
Nagoya¥545,000 ($4,015)
Kyoto¥505,000 ($3,720)
Hiroshima¥476,000 ($3,507)
Fukuoka¥526,000 ($3,875)
Okinawa¥390,000 ($2,873)

5. Gender

Gender is also a factor in determining salaries. According to Salary Explorer, women make an average of 6% less than men across all industries. 

Tips for Negotiating Salary in Japan

Negotiating salary in Japan can be a delicate process. It’s important to approach negotiations with a respectful and humble attitude, as Japanese culture values harmony and teamwork. Researching the average salaries for your industry and occupation can provide a baseline for negotiation. Additionally, highlighting your skills, experience, and qualifications can help justify a higher salary. Building relationships and networking within the industry can also open doors to better opportunities and higher salaries.


In conclusion, we’ve covered salary information for Japan in 2023 and you now have a better understanding. Salary expectations vary across different industries and experience levels. Now, remember that the figures provided in this post are averages taken from various sources, and do not cover all industries. Hopefully, you can use this post as a place to start, and then do your own due diligence. You can check two full salary guides from recruitment agencies Robert Walters and Michael Page.

With more research and a proper plan of action, job seekers and existing employees in Japan can have a realistic idea of the salary and negotiate suitable wages. It’s vital to stay informed of the average salaries annually in Japan to make sure you understand where you stand and what you can expect to be paid. I hope you found this article helpful! If you’re passionate about living and working in Japan, be sure to check out some of our other articles listed below.

Finally, did you know that Coto Academy has a recruitment team that can help you find your next job in Japan? Yep, if you’re a software engineer looking for opportunities with some of Japan’s most exciting tech companies, check out Coto Work’s website for more information.

Wherever your career path takes you, Coto Academy wishes you success!

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