Salary benchmark: How much are SG agency creatives earning?

As the world has become more digital, creative agencies are found to have increasingly incorporated a wide range of roles within them. Among the different job scopes, a recent study by Aspire revealed that the most important creative roles now are user experience/user interface (UX/UI) designers, design and branding, client services (including project and account management), and strategy. The study added that design and branding can make or break a company, so talented creatives are worth their weight in gold. Additionally, candidates who know how to utilise programmes such as Adobe Illustrator can be vital assets to a growing company.

According to Aspire, a junior UX designer and a junior UI designer with more than one year of experience can earn within the range of SG$4k to SG$4.5k per month. Once promoted to senior positions, they are earning within the range of SG$7.4k to SG$12k. That is slightly more than the salary of an art director with at least six years of experience, and an associate creative director with at least seven years of experience. Motions graphic designers are also found to be highly-valued, earning SG$6.5k to SG$8k with three years of experience. 

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Besides designers, content writers are also in demand. Aspire's report found that companies are looking for writers who can produce copy that is both of high quality, and compelling for an audience increasingly comfortable with using digital formats. Content writers with a strong portfolio and proven results will find themselves able to leverage this experience for higher salary bandings, as writers with commercial awareness and acumen are a rare find. However, we see that content writers are earning significantly less than designers and art directors, with a senior editor (highest of the rank) earning SG$8k to SG$12k with at least five years of experience.

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Additionally, Aspire's report found that client services are also very valuable. This sector encompasses a huge range of roles and industries, from account management to response. Yet, even within such a broad sector, Aspire said it is seeing a job-rich market now more than ever. Candidates with experience and valuable skills, such as communication skills, are high in demand now. This is reflected in its salary guide, where a project executive starts off with a lower salary range of SG$2.5k to SG$4k, as compared to a senior project manager with five years of experience, who can earn from SG$7k to SG$10k.

Aspire also found strategic roles becoming increasingly important as businesses turn global. This would mean businesses need talented strategists who can estimate the direction and configure the resources of an organisation over the long term. A strategy director can earn up over SG$10k per month. 

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Digital marketing roles thrive

As most businesses gear towards digitalisation, it is no secret that marketers with stronger digital skills are higher in demand. Aspire said that marketers with expertise in digital skills and analysis will be able to reach the top levels of salary bandings. It also added that the ability to use programmes such as Salesforce, Marketo, and Eloqua are particularly valuable. 

According to a previous report by Kelly Services Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore in August 2020, the specific digital skills that are in higher demand include data analytics, data management, delivery optimisation, eCommerce campaign management, and social media management. Meanwhile, a recent salary guide by recruitment company Hays also revealed that candidates who are skilled in data analytics are higher in demand, earning a salary range of SG$6.6k to SG$10.8k per month.

Aspire's report pegged data scientists to earn a range of SG$4k to SG$18k, with the highest being the role of a vice-president of data science with a salary range of $12.5k to SG$18k. Aspire added that hiring experts in data security is becoming an ever-growing focus, as eCommerce overtakes traditional highstreet shopping. This is a trend that will only continue in an upwards trajectory. 

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Here are the salary ranges for other digital marketing roles:

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Although Singapore is a country that is known for being an international hub, Aspire said clients are now finding it difficult to  to find experienced candidates from a much smaller "pool" of candidates in 2021. This is due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, which in turn, limited the freedom of international talent going in and out of the country. As there will be a slow and gradual opening of borders, Aspire foresee that the trend of small talent pool will be the reality for the country for quite some time, with some suggesting as long as 2025.

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(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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