Average monthly salary of employees in Malaysia 2018 by age group

As of 2018, Malaysian employees between the ages of 50 to 54 years old earned the highest average monthly salary, at around 4.11 thousand Malaysian ringgit (RM). With a retirement age of just 60 years old, Malaysian workers could look forward to earning the highest salary of their career right before retiring.

Economic outlook

Malaysia is one of the biggest and strongest economies of South-East Asia, with a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.36 percent in 2018 and a forecasted economic growth of 4.9 percent for 2019. The average monthly salary steadily increased from around 1.8 thousand Malaysian ringgit in 2010 to around 3.01 thousand Malaysian ringgit in 2018. Employees with a university degree could expect to earn almost twice as much.

Can wages keep up with the cost of living?

However, when seen in the context of rising living costs, wages in Malaysia have not been able to keep up. Despite having a relatively low inflation rate of one percent in 2018, and the removal of the unpopular six percent goods and services tax by the Pakatan Harapan government in that same year, food costs in Malaysia have not gone down. The high cost of foodstuff is a financial strain on low-income households, who spend close to 40 percent of their income on food. In January 2019, Malaysia increased the minimum wage in the private sector to RM 1,100 monthly, or RM 5.29 hourly, in the hopes of easing the financial burdens of the bottom 40 percent.

Average monthly salary of employees in Malaysia in 2018, by age group

Average monthly salary in Malaysian ringgit (RM)
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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period


Age group

15- to 64 years

Special properties

Survey participants are Malaysian citizens.

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Note: 1 Malaysian ringgit (RM) is equal to 0.24 U.S. dollars and 0.22 euros (as at October 2019).

Average refers to the mean salary.

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