How Much Is The Average Salary In Japan?

Have you ever dreamt of going to work or live in Japan? You know that the Japanese cost of living is very high and you may wonder how much you need to earn annually to support your life in that modern and bustling country. Well, through this blog you will get an overview of the average salary in Japan by industry and age. From this, you may find out which occupations you need to focus on for high earnings. Now, let’s check the blog out!

1. Average Salary In Japan By Industry

According to a survey by DODA, a Japanese online job-search website, the average salary in Japan annually is around ¥4.14 million which equals about US$37,800.

There are many factors that influence Japanese actual incomes including industry, job type, region, and experience. However, for an overview of the current state of the average Japanese salary, let’s focus on the average salary in Japan by industry first. Note that the figures below are before tax.

General IndustryAverage Annual Salary% Foreigners in the


Average Monthly Salary by Seniority
Entry LevelExperiencedManagerSenior
IT / Communication¥4,610,0002.63%¥311,000¥421,000¥517,000¥628,000
Internet / Advertising / Media¥4,120,000¥291,000¥372,000¥443,000¥528,000
Construction / Real Estate¥4,180,0001.37%¥300,000¥378,000¥425,000¥468,000
Retail / Food¥3,550,0003.13%¥255,000¥324,000¥392,000¥452,000

Average annual salary in Japan by industry (2016). Source: DODA

IT Jobs In Japan Offer The Highest Salaries, Especially For Women

From the survey, the IT and communications industry in Japan had the highest average annual income of ¥4.61 million. The highest average entry-level income per month of ¥311,000 and managerial level income of ¥517,000 also belonged to this sector. So if you want to earn a high salary in Japan, IT should be your choice.

Regarding gender, IT and communication was the top-earning industry for women and the fifth-highest paying industry for men. Therefore, if you are a woman looking for a well-paid job in Japan, start searching in the IT industry.

An IT consultant, the highest-earning job in the IT sector, can earn on average ¥6.04 million annually. Web service engineers earn around ¥4.25 million and web designers can expect about ¥3.57 million.

In general, the average salary in Japan in terms of IT industry is the highest.

average salary in Japan

IT jobs are really attractive in Japan as they offer the highest income, especially for women

Manufacturing, The Second Highest Paying Industry In Japan

Not far behind the IT and communication industry, manufacturing makes it the second-highest-paid industry with an average salary of ¥4.56 million a year.

According to DODA, the yearly earnings in the toiletry and paper and pulp industries this term increased by ¥200,000, which brought the average salary for the toiletries sector, topping manufacturers of home appliances and mobile and network machinery, and comprehensive electrical machinery makers to ¥5.52 million, ¥5.39 million and ¥5.36 million respectively. On the contrary, the textile sector had a quite low average income in Japan. That is only ¥3.76 million. However, in most manufacturing sectors, especially in technology-related products, you can get better-than-average salaries.

Not far behind the IT and communication industry, manufacturing is also a great industry you should consider to work in

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A Job In Medicine Is Beneficial In The Long Run

The medical industry and finance rank third among high-earning industries in the Japanese job market.

The average yearly income in the medical industry is ¥4.50 million, which is lower than that in the IT and manufacturing industries. However, medicine offered the highest monthly salary for a senior position (¥643,000).

In the medical industry, pharmaceutical manufacturers make the highest average annual income of ¥6.11 million, followed by ¥5.70 million at manufacturers of diagnostic drugs and clinical examination machinery and reagents. These sectors are likely to develop because of Japan’s population aging.

The medical industry ranks third among highest-earning industries in Japan and a job in medicine can give long-term benefits

When You’re Young, Make Money By Working In Finance

The average annual salary for the finance industry was ¥4.46 million.

According to DODA, investment banking jobs were the second highest-earning after lawyers with ¥8.25 million based on annual salary by the occupational sector.

In regard to average monthly earnings in the finance industry throughout a career, entry-level salaries are high, at ¥307,000, right after ¥311,000 in the IT industry. Experienced workers in their 30s earn the highest average wage of ¥453,000 in finance, suggesting that this industry is a good place to make a lot of money while you’re young.

Unfortunately, there are limited opportunities for foreigners in finance and medicine. Foreigners make up less than one percent of workers in each industry.

