Categories > Guides and Tips

Pros and Cons Unveiled Is working in Singapore worth it

Pros and Cons Unveiled: Is working in Singapore worth it?

Congratulations! You finally got that offer for a dream job in Singapore! 

But wait, you’re feeling butterflies in your stomach? Are you nervous about making a big move, leaving your old life behind, and starting fresh in a completely new country? 

That’s a completely valid response, especially if you’re thinking “Is working in Singapore worth it?” To keep you at ease about this big career change, we weighed out some pros and cons that we think you should consider before making the move! 

The Pros of Working in Singapore

Singapore is pro-business

Singapore is pro-business

Singapore has consistently ranked high in terms of business climate, job opportunities, and economic standing, making it one of the world’s best destinations for expats. 

In fact, its Ministry of Manpower has a pro-business policy that protects expats with work visas and employment passes. Foreign professionals enjoy business transparency, fair income tax rates, and seamless work permit processes. 

It’s easy and quick to get a work permit or business permit 

It’s easy and quick to get a work permit or business permit

Nobody likes paperwork and digging through tons of personal files just to get a work permit. If you decide to work in Singapore, however, you won’t have to worry much about that! 

Professionals who have already secured jobs in Singapore can easily get a work permit with just a few clicks on the Ministry of Manpower’s website. The portal is open 24/7, and you can complete the whole application remotely. 

Plus, requirements and documents are fairly simple and short. There’s no long list of supporting documents and sponsorship letters, either. 

If you’re a recently hired employee, you can learn about your application’s status within a day or two. If you’re a business owner, the process can be done within 15 minutes! 

Even better, work permit renewals are equally fast and simple. The process can be done within the same website! 

Salaries for expats are lucrative 

Salaries for expats are lucrative

Due to Singapore’s high standard of living and prosperous economy, professionals enjoy competitive salaries in almost any industry they choose to enter. 

It also helps that the tiny country is constantly on the lookout for highly skilled foreign specialists, so attracting the best candidates by offering high salaries is an effective way to fill out job vacancies. 

To give you a better idea of how much you’re likely to earn in Singapore, the median wage for specialists in the engineering or technology field is $3,500 to $4,000 per month. 

Other professions like elementary school teachers earn an average of $2,700 to $4,200 per month, which is relatively high considering housing is often shouldered by the school or company. 

The standard of living is high 

The standard of living is high

Who doesn’t want to live and work in a country that has high-quality healthcare, top-notch schools, world-class infrastructure, and efficient access to public services? These are a few things foreigners may enjoy when they decide to work in Singapore. 

As a prosperous country, Singapore consistently ranks high in global rankings of quality of life. The country has seen low unemployment rates, increased job satisfaction, and low crime rates over the years, making the quality of life for an expat very high. 

Singaporeans are highly proficient in English

Singaporeans are highly proficient in English

Being able to communicate with your coworkers and bosses is one of the most important soft skills any professional should have when entering a new job. 

Luckily for expats, English is widely spoken in Singapore, making communicating with others and adjusting to a new place much easier. 

English may not be the only official language spoken in Singapore, but it’s the designated medium of instruction. It won’t be hard for you to fit in or find your way across town when you first move here! 

The Cons of Working in Singapore

The cost of living in Singapore is expensive

The cost of living in Singapore is expensive

The average cost of living in Singapore is around $1,500 to $2,500 per month for a single person. If you’re moving to Singapore with a family, your expenses could be as much as $5,000 per month without rent. 

Considering the high standard of living and prices of food, utilities, and rent, working in Singapore also means paying more to live comfortably. 

It’s important to note that monthly spending budgets are subjective, but Singapore is an expensive city to live in. If your monthly salary falls below $3,000, you can still survive living in the Lion City, albeit conservatively. 

It’s hard to get and drive your own car in Singapore

It’s hard to get and drive your own car in Singapore

Driving in Singapore comes with a high price and a set of very strict rules due to the island’s small size and limited driving space. 

Foreigners holding a work permit are allowed to drive a car in Singapore with an international licence, but only for a limited time. International licences are valid in Singapore for up to 12 months, after which a Singaporean licence is required. 

Sounds easy enough? Don’t let that fool you, as getting a Singaporean driving licence requires passing the Singapore Basic Theory Test, applying for licence conversion at the Traffic Police Test Centre, and completing the mandatory one-year probation. 

The mandatory driving tests can cost you between $2,000 and $3,500, which includes registration fees, car rentals, and other supplementary tests like risk forecasts, eyesight tests, and driving simulators. 

Singapore has strict laws and hefty penalties 

Singapore has strict laws and hefty penalties

Singapore bans its citizens and foreigners from importing, selling, and improperly disposing of chewing gum. If you’re caught chewing it in public, you might get slapped with a hefty fine. 

This is just one example of Singapore’s list of strict laws, which are mainly related to conduct and cleanliness. If you’re going to be working in Singapore, you’ll have to be really mindful of your surroundings and make sure you read any signs on the road. 

Some of the laws are reasonable, but don’t allow yourself to get complacent. Even as simple as forgetting to flush public toilets after using them can lead to thousands of dollars in fines! 

Singapore is a tiny city-state 

Singapore is a tiny city-state

If you’ve visited Singapore as a tourist in the past, then you know how easily you can explore whatever there is to see on the island within a week. 

That’s how small it is, and if spending a lot of your time on a tiny island isn’t your thing, then you might want to think twice about working here. 

Don’t get us wrong, though. 

Singapore has a lot to offer despite its size, but if you’re one to crave new sceneries and change of environment now and then, it’s likely that you’ll run out of new places to explore in Singapore years down the line. 

Options for entertainment and experiences are relatively limited here, especially if you’re on a budget or prefer to spend your holidays outside of the city. 

Working in Singapore: Is it worth it? 

Working in Singapore Is it worth it

Overall, working in Singapore has its fair share of pros and cons.  

But if a high salary, high quality of life, efficient services, and building connections in one of the world’s most globalised economies are what you’re after, then it’s worth it. 

Related topics