We have almost approached our first year in Singapore. We’ve met & spoken with a variety of creative, user experience designers and practitioners within the SG market. And through our very regular interactions engaging with this multitude of talent, there have been some observing trends of the industry that show seasonal preferences.
For salaries, a point to be aware of in the Singapore market is the wide bracket driven by disparity in what locally owned agencies/companies will pay for the same person VS a network owned agency or MNC. Of course this isn’t always the case, in that some local agencies are trumping their network owned own peers in terms of both salary and benefits, but the differences can be quite significant, thus a need to consider all aspects.
Here’s the current salary brackets for different roles. It’s not just about the money thou but inclusive of our views regarding the current state of the market.
Salaries indicated are a median of local SME, start-up, agency and client side for these positions.
|Title||*SALARY benchmarked per month in Singapore Dollars|
|Executive Creative Director||$15,000 – $20,000|
|Creative Director||$10,000 – $16,000|
|Associate Creative Director (art)||$8,000 – $13,000|
|Associate Creative Director (copy)||$9,000 – $13,000|
|Design Director||$8,000 – $12,000|
|Art Director||$5,000 – $9,500|
|Senior Designer||$3,500 – $6,500|
|Mid Weight Designer||$3,000 – $4,000|
|Head of Copy||$7,000 – $9,000|
|Senior Copywriter||$5,000 – $7,500|
|Mid Weight Copywriter||$4,000 – $5,000|
|Junior Creative Team||$2,400 – $3,500|
|Fresh Graduate||$2,200 – $3,000|
|Director/Head of UX||$10,000 – $15,000|
|Senior/Lead UX Architect||$8,000 – $12,000|
|Mid Weight UX Architect||$5,000 – $8,000|
|UX Manager||$8,000 – $10,000|
|Senior UI designer||$5,000 – $8,000|
|Jnr – Mid UI designer||$3,500 – $5,500|
|Senior User Researcher||$4,000 – $6,000|
|Jnr – Mid User Researcher||$3,500 – $5,500|
*Please note that the survey benchmark is derived through our own experience, current network researching and info gathering.
Digital Creative Landscape
There is a huge demand for digital creatives, especially at a senior level capacity. As agencies are more aware of brand and marketing expectations with local and regional clients, what they want and how they would be taking their business to the next level, it seems the merger for ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ advertising is now becoming more evident. We’d like to think this transition towards modern communications, a seamless combination of acute and engaging story telling of brands and products topped with technology, new insights and strategy makes the perfect potion for success in this very competitive market. Thus the need for both art and copy based creatives that can design, think, write and produce for multiple channels at a high level is a great one.
Depending on certain phases of the year, there seems to be a split in when art based creatives are more in demand VS copy based. Again, aside from separate principals, industry knowledge is also becoming more filtered. Eg. It’s not just particularly FMCG experience our client/s will be asking, but perhaps a knack specifically in e-commerce, or electronics, or beauty. As some of these industries have a stronger sales and operational front here instead of creative, it’s sometimes been challenging to look for that super star with that specific folio type. But gradually changing scene prove to be a flexible one, such as for instance print and retail branding creatives moving into digital agencies. So we have good hope that there will be increasing room to cross and move traditional or integrated creatives into digital focused roles or companies. The freelance market is picking up pace with more employers opting for freelancer or contract talent on a more regular/long term basis and this seems a trend set to continue.
UX show stoppers
User Experience, Interaction Design, Experience Design. These are all the current buzzwords hitting us in all corners here in Singapore. What we’ve noticed is that there are some differences to how some companies see the role of UX out here. Some see the value to bring in consultancy and research led UX practitioners at the start of every project/product. Others, don’t put the UX talents anywhere near clients and they see the role as creating wireframes for project requirements driven by “client/stakeholder wants” rather than “user needs”.
Senior level UX designers are a rare breed here in Singapore. Considering the term for such professionals hadn’t quite make it to what we know of it here now till about 6 years ago. Many of the practitioners would likely come from development/visual design backgrounds or engineering and research, each moving into their speciality of the UX dynamic.
Corporate companies and tech companies here have also been hiring or started hiring UX designers. The need to bring a more efficient, usable and satisfying experience to consumers, and their promise to create an engaging reputation for their brand also adds to the mix of talent needed. With lesser senior talent moving around locally, this makes the market even more competitive. However lack of maturity also means that the rates here would be lesser comparative to more established countries such as the Nordics, UK and States.
That’s a wrap for our latest survey. Sg creative desk, out!