When you’re young, working in finance can help you make a lot of money

If You Fancy Working In Real Estate In Japan, Try Real Estate Finance

The average salary in Japan by industry goes down to ¥4.18 million annually in construction and real estate. For better income, you should work in the top sub-section of the industry, which is real estate finance. On average, this sector brings in ¥4.86 million.

average salary in Japan

Not bringing too high income, but real estate finance can be an interesting sector you’d better try

For Jobs In Media, PR Is The Best Choice

Media, Internet and Advertising is the next highest-paying industry with an average annual salary of ¥4.12 million. Public relations and advertising agencies are the top sectors with ¥4.28 million annually. Foreigner participation in this industry comes to 2.63%.

Public relations and advertising are the top sectors in Media that bring in ¥4.28 million annually

The Japanese Service Industry Has The Highest Percentage Of Foreigners

The service industry in Japan has the highest rate of foreigner participation (5.12%), but it is one of the lowest-paying sectors with an average salary of ¥3.76 million. Financial advisory services have the highest earning of ¥5.61 million. Looking at specific occupations, human resource services pay ¥3.68 million on average annually, interpretation and translation jobs in Japan earn ¥3.52 million and marketing jobs in Japan make a nice ¥4.90 million.

Among hospitality and tourism jobs in Japan, hotel front desk staff on average earn ¥2.97 million, while travel agents and tour guides make ¥3.18 million annually.

The service industry has the highest rate of foreigners in Japan, but it is one of the lowest-paying sectors

How Much An English Teacher Earns In Japan?

Being a teacher in Japan earns on average ¥3.21 million annually, which is about ¥267,500 monthly.

In terms of English teaching jobs, language teacher assistants at public (and sometimes private) schools earn about ¥230,000 a month, while instructors at privately-owned English conversation schools make around ¥275,000. Teachers of business English often earn higher, sometimes up to ¥3,500 an hour.

Teaching Business English offers the best pay among teaching jobs

Jobs In Retail And Food Service Industries Offer The Worst Salaries In Japan

Working in the retail and food service industry only makes ¥3.55 million a year.

Among sales jobs in Japan, working at convenience stores earns the highest average annual income, at ¥4.01 million. Supermarkets follow with ¥3.65 million and at the low end of the retail industry is department stores, at ¥3.43 million.

Restaurants on average pay better than izakaya pubs or bars, with an annual ¥3.53 million, compared to ¥3.46 million.

Specific FunctionAverage



Average Monthly Salary by Seniority
Entry LevelExperiencedManagerSenior
Teachers / Instructors¥3,210,000¥241,000¥290,000¥316,000¥349,000
Human Resource Services¥3,680,000¥275,000¥332,000¥375,000¥400,000
Translation / Interpretation¥3,520,000¥250,000¥303,000¥320,000¥350,000
IT Consultant¥6,040,000¥376,000¥552,000¥678,000¥680,000
Web Engineer¥4,250,000¥300,000¥405,000¥477,000¥543,000
Web Designer¥3,570,000¥265,000¥315,000¥354,000~
Retail / Food
Convenience Store¥4,010,000¥290,000¥360,000¥436,000¥416,000
Izakaya / Bar¥3,460,000¥250,000¥316,000¥373,000¥388,000
Retail Shop¥3,420,000¥246,000¥311,000¥382,000¥428,000
Department Store¥3,430,000¥242,000¥298,000¥380,000¥499,000

Average annual salary in Japan by industry (2016). Source: DODA

2. Average Salary In Japan By Age

The average salary in Japan by age group increases every year, but there is a remarkable gender gap. The average annual salary for a person in their twenties is ¥3,540,000 ($32,182). The average salary for a man is ¥3,740,000 ($34,000), while the average salary for a woman is ¥500,000 less, at ¥3,240,000 ($29,455).

average salary in Japan

Average annual salary in Japan by age group (2016). Source: DODA

3. Japanese Annual Average Salary Trend Over The Last Few Years

Interestingly, there is a 0.5% increase in the annual average salary in the 2016 survey reported by workers, compared to 2015. However, that salary has not recovered to the level in 2008, the year of Global Financial Crisis.

Japan annual average salary trend (2008 to 2016). Source: DODA

Change in annual average salary in Japan (2008 to 2016). Source: DODA


Hopefully, you have better known about the average salary in Japan after reading this blog. In general, you can have a relatively high salary when working in Japan. However, your income also depends on your choice of job or the industry you want to work in.

About Yuu Sato

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.